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Title: Candle Burning Tips
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From: USA
Registered: 11/21/2008

(Date Posted:01/13/2009 01:32 AM)
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Candle Burning Tips

For 3" diameter candles or larger, burn for 2 hours the first time and at least every 3rd or 4th burn to establish a nice "melt pool" and ensure optimal burning time for the life of your candle. Your candle may develop a tendency to burn down the middle and not out to the sides if it is not burned long enough each time. (This is only true for the 3" and larger diameter).

The 2" diameter is preferred for burning 45 minutes to 4-5 hours at a time. The 3" diameter is designed to be lit for 3-4 hours or more each time. Choose the diameter candle to suit your burning preferences.

2" x 4" = Burns approx. 40-50 hrs.
2" x 6" = Burns approx. 70-80 hrs.
2" x 9" = Burns approx. 100-110 hrs
2" x 12" = Burns approx. 130-140 hrs.
3" x 3" = Burns approx. 50-60 hrs.
3" x 6" = Burns approx. 90-100 hrs.
3" x 9" = Burns approx. 130-140 hrs.

Taper Candles (or dinner candles):

Tapers burn at least one hour per inch...drip less!!! These candles are both elegant and charming. They are wonderful for your special dinner or on your mantle and no more wax spills on the candelabra!

Taper candles are most often used for elegant, romantic lighting for the dinner table, but are also used often for other candleholders such as wall sconces, etc. The U.S. standard diameter for a dinner taper is 7/8". This is why you might have a difficult time finding sizes larger or smaller than 7/8" because most candleholders made in the U.S. are this size.

Drips less Tapers are made with a harder wax shell on the outside, which helps to contain the liquid wax. Keep in mind, that the only way a drip less taper will actually not drip is if you burn it in a location that is free from drafts. A draft will make the flame move, which will eventually burn on one side of the taper only, causing it to drip. No matter how much a Taper Company advertises that their candle is drip less, it actually depends on its environment. For instance, if your taper candles are located near a window, vent, or even where people will be walking by it constantly, it will probably drip. Take note of the flame when you place it in its location. If it is constantly flickering to one side, then there is a draft present. If the flame stays straight, then you shouldn't have a problem with the taper dripping.

Non-drip less tapers will drip even if there is no draft. While they may be cheaper, they will make a puddle of wax while burning.

Some taper candles are colored all the way through, while others are only colored on the outside shell with the inside being white in color. Once again, this also affects the price. The better tapers will be colored all the way through.


Pillar candles are generally used as centerpieces. Depending on the area it is being placed, you could use one, or a grouping of different sizes for the overall effect. You can also add flower rings, gems, stones, potpourri, etc. Around them to enhance the look. Always place Pillars on a candle base to protect your furniture from wax and oils.

Sizes vary greatly for Pillar candles. The most popular diameter for a Pillar is 3" and has varying heights. Other sizes are 2 inches, 4 inches, and 6 inches, although there are sizes smaller and larger as well.
Most people tend to be hesitant about burning pillar candles for fear that the pillar will drip or burn poorly. Always read the instructions for the candle prior to burning. Pillar candles are only meant to be burned for a few hours at a time (depending on the diameter of the pillar). If you burn them longer than the time instructed, the wax pool will go beyond the outer shell and cause the liquid wax to leak out the sides. To prevent dripping, when the wax pool reaches the outer edge (usually after a few hours), blow it out, allow it to harden, and then relight.

Pillars are best for you to burn if you only light your candles a few hours at a time. If you like to burn your candle all day, you might want to consider a Jar Candle instead...

Votive Candles:

The votives fit in any standard votive holder and will burn approximately 12-15 hours each. The tea lights are sold in aluminum cups and will burn about 4-5 hours each. A wonderful alternative to scented or paraffin candles; they are especially nice for use in aromatherapy burners where an all-natural product is preferred.

Don't let these little buggers fool ya! They can knock you out with fragrance for such a small size candle!

First and foremost, votives must be burned in a votive holder as they turn to complete liquid while burning. But these little candles can burn for up to 15 - 18 hours depending on the candle brand, and holder. They are perfect for testing a fragrance prior to burning a larger, costly candle. Usually most votives have more fragrance oils added to them, which gives surprisingly pleasing results. They are perfect for burning in smaller rooms in the home.

Choosing a proper votive glass is very important for burning votives. The size of the glass will effect the burning time, and cleanup afterwards! You want a votive glass that will fit the votive snuggly so that the wax cannot escape from the wick/flame. If the votive glass is too wide, the liquid will escape from the wick, which will cause the flame to be unable to burn all of that wax that sits on the outer edge of the holder. This means that you will then have the nasty job of trying to scrape the wax off of the sides when it is done burning. It also means that all of that wax never got burned, therefore losing precious burning time. If the votive holder fits the votive tight, then the flame will be able to burn all of the wax, leaving only a residue behind, and giving you much more burning time.

If you like to change fragrances often, have a small room to fragrance, or like to spend less money, then a votive candle is for you!


All floaters are sold tea light. If you place the tea light inside the floater before it burns all the way through, you can continue to enjoy your floater by inserting tea lights periodically.

1 1/2" - burning time: approx. 3 hrs.
2 1/4" - burning time: approx. 4 hrs.
2 3/4" - burning time: approx. 3 1/2 hrs

Container candles (jar candles, votives in holders, etc.) should be burned 1 hour for each inch of diameter. This allows the wax pool to cover the entire surface, and extends the burning time.

Jar Candles:

Jar candles have dramatically increased in popularity in recent years. This is perhaps because they are lower in maintenance and tend to "throw" more fragrance than other types of candles. Since jars tend to be wider in diameter than most other candles, there is a wider liquid pool of wax that can "throw" the fragrance. Jar candles have improved in looks as well over the years due to the increasing number of decorative Jar Accessories available such as Jar Shades and Bases, Toppers, Huggers, Chimneys, and Cappers. There are many seasonal designs to spice up a basic jar candle, which makes burning them a lot of fun!

If you like to burn a candle for many hours out of the day, then a jar candle is for you. Jar Candles are the opposite of Pillar Candles. Where you should only burn a pillar for a few hours at a time, you should burn a jar candle for many hours longer! This is because you want the liquid wax pool to reach the glass of the jar. If you only burn a jar candle for a few hours at a time, you will notice a "well" being formed in the center of the jar. The wax never gets the opportunity to liquefy to the outer edge of the jar and all of that wax will then be wasted. You will know that you are not burning it long enough if you notice a wax wall around the jar that is not being burned. You lose burning time when the jar is not burned properly, which also loses money.

Some people find improvement when they burn their jar with a Capper on top. These are designed to be used on the jar while it is being burned. They help the jar burn better due to the patented design, and they also help to eliminate some of that nasty soot from the paraffin wax found in most candles!

It is important that you discontinue use and throw away the jar candle when there is a 1/2" of wax remaining, as glass may shatter, or wax may catch fire.

Burning 3 Wick Candles:

1. Make sure to place candle in large enough holder to catch any melted wax that may spill over top of candle. If liquid wax melts too close to the edge, it may begin to run over the edge. A lot of liquid wax running down the side will melt a v-shape at the top of the candle and will continue to melt a vertical line down the side. This will make the candle appear to be cracked. When the liquid has emptied from the top, the 3 flames will continue to melt wax and continue to run down the already-eroded melt line onto your container or on top of your table or onto the floor. To avoid this from happening:

a. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
b. Make sure the candleholder is large enough to contain spilled- over liquid wax.
c. Care for the flame height by trimming the wick, which will reduce flame size and thereby decrease the amount of heat, which melts the wax.

2. Candle will burn and melt in this sequence:

a. Three circles around each wick,
b. Three circles join to form a clover effect,
c. Large round pool close to edge of candle.

When candle reaches stages "b" or "c" be careful that drafts are not causing the liquid wax to reach too close to the edge of the candle. If this is happening, turn candle around. If wax is still getting too close to edge: extinguish all 3 flames, let candle cool, and re-light at a later time.

3. General instructions about the flame of your candles:

a. The wick is designed to trim itself. However, if flame dances up and down and you see dark soot coming from the flame - the wick is too long. Extinguish flame and trim wick.
b. When candle is extinguished the black part of wick is fragile. Sometimes when cleaning or moving, wick may get broken. This will affect the burning of the candle. When the wick is too short the liquid level may drown the flame. If this happens you will need to carefully pour off the liquid wax after you extinguish the flame. You may need to do this more than once until you get the proper size flame.

4. Make sure to keep any debris out of candle, such as match parts or trimmed wick.

5. As with ALL candles, NEVER leave a candle burning unattended.

Wax Removal

Following the safety rules above should minimize the chances of needing the following instructions:

Wax on Carpet - this procedure may cause stains, if in doubt call in a professional carpet cleaner.

Let harden, then break up and remove as much wax as possible.
Place paper towels on area.
Apply a hot steam iron to wick wax into the paper towels. Protect iron with tin foil.
Repeat as needed.
Check iron for wax residue before using for clothing again.

Wax on Clothing - may cause stains, if in doubt consult a professional.

Remove Garment.
Let harden, and then remove as much wax as possible.
Pour boiling water through affected area.
Repeat as necessary.
Do not use carpet method on clothes as it could set the candle dye in the fabric.
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