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Stop the candle smoke and other candle problems

Updated on February 28, 2013

Candle burning tips

If you have any experience with candles, you will know of those that smoke or tunnel and drown. This is not because you have purchased cheap candles.

What I mean by that is that it smokes, tunnels, or the wick drowns in its own wax. All of these scenarios can be avoided by properly burning your candle and maintaining them between burns.

A candle that smokes would be the problem we would tackle first. With all the different types of ingredients, all candles differ by a great deal. They all have different waxes, wicks, additives, dyes and colorants, and fragrances (natural and synthetic). Each concoction would make a different type of candle. Despite what you have heard, all candles will smoke if not maintained properly, yes even the popular natural soy candles or white unscented candles.

Black soot can not be a problem if you cut the wick before each burn with a wick trimmer. Cut your wick to a quarter of an inch before you light it, and do this every time. Try using a wick trimmer to cut your wicks. Keeping the wick short will keep the yellow part of the flame above the wick and thus no smoke as all of the gas released from the candle will be completely burned up.

Carbon deposits have a direct relation to the length of the wick. This will lead to mushroom deposits on the wick and a black jar. The only way to prevent this is to keep your wick cut short to a quarter of an inch. You will find that your candles will not smoke as much, and your jars will be clear.

Second, tunneling and drowning. Tunneling and drowning occurs when you burn your candle in many short periods at a time. The edge wax never melts while the center melts and is used up. Excess wax will drown the wick.

This can be prevented by simply burning your soy wax candles for at least 4 hours once in a while. Allow the wax to melt all the way to the edges of the jar and everything will even out.

A butter knife or spoon will be the tools that you will need if you already have this problem. Dig out all of the excess wax around the wick leaving a quarter inch of wick left. If you keep to the instructions above, the chances of it happening again is slim.

Use these easy and simple steps to make sure you have a great candle experience every time. A properly maintained candle will extend its life and improve the air quality of your home.


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