If you’ve ever had a beloved candle turn its glass jar black and sooty or found that the flame is suddenly extinguished in a pool of wax then today’s post is for you!

I’m sharing five tips to help you get the most from your candles whether they’re handmade or store bought. Number 4 was a real lightbulb moment for me! Have you ever had a candle do this and wondered why?

If you have any tips of your own let me know in the comments. You can find my DIY tutorial with instructions for how to make rolled candles using natural beeswax like the ones above here.

  1. Trim the wick to around 1/3 of an inch before lighting it every time right from the start. This will prevent the candle from smoking and make it last longer. You can buy a purpose built wick trimmer (I like this one!) which is perfect for jar candles because of it’s angle but a sharp pair of scissors will do – anything that creates a clean cut (as any unravelling wick fibres will cause the candle to smoke). A ‘mushroom’ shape at the end of the wick is a sign that the wick is too long and is consuming more wax than it can burn, causing a carbon build up (and plenty of smoke!).
  2.  Use a candle snuffer to prevent splashes of wax and avoid a room full of smoke at the end of the evening. This also helps prevent the wick ‘drifting’ off-centre as you blow it.
  3. Avoid open windows and ceiling fans which often cause wax to run down the sides of the candle or splatter over the candle holder. If you can’t avoid them then turn the candles regularly to avoid uneven burning.
  4. When burning jar or large pillar candles be sure to let them burn until the entire top layer of wax has melted, this will prevent the wick ‘tunnelling’ (and eventually being consumed by melted wax from the sides of the candle.)
  5. The best jar candles come with a lid – this is to help prevent the fragrance evaporating out of the wax so that the fragrance is stronger during burning and will also stop dust gathering on the surface of the candle. To clean a dusty candle wipe it a little isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) on a soft cloth.


I hope you found today’s post useful! There’s no need to confine candles to the colder months of the year – I love the glow they add to these lighter evenings! What’s your favourite candle?

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