An Expert Guide to Caring For Your Candles & Wax Melts
Do you practise good candle care? Luxury scented candles and luxury wax melts need a little TLC in order to burn safely and to the best of their ability. It’s really not just a case of light and leave! Following a few simple steps will extend the life of your candles and melts, encourage maximum scent diffusion and, most importantly of all, keep you and your loved ones safe. We’re really proud of our portfolio, and want our customers to make the most of all our home fragrance products. So whether you’re devoted to Owen Drew candles, wild about WoodWick, or crazy about Cosy Aromas, read on to learn more about candle care and creating the perfect burn.
Before you even think about lighting your candle, stand it somewhere safe and within sight. Place your candle on a flat, heat-resistant surface, away from draughts, flammable materials, children and pets. Never leave it burning unattended.
Wick trimming is a really important part of caring properly for your candle. And as with so much in life, size matters. Your candle wick should never be too long or too short. As a general rule, aim for about a quarter of an inch, although this can vary according to the size of your candle, so do check the instructions first. A key exception is our WoodWick Ellipse candle which, due to its design, does not need trimming unless the flame exceeds 25mm, or the candle begins to smoke.
You should trim your candle wick before you light it – and never when the wax is still warm. For best results use a specialist tool, such as our Yankee Candle Kensington Silver Wick Trimmer.
Angled wick trimmers like this allow you to easily clip your candle wick to the perfect length. They are also long enough to reach the bottom of all Yankee Candle Original Large Jar Candles. Simply rest your wick trimmer on top of the candle wax, then rock the trimmer back whilst closing to trim. Finish by removing the excess wick – your candle is now ready to light and enjoy!
The art of accessorising
Just as the right accessories can really elevate an outfit, the right tools can help you care properly for your candles. Extra-long matches, or even a specialist candle lighter, are the safest way to light your candle, especially once it starts burning down and the wick is trickier to reach. When you’ve finished burning your candle, we recommend using a candle snuffer to safely extinguish the flame.
Candle lids and candle shades are also great candle accessory investments. Specially created for Yankee Candle Medium and Large Jar Candles, our Illuma Lids are both functional and decorative. These clever toppers were created to reduce the impact of draughts and encourage a clean, even burn. We think they look really pretty too!
Protect your surfaces
As already mentioned, for safety reasons, all candles should be sited on heat-resistant surfaces. Good examples are granite kitchen countertops, or fire-resistant treated wooden surfaces. But suppose you’d like to burn your candle elsewhere? Our Yankee Candle Gold & Pearl Large Shade Set is the ideal way to protect almost any surface from heat damage (and encourage an even burn). We love the look of the eye-catching mosaic/delicate crackle design too.
The importance of pooling
Did you know that you should always allow your candle to burn long enough to let the melted top layer reach the sides of its jar or container? Allowing the wax to ‘pool’ like this discourages ‘tunnelling’ – when the wick burns straight down the centre, which subsequently sinks.
It’s a really common mistake to not let your candle burn long enough the first time you use it. A good rule of thumb is to let your candle burn uninterrupted for 30 minutes for every 1cm in diameter. For a Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle, that would be four hours. For our WoodWick Ellipse candles with Heathwick Flame, light the wick on one end, and allow the flame to flow naturally across the wick. Additionally, make sure that your keep your candle burn pool clear of any debris, such as spent match heads.
It’s worth nothing that WoodWick candles may burn differently from other brands. The flame height may change periodically, and occasionally even appear to self-extinguish. This is normal, so please don’t worry! Even if the flame looks ‘low’, it will continue to heat up and the flame height should subsequently stabilise.
Time to say goodbye
All good things must come to an end, and alas, your luxury scented candles are no exception. When the candle wax of your Yankee Candle is 1cm from the bottom, it’s officially finished (for WoodWick candles the magic number is 6mm). But it’s not all bad news. There are plenty of ways to re-use your candle jars when the candles inside them have finished. Best of all, you can then go shopping for new ones!
How to use scented wax melts
Sometimes described as wickless candles, luxury wax melts are pieces of wax (often sculpted into pretty shapes) that release a gorgeous scent when heated within a burner. Importantly, unlike candles, you don’t light them directly.
Available in two different sizes – 25g and 110g – our Cosy Aromas wax melts are some of our best-sellers. The larger size needs separating into five or six segments, before you place your chosen melt into your warmer (electric and tea-light versions are available). To help release the smaller size from its pot, warm it gently in the palm of your hands first.
As with candles, similar safety rules apply. Place your burner on a flat, heat-resistant surface, away from draughts, children and pets. Additionally, always use a warmer that’s designed for use with wax melts, and never leave it burning unattended.
Do not add water, fragrance or essential oils to your wax melts, and never move your warmer when it’s in use, to avoid spillage or injury (it will become hot!). Always remember to extinguish your flame when you’ve finished, and don’t dispose of your melted wax down your sink or drain. Simply pour it into some kitchen roll and recycle instead.
For more expert advice, click here to read our ‘Ultimate Candle & Wax Melt Guide’