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Candle Care 101: How To Burn Your Candle Properly

Candle Care 101: How To Burn Your Candle Properly

So you’re the proud parent of a new candle. Like all new parents, you want the best for your candle. Will it burn evenly? Will I know how to trim the wick properly? How can I keep it clean? Don’t fret! We’ve got the answers to all of your burning candle questions. Let’s get to it!

Preparing your candle for the first burn

The first thing you want to do is make sure your wick is the proper length. We recommend using a wick trimmer since it creates a nice clean cut that maintains the integrity of the wick. You want your wick to be about ¼” in length before burning. You will want to trim the wick to this size for every subsequent burn. We recommend only trimming wicks on cooled candles, to prevent debris from falling into hot wax.

Next, you want to find the perfect surface for burning. The ideal surface is even, heat safe, away from drafts, and out of reach of pets, children and wild or elaborate draperies. We love an elaborate window treatment, just keep them away from fire!

Finally, you may light your candle. Lighterss are great for early burns, but as the candle wax gets lower, we recommend a long match to reach the wicks without burning yourself.

Babysitting your candle

Helping your candle burn to its potential is a delicate balance of leaving it alone and keeping an eye on it. Most surfaces aren’t perfectly even, so we recommend rotating your candle 180 degrees every 30 minutes. This will ensure that you get an even pool of liquid wax.

Candle misbehaving? Let’s fix it!

It’s crucial that your candle burns completely liquid across the surface EVERY time you burn it. The time it takes for the candle to become completely liquid depends on the wax, fragrance, surface it’s on, and the temperature of the room it’s in. Typically this is between 2 to 4 hours. Burning a candle is meant to be a nice experience, so make sure you can settle in with it for at least as long as it takes to burn across the surface.

However, life can happen and sometimes you need to blow out a candle before it’s ready. This can create a little “memory ring” that can cause tunnel burning. Tunnel burning is when the candle will burn straight down like a little tunnel, leaving wasted wax along the sides of the jar. The best way to fix this is with a tin foil candle hat!

First, get a strip of tin foil.

Fold it in half, length-wise. 

Make it into a little hat with an opening in the middle and place it around the candle, being very careful not to burn the foil or yourself. 

The foil hat concentrates heat on the surface of the candle, which allows the wax to fully liquify. Check on your candle every 20 minutes until it has become completely liquid.

Once it has become completely liquid, you can resume burning as usual!

Keeping your candle clean

Keeping your wicks trimmed and your candles free of debris is the best way to avoid soot and smoke, however, dealing with fire can often leave a bit of soot along the inside of the glass. This is incredibly easy to clean!

Get a paper towel and some coconut oil.

When the candle is cooled, wipe the inside of the glass with the coconut oil.

Ta-Da! Good as new!

Candle Burning Don'ts

  • Don’t leave unattended
  • Don’t play with the wax or try to move the wax around the jar. This will make the wax uneven and promote uneven burning.
  • Don’t burn for more than 4 hours. Your wick can “mushroom” and create a large and unstable flame.
  • Don’t forget to trim that wick! Untrimmed wicks lead to popping, smoking, and soot. This is how candles end up looking dirty and full of debris.
  • Don’t burn in a small unventilated room.
  • Don’t fall asleep with your candle burning.

Candle Burning Dos

  • Enjoy often! Treat yourself!

For more in depth candle tips and tricks and how to clean out a used candle, watch our video here!

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Bijou Candles

Hi Betty!

Soy candles can last for years if kept covered and stored in a cool, dry place. However, we recommend burning our scented candles within a year in order to enjoy the full fragrance profile as the fragrance can dissipate over time.


Hi! I have two candles, willow and sabrina! They smell amazing. I have not lit mine yet. How long and what’s the best way to store them with them not losing their scent?

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