I recently came across a list called Product Complexity Index (PCI). PCI measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters. With simple words the higher in the list, the most complex to use, Interestingly enough, candles are higher than bicycles, encyclopedias and even Garden Tools! To me after spending many many hours developing and testing candles, this is not a surprise but most of the people think that using a candle is as simple as lighting the wick and of course never pay attention to the burning instructions.

The sad truth is that most people don’t burn their candles correctly. As a result they don’t get the most of it. Scent throw is not as good as it could be, burning time is significantly reduced and there is a risk of a broken jar or a wax leak. All your candles should have a label with burning and safety instructions. So let’s drill down into the most important of those and explain why each of them is important.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to candles is that they resemble your car. Think of the  wick as your engine and the wax as your fuel. Keep that in mind!

No second chance for a good first impression!

Candles -believe it or not- have excellent memory. If your first burn is not correct, your candle is not going to forgive you. For your first burn all you need to do is to :

  • Make sure your wick has the correct length.
  • MOST IMPORTANT : let the candle burn for at least 3-4 hours to ensure that you have a nice wax pool. By doing this you will be using all the wax available. Remember wax is your fuel, you don’t want to waste fuel, right?

To be perfectly honest, ideally you should be doing this every time before you light your candle but it’s most critical for the first time.

Trim trim & trim

We are going to repeat it as many times it needs so that you NEVER forget. Whether you use a wick trimmer like this or just your scissors make sure you never forget to trim before burning.  A wick length of about ¼ inch (0.5 CM) is what you need. Be careful, don’t overdo it because if you trim too short, you might damage permanently your candle.

Watch your flame

Candles should burn calmly. High and flickering fire can cause uneven burning and cracking the side of your candle to cause spillage. Keep in mind that high flame means waste of fuel. Exactly the same as if you are driving too fast! If you notice that your flame is not calm, make sure that your wick is well trimmed and there is no draft.

Stop for a break

After a 3-4 hour burn, it is a good idea to let your candle rest for a while. Keep in mind that it is not the flame that gives you the scent. It’s the melted wax pool. Even if you put off your candle for 1 hour, you will still get advantage of it. Only you are not wasting your wax and not facing the risk of a cracked candle or jar.

Safety first

No need to say but we will do regardless. We find very interesting that a safe burning is also a good one for your candle’s performance.

  • Never leave candles burning unattended. This means you are also watching your flame!
  • Always burn candles well away from draft. A calm flame is the best indication that your candle is burning correctly. Draft will result to flickering.

For an exhausting list of safety instructions, please refer to the National Candle Association

Sevin’s candles

And of course if you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out our unique pillar candle collection, all made by the best natural waxes.