Candles are very popular household items. They are wildly popular and virtually everybody across the earth has seen and held one before or, at the very least, has a concept or idea of what they should look like. Candles are put on birthday cakes and they are used in planning candlelight dinners and several proposals across the world; uses that differ vastly from their erstwhile major purpose of providing indoor illumination. However, this kind of evolution of purpose could only be possible because there are many different types of candles, some of which burn longer than others.
WHAT ARE CANDLES MADE OF?
Candles are made up of candle wax and candle wick. The candle wax is that part of the candle that serves as the fuel source; it is made up of flammable components that support burning. And as soon as the candle is lit, the flame begins to melt the candle wax in order to form a liquid form of wax that is immediately absorbed by the wick, and used to sustain the flame. This simple process – or sequence of processes – comprising of the melting and absorbing of candle wax is what keeps a candle going.
There are different kinds of candle wax, with different properties of their own. The earliest forms of candles that were created thousands of years ago were made from boiled down fat obtained from the carcass of slaughtered cattle and livestock. However, even at the time, candles were made from different materials such as insects rolled up in paper (which were subsequently lit, to serve as candles), beeswax, and now – most commonly – paraffin wax. Back at the end of the 18th centuries, candles made from paraffin wax were the latest innovations from the candle industry; they were easier to make and produce en masse compared to tallow candles (i.e. candles made from boiled down fat). However, the bloom of paraffin wax candles was gradually overshadowed by the introduction of the electric light bulb a few years later. However, till today, paraffin wax candles are still the most popular kinds of candles. Yet, they are not the longest burning candle.
WHAT IS THE LONGEST BURNING CANDLE?
Candles made from beeswax have a reputation for being the longest lasting candles. They are firm and sturdy and they are widely known to have the following properties:
Beeswax candles are of high quality.
Candles made from beeswax are one of the highest qualities of candles out there. They are known to have good forming and melting properties which make them very desirable to candle users. Due to this high quality, and the fact that it is obtained from hives and honeycombs, beeswax is somewhat expensive compared to other types of wax such as paraffin wax.
Beeswax candles do not bend.
Beeswax candles do not bend under high heat. They are known to burn well and burn straight. Due to their very high quality, they possess some kind of stiffness which makes them very sturdy. Asides this, beeswax candles do not break easily and they are able to withstand high temperatures much easily compared to other kinds of candle wax. This makes them highly demanded.
Beeswax candles smell nice.
Beeswax candles have been reported to have their own natural aroma, which is pleasant and highly desirable. Many people claim that this natural sweet smell emitted by beeswax is the reason why they prefer candles made from beeswax to other kinds of candles.
Beeswax candles have a very long history.
Candles made from beeswax have been in existence for several thousands of years. They have a rich history that cuts across several cultures from all over the world; unlike some kinds of candles, e.g. paraffin wax candles, which are relatively modern compared to beeswax candles.
HOW TO MAKE BEESWAX CANDLES LAST LONGER
Although, beeswax candles are well known for lasting for very long periods of time, there are ways to guarantee this; they include the following:
Trimming the wick
Trimming a candle’s wick is the best way to guarantee that it lasts for a long time. When the wick of a candle is trimmed to about a quarter of an inch before it is first lit, it allows the candle to burn well. Asides this, trimming the wick of a candle also reduces the risk of tunneling; a process in which the candle burns faster at one part (usually the centermost part), while other areas – particularly the edges – remain largely un-melted. Trimming also prevents the formation of a dome-shaped or mushroom-shaped structure on the wick, which leads to greater soot production, as well as tunneling. To keep candles in good shape, trimming should be carried out on the wick frequently; after purchase and right before each burning session, as it also enables the candle to burn evenly.
Keeping the candle away from strong wind
A candle can burn much better and last for much longer only when it is placed in a place with proper ventilation. Strong winds will blow off the candle’s flame in the absolutely worst scenario, however even without putting the candle off, it can result in the candle burning unevenly and producing more soot that it is supposed to, which is not good for the lifespan and quality of the candle. The best way to keep the candle from strong wind is to keep it away from open windows and air conditioners. However, it should also be noted that too little air is not good for candles. Candle flames cannot be sustained in the absence of oxygen, the same way fire cannot burn without oxygen.
Keeping the candle in a safe place.
When a candle is moved around too fast, it is likely to go off. A candle burns best when it is left in a particular location that is suitable for it, where the temperature and movement of wind is conducive for it. Even when not in use, the candle must be stored well and kept in a safe place, under suitable conditions (e.g. in an atmosphere that is not too hot).