The act of candle burning is yet to go extinct because candles have evolved in the role they play in society, especially with the rising popularity of scented candle. One other thing that contributes is the fact that candles are fairly easy to use. After all, all you have to do is light a match and hold it to the wick. However, things might be a little more complicated than that which is why there are guidelines on how to use candles properly. One of them is that candles should not be burned for more than four hours.



As is the case with practically everything in life, there is a proper way to burn candles. Quite simply put, there are rules when it comes to candle burning. Many of these rules are largely unknown because candle-burning itself is an act that is extremely simple. Another thing that plays a role is that some of these guidelines usually come into play only in the candle-making process. They include:

  • Trimming the wick

A lot of people light up a candle soon after purchase, without doing anything to the wick or making any kind of preparation. But as long as the candle burns and – in the case of scented candles – people get to inhale the scent they want, a lot of the time, people do not realize that they are doing something wrong.

One of the most important rules of proper candle burning is to first trim the wick of the candle to about one-fourth or one-eighth of an inch. This preparatory step can be easily done using a pair of scissors and it serves a very crucial role.

Trimming the candle wick helps the candle to burn better as trimmed wick give off cleaner and brighter flames, with less soot. The main thing that is fixed here is the shape and size of the candle wick which constitute a bit of a problem when left untrimmed. Untrimmed candles have a tendency to assume a mushroom-type shape which allows them to produce more carbon and soot, thus contributing to air pollution.

Trimming is so important to proper candle burning that it shouldn’t just be done before the candle’s first use. Candle wicks should always be trimmed prior to every candle burning session. However, the length to be trimmed can vary depending on the existing length of the wick and the shape.

  • Avoiding drafts or moving air

Proper ventilation is a good thing to consider when it comes to burning candles. It comes particularly important when candle burning is carried out indoors or in closed spaces. Flames need oxygen to burn and humans need oxygen to breathe, and when we the fact that humans and candles are always giving off gases which cannot aid respiration, proper ventilation becomes very important indeed. This is why people are encouraged to keep their windows open when they burn candles, so that fresh air can come in and emitted carbon cases can be let out. However, ventilation needs to be done in such a manner that will not violate the guidelines of proper candle burning. And the only way to do this is by keeping burning candles away from drafts or moving air.

Drafts or rushes of air can affect the way candles burn by interfering with the flames. Not only can gusts of wind from open window, fans and air conditioners disturb the stability and intensity of a candle’s flame, they can also put the flames right out. All of these can contribute greatly to carbon emission and the collection of soot in candle holders.

  • Letting the wax melt well

There is a proper way for candle wax to melt and this involves allowing the entire top layer of the candle to melt all the way, in order to avoid tunneling. Tunneling is what happens when the middle part of a candle melts faster than the surrounding parts of the same layer, this can form a hole in the center of the candle. This kind of situation makes it difficult to for a candle to burn well, and it can also lead to wastage of candle wax because the candle will be exhausted faster than it should. At the same time, this can create a bit of a nuisance inside your candle holder.

  • Not burning a candle for too long

Candles should not be allowed to burn for too long or for several hours at a time, as this will have a negative effect on the wick. When a candle is left burning for more than 4 hours, the wick begins to form a mushroom type of shape which will increase the amount of carbon gas and soot emitted. This will also have a negative effect on the quality of flames produced as candles which have been left burning for shorter time tend to burn brighter and better, asides from producing cleaner gases.



To produce better quality of flames, proper candle-burning etiquettes and guidelines dictate that candles should not be left burning for more than 4 hours. Aside from the changing in the shape of the wick into the mushroom-type shape, this act can also affect the way the candle wax burn; thus making it harder for candles to be lit the next time they are to be used (after the badly melted wax may have solidified). Quite simply put, burning a candle for more than 4 hours can have negative effects on the quality of that candle, which may persist long after the candle’s first use. To prevent such situations, candles should not be left burning for too long (i.e. for more than 4 hours at a time), and proper care should be taken during candle burning by following guidelines such as candle trimming, avoiding drafts and moving air and allowing the wax to melt well. This is the only way to ensure the proper quality of candles.

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