I've been asked a lot about candle care and performance recently, so I wanted to share few things you can do to get the best out of any candle you burn. For starters, let's talk about wick trimming.
Let me be the first to say that every time I ask someone if they've trimmed the wick, I feel like I'm at the dentist when they ask if I've been flossing. However, like flossing, this is really important!
(Suzanne if you're reading this I promise that I've been flossing at least 3x/week which is what I told you last time even though it was a complete lie)
Why should you trim your wick?
Consistent Flame. When a candle has been burning for awhile you may notice the wick bends or has black 'cap' on the end (a phenomenon called mushrooming). This is excess carbon that's built up during the burn and if you don't trim it, you may find it hard to relight the candle or even have flickering flames. The particular wicks I use are prone to mushrooming, so while this isn't an indicator that something is wrong, it is a good reminder to trim your wick before you relight your candle.
Cleaner Burn. More carbon buildup = more soot. Also that extra buildup dropping into the melt pool doesn't smell nearly as lovely as melting wax.
Best Fragrance Throw. If your wick is curled or bending over, the heat distribution in your vessel will be lopsided. This means you'll have a hard time getting an even melt pool.
Now that you're fully convinced to trim your wick every time (and floss occasionally as well) here are some tips and tricks:
Trim your wick before lighting the candle when the wax is cool.
Use a Wick Trimmer or Nail Clippers (scissors get tricky when the wax level gets low)
Trim to ~1/4". If you trim it too low it will be hard to re-light. I always just make sure to get any part of the wick that's bent over or mushroomed.
If your candle is producing a lot of soot or blackening the jar, first make sure that you're trimming your wick. If you're still having issues, consider using a snuffer or a wick dipper to extinguish the flame. The act of blowing the candle out can cause the wick to extinguish slowly and create more soot that builds up on the candle. I personally do not dip my wicks (because then I have hot wax on whatever I've used to dip the wick) but it's a great option if this is a big issue for you! I do use a snuffer because it makes me feel fancy, and in my experience it keeps the candle jars really clean. If you've been treating your candle well, an empty jar should look something like this:
If you have any questions or concerns you can always reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org I'm here to troubleshoot, answer questions, and talk candles anytime!