A few years ago now, after losing our wonderful candle maker, we were searching for the best Australian made candles we could find for Verde. We wanted locally made, made of sustainable materials, clean burning and superb long smelling candles. After trialling a few different makers, we eventually decided that the best way to ensure top quality candles was probably to give candle making a go ourselves. We had a family member in the business who was really keen to have a go and really it was right up her alley - and we are thrilled to say we haven't looked back since.
It was super important to us that we could manage the quality of our candles, to make sure that they would not only smell great, but burn evenly and last as long as possible. We use a "golden" soy wax, a blend perfect for container candles, and the highest quality scents we can get our hands on. To make sure they have a good fragrance "throw" (the amount of fragrance you can smell when the candle burns) the wax and scent are mixed and poured at an exact, set temperature which actually involved careful chemistry and maths. And while a good, consistent pour is one of the keys to a long-lasting and high quality candle, there are also some things you can do to extend the life of your candle and ensure a clean, even burn every time.
The first thing to do when you get a new candle is always to check its wick length.
Wick length might seem a bit irrelevant - it's going to burn either way right? But wick length can have a big impact on how the candle burns.
If your wick is too long when you light it, you can get what's called "sooting", where you have a big, flickering flame which gives off black smoke, or soot. This soot can build up on the glassware that your candle is in, and interferes with the throw of the scent.
Make sure (well, try and remember) to trim your wick down every time you burn your candle, to around 5mm of length. We trim the wicks when labelling the candles, but it's always worth checking that your wick is the right length when burning your candle! It makes a big difference.
The first burn of a new candle is always the most important one.
Wax has a memory, and the first burn determines how the candle will burn for the rest of its life. When burning a candle the first time, you want to get a complete "melt pool" - meaning you should make sure that the wax melts all the way to the edges of the container.
Preferably this pool of melted wax should be about 1cm deep before extinguishing your candle, which generally takes a first burn of around 3 to 4 hours. Try and get a complete melt pool every time you burn your candle (although it doesn't always have to be as deep as the first one) to avoid tunnelling, which can leave a lot of unused wax at the end of the candle's life.
Keeping candles clean and storing them well helps your candles burn more cleanly, with a greater scent throw for a longer time, and gives them a much longer life.
If you do have any sooting from longer wicks, it's best to wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth when the candle is completely cool. Keep an eye on the wax itself when trimming the wick and lighting your candles as well. If you have pieces of wick or soot off of matches fall into the wax, remove it from the wax before you start burning the candle - it will ensure that the wax burns more evenly.
And of course, storing candles somewhere cool and dry, and definitely out of direct sunlight, keeps your wax in its most stable state - which means the candle burn evenly, throwing your scent as much as possible!
Safely extinguishing a candle is something we don't really think about, but it is important.
Many candle suppliers recommend not blowing out your candles, as you can accidentally splatter hot wax by doing this. Instead, the best way to extinguish your candle is to use a good old-fashioned candle snuffer - but they can be a bit hard to come by.
A good method that we've discovered if you don't have a snuffer is to clap your hands around 5-8cm above the wick, and the downward draft from clapping your hands will extinguish the candle without splattering wax. We know it seems like an odd way to 'blow' candles out - but give it a go! You might be surprised at how well it works.
Ideally when burning your candle, you actually don't want to burn all of the wax down to the bottom of the container. It seems wasteful, but it can be dangerous (and messy) to burn candles all the way to the bottom, as it can cause glass and ceramic containers to crack and break, or can heat damage the surface the candle is on.
We hope these tips and tricks help you give your candles as long a life as possible - and of course if you have any scent requests, always let us know!
We love hearing what scents you're looking for and want in your home. You can have a look at our range of candles and scents here, or pop instore to have a chat. Enjoy!