Wendy, the Founder of The Candle Lady, has built a wax empire, but she says there are mistakes every day candle-lovers are making that could be easily rectified.

“Candles are delightful, but given they can cost a pretty penny, looking after them so you can burn them for as long as possible is key,” said Wendy. “Just like applying the perfect winged eyeliner, thereโ€™s a technique that will help you get the most out of your candles.”

Wendy says most people do not burn their candles for long enough. “The first time you burn your candle, make sure you burn it long enough for the wax to melt from the wick all the way to the outside of the candle,” said Wendy. This will ensure the candle will melt evenly, and no part of the candle will be wasted. There is also the error of choosing the wrong size candle for the expected burn time. For example, smaller candles are perfect for short 20-minute burning periods, whereas pillar, multi-wick and jar candles burn better for longer periods.ย Wendy also encourages users to be mindful of eating in the vicinity of a strongly scented candle, as it could change the taste of the food.

Wendy says keeping candles away from wind sources, like fans, air conditioners or open windows, is crucial to protect the flame, and to keep candles at least 2.5 centimetres apart during burning so as not to spread heat unevenly between them, causing excess melting. Another handy trick is to use a wick trimmer. “The wick trimmer is the key to keeping your candles clear of soot and your candle wax free from debris,” said Wendy. “Trim candle wicks before you light the candle the first time and check them every time thereafter. If they are longer than five millimetres long or have any excess carbon (the black residual of the wick that can form at the tip) then always trim them back to about five millimetres. If the candle is made from good ingredients and is not burning in a draft, you will get a clean burn, free from soot around the edge of the candle, and clean wax โ€“ which will look great from beginning to end.” She also recommends using a candle snuffer for good candle care.

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