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How to Get the Most Scent from a Candle

How to Maximize Burn Time in a Candle

Candles don't seem complicated. You light the wick. Let it burn for a while. Blow out the flame. Yet many people are burning their candles in ways that limit the burn time and scent, reducing the effect of their purchase. 

Here are 4 ways to properly burn a candle to maximize the duration and scent throw: 

Make sure the candle size and type is appropriate for the room.

The candle size should mimic the size of the room. Large candles with two or three wicks produce larger wax pools, which create the scent throw. Medium candles (7-10 oz.) with one wick are appropriate for a medium-sized room, such as a bedroom. Small candles (2-6 oz.) are only capable of scenting a small room, such as a bathroom or entryway. 

How to Maximize Burn Time in a Candle

Trim the Wick. 

Before you light the wick, trim it to ¼”. This simple step helps the candle to burn cleaner with less soot. It prevents wick crumbling and mushroom tops.

Burn the Candle Longer. 

Let the candle burn at least until the wax pool reaches the edge of the container (or about 1–2 hours after lighting). Blowing out the candle before the wax pool reaches the edges will produce "tunneling," that pesky issue that causes the wax to create a tunnel inside the jar. The tunnel is essentially wasting the wax that remains on the sides of the container.  

How to Maximize Burn Time in a Candle

If the candle's wax pool isn't quite reaching the edge of the container after about an hour (for a medium-sized candle), try swirling the candle container gently to encourage the wax pool's reach. 

But Don't Burn it Too Long. 

Extinguish the candle when the burn pool is less than 1” deep in the container. Burning the candle longer will heat and evaporate the fragrance too quickly and weaken the scent throw over time.

More Trouble-Shooting Tips

Look for candles that have paper or cotton wicks. Wicks that contain a metal filament often contain lead.

Look for thick, centered wicks. If your candle won't create a wax pool that reaches the edge of the container, the wick might be off-centered or simply too thin for the wax and fragrance.   

Invest in high-quality or hand-made candles. Factory-made candles are often produced with two pours of wax to even out the tops. In this process, stronger-scented wax is often used for the top pour, which produces a stronger scent throw, but only at first. As you burn those candles, you'll notice the scent throw is really weak. Additionally, factory-made candles aren't stirred consistently prior to the pouring process, which can cause an inconsistent scent throw. 

Choose soy wax or coconut wax candles. Candles that are not labeled as soy candles or coconut candles are usually made with paraffin wax, which is made from petroleum byproducts. If you inhale paraffin candle fumes, you may experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, or even benzene pollution that can lead to lung cancer.

A Good, Clean Burn

Scent Workshops's goods are hand-crafted in micro-batches at our Perfumery & Candle Studio at Revolution Mill in Greensboro, NC. We use natural ingredients whenever possible, because we believe products in our home should be beautiful, not toxic. 

  • All fragrance oils are blends of essential oils and perfuming oils, and they are phthalate-free. 
  • Candles are 100% soy wax with eco-friendly wicks made from paper and cotton. The wicks are also lead- and zinc-free.
  • Perfume oils are made with coconut oil.
  • Lotions are made with shea butter and goat milk.

Shop our collection for clean-burning candles. 

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