Soy Candles 101

If you are anything like me, you love to fill your home with wonderful scents--scents of the season, scents to calm & relax, scents to bring reminders of fond memories, and scents to cover stinky smells. 

Our collection of soy candles are a perfect choice for bringing warmth and comfort to your home. Soy candles are well-known for being environmentally friendly, made from all-natural ingredients so they are clean burning. This means you won't experience soot in the air or layering your surfaces. 

We offer a wonderful array of soy candles from several American-made companies including Swan Creek Candle Co. and 1803 Candles. Both companies offer seasonal scents, most of which are only available at certain times throughout the year, so our candle scent offerings are forever changing. 

There are some useful tips for enjoying your favorite soy candle, and while we try to share these tips as much as possible while you are visiting our store, I thought I'd take a moment to provide those tips here in our blog. You can use this as a good reference from time to time. :-) 

1. Trim the Candle's Wick to 1/8" Every Time

In order to ensure a brighter, cleaner burn, it is important to use a wick trimmer to trim your candle's wick down to 1/8" every time you burn your candle. The longer your wick and the more burned down your candle becomes, the wick will be laden with carbon, thus creating a duller light and unfortunately a bit of smoke will come off the burn. If you are burning your candle longer than 4 hours at a time (more on that later), be sure to trim your wick every 4 hours to ensure a bright glow. 

Need a wick trimmer? Buy one here, $10.95 ea. 

2. Prevent Tunneling

Believe it or not, candles have what is called a "candle memory." The first time you burn your candle, your candle "remembers" the depth of the wax. Every subsequent burn will create that same depth, or "tunneling." Your candle will eventually appear as a bottomless pit, leaving a high build up of wax around the container with a deep pit in the center. To prevent tunneling, you should burn your candle 1 hr for every 1" diameter the first time you burn. This will ensure you burn the entire top layer of your candle and an even burn every time you burn. An even burn = the biggest & best smell for your space. 

3. How to Fix Tunneling

Already have a pit forming in your candle? That's ok! Here's an easy and quick tip to fix your tunnel. Take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it in half. Wrap the aluminum foil around your candle and fold it up over the flame like a tent. Leave a hole at the top for oxygen to enter (and keep your flame burning). Burn your candle in this manner for approx. 30 minutes. Voila! Your tunnel is gone! Neat, huh? 

4. Don't Place Your Candle Near Moving Air

Us southerners love our ceiling fans. I can't get past an episode of House Hunters where a couple complains about the overabundance of ceiling fans in a potential home. They just don't realize the importance of those fans in the hot, humid summer months. But there is a drawback to those pesky fans--moving air and candles just do not mix. The presence of moving air near your candle actually disturbs the flame and creates black smoke, leading to stains and soot on your lovely surfaces. If you are going to burn a candle, be sure to keep it well away from any type of moving air, especially your prized ceiling fans. 

5. Don't Burn Your Candle More Than 4 Hours

As you burn your candle, carbon collects on the wick. The wick will eventually grow into a "mushroom" shape (you can easily see this shape when you burn out your candle). This mushroom top creates an unstable, large flame that will create smoke and soot. Be sure to keep your candle burn times to under 4 hours or trim the wick every 4 hours to keep it from forming a mushroom shape. Also, important to note, allow your wick to cool for 2 hours before relighting. 

6. Never Extinguish a Wax Candle with Water

Some may say this goes without saying, but for our novice candle burners out there, it's a very good reminder. Dousing your wax candle with water will create a splash and a splatter...of wax! You do not want to have splatters of wax on your surface, so always be sure to extinguish your candle with a snuffer, the lid to the candle, or just blow it out with a puff of air. 

What's a snuffer? It's a fun little instrument used to extinguish burning candles. They are typically made of metal with a cone shape at the end of a long handle. Snuffers help to avoid problems associated with blowing out a wax candle. If you suffer from asthma as I do, a snuffer comes in super handy when burning out multiple candles (I told you I love candles).

Need a snuffer? Buy this fun one from us! 

7. Stop Burning Your Candle with 1/2" Wax Remaining at Bottom

I love the smell of my candles and love getting every single drop of my investment out of my candles. But it's better to be safe than sorry. There have been reports of people leaving their candles unattended and on the rare occasion, candles have been known to explode when the flame gets to the bottom of the container. It's a matter of physics: a build-up of heat in a glass or porcelain container will eventually burst if given the correct conditions. 

6. Reuse Your Containers

When your candle does reach approximately 1/2" from the bottom of your candle, all hope is not lost. You can still get the most use out of your candle for your money by reusing the container! Glass jars are the perfect storage for many of your household items. They make a cute country vase for a bouquet of flowers. Or, add a unique topper to the jar to create a toothbrush holder or sundries holder for your bathroom (accessories currently available in our store). Our Swan Creek Candles feature beautiful porcelain pots and planters that can be reused for indoor/outdoor plants, pen/pencil cup holder, remote control holder, or anything else you'd like to place inside. 

To remove the remaining wax and wick holder from your container, simply heat your oven to 125-150 degrees F. Place aluminum foil on top of a cookie sheet and turn your container upside down on the cookie sheet. Place in oven for approximately 10-15 minutes to ensure all wax pours out of your container. (Enjoy the wonderful aroma of your candle one last time.) Remove from oven and immediately lift the container off aluminum foil. Allow the aluminum foil to cool, then remove and toss in the trash. Now your container is ready for reuse! 

Ready to buy your first or next soy candle? Shop our collection!

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