Optimize Your Beeswax Candle Burns
We’ve made it no secret that we like beeswax. A lot. Naturally, we also like answering questions from our customers about their beeswax candles. Sometimes, we get questions about whether tapers or candlesticks would be better for a dinner table (consider tapers for a formal look, and candlesticks for a longer burn life), while other times, our customers are more interested in how our candles are made (100% beeswax, a sophisticated filtration process, and a steady hand to pour). One important question that we’ve received recently is “why aren’t my 2+ year old beeswax candles burning well?” The answer is a bit more complex than one would expect.
Beeswax candles offer many benefits, such as a subtle honey scent, gorgeous color, and the ability to clean the air by releasing negative ions. With all the added benefits beeswax candles provide, it stands to reason that they require some maintenance to make sure they burn as well as they possibly can. Beeswax candles don’t have a shelf-life, but they’re still a natural product, and can sometimes be difficult to burn if they haven’t been stored properly. Because of this, we recommend that you burn your candles within a year of purchase. After all, beeswax candles are most beautiful when they’re doing what they were created to do—burn!
However, if you are going to hold on to your beeswax candles for months or more before burning them, it’s best to keep them stored properly. We recommend removing the original wrapping, and re-wrapping the candles in freezer paper before storing them in an airtight container. A climate-controlled environment can also add to the longevity of your candles. While even the hottest storage space isn’t likely to reach the melting point of beeswax—around 149 F degrees—it is important to remember that warmer, softer beeswax is going to pick up more dust, particulate, and grime. This is more disastrous for proper burning than it may seem. Dust that collects on the candle will melt into the wax when it is finally burned, preventing the wick from working the way it should.
On the flipside, when it’s too cold (around 64 F degrees), beeswax candles become brittle and are easily damaged. This is why it’s best to keep your candles at a nice, easy, room-temperature, and keep them wrapped in a coated paper so they don’t collect dust or leach the natural oils present in beeswax. (Keep in mind—candles that are left out in the open for display without being burned are sure to get dusty.)
Premium candles made from 100% pure beeswax also develop a phenomenon called “bloom”. If you’ve ever seen a beeswax candle that looks sort of white and frosty—that’s bloom. It’s a naturally-occurring process that happens to all beeswax candles, and it’s nothing to worry about! However, it does change the look of the candle. If you dislike the way your candles look with bloom, you can easily remove it by gently wiping off your candles with a clean, lint-free cloth. Just use caution around the wick so it doesn’t break.
If you’ve been mindful to keep your candles dust-free, cool, and well-stored, and you’re still having trouble burning them, it may be the wick. Wick care is very important for successfully burning your beeswax candles. Always make sure that your candle wicks are trimmed to the appropriate height (we recommend ¼ of an inch or more depending on diameter), and light the candle at the base of the wick. If the wick is too short, only the wax around the wick will burn, leaving your candle looking sunken-in. All this said, don’t mess with the wick too much. Another common practice with beeswax candle lovers is the practice of “hugging” a candle, which just means pushing the wax toward the wick. However, doing this too much or too prematurely can actually drown it. By being overly attentive, you may be loving your candle to death.
We recommend burning your candles within a year of purchasing them. Leaving them lying around only raises the risk that they will burn poorly later on, influenced either by heat, dust, or other environmental factors and human errors. With their gorgeous honey scents, varied natural colors, and brighter-burning flames, beeswax candles are truly meant to be burned and enjoyed!