How to Properly Care and Burn your Candles?

By Mathilde Vuillemenot | Last update on March 14, 2024

Many people think there are no special care instructions for candles. Actually, there are a few tips to properly store and burn candles. Make the full use of your candles by following my recommendations! Special care makes your candle last longer and avoid smoke. Fantastic, right?

First things first, let's share some basic safety recommendations. It’s never said enough: make sure to put the candle in a safe place (non-combustible saucer or candleholder if the candle has no container). Keep it unreachable of children and pets, and also far from flammable things (even from another candle). Keep an eye on your candle while it’s burning and when you leave the room, extinguish the candle. 

Beyond safety, there are special care instructions depending on the type of wax, shape, and containers of your candles. I will guide you with detailed care instructions and tips for natural candles. You will discover it’s easy to properly care your candle… You’ll even wonder how you hadn’t heard about before. C’est parti!


Care Instructions for Beeswax Candles

In addition to a delicate smell, beeswax has amazing properties: it doesn’t smoke, it creates a brighter flame (the same color spectrum as sunlight!), and it cleanses the air. Nature is incredible, right?

Pure beeswax candles are very popular, but their care instructions are lesser known. So, I share my tips and best practices to use beeswax taper candles and beeswax pillar candles.

The first thing to know about pure beeswax candles is that with time, a thin whitish layer appears around the candle. It’s a natural process called ‘bloom’: oils rise to the outside surface of the candle. If you store candles for a while, you will see your candles blooming. To remove it and restore the original color and brightness, you can rub the candle with a soft cloth (lint-free) or blow it with a warm blow-dryer. For pure beeswax candles with a honeycomb pattern (like the beeswax taper candles and beeswax pillar candles), the easiest option is to remove the bloom for a few minutes with a blow-dryer. Be sure to put the blow-dryer not too close to your candle, otherwise your candle will melt!


How to Take Care of Beeswax Taper Candles?

  • Check the size of the wick before any burning, and particularly before the first burning. The wick should be half an inch. If you notice during a burning that the wick is too high, extinguish the candle, wait it to be cool and cut the wick. You can cut the wick with scissors, but the best option is to use a tool called wick trimmer.
  • Use a holder with the same diameter as your beeswax taper candle. Useful tips I discovered recently: before putting your candle to its holder, pour a few drops of water, it will make the cleaning easy once the candle is done!
  • Always burn your candle vertical. It seems quite obvious, but it’s not that easy. Check your candle is perfectly vertical in its holder. If not, melted wax will drip on the candleholder and even to the flat surface you put the candleholder.
  • Taper candles do not require a minimum time of burning. Even, they are perfect for short periods of burning. Just be sure to leave your candle burning for a maximum of 2 hours.
  • For safety and cleaning reasons, extinguish your beeswax taper candle when it gets closer to the edge of the candleholder. I recommend using a candle snuffer: this aesthetic tool makes it safer to extinguish your candle.
  • As taper candles are generally bought as a lot, you will need to store some of them. The best place is a cool and dry spot, like the pantry or your garage. This is also important to protect them from dust. This is why the pure beeswax taper candles come in a luxury box and are wrapped in a delicate silk paper: they will be perfectly protected from dust.


How to Take Care of Beeswax Pillar Candles?

  • Before any use, ensure your candle doesn’t have any dust on top. If it’s dusty, clean the top of your beeswax pillar candle with a soft cloth (lint-free).
  • The size of the wick is an essential care for your beeswax pillar candle. Check the size of the wick before any burning and cut it if necessary: the wick should be maximum half an inch. Use scissors or a wick trimmer to properly cut the wick.
  • For the first burning, wait until the first layer of your candle has completely liquified (this is called a ‘pool of wax’). This step will ensure that your candle won’t get tunneling on the following burnings. When the wax is not melted from the whole diameter of the candle, a memory ring gets created and the candle will follow this memory ring (or tunnel) during all its lifetimes. 
  • For further burnings, it is recommended to burn a beeswax pillar candle for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 3 hours.
  • After each burning, remove any wick trimming or foreign particles. Reminding that for safety reason, never touch (or move) your candle when the wax is liquid, wait for it to be cool.


How to Take Care of Candles in Glass Containers?

  • Like every item in our homes, candles collect dust. Before any use, remove the dust from the top of your candle with a soft cloth (lint-free). To avoid dust, store your candle under a glass cloche or buy a candle with a lid, like the scented candles in an apothecary jar.
  • Before any burning, look at the wick: it should be half an inch. If necessary, cut it with scissors or a wick trimmer.
  • Place your glass tumbler or glass jar candle on a heat-resistant surface. If the glass container is thick enough to resist to heat, it doesn’t mean you can put it in any surface. So, take great care in choosing where to put your candle.
  • For the first burning, let the candle burn at least until the wax melts from edge to edge and has reached the glass container. It will create what it called a ‘pool of wax’. This step is essential to avoid tunneling in the wax. Wax has a memory, and each time it will burn the same way it did during the first burning.
  • Like for beeswax pillar candle, it is recommended to burn a candle in a glass container for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 3 hours.
  • After each burning, remove any wick trimming or foreign particles. Reminding that for safety reasons, never touch (or move) your candle when the wax is liquid, wait for it to be cool.
  • Occasionally, a black layer appears on the top of your glass container candle. No worry, it’s quite normal and can be quickly cleaned. But do not wait too much to clean it: the more soot there is, the harder it will be for you to clean. Before cleaning the glass container, extinguish your candle and wait for it to be completely cool (the wax and the container must be cool). Then, dampen a paper towel and rub it over until it dissipates. Et voilà, your glass container is fully transparent again.
  • Once your candle is half an inch, it is recommended to stop burning it. It’s time to repurpose your glass tumbler or glass jar! Once the candle is cool, remove the wax (natural wax is easy to remove, you can simply use a spoon). Then, clean the glass container with soapy water, wipe and dry with a soft cloth. 
  • If you have a glass container with a lid, for safety reasons, do not extinguish the candle by simply putting the lid. Be sure to extinguish the candle and wait it to be cool before putting the lid back. 


What to Do with Left Over Candle Wax?

Once your candle is half an inch, it is recommended to stop burning it. Most candle makers take care of this by putting a wick smaller than the candle (the wick will not go until the bottom of the candle). This is why your candle will automatically extinguish itself. But it’s always better to keep an eye on it!

For taper candles that burn in a candleholder, the use is to extinguish the candle when it gets closer to the edge of the candleholder. First, it will be way easier to remove the candle and second, it’s a question of safety. Indeed, if the flame touches the sides of the candleholder, there is a high risk of bursting (especially if it’s a glass candleholder).

So, you will always have some leftover candle wax. I know it’s frustrating: when I love a candle scent, I want to benefit from it until the very end! So, what to do with left over candle wax? The first option is to create your own candle. You can find many tutorials on YouTube. But it takes time and involves some safety risks. This is why I recommend a super easy recycling option for your candles leftovers. What I do is to put the remaining candle wax in a drawer or wardrobe: it will subtly perfume it for a while. For example, the drawer of your lingerie or the drawer of your desk!


Your Candles Now Last Longer

Now, that you know how to properly care and burn your candles, it's just about enjoying your candles and their unique scents for a longer time. These quick and easy steps will ensure you to enjoy your candles the best and longer way possible.

And if you need some advice on how to choose a scented candle online, read my dedicated article: I share my 5 criteria to buy the best candles online