Candles add a warm touch to a home's decor--as long as they burn properly. Some pillar-style candles burn for a while, then the flame expires because the wick becomes buried in liquid wax. Improperly trimmed wicks may get buried in the candle, rendering them unusable. Simple trimming and monitoring techniques will allow you to use candles until they're burnt far down, producing the homey, welcoming atmosphere you want.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Sharp knife
- Chimney to shield candle from drafts
- Needle-nose pliers
- New wick
- Skewer or knitting needle
- Thin wire
Trim the wick of a new candle to approximately 1/4 inch in length. This is the optimum length to enable the wick to absorb and burn off melting wax on a steady basis. Longer wicks, often trimmed too long in factories, simply char; shorter wicks become swamped by melted wax.
Rescue a buried wick by removing excess melting wax. Extinguish the candle and use a spoon to remove the wax pool. Scoop out a larger wax reservoir around the wick with a knife.
Shield your candle from drafts inside a glass chimney or storm lantern. Wicks often become buried when drafts blow the flame off-centre, melting excess wax into the pool around the wick.
Replace the wick in a chronically malfunctioning candle. A wick that goes under frequently may be of inadequate size or quality.
Grasp the candle securely, and use needle-nose pliers to pull the wick out from the top or bottom of the candle. Insert a new wick, which can be found in the candle-making department of a craft store, into the hole in the candle. Push the new wick into the candle with a skewer or knitting needle, or twist thin wire around the top of the wick and use it to pull the wick through.
Diminish the sources of wax burying the wick by shaving down the outer edges of a pillar candle with a sharp knife. The process is slow, and the results may be a shorter candle than you would like, but this may let you use more of the candle successfully.
Tips and warnings
- Seek out dripless or natural-wax candles, such as those made of beeswax or soy wax, for more even burning.
- Do not leave burning candles unattended. Excess melted wax can flare in a draft, causing a fire.
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