The problem is, if you’re a regular user, candles don’t have a particularly long lifespan (and don’t get us started on when partners and housemates light the really fancy ones without permission).
It’s funny how much impact a small glass jar filled with wax can have on your room and mood. A 2009 study revealed that imbalances of psychological wellbeing such as anxiety and depression saw improvements with the use of scented candles and oils.
We often turn to lighting them we want some us-time – whether it’s a bedtime bath or night in, the flickering flame of our favourite scented candles make us feel cosy, homely and warm.
You might be surprised that there are easy ways to make your candles last longer and that black ring around the votive is totally avoidable.
Here, Richard Fewings, the mastermind behind, shares his expert tips to help you get the most out of your favourite scented candles.
Hack 1: How to make your candles burn slower
The best way to prolong the life of your candles is to add a pinch of salt to the melted wax after you’ve put it out (the salt will slow down the burn time when you light it up next)
Avoid putting your candle in the freezer – there’s no evidence that this process actually works and there are several potential negatives, such as it could crack your candle, the wax could pull away from the container, or it could alter the fragrance of the candle.
Hack 2: How to properly put out a candle
Never extinguish your candle by blowing on it. Instead, place a glass lid (or just a glass if you don’t have a lid) over the flame until it goes out. Wait until the wax has melted all the way to the edge before putting it out.
Hack 3: How to avoid tunnelling
Allow your candle to burn for longer on the first burn (as a general rule of thumb, you should allow your candle to burn for about 1 hour per 1 inch in diameter of wax on the first burn). Always try to burn a candle until the entire top is melted into a pool.
Hack 4: How to lengthen or shorten a wick
As a guide, your wick should be between 1/4” and 1/8”
Firstly, try to relight the wick and see if the problem resolves itself or not after a short 20 minute burn (this should have created a small indent around the wick, so more of it should be exposed.
If you can clearly see the wick and it isn’t covered by wax, then you can relight it and it should work as usual). If you still cannot see the wick, you’ll need to expose it by scraping out the room temperature wax using a butter knife.
Hack 5: How to replace the wick
When using a pre-waxed wick, simply use a glue tab or molten wax to adhere the wick to the base of the container. Then, use a peg or a hair clip to hold the wick in the desired position while you pour the wax.
Hack 6: How to clear candle wax off a surface
Gently put out the candle and then slowly heat the spilled wax using a hairdryer. When the wax is fully liquefied, you can then wipe it away using a towel.
Hack 7: How to make new candles using leftover wax from old candles
Just add a wick to your container using the process in hack five and then melt down your remaining wax. Once this is liquefied, pour the mixture in the container and leave it to set. Before you melt your remaining wax, just make sure that there are no pieces of burnt wick in the mix.
You should also try not to mix different types of wax together, as these may have different characteristics and melting point.
Hack 8: How to remove the unusable bottom of the candle and use the wax on a wax burner
Fill your container with water and place it in the microwave for two minutes (keeping a careful eye on it). When you take the candle out of the microwave and the mixture cools, the wax will come free from the base of the container and float to the top.
At this point you can take the wax out, break it up and use the pieces for melts for a wax burner.
Hack 9: How to recycle / reuse your empty candles
Popular options include makeup brush holders and plant pots, but the world is your oyster!
All you’ll need to do is add warm water to the container to make the wax soft and then scrape out any leftover wax. Then, give the container a good clean and it’s ready to use.