Mother Earth Living

Burn, Baby, Burn: Prolong the Life of Your Candles

Candlelight casts its glow over many celebrations. These tips can prolong your candles’ lives.
By Ken Hoyt
Novmeber/December 2008
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Cleaning candles is easy.
Photo By Ken Hoyt

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Healthy Candles

■ Make sure candles contain no chemicals, paraffin (paraffin wax is made of refined petroleum) or unnatural fragrances. Try soy wax or beeswax candles and make sure scented candles use only pure essential oils.

■ Check the wicks. Some have been found to contain lead and other metals. Look for wicks made from pure cotton.

■ Get rid of candles that create soot; that buildup is also in the air you breathe

Candle Care 

Trim wicks: Quarter-inch wicks work for most candles. Overly long wicks fall over, melt candle walls unevenly, burn too hot and produce smoke.

Snuff, don’t blow: A snuffed candle creates less smoke.

No to the draft: Even a slight draft will change the way a candle burns, speeding up burn rate and making messy drips.

Safety First 

Combustible composition. Arrangements with greenery and candles are a seasonal favorite. Evergreen clippings are highly flammable; keep flames a few inches from greenery.

Polish Your Candles

Wax attracts dust. Keep yours clean with this easy tip: Fashion old nylons into a loop with a rubber band (it should look like a figure eight). Gently run the cloth along the candle in one direction. Go over the entire candle a few times

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