Your foolproof guide to correctly lighting a candle

It’s easy to light a candle. You can also follow proper candle care and safety guidelines. These simple tips will allow you to extend your life and avoid unsightly tunneling.

Make sure to trim the wick, and make sure you check for any debris.

Make sure you trim the candle’s wick to 1/4 in. Any debris added to the candle’s fuel will make it more difficult to light. The flame can flare up unexpectedly, or even light a small fire around the candle flame if there is too much fuel. Wicks that have been left too long can lead to uneven burning, dripping, or flaring. You can prolong the candle’s lifespan by trimming the wicks. While making candles trimmed the wick and it will last 25% longer every couple of hours.

Don’t make mistakes.

As the first cut, the first fire is the most important. Candles should burn 1 hour per inch of their actual size. A candle 2 inches in size should burn for two hours. The candle will not last long enough for the wax to liquefy in the container.

Never leave candles lit for longer than what is stated in the manufacturer’s instruction.

Over-burning a candle will cause carbon to build up, making it “mushroom”. The wick will then become unstable and produce a dangerously high flame. Additionally, the candle will begin to smoke and produce soot. You can avoid this by reading the manufacturer’s instructions. It is advised that candles should not be left unattended for more than four hours. Also, allow them to cool for at most two hours before you light them again.

Stay away from moving air.

Avoid the vicinity of fans, air conditioners, and open windows while lighting a candle. The flame can be disturbed by moving air. This can leave pesky black marks.

Store your candles properly.

Keep candles out of direct sunlight. Higher-scent candles last between 6 and 12 months, depending upon the fragrance. For the best performance and appearance of your fragranced candles, make sure you replace them regularly if you aren’t satisfied.

To find out more about safe candle lighting, visit NCA’s Fire Safety & Candles section. Happy candle burning!

Candles are an incredible lighting system. They provide the fuel and the light. In a candle, there are two parts.

A wax-based fuel is used.

The wick, made out of some kind of absorbent twine

The Wick must be naturally absorbed. This could be a towel or a strong capillary effect (as with glass fiber wicks that are used in oil lamps). It will feel like string, absorbs water well, and can be bought at a craft store. This absorbency is essential for candles because the wick must absorb liquid wax while burning.

Paraffin wax comes from crude petroleum and is a heavy hydrocarbon. You can read more about how gasoline, paraffin wax, and other petroleum products are made. To light a candle, melt the wax inside and around the wick. The liquid wax melts in the wick, which pulls it up. The heat of the flame causes the wax to evaporate, and it is the ignites. Two experiments are enough to show that wax is vapor rather than liquid wax.

Place one end of a small metal or glass tube, shaped like a straw, at a 45-degree angle in the candle’s flame. Then, light the other end. This second flame is fueled by the paraffin vapor that flows up the tube.

If you blow out your candle, you will see a stream of white smoke from the wick. This is paraffin-vapor condensation that has formed into a visible stream. The stream continues to form so long as it is heated enough to vaporize the paraffin. You can touch the stream with a lighter or a match. A flame will then run down the stream and relight the wick.

The vaporizing butter cools the exposed part of the wick and protects it. This is why the wick doesn’t catch fire. The camping trick of boiling water inside a paper cup is well-known. Because the water inside cools the cup, it does not ignite. The liquid wax also cools the wick.

Paraffin wax can burn on its odor, but to make it combustible, you need to heat it to the point that it ignites. An oil fire is very intense and can take a lot of effort to put out. Paraffin is also affected in this way. This method works great in candles, as only the very small amount of wax left on the wick is sufficiently hot to vaporize and burn.

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