I'm of the belief that candles can fix just about any problem. Have a weird smell in your apartment? Light a candle! In a bad mood? Light a candle! Your power just went out? Light a whole bunch of candles! (Uh, make sure you, ya know, have a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.) But the truth is, though there are a solid number of affordable candles that smell ah-ma-zing, most luxe candles get preeeeetty pricey. And really, no matter how much money you've spent, once you find your candle soulmate, you want it to last as long as humanly possible.
After a few quick prayers to the candle gods (Google) I’ve been enlightened with a handful of ~lit~ candle hacks to keep that sweet (or musky...or floral) scent burning 4ever. Uneven melting and fast-evaporating wax are about to be a thing of the past. The excellent news is that most of these candles hacks require items you most likely already have around the house, like tin foil and salt.
(P.S. If all this candle hackery has inspired you to go full DIY, you should try making your own essential oil candle.)
Freeze your candles.
If you possess that wonderful quality called forethought, go ahead and stick your candle in the freezer for a couple hours before lighting it up. The cold temp will make the wax harder, so it'll burn way slower.
Keep trimming your wick.
Big wick energy is not welcome here 'cause a big wick means a big flame, and a big flame mean your precious candle is gonna burn up wayyy faster. Before you light up your candle next, give the wick a little snip so that it keeps the flame to a minimum.
Commit to the burn.
Burning your candle for only a few minutes at a time is noooo bueno. You end up melting down the wax in the center near the wick while the outer edges won't burn down because they don't have time to get all hot and melty. A total waste of wax, I tell you! Make sure you're always burning your candle until the entire top layer of wax is evenly melted.
Keep your candles away from drafts.
Fans? Get out of here. ACs? Don't wanna see 'em. An open window? Lose my number! All of these things are going to cause your flame to fling around like crazy, making your candle burn unevenly.
Aluminum foil can fix most burning mishaps.
If you've already committed one of the aforementioned sins (HOW DARE U!) and are contending with uneven wax piled up on the outer edges of your candle jar, it's not too late. Grab a big sheet of tin foil and fold it over onto itself lengthwise three or four times to get a long rectangular shape that you can wrap around the outside of your candle jar. Leave it there, tightly wrapped, while the candle burns and VOILA! You'll have a perfectly even candle in no time.
Straighten out that wick. every. single. time.
To keep your burn even-stevens, you neeed to make sure your wick is straight up and down after each and every sesh. If it looks like it's leaning to one side, just give it a quick little adjustment with your fingers—once it has cooled down, duh.
Sprinkle a lil salt in the wax.
Here's where we get reallllll hack-y. If you want to prolong your fave candle's burn time, add a pinch of salt to the melted wax after you've blown it out, and then give it a quick stir with a toothpick, chopstick, or whatever tool you have on hand. The salt will slow down the burn time when you light it up next.
Cap your burn time at four hours.
This one's for safety. A few unlucky customers have reported candles that exploded after being left to burn for too long. Ignoring this rec means you risk not only losing your candle, but possibly your entire house and all your worldly possessions, too. Better safe than sorry!
Water is not your friend.
If you worry your candle flame is getting a bit out of control, do not (I repeat, DO NOT) use water to put it out. H2O will splash the melted wax ev-er-y-where and will mess with the consistency of whatever wax is left. Use a lid or candle snuffer instead—lack of oxygen will immediately kill the flame.
Have a cooling-off period.
After you've blown out your candle, take a beat and let it cool off entirely before lighting it back up again. Otherwise you'll end up with majorly uneven wax.
Use boiling water to clean out jars.
If you've made it to the very bottle of your candle, congrats! Rather than throwing away the jar with that last little layer of unburnable wax at the bottom, pour a bit of boiling water into the vessel, which will soften the wax and make it easy to remove. You can reuse the glass jars to plant a succulent, store hair ties, or whatever your heart desires.
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