One of the biggest concerns about candles of all kinds is in regards to the amount soot that can be produced by them. There are a variety of ways to greatly reduce the amount of soot coming from your candles which will also help them to burn better. Today I will share some of these candle burning tips with you to help you have a better experience with you candles and save money. Lets first understand what causes soot to come off of a candle.
What Causes Candle Soot
Soot from a candle flame is caused when there is incomplete combustion of the fuel. This can be caused by a number of factors. The fuel to the candle flame is the liquid wax which is being drawn up through the wick. Once the flame of the candle has started drawing the liquid candle wax up the wick, it does so at a steady rate. When the flame or the flow of fuel is disturbed, the rate at which the fuel is being burned is no longer happening at the optimal rate. So how do you keep a candle from producing excessive soot???
Avoid Burning Candles in Drafty Areas
Burning candles in a drafty area such as near an open window, air duct, or fan will cause your candle to produce a large amount of soot. The wind causes the flame to dance around which means that it isn’t using up the liquid wax (fuel) at a consistent rate. It would be similar to driving your car down the highway but instead of applying smooth, even pressure on the gas pedal you stomped on it then took your foot off completely, over and over again. Not good for your car or your passengers.
Another example of where a candle will be in a drafty area is inside of container candles. Jar candles are one of the most popular types and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Even if you are burning your jar in a completely still room, the candle will cause its own draft. You may not notice it when you first light the candle but as the level of wax gets lower and lower inside the container you will definitely see it. This is cause by the hot air trying to rise out of the top and cold air trying to get back in to replace it. Depending on the size of the mouth of your candle you may be able to use a candle capper, a neat product that helps to regular the flow of air and remove the fight between the hot and cold air currents.
Trim Your Wicks
Candles are not a light and forget product. For one, it is dangerous to light a candle and then leave it burning unattended. Secondly, you should check on your candle to make sure the flame hasn’t gotten too big. When candles are burned for a few hours straight sometimes the wick may start to get too long because the rate of wax being used up is faster than the rate that the wick is burning up. Simply put the candle out, trim the wick back down, then relight your candle.
Some candles will get a mushroom (looks like a ball) on the top of the wicks after a few hours of burning caused by carbon build up. That should be trimmed off when it forms because it will not allow your flame to have the correct shape. Instead of being tall and thin, that mushroom keeps it short and wide. While it doesn’t cause so much of a sooting problem, it will affect the way your candle melts.
Buy Good Quality Candles
Make sure you are getting candles that are well made. Candles that are poorly made could create more soot than a good quality one. If the thickness of the wick is too big for the melt temperature of the wax, the result could be increased amounts of soot. A good example ot this is tiki torches. They have very thick wicks too keep the flame from going out in strong outdoor drafts. They produce a large amount of soot but because they are used outside it doesn’t matter.
So enjoy your favorite candles and use these simple tips to keep them burning create from beginning to end.
Categories: candle burning tips
Child of the King. Husband of the most beautiful woman, inside and out. Dad to 2 of the greatest kids a parent could ask for. I tinker, typically a DIYer when it comes to fixing stuff. Not much of a talker so writing is pretty tough sometimes. I enjoy living and trying to help others when I can.