Reminder: Trim your wicks!
I bet you didn't know you're supposed to trim your wicks before each burn! I know this because every time I tell someone to do it they look at me like I'm crazy. I am crazy! I'm candle crazy! Here's why you should be trimming your wicks:
Everytime you burn your candle and you don't trim your wick before hand, you may notice a few things about your candle:
- You may notice there's a little ball at the tip of the wick. This is called
- You may notice soot being produced (the black icky stuff)
- You may notice your flame being too large
- You may notice your candle isn't lasting as long as it should
All these things are fine and dandy if you don't care about the life of your candle. I'm not here to boss you around. BUT you already invested your money into a (hopefully) chemical free, soy wax candle. In order to get the most out of it you should be trimming your wicks!
Now you can go out and buy one of those fancy wick trimmers or you can use scissors. If you can't find those in the moment use your fingers! Hopefully you have those. All you have to do is remove the tip of your wick and then light it. Make sure to wash your hands afterwards though, that black substance can get messy. General rule of thumb is to always trim your wicks to ¼". You can go a tad smaller if needed.
After you trim your wicks you should now notice:
- Less to no soot
- Smaller, safer flame
- Your candle lasts longer! Yay!
If you're like, "what is soot"?
Soot is that black stuff you see in your candles. It's a black powdery substance that builds up around the glass and can even get onto your walls/appliances or anything else around your candle. When you are burning your candle, the wax is drawn up into the wick, which fuels the chemical reaction to keep the flame going. This chemical reaction involves the combustion of the carbon in the wax with the oxygen in the air to make carbon dioxide and water vapor, in the form of steam. Soot is the black smoke that is released into the air by your candle. This consists of unburned carbon atoms that are being released from an incomplete chemical reaction. These unburned carbon atoms are then carried into the air by the steam from the combustion reaction. There's many different reasons why your candle can be producing soot but here are some general rules to follow when you're buying candles:
- Make sure you're buying candles with cotton wicks! Other wicks that contain lead are a big producer of soot and you should stay away from those anyways.
- Stay away from candles that contain additives or too much fragrance (yes, there is such a thing). According to the National Candle Association (NCA), “the oils found in certain fragrances may slightly increase the small amount of soot produced by a candle, but wick length and flame disturbance are the primary factors that impact sooting in a properly-formulated candle.”
- Buy candles from trusted sources who know what they're doing! Making candles is not as easy as throwing a wick into a jar and pouring some wax in. There is a lot of testing involved that requires the correct knowledge to make a clean, well burning candle.
As always if you need help troubleshooting an issue with your candle, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have! Thanks for reading, go trim those wicks!