One of the most common complaints about candles, in general, is the soot they can produce. There are several methods for reducing the amount of soot produced by your candles, which will also help them burn more efficiently. Today, I’ll share some candle-burning tips with you to help you have a better experience with your candles while also saving money. First, let’s look at what causes soot from a candle flame.
What Causes Candle Soot?
Soot from a candle is produced when the fuel burns incompletely. Several factors can cause this. The candle’s wax and wick balance, as well as disturbing the candle flame, are two factors to consider. The liquid wax drawn up through the wick serves as the fuel for the candle flame. Once the candle’s flame has drawn the liquid candle wax up the wick, it continues to do so at a constant rate. When a candle flame is disturbed, the size of the flame changes, and the amount of fuel used no longer remains consistent. When there is too much fuel in front of the flame, it does not all burn. It emitted excess fuel as soot.
Avoid Burning Candles in Drafty areas
If you burn candles near an open window, an air duct, or a fan, they will produce a lot of soot. When something causes the candle flame to bounce around, the size of the candle flame changes. A steady flame will use the same amount of fuel every time. When a wick bounces around, it draws fuel at a variable rate, sometimes too much, sometimes not enough. When a large amount of fuel is drawn into the wick, the flame size will shrink. Not all the fuel is burned. It expelled the extra oil as soot into the air.
Use open-bottom hurricanes and vases.
Many event venues require that the candle flame not be visible above the top of an enclosure when candles are used for decoration. It could mean that the flame of your votive candle must be below the glass’s top edge or that pillars and taper candles must be in tall cylinders or hurricanes. At first, this sounds like a good idea to keep the draft away from your candles. However, using a cylinder or vase with a closed bottom can cause its own set of issues. To burn fire requires and consumes oxygen.
When a candle is burning inside a container, the oxygen quickly runs out, and more is required to keep the flame burning. More air is naturally drawn into the container through the top, but the warm air heated by the candle flame is attempting to escape. This battle between hot and cold air creates turbulence (a draft) in the container, causing the candle flame to dance and produce soot. The best solution is to use a cylinder or hurricane vase with both ends open. To raise the container off the table by about a half-inch, you’ll need to use something that can be spaced apart to allow air to enter through the bottom.
Put Candle Cappers On Jar Candles
Although you can’t change the fact that the jar has a closed bottom, these jar cappers can help regulate airflow in and out of the jars, reducing sooting. Candle cappers are flat metal or ceramic discs with a large central hole that allows hot air to escape and smaller outer holes that allow cool air to enter. Because of the draft created by the flow of hot and cold air, jars typically produce more and more soot further down into the glass as they burn.
Trim The Wicks
Keeping the wicks trimmed is the simplest way to reduce the soot produced by a candle. For the first lighting, I recommend using a 1/4″ wick. If, after a few minutes, the candle flame appears too large or bouncing around (while not in a draft), cut the wick a little shorter. Keep an eye on your lit candles; you should never leave them burning unattended. The wicks may need to be trimmed again if your candle has been burning for a long time. Blowing out a candle, trim the wick, and relight it.
Buy high-quality candles.
Make sure you are getting a well-made candle. A high-quality candle does not have to be expensive; it simply has to be well-made. Anyone can melt some wax with a string in it and call it a candle. Is it a candle? Yes. Will it burn? Maybe. Is it worth spending your hard-earned cash? Most likely not. There are a lot of pages on the internet where people sell candles. An experienced candle maker will know how to match the wick size, fragrance, wax type, candle size to produce a great burning candle.
Use these tips to get the most out of your candles and get the best burn time.