Aromatherapy candles make an excellent addition to any home or office. Not only do they add a lovely ambiance, but because they contain natural essential oils, they can help with everything from reducing anxiety to boosting brain power. And while using candles may seem pretty straightforward – just light and enjoy – there are actually certain things you can do to extend their longevity and get more bang for your buck. Here are a few expert tips below.
Keep the wick trimmed.
Even though soy candles don’t leave a black sooty residue behind, if the wick is too long, the flame could become too long as well and potentially cause the glass container to crack. To prevent this, it’s recommended that you trim your wick down to between 1/8 and 1/4 inches before burning your aromatherapy candle. You can do this with a pair of scissors, or you can invest in a wick trimmer. (Pro tip: if you don’t have a wick trimmer and scissors are too cumbersome, try using fingernail clippers.)
Don’t go too short.
The theory that “less is more,” does not apply to aromatherapy candles. So, while you should routinely keep your wick trimmed down, you should also be careful not to cut that wick too short. Doing so could result in tunneling, which is basically just wasted wax around the inside edge of the candle. Make sure the diameter of the wick is large enough for the diameter of the candle.
Avoid drafty areas.
A calm flame distributes heat evenly, which leads to a cleaner burn. It also enhances the fragrance of the essential oils, rendering their therapeutic effects more potent. And, lastly, it extends the life of your candle because it burns slower. Avoid placing candles anywhere there is a draft. If you’re unsure, look at the flame. If it flickers in one direction or another, there’s a draft and you should relocate your candle.
Keep them cool.
The cooler your aromatherapy candle is, the more slowly it will burn, which will make it last longer. If possible, storing your candles in the refrigerator (when not burning, of course) can keep them nice and chilled. If you do this, be sure to cover your unlit candles with cling wrap or foil first. This prevents the wick from absorbing any excess moisture while being refrigerated.
Limit burn time.
Burning an aromatherapy candle for more than 4 hours results in overheating. This causes the fragrance oil to evaporate and burn off more quickly, reducing its effectiveness. Ideally, we recommend limiting burn time to around 2-3 hours at a time. If this seems like too short of a time period, you can compromise by getting multiple candles and rotating their burn time. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy without ruining your candles in the process.