This is another thing that I have always heard but I had never tried for myself. You even see it in magazines and on popular websites but I wanted to try it for myself so I could know before writing an article about it. This is what I found out about adding salt to candle wax. Does salt make a candle burn longer?
Adding salt to your candle wax does not make it burn longer. However, it does make the wax melt slower, but it does not reduce the amount of wax that is burned overall. The salt helps shield the wax from the heat of the flame letting it melt slower, however, the same amount of wax is consumed.
This appears to be another false tip that is shared in candle burning circles, similar to the one about freezing a candle before you light it. At first glance it appears to be working because the wax melts more slowly, but if you measure the candles before and after, the same amount of wax is still used.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at these results through my photos.
Salt In Wax Experiment
This is the candle that had the salt added in, and that is the amount of salt that I added. I sprinkled it around the wick while the wax was semi-melted so that it could actually mix into the candle wax and not just lay on top.
This is a side by side photo of the candles I used for this experiment. They are both made with the same type of wax, wick and fragrance oil and had both been previously burned for the same amount of time as test candles.
This is moments after I lit both of the candles. I lit the one on the right first (the one with salt), however, you can see that its wax is already melting a little slower.
This is a side-by-side comparison of the candles roughly 45 minutes later. The one on the right is the one that had the salt added. You can actually see the salt floating on top of the molten wax pool if you look closely.
How Much Wax Was Burned
No salt, before photo.
No salt, after photo.
The difference roughly an hour later was 2.8 grams.
With salt, before photo.
With salt, after photo.
This candle also had a difference of 2.8 grams after burning for a hour.
I was actually surprised to see this result.
Table salt is not exactly flammable so I expected that once mixed with the wax it might slow the burning of the candle wick. However, does not appear to be the case. It appears as if it just shields the wax from the heat of the flame to help slow the melting of the surface wax.
However, as we saw with our candle in the freezer experiment, this doesn’t appear to extend the life of your candle either.
Making Candles Last Longer
The truth is the only way to make your candle burn longer is through proper care and maintenance.
How To Make A Candle Last Longer
- Keep The Wick Trimmed
- Use The Lid
- Proper Burning Practices
- Store The Candles Properly
Follow these steps to help get the most out of your candle.
Keep Wick Trimmed
Keeping your wick properly trimmed to the manufacturer specifications will help increase the life of your candle. When your wick starts getting large, or mushroomed it can make your candle burn too hot.
When this happens the wax and fragrance oil can burn off faster, shortening the useful life of your candle.
The rule for wick length is usually 1/4 of an inch long and a flame that is no taller than 1 inch.
Use The Lid
If your candle came with a lid then use it, if it doesn’t have a wick put the candle in a bag when its cooled down and you are no longer using it.
A candle that sits around for any length of time will get dirty inside. It might not look like much but dust and debris can make your candle produce soot and smoke as it burns, and clog the wick up.
This can make your candle look bad, smell bad and create problems with your candle tunneling.
Proper Burning Practices
Most candles come with a suggested burn time from the manufacturer. This number is usually a minimum of 1 hour after the candle is lit, and no more than 4 hours at a time. While letting the candle completely cool between uses.
If you let the candle burn for less than an hour or before the wax is completely melted across the surface from rim to rim then you risk creating a candle that wants to tunnel.
If you burn it longer than 4 hours you risk the candle becoming too hot and rapidly burning off the fragrance oil and wax.
When you are not using your candle then put it away in a lower cabinet somewhere. A place where it can stay cool and dark.
If your candle is sitting out in the light or the sunlight it can fade the color and discolor it over time.
In addition, if you are using a natural vegetable wax-based candle such as soy, palm, or coconut then direct sunlight can actually begin melting the wax inside your candle.
Coconut wax has a very low melt point of about 100 ºF. Which can easily be achieved sitting in direct sunlight.
If that happens the candle can start losing its fragrance oil and ultimately it will hurt the candles cold throw, and possibly the hot throw depending on how long the candle was exposed to the sun.
Frequently Asked Questions
What candles burn the longest?
Beeswax candles burn the longest. This is due to the melting temperature of Beeswax being the highest melt temperature of all types of candle wax (150°). However, you can get larger wicks, and wicks made from different types of materials that burn hotter to reduce the burn time for the candles.
What is a good burn time for candles?
Candle should burn at least 1 hour for every inch in diameter. For example, a 2 inch candle should burn for a minimum of two hours. A 3 inch candle should burn for a minimum of three hours. In addition, most candle should not burn for longer than 4 hours at a time.
In conclusion, while we all want these simple tips and tricks to extend the lives of our candles to work, oftentimes they are too good to be true.
If some of these tips and tricks actually worked then you would see more candle retailers and manufacturers suggesting for their customers to do it. However, it is easy for some of these “hacks” or “tips” to spread online even if they are too good to be true.
The only way to maximize the life of your candle is to follow the proper burning practices listed above.
If you followed those steps from beginning to end I believe you would be surprised at how much better your candle performs and how much longer it would last you.