Although we all love candles, they are expensive and never seem to last as long as we would like. It leaves us asking, why? This can be a combination of reasons but we are going to take a deep dive and figure out why they do burn so fast and what we can do about it. Let’s take a look.
Why do my candles burn so fast? The primary reason candles burn so fast is the candlewick is too large, or the wrong type of wick is being used in the candle. Alternatively, using a softer wax for the wick type you are using can increase the rate of burn causing the candle to burn faster.
There are a few ways you can go about getting or making a candle that lasts longer, we are going to be taking a look at that, and more in this article.
Fast Burning Candles Explained
What determines a candle’s rate of burn? The burn rate of a candle is determined by the size of the wick and the type of wax being used. Essentially, if you use a large wick size, your candle will burn faster. Furthermore, if you use soft wax such as coconut wax, your candle will burn faster unless you reduce the size of the wick.
In addition, fragrance oil can also impact the rate of burn. Using certain fragrance oils and essential oils can help feed the flame of a candle increasing its rate of burn.
Fixing Fast Burning Candles
There are a few things you can do to try and fix a fast-burning candle.
How do you make candles burn slower? You can make candles burn slower by changing to a smaller size wick or by adding a wax with a higher melt point to your wax blend. Keep in mind, that all wick changes and wax changes require testing to make sure the two are balanced and burn properly.
It can normally take a candle maker several tries to get the proper wick, wax, and fragrance oil combination. A hard such as paraffin and beeswax and a little too much fragrance oil and you need a larger wick, or you need two much smaller wicks. This can take time to balance out.
What to do when the candle wick is burning too fast? When a candle’s wick is burning too fast you can switch to a smaller size wick. However, if swapping the wick is not an option you want to consider you can always use the candle in a candle warmer. This will let you enjoy your scented candle without the flame.
We have an entire article about candle warmers you can take a look at if you want to know more. The article is called Candle Warmers 101.
Preventing Candles From Burning Too Fast
When trying to make candles that burn slower you are really only left with a few options. Let’s take a look.
How do I make candles that last longer? If you want to make candles that last a long time then you should be making beeswax candles. Beeswax candles are famous for their long burns. This is partially due to the higher melt temperature of the candles and due to the size of the candles.
However, if you are approaching this issue from a financial savings perspective, then beeswax candles are not the answer you are looking for. Beeswax is one of the most expensive types of wax you can use in candle making.
An alternative option is soy wax container candles. If you want a candle that is going to last a long time, then buy a very deep soy wax container candle. The deeper the candle goes, the longer the candle will last. Think about something like a 16oz mason jar candle.
However, large candles do not always equal a long burn time. You can find some HUGE candles that burn up rather quickly because they have multiple wicks.
Making Candles That Last Longer
The good news is that you can make candles that burn slower, however, even that has its limits.
What is the slowest burning candle? The slowest burning candles are paraffin wax, beeswax, and certain container candles. The longest burning candle on a budget is paraffin wax. It has a high melt point, is cheap, and can be used to make large inexpensive candles. Soy wax is the middle option and beeswax is the premium alternative.
As mentioned above, beeswax is great for making premium slow-burning candles, however, beeswax is the most expensive wax to work with.
Are there candles that last forever? Sadly no candle lasts forever, but you have some great alternatives that do. If you simply want the ambiance you can go with salt lamps, if you want the fragrance you can go with wax warmers. However, the closest approximation to a candle that lasts forever is the Lucid Candle.
The lucid candle is basically a lamp that burns liquid paraffin and is designed to look exactly like a candle. However, it never melts down. You can take a look here at Lucid Candles.
How To Make A Candle Last Longer
Keep the candlewick trimmed. The longer a candle burns, the longer the wick can get. When a wick becomes too long, the flame will become large and distorted. This will burn your candle more quickly than designed. Remedy this by trimming your candle wick after every use.
Let the candle completely cool before using. Don’t relight the candle while it is still warm. This will only allow the candle to melt and heat up faster, which will reduce the life of the candle.
Keep the candle clean. Do not let dirt and debris accumulate on the surface of the candle, and if it does, remove it before lighting the candle. This dirt and dust will accumulate on the wick and make it begin mushrooming. When this happens the flame will become large, burn too much wax and produce soot.
Don’t use the candle for short periods of time. Do not use your candle for 15 minutes and then blow it out. Every time you light your candle it should burn long enough to melt the surface wax from one side of the container to the other. If it does not, then you are going to create candle memory rings that will lead to tunneling.
Keep the candle away from fans and drafts. If your candle is near a draft, fan, or window the wick will constantly be flickering. This will cause the wick to produce soot and start mushrooming. Which as we found out above, will lead to more wax consumption and a larger flame. So keep the candle somewhere the flame is steady without moving.
Frequently Asked Questions
The size of the wick and the type of wax used are the two main factors that affect the burn rate of a candle. The larger the wick, and the softer the wax, the faster a candle will burn.
Candles burn faster when they are still warm and have an untrimmed wick. So to keep a candle from burning too fast always trim the wick and let the candle completely cool before using it.
Make a candle burn faster by using a larger size wick, or by using more wicks. Candles burn faster when they have more flame consuming the wax and more heat being generated. Larger wicks and multiple wicks generate more flame, which will burn the candle faster.
Candles with multiple wicks will melt faster. So if you want a fast-melting candle, choose one that has more than one wick, ideally, the more wicks the better if you want it to melt quickly.
In conclusion, it can take a lot of work to get a candle that burns in a satisfactory way. However, if you want a long-lasting candle, you still have some great options depending on your budget.
If you are on a budget, go for a large container candle such as a paraffin blend in a jar. The size of the jar alone will make the candle last longer and paraffin wax is one of the cheapest on the market.
If your budget is a little bigger, you can always get a soy blend candle. You can find large mason jar soy candles fairly cheap, they last a long time and they burn a bit cleaner than paraffin candles.
If money is not an issue go with a large beeswax pillar candle. They might not be great as far as scented candles go, but they are beautiful to look at and beeswax candles burn SUPER clean.