I read an article recently that explained how candles should be respected due to the fact that their beauty is created through the use of fire. This I felt, was a perfect way to put it and fuelled my writing of this post.
We all really like the idea of just lighting a candle and letting it work its magic, but there are a few things you can do to look after your precious candles, to get the best from them.
The FIRST of these and in my opinion the most important, is about the length of time that you burn your candle for. The first time you burn your candle is the most important as every candle has a memory. On the first burn keep your candle lit for a couple of hours, until you see that the wax has melted to the edge of the container. Then for all other burns, the ideal length of time is something between 30minutes and 4 hours. Anything less than this and you wont be giving your candle the time it needs to reach the wide wax pool that it has set and avoid wax tunnelling. Anything more than this and a carbon deposit can form which results in more soot or smoke from your candle.
SECOND to this is to trim the wick before each occasion that you light it. A quarter of an inch or about 5mm is the height you're looking for. This cuts off any messy mushrooming that can form at the top of the wick, which cuts down the amount of soot which is created in the burning process and in-turn encourages a more even and consistent wax pool.
And FINALLY, but very importantly there are a few more (almost common sense I guess) quick points to always remember when lighting a candle. Please place it in sight, keep it on a flat and heat resistant surface and keep it out of the reach of children and animals!
But in general...enjoy your candle!