Posts Tagged ‘candle facts’

Caramel Apple Candles by Auntie B’s Wax

I just unmolded a batch of beautiful candles with the scent of Buttermint Candies.  I love them!  As I was examining and sniffing them I got to thinking about candles and the misconceptions people have about them.  As someone who’s been making candles for over a decade let me share with you the things I’ve learned.

There is no such thing as a wickless candle.

By definition, a candle is “a long, usually slender piece of tallow or wax with an embedded wick that is burned to give light.”  So-called “wickless candles” are in fact not candles at all.  They are chunks of scented wax put into a melter and heated to release the fragrance oil they contain.  I take offense to giving this product the name “candle.”  They are not lit with fire nor do they produce fire, unless of course the wax is heated to a temperature exceeding the flash point of the wax or fragrance oil, in which case a very large fire will ensue.  They are more aptly named tarts.

There is no such thing as a smokeless candle.

All candles have smoke as a byproduct.  It’s the nature of fire.  However, there are several ways to reduce the smoke output of a candle.  A good candle maker will make the candle with a properly-sized wick which will reduce excess smoking.  Avoid “triple scented” candles as too much fragrance oil can cause smoking.  Keeping the wick trimmed to 1/4 inch while burning will also keep smoke to a minimum.

There is no such thing as a scent-free candle.

Certainly there are candles made without the use of fragrance oil, but every type of wax has its own aroma and that scent will emanate from the candle when it is burned.

There is such a thing as a cleaner-burning candle.

Of all the waxes I use beeswax is the cleanest-burning.  As a rule the natural waxes (beeswax, palm wax, soy wax) burn cleaner than paraffin wax.  However, a well-made paraffin candle burns cleaner than a poorly made candle of any type of wax.

There may or may not be such a thing as a dripless candle.

Dripping candles can be caused by several factors ~ drafts, inappropriately sized wick, lack of trimming wick, length of burning time, etc. It’s best to be prepared whether your candle is doomed to drip or not. Always place pillars on a plate or in a holder that will catch unexpected drips. When burning tapers use bobeches to save your candelabra and table from wax. Votive candles should always be burned in a cup. Put a small amount of water in the cup, enough to just cover the bottom, before placing the votive in it. This will keep the wax from sticking to the cup. Also, place container candles (including votives) on a plate or trivet. The wax won’t drip out of the container, but the container itself can become very hot and may damage some surfaces.

Candle season is coming up so be armed with the knowledge you need to provide a warm (and safe) ambiance.

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