The Big Mistake To Avoid When Burning A Candle For The First Time
When lighting a candle, you’ll want to make sure that you leave it burning for long enough that the top layer of wax melts completely, from edge to edge. This ensures that no unburned wax gets left behind and goes to waste. Jon Bresler, the founder and president of LAFCO New York, explains that this is a good thing to do every single time you light a candle—but especially during that all-important initial burn.
“Depending on the amount of soy and how much natural fragrance is in the candle, this initial burn could take several hours,” Bresler tells mbg.
Cartter Stout, the creative manager at Paddywax, adds that a good rule of thumb is that you should burn your candle for one hour per inch of diameter. If your candle is 3 inches across, for example, you’ll want to leave it burning for around three hours that first time. (Shy away from single-wick candles that are more than 4 inches in diameter, as you don’t want to leave a candle burning for more than four hours at a time.)
This means that if you’re strapped for time—say, you’re about to go to bed or head out for the day—you’d be better off waiting to light that first match until you have a longer window to sit with your new candle.
After that first burn, says Bresler, “the more constantly you burn the candle and allow it to develop a fully melted top layer, the better it will perform and prevent tunneling.”