As a small-batch candle maker, we understand the importance of proper candle care and want to educate our customers on the best practices for burning our handmade soy wax candles. When it comes to burning candles, the first burn is crucial for ensuring that you get the most out of your candle. In this blog post, we'll discuss everything you need to know about how long a scented candle should burn for the first time.
Creating a Full Melt Pool
The first burn of a candle is essential in creating a full melt pool. A full melt pool means that the top surface of wax is melted from edge to edge of the container. This process, known as "candle wax memory," ensures that the next time you burn your candle, the wax will melt more evenly and quickly.
A general rule of thumb is to burn your candle for at least 1 hour per inch of container diameter. This means that if you have a candle with a 3-inch diameter, you should burn it for at least 3 hours on the first burn. It's important to not let the candle burn for more than 4 hours without extinguishing the flame and trimming the wick. This is because carbon residue builds up on the wick and causes it to take on an unsightly mushroom shape, which can cause the flame to get too hot, produce smoke, and leave ugly black stains in your wax and container.
The Benefits of Soy Wax
One of the benefits of using soy wax in our candles is that it burns slower than other types of wax, such as paraffin. This means that it may take a little longer to reach a full melt pool, but it also means that your candle will last longer overall. Additionally, soy wax is a more sustainable and eco-friendly option, as it is a natural, renewable resource and biodegradable.
Soy wax also has a lower melting point than paraffin wax, which means that it won't get as hot when it's burning. This can help to prevent the candle from overheating and causing damage to the container or surrounding area.
Wick Size Matters
Another factor to consider when burning your candle is the size of the wick. Larger wicks generally require more time to reach a full melt pool, as they require more wax to be melted. On the other hand, smaller wicks may require less time to reach a full melt pool. It's important to be aware of the wick size and adjust the burn time accordingly.
It's also important to note that the first burn time may vary depending on several factors such as the type of wax and wick size. For instance, soy wax candles burn slower than paraffin candles, so they may need more time to reach a full melt pool. Larger wicks generally mean hotter flames, which causes wax to melt faster. A candle with one wick doesn't burn as quickly as a candle with two or more wicks. Additionally, the type of wick and wax additives such as fragrance oils, vybar, UV inhibitors, stearic acid etc. can also affect burn times.
Tunneling is a common problem that can occur when a candle isn't burned for long enough on the first burn. It happens when the candle wax doesn't melt all the way to the edge of the container, and instead creates a tunnel down the center of the candle. This can waste a lot of wax and shorten the life of your candle.
To prevent tunneling, make sure to burn your candle for long enough on the first burn to create a full melt pool. If you notice that tunneling has already occurred, you can try using a candle warmer to melt the wax along the edges of the container and help it to catch up to the center.