1. The First Burn: When you first light your candle, ensure it burns long enough to ensure the top layer of wax completely melts. This will be roughly 1-2 hours and will help your wax to burn evenly for the rest of its 'life' - if you don't burn it to the edge of the glass then the wax 'remembers' how far it has burned to and will never burn beyond this distance. If you've ever had candles that 'tunnel' and only burn a little of the wax, creating a massive rim of unused candle, then this is why. If you ensure your first burn is perfect then not only will you minimise wax wastage, but keep your candle looking pretty until the very end.
2. Trim Your Wick: I'm guilty of not doing this enough, which is why my Diptyque candle below ended up in such a sorry state. If you leave the wick long as the wax burns, it will not only cause excess soot and potentially for the wax itself to be dirtied, but for the wick to become extremely hot and dangerous. The wick in my Jasmin candle pictured below became hard to control as I wasn't maintaining it properly, causing the jar to become so hot the label melted. (Naughty LBQ.)
3. Maximum Burn Time: It's always a good idea to keep burning time within three or four hours. This will ensure you're able to cool the candle, trim the wick and prevent overheating of the glass container. If you keep a candle burning all night long, there's a strong probability it will start generating soot and giving off an undersibable smell. Keep an eye on how your candles are performing and if you need to blow the flame out and give it a while, then don't be scared to do so.
4. Know When It's Finished: If, like me, you're keen to get every last moment from your expensive candles then you may not know that it's recommended to leave the last half inch in the jar. Burning to the very bottom can cause the glass to become extremely hot, potentially causing damage to the surface underneath and even causing burns if you try to pick it up or move it. The last little bit in the jar will never burn effectively either, as the wick will often be damaged beyond effective burning.
If you want to ensure you're maintaining your candles effectively, then Diptyque have their very own super fancy wick trimmer which allows you to cut your wick safely and effectively. Unlike a pair of scissors which can sometimes struggle to cut something at an angle or with many layers, Diptyque's trimmer slices through even the crustiest burnt wick with ease. It also features a rounded blade so as to catch the excess soot and ensure a clean finish; traditional scissors are unable to catch the sneaky black residue, so it often ends up back in the jar and tinting the wax. Although it may seem somewhat an extravagance, for someone that's so obsessed with candles as me, I'm not sure how I ever managed without one before.
Do you have any top tips for maintaining your candles?
The Diptyque candles are available online via Space NK priced £40.00 The wick trimmer is also available via Space NK and Selfridges priced £18.00