Proper Candle Care
Cheers to those nights when exhaustion is conquering yet you end up going down a rabbit hole on social media because you can't sleep.... note the heavy sarcasm....
HOWEVER, on one such pathetic voyage of time consumption, it came to my attention quite a stir among makers, an almost war rather, about proper candle care, the safety (or as some claimed, IDIOCY....them kitties got claws) of using herbs in candles or on top etc... I had noticed some dust being kicked a few months ago about it, but it almost seems like a passive agressive way to discredit other makers.... because in the end, your lighting something on fire, so with FIRE..you monitor your candle regardless of any other information about it. But I digress, as I'm too old for this nonsense ha! aaand it is true a candle can perform poorly and cause a situation when certain things are not taken into account or proper care not applied in the making process (and shit happens) so, better safe than sorry.
PROPER CANDLE CARE: (as it has been for centuries)
HERB/PLANT CANDLES: People from all walks of life have been adding plants/herbs to candles for hundreds of years. With that being said, an excess of information in this area is FUTILE, use your beautiful smart head. Obviously there are safer ways to do it, and then not. I have found that topping my new (note I said NEW, not filling a used well with herbs...) candles with herbs like sage, rosemary etc.. even when I've tried to light them on fire, have never done so, and tend to infuse into the wax and relax into the candle. However if you dump half an inch of dried lavender on top of a candle no doubt it will burn, certain herbs inside a candle can also create a heat or pop that can break glass. Logical placement is part of the craft of making the candles. That being said, brush/wildfires are plant fueled monsters, so obviously the risk is ALWAYS there, be smart, don't over think it, and watch your candle. I also highly recommend checking Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and other plant encyclopedias for tips, and to check if the herbs are safe, as some herbs are toxic and/or explosive, such as plants with seeds etc.
MAKE IT LAST: First rule, always SNUFF your candles, do NOT blow them out. The first time you burn your candle make sure to burn long enough for the melt pool (melted wax on top) touches the outside of the jar. Then every time after that, be sure to allow your candle to burn long enough for the melt pool to touch the edge, this will prevent tunneling, which GREATLY reduces the life of your candle and proper wick burn. Burn times will always vary due to things such as ambient temperature and humidity, however this care tip will extend the enjoyment and keep your candle in SAFE working order.
FOR THE LOVE OF FREYA TRIM YOUR WICK!: The larger the wick (aka burn fuel!) then the larger the flame. Proper wick size selection is key with jar/cannister candles, especially smaller ones, for safety reasons. If after burning you struggle with smoking or the wick remaining lit/smoldering, this is a sign you need to trim your wick. They sell wick trimmers, which can be so swift and simplify things, but Scissors will work just as well. Keeping wick to approx 1/8 inch (it is suggested to trim every 2-4 hours of burn time for smaller candles, 4 for 8oz and above) helps keep flame the proper size for safety and extended burn time.
THE BASICS: For good measure, the obvious.. Never burn your candle unattended. Always burn on a heat resistant surface. Keep away from all flammable items including but not limited to, curtains, walls, children, plants and pets. Containers may become hot, let cool before touching.
CLEANING/UPCYCLING: Soy wax is my fav because not only do you NOT get headaches from soy candles (paraffin is your air quality nightmare, dont burn it, especially around athsmatics and babies), it is so soft and easy to clean with warm soapy water. Making spills super easy to remedy, AND you can wash and enjoy the candle container for another use, with my candles in particular, most have CRYSTALS on top to keep and enjoy forever. Soy wax for the win.
At the end of the day, its fire. We get into our cars everyday knowing it has its dangers. You don't light anything, from a campfire to a wood stove down to a candle without supervising the burn. Monitor your candles, and Please enjoy responsibly. Namaste.