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Cathy Mahady, Mia Bellas Candle Director

Cathy Mahady
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Minneapolis, MN

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Candle Care and Safety Tips


These simple reminders will help you to get the most enjoyment out of your candle burning experience:

Never leave a burning candle unattended.

Keep burning candles away from children and pets.

Place candles on a protected, heat resistant surface, such as a trivet. Hot jars and votive holders can damage furniture.

Burn votives in proper holders, not free standing, as they will create pools of wax. This pooling is what allows the scent to disperse into the air.

The more snug the fit of the votive container around the votive, the longer the candle will burn. The liquid wax pool needs to be kept close to the flame for an effective burn.

Do not place jars on candle warmers/coffee warmer plates - the glass jar and metal wick base were not created to sustain the heat build up from the wax melting from the bottom up. Jars could potentially break.

Do not place near flammable objects, such as curtains, centerpieces, lampshades, hairspray and cleaning products, etc.

Place burning candles away from vents, drafts, windows, ceiling fans, heat registers or air conditioners, as well as high traffic areas of your home. A flickering flame will contribute to smoking and sooting and shorten burn time.

Keep wick trimmed to ¼ inch at all times to avoid carbon build up on the wick (known as mushrooming). Keeping the wick trimmed keeps the flame at the right height, which is essential for a longer burn time.

Trimming of the wick should be done every time and not just after the first burn.

Use toenail clippers to trim hard to reach wicks.

If the wick becomes too short and the liquid pool begins to drown the flame, extinguish the flame, pour off some of the melted wax, and relight.

If the flame grows larger than ½ inch high or begins to smoke, extinguish the candle, re-trim the wick to 1/8 inch and relight.

Do not allow the flame to touch the side of a container. This may cause the glass to crack or break.

Use automatic lighters, instead of matches, to avoid burns.

Keep wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches, and other foreign materials.

Do not burn a candle completely to the bottom of a container. To prevent possible heat damage to the surface or breakage of the glass jar, discontinue using when ½ inch of wax remains.

Avoid walking with lit candles.

Never extinguish a candle by placing the lid on a burning jar, this will cause the smoke and heat to build up and may cause the jar to break. Allow the candle to cool before replacing the lid.

To extinguish, use a candle snuffer, a shot glass, or hold your finger in front of the flame and gently blow to prevent hot wax from splattering. Dipping the wick into the melted wax will extinguish the flame and lessen smoking.

If a wick moves off center, use a butter knife to gently push the wick back to the center while the wax is still soft. Keep wick centered and straight for an even burn.

Remove left over wax from holders by running under hot, soapy water. No need to chisel this wax.

To minimize wax left on the sides of the jars or holders, burn candles 1 hour for each inch of it’s diameter to allow the flame time to melt the wax to the outer edge. Burning less time will cause the candle to form a hole down the middle and shorten the burn time. Example, a 4” candle should be burned for 4 hours at a time.

Avoid placing candles in direct sunlight, as this will cause the color to fade.

Store candles in a dry, cool place. Never freeze candles as this will cause the wax to crack.

Never use a candle for a light when checking the pilot light or fueling equipment such as kerosene heaters and lanterns, as the flame may ignite the fumes.

Before a party, light and extinguish candles. They will then light more quickly and easily later when it is time for guests to arrive.

Burning a candle in the bathroom while showering will lessen the incidence of your mirrors fogging up.

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