A Guide to Burning Beeswax Candles
Beeswax is a natural wax that burns hotter than most other waxes. This means you will need to take extra caution when choosing what surface to burn your candle on. In addition, beeswax requires more oxygen to burn; meaning that you should ensure any container you use provides unrestricted air flow and is not too tall or narrow to allow sufficient oxygen to the flame.
Trim the wick of your beeswax candle to ¼” before lighting or relighting.
Beeswax candles always benefit from ‘priming’. This means dipping the wick into the liquid wax after extinguishing, preparing it for the next burn. This can be accomplished by using a bent wire to dip the wick into the liquid wax pool to extinguish it and then straightening it to cool and harden. Alternatively, if using a candle snuffer, place a drop or two of liquid wax on the wick after snuffing before the wax pool hardens.
Care While Burning
It is best to avoid drafty areas as this will eliminate the release of soot and help your candles burn longer. With pillar candles, you should always plan for about 3 hours of burn time to allow the flame to melt the wax out to edge of the candle. You may need to trim the wick or bend softened sides of the candle in towards the burn pool. If you do not burn a pillar long enough, you may end up with a hole down the centre of the candle, at which point the flame is deprived of oxygen and simultaneously suffocated with melting wax, resulting in an exhausted wick that refuses to light.
Approximate Burn Times
Tealights – 4 to 5 hours
Votives – 15 to 16 hours
3” Pillar – 35 to 45 hours
5” Pillar – 55 to 65 hours
6” Pillar – 65 to 75 hours
Beeswax candles will develop a ‘bloom’, or layer of what looks like white dust. This is natural and to be expected, in fact, it is an indicator of purity that is cherished by chandlers. If you want, you can buff the bloom off with a soft cloth, nylon stocking or cheesecloth. You can also use a hairdryer to gently warm the candle until the bloom disappears. Beeswax can safely be stored and kept forever.
Cleanup & Spills
The best way to remove beeswax from your candleholders is to place them in the freezer for a few hours. Once removed, chip the wax out of the holder and wash with soapy water if needed. If you spill beeswax on fabric, place the item in the freezer and chip off after the wax hardens or cover the fabric with paper towel or an absorbent cloth and press a warm iron over the spill, repeating until all wax is absorbed into the towel.
Visit my blog post "Why Choose Beeswax?" to learn about the therapeutic benefits of beeswax.