Candles are a great way to add ambiance to a room while providing a pleasant scent in the process. They come in a huge range of scents and colors, allowing for whatever smell or mood you happen to desire.
But there are times where the candle jar will start turning black. It is unsightly and makes the candles look dirty, usually requiring that they get thrown out. So, what is this all about and what can you do about it?
Why Does the Candle Jar Turn Black?
When you have been burning a candle for a while and begin to notice that there is black creeping up the sides of the jar, this is carbon in action. Flames produce carbon and the bigger the flame, the more carbon there is.
The black that you see in the jar is due to a lack of oxygen. The jar only gets that carbon production without the necessary oxygen flow and it combusts. The updraft of those hot gases from the combustion starves the flame of oxygen and hinders diffusion of air.
This results in that burnt, black look that can become prevalent on the interior of a candle. Unless you’re an amateur candle maker, you might not know that there are actually proper ways to combat that carbon combustion that produces that black, burnt look that we all hate so much.
The Right Way to Burn
Believe it or not, there is more to burning a luxury candle than simply lighting the wick and letting it go. Sure, you can do that, but you will likely wind up with those black marks up the side of your jar before long.
Firstly, you should be burning it for around two hours or so when you first use it. This helps to prolong its life, ensuring that you can use it again and again. Doing this allows the top layer of the wax to melt fully.
That top layer melting promotes even burning when you light it next.
Also see: 4 Effective Ways to Put Out a Candle Without Smoke.
Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Candle
One of the most common steps that you can take to prolong the life of your candles is to keep them away from areas that don’t get enough oxygen. Without oxygen, the candle will not only burn quicker and more rapidly, but it will produce the trademark black streaks that we have come to dislike.
Avoid what are known as “draughty” areas; that is, there is no air flow. Getting sufficient oxygen allows for a cleaner, more efficient burn that is better for both the candle and the jar in the long run.
The wick is also essential to the life of the candle. As the candle continues to burn, the wick grows in length. This act will make your candle burn faster. It is important that each time you burn the candle, you trim down the wick.
Generally speaking, you will want to make sure that the wick doesn’t get to be more than a few millimeters in length or about the same length that it was when you got it.
Keeping the wick short means that it won’t burn down the candle quite as quickly. That means getting greater use out of your candle.
Additionally, trimming down the wick will stop the candle holder from becoming too hot and overheating. This helps to prevent black smoke from occurring and eventually building up on the sides of the candle jar.
Not only is the length of the wick important, but you should also occasionally reposition it. By repositioning the wick to the center of the candle, you give it the optimum setting that it needs to burn more efficiently.
One of the biggest reasons the black soot reaches the side of the candle is because the wick is off center. When it leans one way or another, it can burn closer to the edge of the candle glass. This is what leads to those nasty black stains on the candle jar.
By repositioning the wick to the center, you keep the flame as far away from the edges of the jar as possible. That means a more even burn, a better disbursement of the heat, and a cleaner overall experience.
When candles burn, where does the wax go? Find out here.
Keeping the Jar Clean
It should go without saying that you would not want the candle burning before doing this, but try to cover the candle jar in between uses. This is because leaving it open can mean that dust gets into the jar.
When dust settles into the jar, it can and will burn. This results in marks on the side of the jar and the dust getting burnt into the air.
If you have begun to notice a buildup of dust in your candle jar, use a damp cotton pad to get it out. It is especially important to get the top of the wax clean since the most amount of heat will be concentrated in that area.
Maybe you are reading this after the black streaks have already taken hold. All you need to do is use a wet cotton pad in conjunction with some warm, soapy water. Gently rub the stained area until the black soot begins to come up and is eventually removed.
Before you light the candle again, make sure the area is completely dried. When your candle is clean, you can then take some of the helpful hints above and ensure that your candle jar remains free of soot and black debris.
Lastly, you can reuse the candle holder. Even if the candle has burnt all the way down, you can restore it into working order. All you do is pour some hot water into the glass and swirl it around.
The hot water will break down any debris or wax left in the holder, leaving it free and clear when you dump the water out.
You can use those empty candle holders for things such as pencils and pens or even a cute little flower pot.
On the other hand, if you have leftover wax, you can use it with these creative ideas.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.