Updated: Sep 27, 2022
Like everything in life, not all candles are created equal. Hardly any actually - unless a factory is involved...no place for those here. Pillar candles stand alone and can be funky shapes (binge those on my insta page) as well as the standard 'church' cylinder candles.
Science around pillars is complex because they don't have the safety and framework of container walls to hold the wax as it melts. Couple this with other 'burn influencers'; wax type, wick size & composition, scented oils, oil blend, candle dye, additives - I'll stop - but could go on.
Here, we're talking about 100% soy wax pillar candles - no additives to slow the burn or harden them up (nothing wrong with this mind, just not for now). Here are some useful steps to help you burn your candle properly, maintaining its shape, your safety and burn longevity. I'll say it now - IF YOU JUST LIGHT UP A 100% SOY WAX PILLAR CANDLE FOR HRS STRAIGHT, YOU'LL GET A FAST BURN DRIPPY MESS - IT'S A BEAUTIFUL THING BUT FOR THIS EXAMPLE, NOT WHAT WE'RE AIMING FOR.
Trim your wick - 5mm max. Light her up
Kick back and enjoy the candle light. Keep and eye on the melt pool (diameter of the wax that's molten/melted) Don't let the melt pool reach the candle's outer edge
When it's about 5mm from the edge extinguish (dip don't blow) - see pic below
Now, if the walls of the candle have moved, bowed out or gone on the wonk in some way, then gently (emphasis on this.) push the walls back in - a gentle (there it is again) hug if you will, not a shove - see pic below. This will help the candle retain its original shape. As the candle cools and the wax solidifies this will toughen the walls of the candle
Next time you burn your candle, trim the wick (yes again, and after every burn) to 5mm. Now here's the uber cool part - wax has a memory. It will melt outwards to the same edge that you stopped it at on the previous burn. Not forever of course as it is still wax which does of course ultimately melt, but that hardened outer wall that you made when you stopped the first burn, dramatically slows the melt pool expansion down, it holds it there for longer allowing your candle to burn down inside itself and not continually outwards
Once you've enjoyed the candlelight again, head back to point 3. and repeat repeat repeat making sure you extinguish it at least 10mm from the bottom of the candle to avoid fire risk
If your pillar candle is scented it's got more to give. Once it's burnt down, allow it to cool, then chop or snap up the remaining wax into 1cm bits and use it in your wax burner - there's no place for any waste here and the last remaining scent will infuse your spaces.
Useful? Got questions - hit me :) I'm here for you....👇