Candles have been used for centuries to provide light and ambience in homes, but how long do they actually last? The answer depends on various factors, such as the type of wax used, the size of the candle, and how it is burned. In general, a typical candle can last anywhere from 20 to 60 hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the flickering flame and pleasant scent. However, it's important to note candles do have a limited shelf life and can expire over time.
Don't fret, there are ways to make candles last longer, ensuring you get the most out of your investment. From choosing the right type of wax to trimming the wick and creating a proper wax pool, there are simple steps you can take to extend the burn time of your favourite candle. So, whether you're lighting a scented candle to relax or setting the mood for a special occasion, understanding how long candles last and how to make them last longer will enhance your overall experience.
Will your candle's scent weaken?
Have you ever wondered why the delightful scent of your scented candle seems to weaken over time, even when the candle is not burning? This phenomenon is known as scent degradation, and it occurs when fragrance oil molecules evaporate from the wax into the surrounding air.
Various factors contribute to the degradation of a candle's scent. The type of wax used can have a significant impact, with natural waxes like beeswax typically retaining scent better than paraffin candles and wax. Additionally, the quality of the fragrance oil used plays a crucial role. High-quality oils are formulated to have better-staying power, while lower-quality oils may lose their scent more quickly.
To prolong the scent of your candle, consider storing it in an airtight container when not in use. This can help minimise evaporation and preserve the fragrance. If your candle comes with a lid, keep it on top while not in use. You can also experiment with different brands or types of candles to find ones that have better scent retention.
While it's natural for a candle's scent to weaken over time, paying attention to the type of wax and quality of fragrance oils used can help extend its lifespan.
Will your candle's colour fade?
Candle colour fading can also occur due to various factors. One significant factor is exposure to UV light. UV rays from the sun or artificial light sources can cause the colour pigments in candles to break down and fade over time. Also, the use of dyes in candles can contribute to degradation. Some dyes may be more prone to fading than others, especially when exposed to UV light.
To protect candle colours from fading, manufacturers often include UV protectant additives in their candle formulas. These additives help to minimise the effects of UV light and prolong the colour vibrancy. However, it's important to note that even with UV protectant additives, some fading may still occur, albeit at a slower rate.
To prevent colour fading, it's essential to store candles properly. Keep them away from direct sunlight (away from windows) or any other strong light sources, as prolonged exposure can accelerate colour degradation. Storing candles in cool, dark locations, such as a cupboard or drawer, can help preserve their colours for longer periods while you're not using them.
Will your candle ever expire?
Soy candles, like many other products, can have expiration dates. However, the concept of candle expiration is slightly different from that of perishable food or skincare products like vegan soap bars. Instead of becoming unsafe to use, candles may simply lose their fragrance or burn less efficiently over time.
The lifespan of a candle is affected by the type of wax used and how it is stored. Candles made from paraffin wax or beeswax candles typically have virtually no expiration date. These waxes are known for their long-lasting burn times and can remain usable for many years. On the other hand, vegan candles made from soy wax or coconut wax may have a shelf life of 1-2 years.
However, if you're unsure if your candle has expired, the first test you can do is to smell it while it's not lit. This is known as the 'cold scent throw'. You can also burn it, to see if fragrance fills the room, and move it to another spot. It's common for you to become 'nose blind' - used to a smell - after you've been around it a while.
Proper storage conditions also play a role in a candle's lifespan. Excessive heat can cause the wax to melt or warp, while exposure to moisture can affect its quality. To make your candles last longer, store them in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Airtight containers can also help preserve their fragrance and overall quality.
Do scented candles expire?
Scented candles, like other products, can indeed expire over time. While they may not become unsafe to use, they can lose their primary characteristics, such as fragrance potency and burn efficiency.
If the candle no longer emits a strong scent when burned, or if the fragrance is noticeably different or faded, it is likely expired. Additionally, if the candle burns unevenly, leaving behind a layer of wax on the sides of the container or candle tunnelling down the middle, it may be time to replace it.
Feeling fruity? Our Watermelon Mojito soy candle will transport you to a sandy beach.
How to make candles last longer
There's nothing quite like the warm glow of a candle in any space. Whether you love the soothing flicker of a scented candle during a cosy night in, or enjoy setting the mood for a special occasion, making candles last longer can enhance your experience and save you money in the long run. By following a few simple tips and tricks, you can extend the burn time of your small or larger candles and maximise their lifespan.
Trim the candle wick
Trimming the candle wick is an essential step in maintaining the longevity of a candle. Many people may overlook this simple task, but it plays a significant role in ensuring your candle burns evenly and lasts for as long as possible.
When a candle wick is too long, it tends to burn faster and unevenly. This can result in a larger flame size, excessive smoke, and wasted wax. On the other hand, a trimmed wick promotes cleaner and more uniform burning, allowing you to enjoy your favourite candle jar for longer.
To trim the wick properly, it is recommended to keep it between ⅛ and ¼ inches in length. This ensures the flame doesn't get too large and that the candle burns evenly. You can use scissors, nail clippers, or specialised wick trimmers to do this. Simply remove the excess length of the wick before lighting your candle, and discard the trimmed portion.
If your wick doesn't appear to be too long, it may be due to some candles being made with self-trimming wicks. It'll burn down itself, with small parts of debris either burning away or falling into the wax melt pool.
Keep the candle cool
Allowing the candle to cool down for at least two hours before relighting it not only helps the wax re-solidify but also enables safe and effective wick trimming.
When a candle is burned for an extended period, the heat generated can soften and weaken the wax. Relighting the candle without giving it time to cool down properly can result in a shorter shelf life. Allowing it to cool can help the candle wax re-stabilise.
One simple technique to promote a longer burning time is to place the candles in the freezer before the first burn. Freezing the candle hardens the wax, making it denser and more resistant to melting quickly. This method can help prolong the overall hours of burn time and extend the enjoyment of your candle.
Pick the right location
When it comes to using different types of candles, one crucial factor that often gets overlooked is choosing the right location. The location where you place your candle plays an essential role in ensuring even burning, as well as preventing accidents.
Firstly, it's important to consider your chosen space. Placing your candle near open windows, ceiling fans, or air vents can result in an uneven burn. These sources of air can cause the flame to flicker or even extinguish, leading to an inefficient burn and wasted wax. Instead, opt for a location where the air currents are minimal, allowing the candle flame to burn steadily.
Secondly, make sure to place your luxury candle on a flat and stable surface. This will help prevent any accidental tipping or falling of the candle, reducing the risk of fire hazards. When the candle is on a flat surface, the pool of wax remains even, promoting efficient burning and maximum fragrance throw.
Then keep your candle at least 12 inches away from any flammable materials. This includes curtains, fabrics, paper, or any other combustible items. Placing the candle away from these materials not only ensures the safety of your surroundings but also prevents any unwanted accidents.
Try our range with our zesty Lemongrass & Persian Lime soy candle.
Keep it burning
Firstly, it's important to allow your candle to burn for a minimum of one hour and a maximum of four hours per session. This allows for an even burn, preventing the formation of a "tunnel" in the wax and ensuring the fragrance is evenly dispersed. Burning your candle for shorter periods or not allowing it to reach the edges can result in uneven burning and wasted wax.
Also, it's not best practice to light your candle container for only 15-20 minutes and then extinguish it.
Avoid blowing out the non-toxic candle before it has fully melted at least a layer of even wax. This helps maintain an even burn and prevents excessive fragrance loss. When extinguishing the candle, use a candle snuffer or gently dip the wick into the melted wax to prevent smoking and ensure a clean relight next time. Allow the wax to solidify before relighting to keep the candle in good condition.
Keeping your candle clean is also essential. Before each burn, wipe away any dust or debris on the top surface to prevent it from interfering with the flame and causing uneven burning.
Browse our range of soy wax candles - they're vegan, cruelty-free and have no paraffin or beeswax.