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7 Tips for Burning Candles During the Holidays

Do you love candles, especially in the holiday season? Here are 7 tips for burning candles correctly that will help you enjoy yours longer and more effectively.

During the holidays, both Thanksgiving and Christmas, we spend more time indoors and a candle with a warm glow and enticing aroma creates a cozy and inviting feeling. I definitely want tips for burning our candles correctly.

We burn candles every night during the holidays and on Christmas Eve; it’s such a wonderful way to celebrate the season.

Our sense of smell is one of our strongest senses: the scent of food, flowers, or a candle can remind us of a special holiday, a special meal or event in our lives, even a particular person.

At the holidays, candles are a festive tradition, not only for the additional light and ambiance they produce, but for the memories a particular scent evokes.

It’s also true that the quality of the candle ingredients affect the quality, scent and longevity of candles. The better the ingredients, the more expensive the candle.

I’ve discovered some tips for burning candles correctly that will increase the longevity of your candles. I thought you might like to know about these helpful tips.

Burning Candles During the Holidays – 7 Tips

Last year I introduced the wonderful Re+New+All Candles that are being offered through A Maker’s Studio. These 8 wonderful scents are made by women who have been rescued from human trafficking. Making these candles at the A Maker’s Studio headquarters gives these women a purpose, a job and a means of supporting their families.

Re+New+All Candles from A Maker's Studio

I know it’s too late to give these beautiful and meaningful candles as a gift this year, but I know that you have other candles in your home that you will want to last for as long as possible. So here are 7 tips for burning candles to keep in mind.

Re+New+All Candles from A Maker's Studio

It goes without saying that the first rule of candle burning is never to leave a burning candle unattended. We had a scare several years ago. Waking up one morning during the holidays (We had company over for dinner the night before and it was a late night.), we found 3 candles on our mantle still burning. It was frightening to realize what might have happened had the wax dripped over onto the garland. We are very careful since then to make sure that all candles have been snuffed out.


This tip was new to me. When burning a new container candle for the first time, don’t burn it for just a few minutes.

You should allow it to form a complete pool of melted wax across the surface of the candle. Wax has a memory (who knew?) and on subsequent lightings, the wax pool will struggle to go beyond the width of the previous burn.

You might like to see how to make these gold leaf votive candle holders. So easy and the candle holders came from Dollar Tree.



Keep the wax pool clean.

Don’t leave pieces of trimmed wicks, matches, or charred wicks on the candle.

not the way to burn a candle


Keep your wicks trimmed.

A trimmed wick will make for a nice, bright flame. Sweet Shark keeps a small pair of scissors in his bar for just this task.

A long or crooked wick results in uneven burning, which can make the wax pool unevenly. It can also lead to bursts of high flames or smoking. Wicks should be about 1/8 ~ 1/4~inch for the best burning results.

This isn’t one of my 7 tips for burning candles, but just a reminder that unlike candles on a birthday cake, blowing out a candle isn’t the best option. In addition to keeping your wicks trimmed, it’s important to use a good quality candle snuffer when extinguishing your candles. Try one of these options that I found.

This isn’t how you want your candles to burn down.

not the way to burn a candle


Avoid burning candles in the path of vents, fans or drafts.

I would recommend that you turn your vents down or away from any candle that will be burned. We discovered this problem in our dining room when, after lighting candles for a dinner party, the air conditioning came on and blew wax everywhere. It was not a pleasant experience.


Let a candle cool completely before lighting it again.

Most candles that you give and receive come in containers and it takes a container candle about 2 hours to cool down completely. This allows the wax to cool and set before being lit again.

RE + NEW + ALL candle box


Never burn lighted candles on glass shelves.

This is a tip that we learned the hard way our first Christmas in our new home.

Sweet Shark loved to burn small votive candles on the glass shelves of his bar. These glass shelves are about 3/8~inch thick of tempered, sandblasted glass.

As I was sitting at the bar and he was facing me behind the bar, I heard a loud crash and explosion. The top shelf fell onto the middle shelf which fell onto the bottom shelf. Flying glass from crystal decanters, liqueur bottles and the candle holders (about a dozen) went everywhere. The sticky liquid and wax from the candles was on the floor, counter, cabinets and walls.

Thank goodness that Sweet Shark was facing me. If he had been facing the bar or bending over, we’re sure that he would have been injured by glass.

If took us days to clean up the mess and find all the glass that had scattered everywhere. There was even wax on the walls.

When the contractor who built the bar came over to access the damage, we told him about having the glass votive candles on the bar shelves. He told us to never put lighted candles on glass shelves, that the heat from even a small candle can heat the glass and weaken it. This was a very expensive and traumatic lesson, so I’m happy to pass it on to you.

Tip 7

I know we want to get the most “endurance” out of our candles, but it is best for safety sake to stop burning the candles when there is about 1/2~inch of wax left in the container. Then let the candles cool completely.

If you want to remove the wax to reuse the container ~ sometimes the containers are really pretty ~ put the candle in the freezer and allow to freeze for several hours or overnight. The candle should just pop out. The only time this will not work is if the container is curved or rounded. Also, we’ve noticed that scented candles are harder to pop out.

We have used the freezer method with the Re+New+All Candles and the candle comes out perfectly. Then I put the container in the dishwasher and I now have another glass to use for juice or to use again for another candle.

We have definitely noticed a difference in the longevity of our candles since we started following these tips. Even after Christmas, we will have the week until New Year’s and after to enjoy the warm glow of candlelight.

I’d also like to pass on to you my wishes for a joyous Christmas. I hope that the blessings and promise of Christmas will bring you and your family peace and confidence in a better world. I feel blessed every day for the health and well~being of my family, for the opportunity to know Christ and for the companionship of good friends.

RE + NEW + ALL candles

I also want to tell you to thank you for allowing me to share my little passions with you. I try with every post to educate and entertain you in some small way. I consider all who visit Bluesky at Home my friend. I appreciate so much your comments and feedback and your sharing.


I hope these tips for burning candles will increase your enjoyment of the candles in your home. Be sure to PIN for Later so you don’t forget.

pin for later graphic in blue
tips for burning candles

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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  1. Carol, these were great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    Hope you and your dear Hubby had a nice time in New Orleans!

  2. Great, helpful tips! Some were new to me. That glass mess sounds like it was an awful experience! Who woulda thunk it??? Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year.

  3. Carol, thanks for this information. I didn’t know some of these tips. So glad your husband wasn’t hurt by the glass. That could have be terrible.
    Hope you and your family have a safe and Merry Christmas.

  4. OMGosh, Carol! That is terrible but I am sooo glad your husband was facing away from all that glass. I just in turn read that part of your post to my husband. Wow… Glad that no one was hurt and just some bottles and a wax mess. Who would have thought?!

    Pinned to my Ethereal Lighting board and also to Facebook. Folks need to know. 🙂

    Happy New Year hugs to you,
    Barb 🙂

    1. Chloe, I didn’t either. I’m looking at some our our candles and I easily tell the ones that weren’t burned all across the top. Well, from now on!