(BPT) – If you enjoy candles, you probably love the way their flames illuminate a darkened room, set a certain mood or bring a sense of fun, romance or wonder to your life. Candles are a vital element in many festivals, religious events, birthdays and other major celebrations. Scented candles at a spa or near a bubble bath can also help you to relax and unwind.
As daylight shortens during the autumn months, this is the perfect time to “Candle with Confidence.” Here are tips to help everyone use candles safely:
1. Follow basic candle safety practices. Never leave a burning candle unattended, and make sure candles are not lit on or near anything that might catch fire. Always keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
2. Prevent candle smoking. Before lighting your candle, trim the wick to 1/4 inch before every use, and be sure to place candles away from drafts, vents or air currents. If a candle continually flickers or smokes, it is not burning properly and should be extinguished. Allow the candle to cool, trim the wick, make sure the area is draft free, then re-light.
3. Beware of “make-your-own” candleholders. Not all glass is the same, so it’s best to avoid burning candles in glass containers that are not specifically designed for candles. Glass candleholders are specifically manufactured to withstand the temperature changes that occur when burning a candle. Everyday glassware is not designed for burning candles.
4. Make votive cleaning easier. Add a few drops of water to the glass of votive holders before inserting the candle to make them easier to clean. Caution: Don’t add more than a few drops of water, and don’t add water unless you intend to burn the candle immediately afterward. Over time, a candle wick could absorb the water and won’t burn properly. Also, never use water to extinguish a candle.
5. Prevent candle fading. Avoid placing candles where they will be directly exposed to sunlight or harsh indoor lighting, as candles may fade if they are left in bright light for an extended period of time.
6. Store candles carefully. Keep your candles in a cool, dark and dry place. Tapers or dinner candles should be stored flat to preventing warping.
7. Keep candles clean. You can remove dust and fingerprints from a candle by gently rubbing the surface with a piece of nylon or a soft cloth that is dry or slightly dampened with water.
8. Care for your candleholders. Remove wax drippings from candleholders by running hot water over them. Alternatively, some home care experts prefer removing wax by first placing the candleholder in the freezer for an hour or so. This allows the wax to shrink and easily pop out when the candleholder is removed from the freezer.
By following these tips from the National Candle Association, you’ll be able to light your candle, burn it safely and be confident you are getting the most out of each burn and every candle. Find more expert tips and information at Candles.org.