about candle care and usage

what you already know

You already know how to use candles right? I don't need to tell you that you should only burn a candle on a candle safe dish or holder. I don't even need to tell you to never burn a candle close to curtains or other flammable objects and to never leave a candle unattended. You already know all that.

what you may have forgotten

A gentle reminder about playful children and pets.  They can get hurt playing close to candles and you do need to keep a close eye on little fingers, paws and tails when they are in the same room as a lit candle.  Teach your children to never pick up or move a lit candle.  Oh and keep two eyes on the teens. Those little buggers love to stick their fingers in hot melt pools of wax. "But mom, its COOL!"

What you might not know

There are many different types of candles out there and each type of candle burns differently. So here's a quick run down on the nature of different types of candles.

Votive Candles: Votive candles are designed so that when lit, they form a full melt pool and will liquefy. Make sure you burn a votive candle in a tight fitting glass or candle holder designed for votive candles.

Tealight Candles:  These are smaller and have their own holder, they are also designed to liquify when lit.

Floating Candles: 

This is pretty much self explanatory but I'll go ahead and put down the information. Floating candles are designed to be burned in a bowl of water. Make sure you use a bowl that is made for candles or heat tempered glass.

Floating pool candles

Floating candles in pools, fountains and pond is absolutely beautiful. It's also one of my most received questions.  (can I float candles in my pool?)  Here's the short and skinny.

Yes.  Any candle that is made to float can and will float in a pool or a pond or a fountain.
But, here are a few things to consider before you light that wick.

First off, you need to make sure your pool pump is off and any water features are off as well,  You want to prevent as much water movement as possible.  Hopefully mother nature is going to be on the lighter side too as wind and even a light breeze can effect how well the candles work in water. 

Next you need to come to terms with the fact that everything in your pool will eventually gravitate toward the edges or a corner.   Floating candles may start the evening in the middle of the pool, but you will notice the little buggers inching towards the sides and resting there.  If you use a floating candle that is not made specifically for pools, you could end up with a blackened underside to your coping.  Candles 5 to 6 inches in diameter are a good size for most pools.  You may experience the cheerio effect, where you end with a clump of candles in the middle of the pool or off to one side.

If any water seeps in to the candle it may weigh down the wax core and sink a bit in the pool, making for irritating clean up. 

Finding ways to anchor your floating candles is a great idea and a search on the net can give you many useful ideas! Pinterest is your friend.

Pillar Candles: A favorite of decorators and a wedding staple. Pillar candles are meant to be used on a candle dish, plate, or holder..What ever you use, make sure it's heat resistant and adds a protective barrier between the candle your counter or wood surface and table linens.  Don't forget that most candles are scented using synthetic fragrance oils and those oils can seep out of the wax and damage surfaces.  

Novelty and shaped candles: These type of candles are made for aesthetic reasons and even though they are made from wax and have a wick, they may not have been designed for burning, but if you insist on lighting one up be advised that the candle may not burn as well as a regular purpose candle would. Be sure to place your candle on a heat resistant surface and when the wax starts to melt and run down the sides {and it most likely will} make sure your candle holder is large enough to keep that wax from flowing over and getting on your counter or furniture surface. 

Storage and organization: If you need a place to keep candles for an extended period of time, consider a closet inside your home instead of the attic, garage or basement. Candles should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and indoor lighting. Extreme heat can warp them, extreme cold can crack them.  Sunlight and house hold lights can cause fading and discoloration.

The Container Store, Target and the dollar stores have a pretty big selection of plastic and wicker bins to organize all your household and holiday candles. 

Also...just as an added note, don't place your candles in the freezer.  I'm not sure how this trend even started, but it's a pretty bad one.  Candles are an oil based product and a freezer contains moister.  You don't want moister in your wick or on your wax to sputter and spew, plus glass containers can crack when taken from an extreme cold environment to a hot one, and guess what?  wax can do the same thing.  So put them up in a closet or in a spare room...or under your desk or in a cabinet.

Removing wax from walls:  Its so easy!  A blowdryer and a wet wash cloth are all you need.  I've been getting this question more and more often of late and I direct everyone to this Youtube video.  I've had to use this myself and it works like a perfect little charm, even on my deep textured walls!  But.....If you have white walls...guilty...and say a candle rich with dye was spattered on your walls....and you maybe waited a bit to long to clean it up...guilty....then be prepared to have a bit of staining.  ALSO, you need to be very diligent when removing the wax before you paint the wall.  Pealing may occur.   Removing candle wax from carpet apparently can be achieved using this same method, but I don't have carpet in my studio so I've never had to try and remove it. 

If you know of any other methods of removing wax, please share!  I'd love to know how others have tackled this too.

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