Candle Care 101: 5 Steps to Get the Perfect Burn, Every Time

Shortly after we introduced America to the reed diffuser, my sis and I added candles to the Alora collection, allowing fans to layer their favorite Alora scents with both our signature, “always-on” diffusers and our beautifully-scented and long-lasting candles.

While candles have been around for over 5,000 years and are the most popular way to scent your home, I still receive questions related to their use and care, so I put together a 5-step guide to ensure your Alora candle burns perfectly every time.

Reed diffuser and candle on shelf

Step 1: Choose the candle's wax type wisely.

If you’re worried at all about indoor air quality, soy wax with an essential oil-based fragrance will give you the cleanest burn. Alora candles are a blend of soy and a food-grade paraffin wax, which has a higher melting point. When you add paraffin to the mix, the candle has to burn hotter to melt, which leads to a longer, cleaner and more even burn allowing the fragrance to be as strong as possible. 

Step 2: Trim the wick!

To ensure your candle will burn more efficiently, trim the wick to 1/4-inch every time before burning. Trimming the wick will also prevent the wick from mushrooming, which happens when the candle’s wax doesn’t burn as quickly as the wick, leading to a buildup of carbon particles on the wick that may start to resemble a toadstool. Mushrooming can lead to excess soot in your vessel (which is never fun, especially when the jar is so pretty) and smoke in your home. FYI - if you do notice soot on the jar, it can be easily wiped away with a clean cloth.

A wick trimmer is a great tool for trimming the wick, as the flat tip provides a surface for the piece of old wick to sit on after clipping it. This prevents little soot specks from getting stuck in your candle; however, a regular scissors or a nail clipper will work too. 

Woman trimming candle wick

 Step 3: Make sure the candle burns long enough the first time.

To help your candle burn evenly and last as long as possible, light it for three to four hours the first time you burn it. Candle wax has sort of a "muscle memory" and will burn in the same pattern every time moving forward. Thus, lighting it for long enough the first time will ensure the candle wax pools evenly across the top of the candle, setting it up to do the same with each future burn.

If you don't do this, tunneling - where the wick burns straight down the candle center without burning the wax to the outside edge of the jar - can occur. And once your candle starts tunneling you lose all that peripheral wax surface area in future burns. Definitely something worth avoiding, so you can soak up all the scented goodness!

Woman lighting candle in living room

Step 4: Pay attention to future candle burn times.

After the first candle burn, do not burn your candle for longer than four to six hours at a time going forward. This will prevent your candle from overheating. If you let the whole candle get liquid, the wick can float to the side, and the candle will burn unevenly after that.

Step 5: Reuse the candle jar.

If you are like me and have a hard time getting rid of your pretty candle jars, you can remove any leftover wax and reuse the vessel. I find the easiest ways to get candle wax out of a jar is to freeze it. Just place the container in your freezer overnight or until it's completely frozen, then use a butter knife to loosen the edges or create a crack through the middle. It should dislodge in one or two pieces and pop right out. A little warm soapy water will get any last bits of wax, and then you can reuse the jars however you'd like!
I hope these candle care tips are helpful! If you have a candle care-related question that I didn't cover, please leave a comment below or email me at I'm always happy to help and love the chance to connect with my customers!

Therese's handwritten signature

1 comment

  • Judy Sills

    Great information for my new candles from you. I love them!

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