Pillar candles – or candles that are not encased in any glass or container – can be very beautiful and make great candlescapes. They can also give off a pretty good scent throw and last a really, really long time if burned properly. Pillars seem especially popular during the Fall season – both for scent and for decor. Here we’ll share with you some candle tips on how to properly burn a pillar candle and get the most out of your wax goods.
Even though a pillar candle is designed to stand on its own, it is a good idea to have something underneath it to catch wax drippings or just in case it gets bumped while burning. Find a level place to place your candle(s), away from drafts, and place it on a decorative candle plate or tray.
Trim the wick
You’ll want to trim your wick for your pillar candle just as you would for a container jar. Trim that wick from 1/8-1/4″ long. The best tool for this is a wick trimmer, but I think we’ve all used a pair of scissors or such to trim a wick.
Burn, Baby, Burn
Once you’ve lit your candle, let it burn long enough to form a full wax melt pool across the top. A general rule of thumb is you want it to burn 1 hour for every inch in diameter. So if you have a 3″ diameter pillar, you’d want to let it burn for approximately 3 hours during that first burn to get a full wax melt pool. This will help your candle burn evenly for future burns and help deter the dreaded drowning wick.
Hug your pillar today
Pillar candles are designed to burn down from within leaving an outer shell. Part of the beauty of a pillar candle is how it glows as this process takes place. As the candle burns down within, you’ll notice the hard outer shell is not melting but it is softening. Gently fold over this wax wall toward the center of the candle toward your flame. You’ll want to push in and down with your thumbs while the wax is warm and soft. This is called “hugging” your candle, and it allows more of the wax to be used.
Sometimes you might notice that your pillar candle is burning unevenly. One easy trick to try is to rotate your candle 1/4 to 1/2 turn. The
candle could be burning unevenly because of a particular draft or unevenness of the surface you have it on. By rotating the candle, you just might help it right itself.
Know when to stop
I recommend you stop burning a pillar candle once only about 1″ of wax remains at the bottom. Since there is no container, there is just a greater chance of a huge mess.
Do you burn pillar candles? If so, what tips would you like to share?
Happy candle burning ~