Achieve An Optimal Burn For Your Beeswax Pillar Candle

How To Evenly Burn Your Beeswax Pillar Candle

A Beeswax Pillar Candle Burning Evenly

Help Your Pillar Candle Burn Its Longest

Burning a beeswax pillar candle is one of our favorite ways to bring light into the evenings. Dimming other lights in the room and gathering near a flickering flame really helps us to slow down and enjoy the present moment. There are a few things you can do to achieve an optimal burn for your beeswax pillar candle.

What is a Pillar Candle?

A pillar candle typically refers to a candle molded as a cylinder, but with no glass or tin container. It is designed to prevent the wax from spilling off the side of the candle (though this sometimes can happen, see below). We love beeswax pillar candles because of their elegant simplicity, and the glorious flame that fills the room.

What You Can Do to Achieve an Optimal Burn for Your Beeswax Pillar Candle

Here are our top tips for helping your beeswax pillar candle burn evenly and consume as much wax as possible.

1. Leave the Candle Lit for Several Hours.

A common problem that can develop when burning a pillar candles is that the wick starts to get lost in a tunnel of wax that gets deeper and deeper each time you light it. Sometimes, the tunnel can become so deep that the candle is difficult to relight at all! Worst of all, this wastes precious beeswax that cannot be utilized by the flame.

The best way to avoid this issue is to leave the candle lit for several hours. The wider the candle, the longer you should leave it lit. A general rule of thumb is to let it burn until the melted wax pool reaches les than a centimeter from the edge (for a candle with a 3 inch diameter, this would be 2-3 hours).

2. Trim the Wick Regularly

One essential component of a candle is its wick. If the flow of wax through the wick into the flame is obstructed, the candle will not burn efficiently. If you notice that the flame is dramatically flickering and sputtering, it’s best to shorten it and remove the “mushroomed” tip.

The easiest way to do this is with a wick trimmer, but a regular pair of scissors works, too. You do not have to extinguish the candle before trimming it. The ideal wick length is 1/4 inch or just over half a centimeter. Take care not to go too far! A stubby wick may cause the flame to drown in wax.

Using a wick trimmer to maintain a beeswax pillar candle

3. Mold the Edges Of the Candle Towards the Flame

One of our favorite ways to ensure optimal burn for our beeswax pillar candle is to mold in the soft sides towards the flame. If you see walls of wax forming around the candle as the wax pool deepens, gently press those sides in toward the center of the candle. The heat of the flame will more easily reach that wax and melt it down into the wax pool. Along with tip #1, this can keep the wick from tunneling.

Hugging the sides of a beeswax pillar candle
Hugging the sides of a honeycomb beeswax pillar candle

4. Burn Your Beeswax Pillar Candle on a Level Surface

This one may be self-explanatory. Burning a candle at an angle causes the wax pool to sit unevenly, favoring one side of the candle more than the other. This often causes the wax to break through that side of the candle first, spilling wax down the side and onto the surface below. We have an old mantlepiece in our home that tilts forward a bit and we always have to prop up one end of our candle when we put it there!

5. Turn Off Fans and Reduce Air Flow in the Room

This one is most important when burning beeswax taper candles, because drafts make the flame flicker and drip wax. It makes a difference on pillar candles, too. A constantly flickering flame produces an uneven burn.

6. Nudge Wick to Center if it Favors One Side

Sometimes a wick will favor one side of the candle and lean dramatically in that direction. This can leave a wall of wax on one side of the candle which you can mold towards the flame as mentioned above. Additionally, nudge the wick back to center by pushing it from beneath the molten wax. You can get a fancy tool for this, or simply use a nail or unbent paper clip.

7. To Achieve an Optimal Burn, Dip Wick into the Wax Pool to Extinguish

To avoid a smoldering wick, dunk the wick into the molten wax and then back out, instead of blowing it out.

Nudging a wick to center on a beeswax pillar candle

8. Choose Your Candle Maker Wisely

Not all candles are created equal. The quality of beeswax and the selection of a wick for each candle size can make or break a candle’s performance.

For instance, we bought a pillar candle from the store, and the wick was so thin that the flame was not able to consume enough wax. By the time the candle had burned for five hours it had formed a deep tunnel instead of spreading to the edge of the candle. Additionally, if the beeswax is not taken from the cappings of the honeycomb (learn more about this here), the dirty wax will clog the capillary action of the wick. The wick will clog and the candle’s life will be significantly reduced. We experimented making candles with some brood comb dark wax, and the flame struggled the whole time and was lost in a tunnel of wax.

Here at Blue Ridge Beeswax, we take great care when selecting wax and wicks for our candles. If your candle from us doesn’t perform well after following the recommendations above, please let us know and we will make things right.

One Last Piece of Advice

Don’t forget to fully enjoy the flame of your candle! Turn off the other lights in the room and sit in the golden glow of the beeswax. Nothing compares with the sweet simplicity and subtle honey scent of a smooth beeswax pillar candle.

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1 thought on “Achieve An Optimal Burn For Your Beeswax Pillar Candle”

  1. What a fantastic guide on achieving the perfect burn with beeswax pillar candles! As a beeswax candle enthusiast, I appreciate the attention to detail and practical tips shared in this article. From wick trimming to proper placement, these insights ensure a clean and long-lasting burn. Can’t wait to apply these techniques to enhance my candle experience. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

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