How to use candles safely
There is no source of light more soothing or more romantic than one given by a Bahoma candle. The soft glow from a Bahoma candle can lift any gloomy spirit and bring spiritual warmth as well as fill your senses with evocative fragrances. But it’s always important to remember that however beautiful or delicate a Bahoma candle looks, candlelight comes from a naked flame and therefore sensible precautions must be taken to enjoy your Bahoma candle to the fullest and to avoid any unnecessary problems.
At Bahoma we have made millions of candles since we have first started in 2007 and we are happy to share some important facts we have learnt about candle care along the way.
- Never pour water on a candle or the flame as water mixed with wax can cause the flames to grow larger. Instead, extinguish the flame by smothering it. We recommend using snuffers, however, a metal spoon can also work.
- Always trim your wick before lighting it so it is no longer than 4-6mm. Longer wicks create a brighter and larger flame, which can also produce more smoke and excess heat, leading to discoloration of walls or surfaces and the cracking of the candle container.
- Never attempt to move or touch burning candles. We have all seen historical period films where people walk around with lit candles, however, these days are long gone and we no longer need candlelight to see. The risk of moving a lit candle is too great when electric lighting does the job well enough, so don’t risk it!
- Never place a lit candle under a shelf as this might burn the surface and even start a fire. Therefore, always leave a distance of at least one metre between lit candles and any surface above them.
- Don’t place a candle near another heat source such as a radiator or other candles. This can cause the melting to be uneven and the wick to subside and slip. All lit candles should be placed at least 15cm apart.
- If you have children or pets, or are expecting guests with children or pets, extra care has to be taken to ensure that the candles are placed out of the reach. A little proactive action could save you a lot of trouble later.
- Blowing on a candle to put it out can be dangerous as it can cause the hot wax to splash on you or objects nearby.
- Always keep lit candles away from any draughts or moving air currents. Fast moving air can cause uneven burning as well as excess soot production. Draughts can also blow curtains or other flammable materials towards the candle flame which creates a risk of fire. Conversely, do not burn candles, especially more than one, in a non-ventilated room where air is not regularly refreshed.
- If you would prefer to have a small flame on your favourite Bahoma candle then try putting it in the fridge before lighting, the cooler the candle the smaller the flame with which it burns. This will also extend the lifetime of your candles from the stated minimum, however, remember that the fragrance strength will also weaken when the candle is cold.
- Always place lit candles on a heat resistant surface. Remember that the base of a candle can get hot, especially when it has been burning for a long time and the flame is low, which can cause damage to your furniture.
- Always clear any debris from the candle melt pool, such as used match heads or cut wick ends.
- Be extra careful if you use a lit candle as a light source during power failure because if any problems with the flame occur while the candle is lit, it will be harder to get it under control without adequate electric lighting. Using candles in this way is no longer recommended, it is better to use a battery powered torch.
- Always extinguish candles when leaving a room or going to sleep. Never burn a candle for more than 3 hours. Always extinguish any candle after 3 hours and allow the wax surface to harden before re-lighting. Make sure that a candle is completely extinguished and that the wick is not glowing before you leave the candle unattended. In some circumstances, it is possible for candles to re-light themselves when the wick is still hot, e.g. if a draught blows on it.
- It may be tempting to burn your favourite Bahoma candles all the way down but resist this temptation. Burning a candle all the way to the base can cause excess heat to be generated in the base of the candle and this can sometimes cause cracking as well as excess soot production. Extinguish the flame when it gets too close to the container or holder base. A good safety margin for candles is to leave about 7-10mm of wax at the base of a container candle and about 30-40mm of wax on a pillar or dinner candle.
- If the wick moves away from the centre of a candle while you burn it, then extinguish it and try to reposition it at the centre of the container. Be careful when you do this as the wax in the candle will be hot when it is in liquid form. The best way is the get some long scissors and put tape around each blade to stop it from cutting the wick, then to hold onto the wick with the scissors as tongs until you can place it in its original position.
Following these simple steps will help ensure that your candle burning experience is always safe and relaxing.