Getting The Most Bang For Your Candle Buck

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Candles are my favorite way to add fragrance to my home.

You may remember my confession?  I was still burning a Fresh Balsam Scented Candle well after Christmas!  That's one of my favorite scents and I am still burning the same candle...

There are a few things I do to get the most bang for my candle buck, and I wanted to share them with you. 

~ Before lighting a candle for the first time, the wick is trimmed and the cutting discarded.  A long wick causes the candle to burn faster which decreases the life of the candle.

~ Before relighting a candle, the wick is trimmed and the cutting discarded. Well, I trim the wick unless adding more wax to the candle, which I'll talk about in a bit.

~  After lighting a candle I leave it lit, so there will be enough time for the entire top surface to melt from side to side, which can take an hour or several hours depending on the size of the candle.  I've learned the hard way that blowing out the candle prior to the entire top surface melting causes tunneling.  Most waxes have memory, and once a tunnel has begun the candle will more than likely never achieve a full burn.

This candle has a full melt, a long wick, and it is time to extinguish it...

~ Once the candle surface has come to a full melt and the wick is getting long, I go ahead and extinguish the candle. The reason is, at full melt the high fragrance candle has already filled the room with as much fragrance as possible within this burn, and it's now burning hotter, and faster, so the candle burn time is decreasing.  To get the most burn time from the candle, extinguish it.

In time the fragrance will dissipate and when more fragrance is desired relight the candle, but only after the previous melt has completely cooled.  By doing this the candle will last so much longer and that is the goal here, to get the most bang for my candle buck by increasing the burn time.

If I am having company over, or just want a candle burning for a longer period, another is kept close by so when one is extinguished, another can be lit.

~ To extinguish the candle, I use a candle dipper.  Have you ever noticed after blowing out your candle how bad the black soot smoke looks and smells? (Say that three times fast!)  Dipping the wick into the wax will extinguish the flame and keep that smelly smoke from filling the air.  It also allows the wick to be re-coated with wax for the next lighting.

Another way to get a longer candle burn time is to add more wax...

A long wick causes the candle to burn hotter and faster, which is why wicks should be trimmed.
Rather than extinguishing the candle and trimming the wick before the next use, I will often add more wax to the candle which increases the candle burn time.

This is where the added wax comes from... 
Once jar candles have burn down to the point they can no longer be used 
there is usually a good bit of scented wax still left in the bottom of the jar, so I hold on to the wax and save it!
I cover the jar if it came with a lid and store it.  Later, when a candle I am using burns to a full melt and the wick is getting long like the one above, I add a bit of the saved wax to the melted wax.

Here's how...
This saved jar of wax happens to be the same fragrance as the candle above, but it has burned too low to be used again, so using a kitchen spoon (something that won't melt) I scoop up some of the leftover wax...

Moving the spoon over to the lit candle, I keep it close to the side of the jar so I'm not close to the flame and so the wax won't land on top of the flame.  Using another spoon or the tip of my finger, I slide the scoop of wax out of the spoon and into the hot wax below.  Maybe 2 or 3 scoops will be added, it depends on the length of the wick.  

You can see in the picture below the added wax is being melted by the hot wax.
Each added scoop of wax causes the melted wax to rise up the sides of the wick so the wick is becoming shorter and is no longer requiring a trim, which makes for a longer candle burn time.

Another way to use saved candle wax is by using a simmering pot...

By saving the fragrant candle wax there is no need to purchase any for simmering pots and it doesn't matter which type of warmer is used.  This one is a tea light warmer and just placing a scoop or two on the simmering pot fills the room with fragrance.  A great way to save a little money and it works like a charm!

Sometimes I mix fragrances, if the saved candle wax happens to be a different fragrance than the candle that's currently burning, or it will be used in a simmering pot.

I enjoy taking these steps to get the biggest bang for my candle buck, and hope you've found this helpful.
Have any candle tips you can share, please do...

Oh yeah, here's what you can do with all those candle jars once the wax is gone...It's A Keeper!

A disclaimer:  I am not a candle expert.  These are not the "rules and safety measures" to take when burning a candle.  I am sharing what I do to get the most candle burn time from my candles and how I save wax to increase candle burning time, however you should always use your best judgement when burning your candles. 

Join us each week for AMAZE ME MONDAY!


  1. Hi Cindy and I love candles too but am learning many new things from you today. Thanks for all of these tips. I sure didn't know dipping the wick to put out the candle would work against that old smoke and the smell. Thanks.
    Be a sweetie,

  2. I give you an A+. I use to have my own candle making business years ago and you are doing everything right. I can suggest two more things. When the wax gets real close to the bottom of the jar you can do two other things. Put the jar in a pan and set it in the oven on very low heat until the wax melts and you can than pour it into something else. The jar will be hot so use a pad when pouring it out. Another is depending on the jar or votive holder you can put it in the freezer til it gets cold and than just pop out the wax.

  3. Thanks for the seen great tips! I love candles and like to keep the ones I like best as long as possible. Thanks!



  4. Thanks for the great info! Where can I get these tools?

  5. Cindy,

    This is a wonderful post. I do everything except dip the wick in the wax when I'm ready to extinguish the candle. Wonderful tips on recovering wax! I love to use scented candles (year round) for ambiance. Enjoy your weekend! xxleslie

  6. Thanks for sharing these great tips. I never think to trim the wick and now I know to do so to prevent tunneling.

  7. Now those are clever tricks. NEVER thought of adding more wax. So many candles I love but burn too quickly. Thanks for sharing Cindy. Have a wonderful Sunday. Sun is finally shining for us!

  8. These are some great tips, Cindy! I do most of these, except I use a candle warmer to get the last of the wax in the bottom of jarred candles. That works amazingly well.

  9. Great Tips Cindy. I love the great smells of candles and these tips are great to help make them last longer. Have a great Sunday.

  10. thank you for the great info. I burn candles all the time, and didn't know some of these tips, like dipping the wick into wax to extinguish it or how to save leftover wax. I'm guilty of burning candles for hours -- that is a great tip about having two of the same scent and alternating.

  11. Found this on Amaze me Monday. I pinned it!

  12. This is a very helpful post, Cindy, and I will use these tips you've shared with us. We love to burn soy candles (with fragrances) around here.

  13. Awesome tips! I didn't know about adding more wax! Thanks for tips Cindy! xoxo Jen

  14. Great tip about adding left over wax to the candle that is burning. Someone told me some time ago to put them in the freezer and I do and have for years. They do seem to last longer than when they are kept in the open. Try it and see what you think. As always, thanks for sharing.

  15. These are great tips. Thanks!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  16. I just spent a couple of days making soy wax candles...thanks for the tips to make them last longer!


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