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Beeswax Candle Burning Tips

Beeswax candles are a thing of natural beauty. Burning beeswax candles is often more an art than science. People tend to burn their candles in different manners and environments. There is no wrong way to burn beeswax candles, as long as it's done safely and with some common sense.

General Safety and Burning Tips for Beeswax Candles

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Keep candles away from children and pets.
  • Keep candles away from flammable materials or overly crowded settings.
  • Remove paper label from candle before burning.
  • Burn candles only in a draft-free environment away from fans, open windows, air ducts, etc. This will help to prevent any dripping or smoking.
  • Light the wick from the base of the wick, where the wick comes out of the candle, to allow the beeswax to absorb into the wick. A lighter works best.
  • Keep the wick trimmed to 1/4" (with the exception of tapers, see more in Taper tips below).

 See our Beeswax Candle Safety article for more safety tips.

Goto burning tips for:
Pillars  |  3-Wick Pillars  |  Votives  |  Tea Lights  |  Tapers  |  Honeycomb  |  Tins

Pillar Burning Tips

Beeswax Pillar Candle

Use a Pillar Plate

Pillars may be burned free standing on a level and solid heat resistance surface. However, we recommend using a pillar plate or pillar holder when burning solid and honeycomb beeswax pillar candles to keep your surfaces free of any accidentally spilled wax or problems due to the heat of the candle.


Burn Pillars for Extended Periods of Time

Burn pillars roughly 1 hour per inch in diameter (e.g. 3" pillar should be burned for at least 3 hours per session.) Burning for extend time ensures that the wick burns the candle evenly out to the edge. This also helps to avoid tunneling and relighting issues.


Hug Your Beeswax Candles

Occasionally it is necessary to gently press the edges of the candle towards the center of the candle to ensure that all of the beeswax burns properly. Do this carefully as your candle is burning or immediately after extinguishing it.


Tunneling - Friend or Foe

Tunneling is both desirable and undesirable, depending on your preference. We've designed our beeswax pillar candles to burn as efficiently as possible without tunneling and very little physical management on your part. To avoid tunneling, simply hug your candles on occasion while burning (see note on hugging your beeswax candle).

A tunneled beeswax candle has a beautiful glow to it, where the flame glows through the thin outer wall of beeswax while burning. We don't recommend it, but if you want your candle to tunnel, simply avoid hugging your candles, though the pillar walls may become weak and hug on their own. Please be aware lighting the wick may become difficult if the pillars walls become too high.


Keep the Wick Trimmed to 1/4"

It's important to trim the wick during or immediately after burning your candle. The wick itself becomes potentially fragile when cooled due to the amount of beeswax still remaining in the wick. Trimming a cold wick may break the wick off, making relighting it difficult.


Properly Extinguish a Beeswax Pillar Candle

The easy and smoke free way to extinguish pillar candles is to gently push the wick into the wax pool until the candle is extinguished and then pull the wick straight. Our candle multi-tool works great for this. Alternatively, you can use a candle snuffer to extinguish the candle flame, though often times the snuffer will dip into the wax pool and make a mess of your snuffer. Avoid handling the wick after it is cooled as it may break.


Fix Too-Thin Pillar Walls

If your pillar does drip or melt through its side, generally due to too large of a flame, extinguish the candle and let it harden before relighting it. Avoid moving the pillar while the beeswax is cooling.


Fix Too-Thick Pillar Walls

If your pillar develops a thick wall, generally due to not burning long enough each burning session, carefully cut the wall down to the level of the wax pool inside. This must be done when the wax pool is hardened. We recommend using a heated craft knife found at most hobby stores. Caution is advised.


How To Relight a Beeswax Pillar

The best way to relight your beeswax pillar candle is to hold the flame to the base of the wick for 5 to 10 seconds (a lighter works best). This will ensure all of the hardened beeswax in the wick is melted. This allows the wick to now pull newly melted beeswax from the candle and burn properly.


The Wick Won't Stay Lit

If your pillar doesn't stay lit it could be one of two main causes. First, it may be that the flame you're using to light the wick isn't large enough. Because the wick for a beeswax candle is thicker than most other candles a large flame is needed to melt the wax in and directly around the base of the wick in order to get the wax flow started.

The other possible problem could be that the wick has gotten too short. In this case the solution is to expose fresh wick by melting the wax around the wick and pouring it off, or warming the wick and gently digging wax out from around the wick. Once fresh wick is exposed be sure to burn the candle for an hour per inch in diameter to get it back in balance.

3-Wick Pillar Burning Tips    

3-Wick Beeswax Pillar Candle

Use Above Pillar Burning Yips

You can use the Pillar Burning Tips listed above with your 3-Wick pillar (with special note about burning time per session listed below).


Burn Pillars for Extended Periods of Time

Our three wick pillar beeswax candles are definitely very large and will require long burn periods. We recommend burning them for at least 10 hours per session. This will the give the three wicks enough time to melt the surrounding beeswax and fully utilize the candle. Burning for periods less than the recommended time will result in tunneling.


Wax Will Remain

Our three wick pillar beeswax candles will have some remaining unused beeswax after the wicks have been fully burned. This is normal.

Votive Burning Tips    

Beeswax Votive Candle

Use a Votive Holder

Votive candles need to be burned in a properly sized votive holder. A votive candle is unable to contain it's own wax pool when burning. The sides of the votive holder are used to contain the beeswax as it burns. Ensure your votive holder is as close fitting to the votive as possible. Most standard votive holders sold in the US today will work fine (inside diameter roughly 1 7/8" to 2"). If your votive holder is too large (i.e. a total gap larger than 1/2") the votive will not be contained properly as it burns and may result in the votive sides leaking and spilling down to the bottom of the votive holder.


Prepare Your Votive Holder

Placing a small amount of water (about a teaspoon) in the bottom of the votive holder will make it easy to remove any remaining beeswax once the candle has burned out and cooled. Place the votive holder on a level heat resistant surface.


Burn Votives for Extended Periods of Time

Burn votives for 1 hour or more per session, long enough so the wax melts out to the side of the votive holder. Ideally a beeswax votive candle will burn best if left to burn entirely during one session, though often times this is not feasible.

If the votive candle has less than 1/2" remaining let it burn out completely as you will not be able to relight it if you extinguish it.


Keep the Wick Trimmed to 1/4"

It's important to trim the wick during or immediately after burning your candle. The wick itself becomes potentially fragile when cooled due to the amount of beeswax still remaining in the wick. Trimming a cold wick may break the wick off, making relighting it difficult.


Properly Extinguish a Beeswax Votive Candle

The easy and smoke free way to extinguish votive candles is to gently push the wick into the wax pool until the candle is extinguished and then pull the wick straight. Avoid handling the wick after it is cooled as it may break.


Keeping the Wick Lit

If your votive wick has gotten too short try to expose fresh wick by melting the wax around the wick and pouring it off, or warming the wax and gently digging wax out from around the wick. Once fresh wick is exposed be sure to burn the candle for an hour or more to get the candle back in balance.

Tea Light Burning Tips    

Beeswax Tea Light Candle

Burn Tea Light Candles in Their Cups

We also recommend putting the tea light cups inside a tea light holder. Regardless if the tea lights cups are in a holder or not, they must be burned on a level and heat resistance surface because the cups become hot when burned.


Burn Tea Light Candles in One Session

Burn tea lights for 1 hour or more per session, long enough so the wax melts out to the side of the tea light cup. Ideally a beeswax tea light candle will burn best if left to burn entirely during one session; this will help achieve it's maximum burn time.

If the tea light candle has already used up more than half of it's wax, let it burn out completely as you will not be able to relight it if you extinguish it.


Keep the Wick Trimmed to 1/4"

It's important to trim the wick during or immediately after burning your candle. The wick itself becomes potentially fragile when cooled due to the amount of beeswax still remaining in the wick. Trimming a cold wick may break the wick off, making relighting it difficult.


Properly Extinguish a Beeswax Tea Light Candle

The easy and smoke free way to extinguish tea light candles is to gently push the wick into the wax pool until the candle is extinguished and then pull the wick straight. Avoid handling the wick after it is cooled as it may break.


Keeping the Wick Lit

If your tea light wick has gotten too short try to expose fresh wick by melting the wax around the wick and pouring it off, or warming the wax and gently digging wax out from around the wick. Once fresh wick is exposed be sure to burn the candle for an hour or more to get the candle back in balance.

Taper Burning Tips    

Beeswax Taper Candle

Use a Taper Holder

Tapers should always be securely placed in a taper holder when burning.


Draft Free

For a dripless taper, burn in a draft free environment.


Drip Free Wick Maintenance

Before lighting the first time trim the wick to 1/4". Before relighting you may trim the very tip of the wick to remove any particles gathered in the wick. The wick generally trims itself as it burns. Trimming the wick too short may cause the candle to drip (it burns and melts the delicate side wall which contain the wax pool).


Properly Extinguish a Beeswax Taper Candle

Use a candle snuffer to extinguish the candle flame mess free. This also ensures the burning wick doesn't touch the sides, which could weaken the side wall causing it to drip later. Avoid handling the wick after it is cooled as it may break.


Keep Tapers Vertical

Tapers must be perfectly vertical in their taper holder; if they lean to the side they will drip.

Honeycomb Taper Burning Tips    

Honeycomb Beeswax Taper Candle

Use Above Taper Burning Tips

You can use the Taper Burning Tips listed above with your honeycomb tapers (with note about special care needed listed below).


Honeycomb Tapers Need Special Care

Extra care is needed when burning honeycomb tapers as their thin honeycomb design is fragile and can make it difficult for the tapers to hold their wax pool. Honeycomb tapers are more susceptible than solid tapers to drips caused by air movement around the flame and must be used in a draft free environment to remain dripless.

Travel Tin Burning Tips    

Travel Tin Candle

Use General Burning Tips

You can use the General Safety and Burning Tips listed above. Keep the wick trimmed to 1/4". Our 6oz tins need a minimum burn time of 3 hours per session. Our 2oz tins need a minimum burn time of 1 hour per session.


Wax Will Remain

The container may have some remaining unused beeswax after the wick has been fully burned. This is normal.