November 01, 2020

Let's Talk Candles 03 | Tools

By Nika Fredericks

In this post, we'll be discussing tools you can use to make your candle experience better and safer. Specifically, we'll be talking about wick trimmers, wick dippers, and candle snuffers. 


Wick Trimmers | Available Here

Depending on your wick type, your candle wick should always maintain a certain length. For cotton wick candles, you want to stay between 1/4 to 1/2 inch, and for wooden wicks, 1/8 to 3/16 inch. Now, while this may initially be achievable by other means, such as scissors and nail clippers, the task becomes increasingly more difficult as you burn your candle. Which is why wick trimmers present the most useful solution. The overall length and angle of the blade allow you to trim even the lowest of candles. 

Still, that doesn't provide clarity as to why trimming is even necessary. The main reason, as with all of these tools, is safety. When your wick is left untrimmed, it presents the opportunity for your wick to burn too hot and produce a larger flame. This combination creates a fire hazard and may lead to a shattered candle or worse. Even if you don't invest in wick trimmers, please be sure you're trimming your candles before each burn. I'll be listing alternatives below. 

On a less dangerous note, a wick that burns too hot can also impact the strength of fragrance and reduce your overall burn time. Trimming your wick means getting the most out of your purchase and enjoying your candle as long as possible. 

Lastly, wicks that are left untrimmed tend to accumulate debris (or "mushroom"). If you've ever seen a cotton wick candle that seems to expand at the top (like a mushroom), then you know exactly what I'm talking about. And chances are if you lit that candle without trimming, it gave off thick black soot initially. Trimming will help with avoiding the soot and smoke when relighting your candles. 

My favorite part about wick trimmers is that they're genuinely convenient. Simply lean the trimmer against the side of your candle and cut leveled to the wax. If your candle has burned lower, it may help to lean trimmer against the side of the candle jar. Lower the wick until the blades meet the wick and you're approximately ¼ - ½ inch above the wax.The length and angle make trimming a breeze and the design allows for you to collect the burned wick at the same time. We want to make sure our candles are always clear of any debris. 

NOTE: Your wick may naturally break following a burn, if the wick is the appropriate length, there's no need to trim. 

‣ Use the wick trimmer to not only cut your wick but to collect the burned wick as well. 

‣ Never attempt to trim a lit candle. Trim before a burn rather than immediately after. 

‣ Be sure to remove wick trimmings and other debris from candle before lighting. 

‣ Alternatives: scissors, nail clippers, fingers (pinch when completely cooled)

Candle Snuffers | Available Here

The perfect tool to extinguish candles of all shapes and sizes, you can use candle snuffers for pillar, taper, votive, and container candles. I recommend getting one with a swivel head (or "bell") so that you're able to extinguish from any angle. 

These are useful for ensuring maximum safety by removing the need to blow on hot wax. Better yet, using a snuffer will reduce the amount of smoke that would typically result from blowing out your candle. 

If you invest in a snuffer, be sure to use it anytime you're extinguishing a candle. Just place the head over the flame and wait until you see a small tuft of smoke indicating the flame is gone. 

‣ The candle snuffer should never make contact with the wax. 

‣ Do not touch the "bell" immediately afterward, as it may still carry heat from the flame. 

Wick Dippers | Coming Soon

Another tool for extinguishing candles, wick dippers are best suited for container candles. This nifty tool allows you to safely extinguish a lit candle by placing the lit wick into the wax.

A dipper not only provides another way to avoid blowing on hot wax, but this option is entirely smoke-free! We're excited to be offering these as a candle tool soon.