Candle Care 101

The Science of Candle Care: Understanding the Importance of Wick Trimming and Candle Storage

Candles have long been a symbol of relaxation, ambiance, and comfort. But did you know that there is a science behind candle care that goes beyond simply lighting and enjoying their warm glow? In this blog post coming to you from California candle company Scented Designs, we'll delve into the importance of trimming the wick + candle storage.

From understanding the benefits of keeping your wicks trimmed to learning how to properly store your candles, we'll explore the secrets behind prolonging the life and enhancing the performance of your favorite scented companions.

So, whether you're a candle enthusiast looking to elevate your candle game or someone who simply wants to make the most out of their candles, this easy guide will give you the tips you need to maximize your candle experience.

Hint: Our tips on candle storage are also great for retailers who buy wholesale candles for resale!

Get ready to light up your space and discover some of the science behind candle care!

candle care 101

Why Trimming Your Candle Wick is Important

Have you ever noticed your candle producing excessive soot, a large flame, or even tunneling down around the wick? These are all common signs that your wick may need to be trimmed. Trimming the wick is crucial for maintaining an optimal burn and preventing these common candle problems.

When a wick is too long, it can create a larger flame, leading to uneven burning and excessive soot. This soot not only can make your candle look dirty, but it also can impact the air quality in your home. Yuck! 

On top of that, a long wick can cause the wax in your candle to melt too quickly, which can lead to the dreaded tunneling. And even if you don't know the term for it, you've probably seen it: Tunneling is what happens when the wax around the wick doesn't melt, leaving a hole down the center of the candle. Super frustrating, we know! 

By regularly trimming your candle wick, you can prevent some of these issues and ensure a cleaner, more even burn. Trimming the wick to the correct length allows for a controlled flame, maximizing the fragrance throw, and prolonging the lifespan of your candle. But how do you properly trim a candle wick you ask? Let's find out.

do you need to trim a candle wick?
How to Properly Trim a Candle Wick

Trimming a candle wick is a simple yet essential step in candle care. To trim your wick correctly, follow these 4 easy steps:

1. Wait for the wax to solidify: Before trimming the wick, make sure the wax has fully solidified. Attempting to trim a wick in liquid or semi-liquid wax can lead to accidents or damage to the candle.

2. Use the right tools: The best tool for trimming a candle wick is a wick trimmer or a pair of sharp scissors (though the wick can be hard to reach with scissors once the candle has burned down into the container). These tools - especially a dedicated wick trimmer - allow you to trim the wick cleanly and precisely.

3. Trim to the appropriate length: The ideal wick length for most candles is around 1/4 inch (about 6mm). Use the trimmer or scissors to cut the wick to this length, ensuring a clean and straight cut.

4. Remove the trimmed wick: After trimming the wick, carefully remove the trimmed portion from the candle. This prevents any loose wick debris from falling into the wax and affecting the burn. Another win for the wick trimmer, which catches the trimmed portion for you. 

trimming a candle wick with a wick trimmer

By following these 4 simple steps, you can maintain a well-trimmed wick and enjoy a cleaner, more efficient burn from all your favorite candles, including all the amazing soy wax candles from Scented Designs!

But keep in mind that trimming the wick is just one element of candle care. Proper storage is equally important for preserving the quality and longevity of your candles.

woman smelling scented candle


The Importance of Storing Your Candles Correctly

Storing your candles correctly is often overlooked but plays a significant role in maintaining their quality. Improper storage can lead to issues such as discoloration, a loss of fragrance, or even the deformation of the candle itself. To ensure your candles stay in pristine condition, it's helpful to know the factors that can affect their storage.

One of the primary factors to consider is temperature. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But candles are sensitive to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Exposure to high temperatures can cause the wax to melt or soften, leading to deformation or a change in texture.

When we first started our candle business, for instance, we would store extra inventory in our garage. We didn't think about the temperature and it got way too hot in there during the summer. When we went to pull the candles out for our first pop-up market in the fall, the wax in all the candles had expanded with the heat so that the wick was way too short to burn! So I guess we learned that lesson the hard way!

On the other hand, freezing temperatures can make the wax brittle and affect the overall quality of the candle. It's best to store your candles in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

white birch candle

How to Store Scented Candles

Another factor to consider is fragrance preservation. Since scented candles are some of the most popular candles to enjoy in your home, you should probably be aware that they can lose their scent if not stored properly. In fact, the scent molecules can evaporate or become diluted when exposed to air or other strong odors.

To maintain the fragrance of your candles, store them in lidded containers or resealable bags if you're not planning on using the candle for a long time between uses (e.g. holiday candles). This will help preserve the scent and prevent it from slowly disappearing over time.


And there you have it! A couple of sure-fire ways to get the most out of each and every scented candle you burn. 

For more great tips on candle care and all things candles, check out our candle blog. Here are a few posts you may be interested in for more info on your favorite scented concoctions: 

Top 5 Best-Selling Scents of 2023

5 Benefits of Soy Wax Candles

What Really Makes an EcoFriendly Candle

Are Soy Candles Toxic?

Can You Take Soy Candles on a Plane?

July 25, 2023 — Kate De Palma

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