Candle Knowledge

mtnrdredux_gwJuly 16, 2012

I am always suspicious of a bargain. My DH picked up some candles for me and I wasn't happy with their performance. I myself have noticed big differences in how candles burn. Which brands do you like and why?

I am using floating candles for my lantern centerpieces. I noticed that some of them burn unevenly which causes the wax to stream down the side and puddle in the water ... not at all the look I want.

Here they are before the mishap:

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I no longer use candles with flames but rather candles which have faux flames. I just decided that the risk of fire isn't worth it.

Here's the ones I buy. They are called Candle Impressions, made out of wax (some scented if that is your liking).

Here is a link that might be useful: Candle Impressions

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:47PM
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What a lovely idea - and what a mess! I feel your distress.

Air movement in the room is a big factor in how a candle burns. On a very cold or very hot evening, when the HVAC system is whooshing away, and we're having a dinner party, the candles do all kinds of peculiar things.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:52PM
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I can't help you with a source, but I wanted to tell you that I love the way your candles look in the lantern.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Soy candles in containers burn evenly. QVC has Valerie Parr Hill, who sells her soy candles exclusively with them. But I'm not sure if she sells sizes large enough for you.

The other way to get an even candle burn is to use a topper. A topper guarantees an even burn-down. Again though, the issue would be the large size of your jars (which are, btw, lovely). I think it's Yankee Candle that has a large selection of toppers. I would suggest using metal only.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Thanks, Sable, I will look into toppers. I did read about soy but not sure there are soy floaters..

Thanks, Fun, we had fun putting them together!

Thanks, Bronwyn. It was a pretty still night, and i made sure the candle wicks were below the top of the glass, to protect them. But I have had that happen indoors!

Lazy river -- considering these were floating in water, in a metal lantern, and used outside, i wasn't worried much about fire!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:12PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think uneven burning has to do with the wick/wax proportion. Wicks come in different diameters and they must be sized appropriately. That said, I have no recommended brands as I usually make my own plain candles and for scented I like Thymes (bitter orange and cedar all time fav)
Additives, too can effect a candles burn rate.

Usually, in candles, I tend to think you get what you pay for to an extent. I have been happy with Pier Ones pillar candles, however.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:20PM
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I'm not aware of any quality candle company ... Root, Thymes, Votivo, Nouvelle ... that makes floaters. For personal use I prefer candles in jars or votives. I also like using a candle warmer when I don't care to have a flame.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:35PM
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The length of the wick can be an issue - wicks should always be trimmed short, and trimmed again each time they are used.

Also, check the candle for the permissible burn time. Most good candles will have a recommended limit as to how many hours you can burn them at once. Often the limit on pillars is between 2 and 3 hours.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:37PM
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I think the problem is that the candles float too close to the top. If they were deeper in the decanter the top of the glass would protect the flames from any air movement, almost working as a topper. The one in the back in the picture doesn't seem to have any glass above at all (could just be the pic). Of course, you don't have much room to lower them because of the size of the shells. Can you cut the candles down so they can sit lower or buy shallower candles? The way you could prove my thoughts is to take the shells out, sit the candle in just water and let it burn. If it doesn't melt all over.... They really are wonderful.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Although it might look otherwise, they are all the same distance from the top. I put in the shells, a bit of water, plopped in the candle, and then I filled them all to the same line with water (i couldn't just measure the water because the shells were different). It is about 3/4" down from the top, and it meant that all of the wick was protected by glass. That said, may be the candle should be even lower down. I need an expert on air currents.

Les - these did not have a burn time (bad sign!). And, before my party, i lit all the candles, let them burn a bit, then trimmed back the wick. Who knew this could be so complex.

Natal - i think you are right. I have Diptyque for me, I use beeswax in my DR, but floaters? Hmm, may be a sign they are tacky!

Bumble, I agree about "getting what you pay for", even in something so humble as candles!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 7:02PM
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The reason your candles melted and ran down into the water...lovely look b y the way....simply because the top on the lantern trapped the heat and causes the wax to melt faster than it could burn.

I made candles as a hobby and am well acquainted with all the issues of wick size, wax type, additives, container and air currents that affect burning.

Frankly I don't care for "faux candles"....those without flame...might as well have a little flash light on the table LOL! But I do love battery operated twinkle lights....go figure.

I prefer candles that are tapers in candlestick holders....and sometimes those in hurricanes....not fond of "canning jar" candles and I don't want scented candles....well I do want one now and then when I have cooked something stinky.

I collect antique candle holders....and have lots around....and sometimes light them all. I pay attention, but don't worry too much about fire.

As for quality> Don't think you can beat Colonial Candles....but they are pricey! I often buy $ store, walmart, big lots...etc. As long as the flame is protected from the air currents ( as with hurricanes) they burn quite well....she says as she scrapes the green wax off of the table! LOL!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hurricane shades

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 7:48PM
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I love the pure beeswax candles from Bluecorn Naturals. I order online. Used them for years, very good service and beautiful, excellent candles.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Thanks, everyone.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 10:57AM
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