Candle maintenance: 5 tips for extending the life of your candles

March 17, 2016

Today isn’t only St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s my mother-in-law’s birthday! Anyone who knows my MIL, knows how much she loves candles. She is a candle connoisseur. If she had a blog, she would call it “The Candle Closet.” In fact, two closets in her home are entirely dedicated to candles!

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There are a few things my MIL preaches when it comes to candle maintenance, so I figured there was no better day than the day of her birth to share a few of her tips! So without further adieu — here are five tips for maintaining and extending the life of your candles, according to my mother-in-law.

Tip 1: Trim your wicks.
You know how most people tidy up their houses before their mother-in-laws visit? Well to prep for visits from my MIL, I trim my candle wicks! But truth be told, that isn’t nearly often enough. Wicks should be trimmed almost every time you light the candle.


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Tip 2: Dip your wicks.
Most people just blow their candles out, but dipping isn’t only safer, it also keeps your candles from smoking once they’re out.



Tip 3: Save the old wax.
Instead of tossing candles once the wicks get too short, my MIL cuts up the remaining wax and puts it in a small glass jar, which she later melts on either a candle melter or a coffee cup warmer. This gives you the most bang for your buck and really extends the life of the fragrance.

Tip 4: Save your candle containers.
Candles often come in some of the prettiest jars and dishes, and my MIL is great about saving those for future uses. To remove the wax, simply put the candle in the freezer for a few hours and then poke a toothpick along the sides to pop the wax out. This leaves you with a residue-free container that can be used for a variety of things!



Tip 5: Add a candle to the top shelf of a closet as an air-freshener.
Of course you shouldn’t light the candle — but in a space as small as a closet, an unlit candle will still freshen up the area, and you’ll get a nice whiff of the aroma every time you open the door.

Bonus tip from Mr. AG:
I’m sure I’m the only person who hadn’t already figured out this trick, but just in case there’s anyone else out there in my same boat, I’m sharing! We love the smell of a match, so we typically use matches to light our candles. The problem I run into is that some of our candles are either low or in narrow containers, and I get nervous about burning my fingers when I’m lighting them. Mr. AG recently taught me a trick that has been a real game-changer: Hold the match upright, and hold the candle upside down to light it. SERIOUSLY GUYS, my mind was blown!



Any other candle lovers out there with tips to share? I’d love to hear!

Wick Trimmer
Wick Dipper

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  • Reply Katelyn C. March 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Love this post as I too am a candle connoisseur!

    My biggest tip is to make sure every time you burn a candle keep it lit long enough for the wax to melt all the way across. If not, your candles get rings and burns down the middle. When I know I don’t have 3+ hours to burn a nice candle (Nest, Lafco, etc.) I light my Bath and Body Works candles. They’re made with a special vegetable wax so they’ll burn all the way across in 30 mins. or less. Such a great candle when you don’t have time to burn. 😉


    • Reply admin March 21, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Great tip, Kate! I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

  • Reply Tracey April 20, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I am a candle lover and I really enjoyed this post. (And the entire website is beautiful!) I am fascinated by your bottle of matchsticks. That is fabulous!

    • Reply Abby April 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks, Tracey!!

  • Reply Sarah Anderson July 8, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Tip number three is something that my mom does with her candles too. My dad got her a candle melter, and she just melts candle remains all together into another candle jar. After it’s about full, melt it once more and insert a wick.

  • Reply Sarah Smith August 17, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    I love candles and want to make them last. Thanks for the advice about how you should trim the wick every time you light it. I would also consider using old candle wax to make a new candle.

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