Candle Burning Tips – Direct Pour

Welcome to our Candle Burning Tips!

Over the past decade, our tireless testing and careful craftsmanship have led us to produce a nearly perfect candle. Superbly scented, clean burning, free of cheap, toxic ingredients. But, in the end, candle making is a matter of predictability and control. We’ve created a soy candle that is easy to predict, and this page exists to give you the knowledge needed to control it’s performance.

Quick Tips:

  • Let your candle burn until the melt pool reaches the edges of the jar, usually 1-2 hours
  • Trim wick in between burns
    • No need for a trimmer – just let it cool completely, then break off the excess with your finger.
  • Avoid drafty areas, such as near AC vents or fans

For more detailed candle burning tips, continue reading.

Wick Management:

The most common problems with candles arise from improper wick management. Always trim your wick! If your candle has too small of a melt pool (tunneling), too deep of a melt pool, too big of a flame, too small of a flame, excess smoke and soot, or nasty buildup on the wick (mushrooming), you most likely have a wick-related problem on your hands. These issues can be caused by two factors: improper trimming of the candle when burning, or incorrect wick size when the candle was made. If you purchased a candle from another company, and you are experiencing any of the problems listed above, we have a simple solution: clean it out, recycle the cheap foreign-made jar, and buy a Direct Pour candle. Then keep reading…

We use a braided cotton and paper wick of superior quality, and we meticulously test to ensure each of our candles is properly wicked. This makes our candles resistant to many of the common candle burning issues. However, because candles rely on combustion, and combustion can be affected by many factors, even well-made candles may experience unexpected results.


Mushrooming is a term used to describe carbon buildup on the tip of a wick. It is caused by the wick absorbing more fuel (wax) than it burns off. It’s kinda like eating more food than your body can metabolize. Over time, you will start to expand in certain areas. Science can be mean sometimes.

candle burning tips wick mushrooming carbon buildup

If you’ve ever burned cheap paraffin blend candles, like the big name clones lining the aisles of every supermarket, you’ve probably seen grotesque build-up on the end of your wick. Left unattended, big mushrooms can cause unwanted smoke or soot. They can also inhibit the flame from reaching optimal size and shape. The cheaper the ingredients, the larger and more frequent the mushrooms will be. However, even candles with superior standards (like this one), can have some mild carbon build-up.

The good news is that controlling wick mushrooming is easy. If your wick mushrooms, simply put it out, let it cool, and trim off the carbon build-up. We recommend trimming the wick to around 1/4 of an inch, then adjusting according to your specific circumstance.

Melt Pool:

The melt pool is the portion of wax that is liquid while the candle is lit. Because the flame puts out a radial area of heat, the melt pool is always circular (which is why square candles are stupid). The size of this melt pool is dictated by the size of the flame. The size of the flame is dictated by several things, including the size of the wick, the type of wax being burned, the length of time the candle has been burning, as well as several environmental factors (room temperature, elevation, humidity, the amount you stick your fingers in it, etc).

When you buy a candle, the wax and wick type have been determined for you. The environmental factors, for the most part, are also out of your control. The only factors you can consistently control are the length of time you burn your candle and the way the wick is trimmed between burns. And here comes another photo…

candle burning tips wax left behind

This is what happens when the melt pool of a candle doesn’t reach the edge of a jar. Generally, it takes our candles at least an hour to reach an edge-to-edge melt pool, but this can vary depending on the several factors we just discussed. The first time you light it, we highly suggest letting it burn for a full 2 hours, or however long it takes to obtain an edge-to-edge melt pool. The initial burn often dictates the way the candle will behave, so getting a good melt in the beginning is important. If you find your candle is leaving wax behind, try letting it burn longer. If you absolutely must burn in short intervals, we recommend minimally trimming the wick. Remove any carbon mushrooms, but leave the wick longer than 1/4 inch. This will produce a larger flame and will result in a faster edge-to-edge melt pool.

Tall Containers:

Taller containers, like our 32oz hand-painted jars, will build up more heat as they wax level drops lower into the jar. In the beginning, most of the heat escapes out of the top of the container. However, as the wax level drops, so does the placement of the flame. The lower into the jar the flame sits, the more heat will build up inside the container. You may notice that you get a faster melt pool at that point, and you should always be cautious of temperature of the container. If it gets too hot, simply blow it out, let it cool, trim the wick and relight.

If you have read this whole page of candle burning tips, and still have questions or concerns, feel free to shoot us an email at