How to Make a Candle Last Longer

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Did You Know You Can Make A Candle Last Longer?

Learn how to make candle a last longer with these five tips and a printable candle burn time chart for 14 candle sizes!

Anyone who follows my Instagram feed won’t be surprised to hear that I realized I’d become a bit of a candle connoisseur. Many of my close friends refer to me as the Candle Making Guru. What is it about candles that I love the most? Candles are equivalent to perfume as the last touch to make a personalized, complete, and welcoming space. 

But, it’s not just the scent that intrigues me. It’s the size, shape, style, and ambiance only a candle can create that captivates me. Votives, tea lights, wax melts, tapers, you name it – we have some type of candle in every room of our home. 

With so much a candle has going for it, many of us never give candle burn time much thought. But, if you want to make a candle last longer, there are a few things you should consider before purchasing or making a candle. Let’s start with the average burn time for six candle types, where I’ve included a printable candle burn time chart for 14 candle sizes. Then look to five essential tips to make a candle last longer, including how to make a candle burn evenly. 

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How do you make a candle last longer?

Related To: How Much Wax Per Candle

Related To: Candle Supplies

6 Types of Candles and Their Burn Time

Pin this quick reference with the average burn time for each candle type and use the printable candle burn time chart below to quickly answer, “How long does a long candle last?”

I’ve found it to be very helpful when buying or making candles! 

Tea Light Candle Burn Time: 2 hours

Being that tea light candles are the smallest candle type, they will have the shortest burn time. In fact, tea lights made from paraffin wax often last for only 1 to 1.5 hours. Luckily, I’ve learned to make tea lights with a burn time of 4 to 6 hours – see how here

Votive Candle Burn Time: 15 hours

As a rule of thumb, candles burn at a rate of 7 to 9 hours per ounce of wax. So, a standard 2-ounce votive has an average burn time of 15 hours. Or 3-ounce votives like the votive candles I make in Dixie cups will last up to 27 hours with an average of 24 hours.

Taper Candle Burn Time: 12 hours

Taper candles are known to burn up to 1 hour per inch in height. Therefore an 8-inch taper candle will last for 8 hours, and a 12-inch taper candle will last for 12 hours. 

Keep in mind if you’re burning a rolled beeswax taper candle, it will burn at a faster rate of 40 minutes per inch in height. But, I’ll give you a little tip – the tighter a beeswax candle is rolled, the slower it will burn, therefore the longer it will last. (Here’s how I make mine.)

Pillar Candle Burn Time: 70 hours

The average burn time for pillar candles varies because they come in so many different heights and diameters. But, assuming a pillar candle has a 3-inch diameter, you can expect a 3-inch round pillar candle to burn for 35 to 45 hours, a 6-inch pillar for 65 to 75 hours, and an 8-inch pillar to burn for 85 to 95 hours. 

Container Candle Burn Time: 96 hours

Container candles are the queen of variation! You have to consider not just the height or diameter – the shape of the vessel can play a huge role in the burn time of a container candle. 

However, using the general rule of thumb that candles burn at a rate of 7 to 9 hours per ounce of wax, we can calculate the burn time. 

4-ounce candle = 32 hours

8-ounce candle = 64 hours

12-ounce candle = 96 hours

16-ounce candle = 128 hours

24-ounce candle = 192 hours

Candle Wax Melts Burn Time: 10 hours

A wax melt will burn for an average of 8 to 10 hours before the scent is significantly reduced. But, you can extend their use by using only a single wax melt at a time. Then turn off your wax melt warmer once it has melted for approximately 30 minutes. You’ll find the fragrance of a wax melt holds in the room long after 30 minutes while the wax slowly cools. (I shared this tip to make candles last longer with my tutorial for coffee wax melts.)

Printable Candle Burn Time Chart

Print out this Candle Burn Time Chart and more candle-making resources from the Simple Living Library.

5 Tips to Make a Candle Last Longer

Read this before choosing your next candle addiction to get the most out of candles by using these five tips to make candles last longer! After all, why spend money or time on a candle that will only last a few hours? 

#1 Trim the Wick

If you only take away one of these tips to make a candle last longer, let it be this one –

Always, Always, Always – Trim a candle wick to ¼ inch before lighting! 

Trust me, if you’re not a fan of soot marks, crooked wicks, flaring, or debris in your candles, then trim the wick! A wicker trimmer is best for the task because its flat design provides a place for the wick trimming to land and the small size is perfect for small containers. Learn how to properly use a wick trimmer here

#2 Burn a Candle Evenly

Start with these tips if you want to know how to make a candle burn evenly and ultimately last longer.

First, make sure your candle is on an even surface and away from open windows, fans, or drafty areas. These can cause an uneven burn and unsafe conditions. Second, burn a candle for at least one hour for every inch of the candle’s diameter. Typically one to two hours for a single wick candle and three to four hours for a multi-wick candle

This step ensures that the entire circumference of the candle will melt adequately, avoiding a candle tunnel. You’ll also prevent overheating and floating wicks by following this tip. 

#3 Keep Them Covered

It’s a good idea to keep a candle covered when it’s cooled and not currently in use. A candle’s scent can weaken over time when it’s exposed to air. And dust and other debris can settle onto the candle wax or wick. 

So, if your candle has a lid, use it! Or store candles under a glass cloche to help them last longer. 

These five tips to make a candle last longer can make a big difference!

#4 Choose Your Candle Wax Type Wisely

Candles can be made from several types of wax. And each type does affect the amount of burn time. I’ll touch on three popular candle wax types below, but for a complete guide read more here

Soy Wax

Increasingly popular for making scented candles, soy wax is as affordable as it is easy to find and vegan-friendly too!  Soy wax burns slower than paraffin wax and at a lower temperature than beeswax. This means soy wax candles will typically last longer than paraffin candles, but not quite as long as a beeswax candle.

Beeswax

Preferred by many, beeswax is one of the more expensive candle wax types. That being said, it does make the longest-burning candles! It interestingly takes a very high temperature to melt beeswax, so a low flame will keep it burning for a long time.

Paraffin Wax

Candles made with paraffin wax are the cheapest. But, in case you didn’t guess, they have the shortest burning time!  Most notably, due to the way paraffin is sometimes manufactured, it burns very fast and can produce toxic fumes in your home. 

#5 Wick Size Matters

Oh yeah, wick size does matter! Did you know that candles with a longer wick will actually burn faster? You see, a longer wick will create a larger flame and burn candle wax faster (another reason not to skip tip number one). 
And I recently found out that a candle with three wicks will burn slower than a candle with one wick. The multiple wicks help avoid candle tunneling, and the three flames don’t have to burn as hot or as long as a single wick to create a full melt pool. Just make sure you’re using a container with a wide enough diameter to support multiple wicks if you’re making your own candle. Learn more about candle wicks, including a wick size chart here.

Truly, there are several variables that can have an effect on the burn time of a candle. But, these five tips to make a candle last longer can make a big difference! 

Pin these tips on to make candles last longer and don’t forget the free printable candle burn time chart above! Tag #lifenreflection on Instagram to share your candle making with me.

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