3 Common Candle Tools and How to Use Each
What are candle tools for? Here are three common candle tools and how to use each to make candles last longer!
As much as I talk about candles here, I am sure it’s no surprise that I love candles. My daughter has clearly pointed out that I have too many candles on more than one occasion. I have my hand-rolled beeswax tapers on our fireplace mantel, candle melts in the butlers’ pantry, a cheese mold candle displayed in the living room, a massage candle on my bedside table, and various tea lights scattered around our soaker tub in the master bath. (And that’s only naming a few.)
Over the years, I have learned how to get the most out of a candle so it burns clean, lasts longer, and produces the most scent without causing any candle problems.
Because proper candle care is frankly essential to the longevity of a candle. Common candle tools can help ensure your candles receive the best care!
What are candle tools for?
Whether you’re a candle maker like myself or a candle connoisseur, I can guarantee we both want the same thing – to get the most out of each candle. No matter if we make it or buy it, we want our candles to last!
Candle tools are designed to help us achieve that goal by extending the life of our candles. Not only do they improve their burn performance, but they also can help you avoid a whole host of problems.
Here are three common candle tools and how to use each to make your candles last longer!
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Do you know the first thing you need to do to a candle before lighting it?
The first thing you need to do for a newborn candle is trim the wick if it is longer than a ¼ inch. This step helps a candle burn properly from the start, ensuring you’ll get the longest burn time out of a candle. Learning how to use a wick trimmer is one of the most important steps you can take towards caring for your candles.
What are wick trimmers?
You’ve likely seen an odd-looking pair of metal scissors with a small round plate at the bottom. Those are wick trimmers and one of three common candle tools. The small cutting plates at the bottom of the trimmers are designed to fit into any size container, big, small, wide, narrow, or deep; you can use the same tool!
So, if you ever tried to trim a wick with scissors and couldn’t get to the wick or get the right angle – you’ll be glad you’ve just discovered wick trimmers.
Wondering what happens if you don’t trim candle wicks?
If you don’t trim a candle wick, it will burn at a hotter, faster rate, and the wax will be used up quicker. And when a wick is too long, it is more likely to flicker and move or bend as it burns. This can create an uneven melt pool or candle tunnel. In addition to the fact that the wick may mushroom or drop debris into the candle.
Luckily, all of these issues can be avoided by using a wick trimmer to control the wax being drawn up the wick.
But, it’s not just on the first light that a candle wick needs to be trimmed. Candle wicks need to be trimmed each time before lighting again.
So how do you trim a candle wick?
Follow these simple steps on how to use a wick trimmer to trim candle wicks with this handy candle tool:
1. To note, only trim a wick when the flame is out, and the candle is cooled. Lower the wick trimmers down to the wick. Then open the trimmer and place the base of it almost flush with the candle’s surface.
2. Hold the wick trimmer at a 45-degree angle to ensure the wick is trimmed to 1/4 inch in length.
3. Bring the two handles together to close and trim the wick. Do not allow the wick trimming to fall into the candle (carefully blow it out if it does). Discard the wick trimming.
Yay! Your candle is ready to be used again. Remember to continuously keep wicks trimmed to this ideal length before each lighting. P.S. This is the wicker trimmer I use.
Related To: Candle Terms You Should Know
The Ins and Out of Candle Snuffing
Okay, now that we’ve got trimming wicks covered, let’s move on to how to put out a candle properly. I know, I know, this sounds elementary, right? Well, it turns out there’s a lot to be gained when you snuff a candle.
Merely blowing out a candle may be the most obvious way to extinguish a candle flame, but it’s not the most effective. Maybe, in fact, you’ve noticed that when a candle is blown out, it replaces even the most pleasant candle fragrance with the putrid smell of smoke.
And that is the last thing I want to smell after filling our home with a carefully chosen and crafted, in my case, candle scent. Instead of blowing out a candle, I use a candle snuffer.
What is a candle snuffer? It is the most clever of candle tools if you ask me. A candle snuffer is a metal tool with a hinged “bell” or a small metal cone attached to a handle. Its purpose is to safely suffocate a candle flame with very minimal smoke that evaporates quickly.
Not only does this keep the fragrance of the candle lingering in the air it also allows you to avoid any splatter of wax that can happen when you blow a candle.
How do you snuff a candle?
The good news is you don’t need to know a member of the mafia to snuff a candle. All you need is an age-old candle tool that’s been used for centuries to extinguish candles. The shape of a bell at the end of a candle snuffer closes off air from the flame, which causes it to extinguish. The same is true for cone or cylinder-shaped candle snuffers designed for taper candles.
How To Use a Candle Snuffer:
With your candle on an even surface, use the bell shape of a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame by lowering it over the flame, close to the surface of the melted wax, but not touching it. It will instantly put out the flame.
Related To: Candle Containers To Avoid
The Wick Dipper Our Third and Final Candle Tool
Alas, we move on to our third and final common candle tool. What is a wick dipper? Also called a candle dipper or wick hook, a wick dipper is a tool used to keep a wick straight.
Sometimes, when a candle burns for hours, and especially if you forgot to trim it before lighting, the wick leans or curls. If you don’t center and straighten the wick, it will lead to uneven burn the next time and, worst-case scenario – candle tunneling. Trust me, that’s a road you don’t want to go down.
So, just use a wick dipper to center and straighten candle wicks!
After using a candle snuffer to extinguish the candle flame. Use the hook of the wick dipper to lift up and straighten the wick. Recenter the wick as needed.
Also, you may have read you can use a wick dipper to put out a candle. While that is technically true. In my experience, dipping the flaming wick into the melted wax causes debris or soot to be spread into the candle. It’s not ideal.
Together, these common candle tools make a great team to help your candles burn long and clean while getting the most out of the scent. And you can find each candle tool in this gorgeous candle care kit!
I’ll be the first to admit these candle tools make candle care so much easier; they are a must-have for any candle enthusiast. But when a candle has had its last light turn to these four methods to clean candle jars and reuse candles in fifty-plus different ways.
Grab these free printable candle care cards in the Simple Living Library. Give one with a candle to a friend, or hang one up on your bulletin board to help you care for your candles.
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Save these tips for using candle tools to your go-to Pinterest board, and while you’re there, be sure to follow Life-n-Reflection for more inspiring ideas. Did you know you can Tag #lifenreflection on Instagram to share your candles with us?