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A Simple Guide to Candle Etiquette

We all love candle light for its ambiance, sometimes its fragrance, and for that cozy, nice feeling that comes from curling up on the sofa or settling down for a candle lit dinner.  

Read on for our tips on getting your candle light right every time.

General Tips

The initial burn | When you burn a pillar or scented candle for the first time, let it burn for approx. two hours.  This process will allow an even pool of wax to form and your candle will burn in that pattern next time you light it.

Trim your wicks | It's important to keep the wicks to 1/4" and to remove any wick trimmings.  This process will give you a nice even burn every time you light your candles.

Snuffing | Instead of blowing out your candles, use a snuffer, the lid if there is one, or a spoon.  

Lighting | When you can, light your candle with a match rather than a lighter to preserve your even burn and avoid the black ring that appears on the inside of your scented candle or pillar when you use a lighter.  When you put a candle out, but you're not ready to burn it yet,  singe the wick so it does not look brand new. 

Lastly, don't move a hot candle.  Wait until the candle cools and wax solidifies again before moving it.

Scented Candles

These are nice for powder rooms, mantels, and coffee tables.  Don't use scented candles on your dining table, as the fragrance will compete with your food.


If you use tapers for your dining table, you can cut a few inches off the bottoms so they don't feel like a wall between guests on either side of the table.  

Votives and Tea Lights

If you put your tea lights or votives in glass, be sure it's tempered glass so it won't crack from the heat.  And put a bit of water in the bottom of the glass so melted wax will not stick.  

If you do get a little bit of hardened wax on the inside of your votive cups, just pop them into the freezer and you'll be able to remove the wax with a butter knife. 

Shop Candle Light >

Read Gather Around the Dinner Table , our post on creating ambiance for simple occasions >

Read Ambiance for Bath Time for a list of our favorite scented candles>

Step inside Our Favorite French Apothecary >






Laurie Furber