The Candle Review

The importance of the wax pool


Candle nerds unite!  I do wonder if this blog is the first time in the history of mankind that the term “candle nerds” has been used.  It’s gotta be, right?

So before we get into awesome wax pools I’ve got to tell you this story.  Right before I started writing this blog post I had to change my two year old’s diaper.  Before I start she tells me, “You’ve got to clean my bottom, daddy”.  Okay.   It was pretty funny, but at the same time I’m thinking to myself we’ve really got to kick it up a notch in the potty training.  Seriously.

Lol sorry, TMI!  Okay, so let’s talk about candle wax pools and the importance of them in getting the most out of your candle. To start with we should explain exactly what a wax pool is.  It’s far from rocket science and pretty much self explanatory!  It’s the melted wax that results from burning your candle.  The longer you burn your candle the larger the wax pool in your candle will get.  Well, let me qualify by saying this is mostly true.. I’ve found in larger jar candles, especially those left uncovered by a candle topper (see my post about the importance of candle toppers) will sometimes reach an equilibrium where the heat generated by the candle flame eventually creates a pool that just won’t grow any larger.  Annoying!  But for this post let’s assume that it’s true that the longer you burn your candle the larger the wax pool becomes.

First take a look at the picture here to see the ideal wax pool.  Woohoo what a thing of beauty!  You can see the wax pool in that candle reaches all the way to the outer edges of the jar and is about 1/4 of an inch deep.  That’s exactly what you want when burning candles to get the most life out of them.  To achieve this you typically have to burn the candles for about one hour for every inch in diameter of the candle.  Pro tip:  The larger the wax pool the stronger the scent (scent throw) will be.

NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT:  When you decide to light a candle for the first time you are going to want to ensure the wax pool reaches all the way (or close) to the edges of the candle container!!!  So during the first burn of your candle it is extremely important to let a wax pool form as close to the edges as possible, if not all the way.  If you don’t then your candle will have a tendency to form what is known as a memory ring of where your first burn wax pool formed to and they will tunnel in subsequent burns.  Tunneling is no bueno and a small memory ring is your worst enemy when burning a candle.  Why is this?  Well, the next time you burn your candle, no matter how long you burn it for, the wax pool will more than likely only burn to the edges of where the first memory ring was established.

PictureThis is NO BUENO!

Why does this suck?  Well it’s because you’ll end up not burning through most of the wax in your candle and subsequent burns will cause it to tunnel.  See the picture of what a tunneling candle looks like.  Candles need the wax to burn and by not allowing the candle to access all of the wax it will cause your candle to essentially waste all that wax that doesn’t burn so basically it’s lifespan will be significantly reduced.  It’s akin to throwing money into a shredder!!!

So if you’ve got a large candle make sure you have several hours to allow it to burn to create a formidable wax pool each time you light it.  If not you’re going to end up not getting the most out of that glorious ambiance machine.  Jar candles are especially susceptible.  If you’ve only got a short time to burn a candle I recommend burning a votive or a taper candle.  You’ll get your moneys worth.

Now at this point you may find you’re saying to yourself that you don’t mind not getting the most of your candle.  But wait!  A tunneling candle poses another significant threat to the life of your relaxing candle.  As candles tunnel the wax gets melted from the sides of the tunnel and will eventually drown your flame!  You will not be able to burn a candle for a decent length of time that has started to tunnel.  The flames will be drown in the wax pool at the bottom of the tunnel!

So get it together folks!  Make sure you are burning your candles, especially the larger candles, to the point where the wax pool contacts the edges.  This way you’ll get the most value for your candles.  If burning a large candle consider using a jar topper (future post to discuss is coming!) to help the candle along in forming its wax pool.

I hope this article was helpful and as always post any questions or comments you have in the comments section!  Happy burning!

1 Comment

  1. Javier

    Hi there! I’m currently facing a dilemma where the candle i’ve made is working fine, but the wax pool literally takes up the whole candle itself. Basically, my candle’s wax pool is all the way to the bottom and all the wax have melted. I was wondering if that’s a good thing or not because as you have mentioned, that having a large wax pool would entail that the scent throw would be much stronger. And if it poses as a problem, please do advise me on how to improve on the ingredients i’m using or where i have err in.
    P.S ( I’m using a wooden wick and also soy wax for my candles)


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