What Is Candle Funnelling?
If you’re a candle fanatic, you will have no doubt experienced funnelling. It can happen to all candles, no matter the quality, and occurs when the flame burns down the centre of the candle as opposed to burning all the way out to the sides. It’s worth avoiding, because as the flame funnels down, the wick becomes tricky to light and the beautifully scented wax around the edge goes to waste.
Step 1: Lighting Your Candle
“Always light your candle using a match or gas lighter,” advises Tony. Cigarette lighters can be difficult to angle and risk melting parts of the wax before the wick is lit, meaning an uneven burn. Look out for the extra-long matches that are now available, some come in stylish glass bottles that you can keep on the mantlepiece.
Step 2: The First Burn
Not to be dramatic, but the lifetime of your candle really depends on the first time it is lit. The most important thing to remember is to burn your new candle for up to an hour or at least until the entire top of the candle is liquid and the wax has melted all the way to the edges. “Candles have a memory and only burn where they have previously burnt,” explains Tony. “So, if you don’t go for the full burn the first time, the wax will only ever burn to where it did before, developing the beginning of a funnel.”
Step 3: Trim The Wick
It’s important to trim the wick between burns. Tony recommends keeping the wick at 0.5cm before relighting. Shortening the wick allows the candle to burn more slowly and also avoids any black soot marks forming around the edge of glass. Be sure to re-centre and straighten the wick once putting the candle out. “I find a Boy Smells Wick Trimmer, £26 very useful” says Tony, ‘but remember to only ever do this when the candle is cold.” It’s at this point that Tony suggests gently wiping down the inside of your candle with a dry cloth to remove any black marks and help promote a clean burn for the next few lights.
Step 4: Putting The Candle Out
Refrain from blowing your candle out, which can unsettle the wax, and invest in an old-school Diptyque Candle Snuffer, £25. “I love using a snuffer when putting out my candle,” explains Tony. “They are clean and help reduce that after burn smoke that can mark mantlepiece mirrors or paintwork.”
If you want to elevate your tablescaping, don’t forget to check out Fairholme’s colourful candlesticks too.