5 Steps to Conduct a Candle Burn Test
I started candle making as a hobby in early 2021 and love playing with the shape, color, and scents to create unique candles for my friends and family. During the process, I learned that a good candle should be a burn tested, well made candle that burns at a reasonable rate. There are many factors to consider when making a candle that will burn at a normal rate. These factors include the wick length, wax quality, fragrance choice, candle size, and the container in which it is placed. These variables can be a bit confusing at the beginning, however, as your experience grows, you will find them easy to work around to create your ideal version of the candle.
Candle burn tests are essential to test the color, scent, and melting point of candles. In this post, you will learn the basics about conducting a candle burn test, what to expect, the pros and cons, and what is involved with such a test. This is a useful guide for those interested in perfecting their candles!
A side note: It's recommended to burn test your candles periodically because of the variability in supplies, especially if you are using soy wax. It's recommended to check your existing line at the start of each season to make sure they still produce the results you hope for.
Let's dive in!
Wait a minute one more thing, before we start, make sure you cured your candle enough before the burn test (e.g. for soy wax, the recommended curing time is 14 days)!
Conduct your burn test
1. Set aside time and prepare test area
Make sure that you'll be able to hang around for the entire burn cycle because it's important that your candle isn't left unattended. The candle should be set on a flat surface that is heat resistant. If you want to test more than one candle at a time, place them three to six inches apart. If possible, your testing area should be free of flammable objects.
2. Label your candles.
You should note the type of wax, fragrance oil, fragrance load, dyes used and amount used, and container choice. We have Candle Making and Testing Log and also the Candle Testing Label Templates that you can use to keep track of the information or you can just mark this information down in your notebook.
3. Trim your wick to ¼ inch or around 6mm.
4. Light your candle, note the time, jot down details and take photos.
Check back each hour to see how your candle is burning and record your observations. Record the details of the melt pool, the flame height, and any smoking or sooting. (We suggest taking a photo for easy reference.) Do not perform the burn test for longer than four hours at a time.
5. Repeat the process.
You need to blow out your candle after about four hours to make sure your candle will last longer. Give it a minimum of five hours for a longer lasting life. Each burn cycle will be slightly different as the wax level decreases and heat builds in the container. With burn testing, we're evaluating how the candle burns throughout the candle's life, not just during the first few burns. Make sure to perform the burn test until the wax only have ¼ inch remaining to make sure your candle burns properly till the end!
The task may sounds daunting at the beginning but once you got different burn tests result back and when you receive great reviews from your customers, you won't regret it!
Have fun with the process!