The Truth about candle burn times
I love that you guys feel like I'm a straight shooter. I'm always going to tell you the truth about candles, good or bad, because we all deserve to know what we're buying, and more importantly, breathing. Maybe this blog should be called Candle Truths? But anyway...
Researching the burn times of candles can drive you mad. Seriously. When researching for this blog post I found so many outrageous claims of candle burn times that were just totally bonkers. Do you want to know the burn time of an 8 oz candle? Let’s talk honestly about the life expectancy of your candle.
Many factors affect the life of your candle and we’ll break down each one including wax type, wick size, and first light, and jar size.
We primarily use 100% soy wax in our candles. We use a blend of soy wax with beeswax in our Citronella candles, but everything else is 100% soy wax only, with no additives.
Soy wax candles burn slower because the melting point of soy wax is around 120 degrees F. It takes less heat to melt the soy wax in your candle, so the wick isn’t working quite as hard as it must in other types of waxes.
Side note: beeswax burns very slow even though the melting point is very high at around 145 degrees F. That’s because it is a dense wax at .95 grams per cubic centimeter. Density is a fun topic if you’re a nerd like me, so let’s look at densities very briefly.
|Water||1 gram / cubic centimeter|
|Beeswax||0.9 gram / cubic centimeter|
|Soy Wax||0.9 gram / cubic centimeter|
|Coconut Wax||0.8 gram / cubic centimeter|
|Paraffin Wax||0.7 gram / cubic centimeter|
All of the waxes weigh less than water; that is why they float. Moreover, by looking at this chart, we could assume that the density of the wax has a direct relationship with its burn time.
Different size containers require different size wicks. A larger container needs a bigger wick so the melt pool will extend to the edges of the container. Conversely, a smaller container needs a smaller wick to keep the melt pool shallow. So the size of your wick has a direct impact on how long your candle will burn.
The size of the wick in a particular container is up to the candle maker. Mountain City Candles meticulously tests every candle with multiple-size wicks to ensure you get the best burn bang for your buck.
The first time you light your candle sets a precedent for how the candle will burn in the future. It’s a phenomenon known as candle memory, where the candle will remember how it burned last time, and it will repeat the same burn next time.
If you light a candle the first time and do not let it build a full melt pool (melted wax reaching to every side of the jar), then the next time you burn it, the melt pool will only extend out to the first burn limit. Then you’ve got a candle that tunnels (burning a hole down the center of the candle), and the burn time will be significantly less than a properly burned candle would be.
Similarly, if the candle maker chooses a wick too small, the melt pool will not extend to the edge of the glass no matter how long your candle is burned, and therefore will not last long.
And of course, if the wick is too large for the container, the melt pool will be very deep, and the candle will burn faster than it should.
To summarize, the secret to a long-lasting candle is: 1, buy a quality candle from a reputable maker who knows what they’re doing. 2, burn your candle until the edges of the melted wax reach to the sides of the jar.
Jar size is another huge factor that determines how long your candle will last. A wide jar will last longer than a jar with a small diameter, obviously. When the jar is wicked properly and burned properly, the estimated burn times of Mountain City Candles are approximately 6 hours per ounce.
|Candle||Wax Type||Jar Size||Wax Net Weight||Burn Time|
|XL 5 wick (coming soon)||Soy||64 fl oz||52 oz||400 hours|
|3 wick candle||Soy||20.75 fl oz||17 oz||100 hours|
|Large size candle||Soy||16.9 fl oz||14 oz||85 hours|
|Status jar candle||Soy||12 fl oz||9 oz||55 hours|
|Trendy jar candle||Soy||10 fl oz||8 oz||50 hours|
|Medium size candle (our biggest seller)||Soy||9.2 fl oz||7 oz||45 hours|
|Rocks Glass||Soy||7 fl oz||5.5 oz||30 hours|
|Citronella Tin||Soy + Beeswax||8 fl oz||6 oz||52 hours|
|Wax Tart||Soy||-||1 oz||18 hours|
Clearly, the candles at Mountain City Candles are high-quality, long-burning candles that you will absolutely love.
PS. Can we talk candle size for a moment? Because this is a topic that drives me absolutely crazy.
Cylinder jars are measured by volume (remember p r2 * height)? So when I say that we sell a 14 oz candle, I’m talking about the candle's net weight in wax only. Our 16.9 oz jar holds 14 oz of soy wax. It would probably hold 16 oz of water, (because water is heavier than wax) but that doesn't make it a 16 oz candle. Candles should be measured in the actual weight of the wax you are buying, not the volume of the container.
Many candle makers confuse volume with weight and claim their 16 oz jar is a 16 oz candle. But that’s simply not true because the volume of a container is different from the weight of its contents. So if another maker's candle is 8oz, you're probably only getting a 6 oz candle in reality. And maybe you are paying even more. But now you know the difference, and you can't be fooled!