When you buy a candle, before you light the candle, you may be interested not only in how it looks and how it smells but also in how long it will burn. After all, why spend money on something that will only bring you light and comfort for a couple of hours?
How Long Do Scented Candles Last? As a general rule, a scented tea light will burn for up to 6 hours. You can expect a smaller pillar to burn for 9 hours, a larger one for up to 100 hours. When buying a candle in a jar, look at the packaging, as the burn time may already be specified. Depending on the size of the jar, you can expect a burn time of between 30, up to 150 hours.
We have created a calculator below to help you calculate how long do your own candles last.
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In this article, we'll be exploring everything you need to know about determining the burn time of your scented candle. From which wax burns the slowest to how to determine the burn time based on the weight of your candle, we'll be giving you tips and tricks on approximating how long a scented candle will last.
Keep reading to learn more about scented candles, how they work, how to burn them, and how long you can expect to keep your home smelling nice with them!
Which Wax Type Lasts the Longest?
Did you know that scented candles can be made from different types of wax? As well as giving a slightly different feel, burn and scent, waxes can impact the speed at which your candle burns—and how long it will last you. Here are just a couple of the most popular scented candle ingredients:
Cheap, easily accessible and vegan-friendly, soy wax is becoming an increasingly popular basis for scented candles. Because it burns at a lower temperature than beeswax, it usually doesn't last quite as long.
Although beeswax may be more expensive, it is a natural ingredient that makes some of the longest-burning candles out there. It takes a very high temperature to melt beeswax, meaning that a low flame will keep it burning for very long.
Paraffin has the shortest burning time. The main reason why candles are sometimes manufactured using paraffin is that it's a very cheap ingredient. Unfortunately, it can produce toxic fumes, and burn very fast. So if you're looking for a scented candle that burns a long, time, stay away from this one!
Candle Wick Numbers
When buying scented candles, you may come across something called "wick numbers". this actually refers to the thickness of the wick used in a candle, which is usually proportionate to how large a candle is.
A bigger wick number will mean that your candle burns faster. However, this might not always be a bad thing. In a larger candle, it is recommended to use a larger wick, or multiple wicks, as this will prevent the candle from dying out too soon.
So next time you wonder how long a scented candle will last you, have a look at the wick number: it can be a lot more useful than you think!
Did you know that candles with a longer wick will burn faster? This is because a longer wick produces a larger flame, which will burn more wax.
So one thing that can drastically improve your candle burning time is trimming the wick of your candle a little. Not only will it make your candle burn slower, it will also produce a smaller flame which can be used for mood lighting.
Once you understand how candles work, it can be quite simple to calculate how long they will last. For example, once you know the wick number of a candle, you can determine its burn time based on its weight.
A candle with a small wick number will last you up to 9 hours for every ounce of wax. On the other hand, one with a larger wick number will burn in up to 7 hours for every ounce of wax.
|small wick number
|larger wick number
|1 oz candle burn time
|2 oz candle burn time
|3 oz candle burn time
|4 oz candle burn time
|5 oz candle burn time
|6 oz candle burn time
|7 oz candle burn time
|8 oz candle burn time
|9 oz candle burn time
|10 oz candle burn time
So why not weigh out your candles—and find out how long they will really last you?
Of course, there are other factors that you should take into consideration too. Those include the size of the candle, the type of wax that it uses, the type of wick and its length and the recipient in which it is put.
Taking all these into considerations, it should be easy to approximate how long a scented candle will burn for, even if this is not an exact science!
Did you know that the environment in which you burn your candle impacts its burn time too? The temperature of the room in which you find yourself, the amount of oxygen and the movement of air can all have an impact on your candle burning time.
So next time you ask yourself how long a candle will last you, also consider whether you'll be burning it out in your garden, in your bathroom, or maybe in a warm kitchen? These all have a drastic impact on the length of time that a candle can burn for.
Calculating Your Candle Time
If you want to be even more precise with determining your candle burn time, We created an online calculator out there that can help you with that!
For example, check out our tool at the top of this page which can tell you exactly how long a candle will last you depending on its material and weight. Pretty handy!
Do Scented Candles Expire?
Much like perfume, scented candles don't really expire as much as they lose in power and freshness. Overtime, the natural scent of the candle will diminish, and become less potent than it once was.
However, candles don't really spoil. After a few years, a scented candle is unlikely to smell bad, much less to rot. Rather, you can expect it to smell rather bland, or just a little bit off.
Choosing The Right Recipient
Did you know that scented candles are sometimes kept in mason jars to preserve their scent for longer? This is because being exposed to air can make a candle lose a lot of its power quite quick.
So if you're looking for a candle that won't spoil, look for one that is sealed in an airtight jar—they can last for months or even years longer!
How Long Should I Keep My Candle Burning?
Candles, especially scented candles, should not be left to burn for more than a few hours. That being said, there can also be problems in letting a candle burn for too little time, here's why:
Why Not Let Your Candles Burn Too Long?
After a certain time, there is no point in keeping your scented candle lighted up. Four hours is a good maximum. First, the scent has already been released, your space smells nice, and more smell will not add to the atmosphere of the room.
Secondly, leaving a candle on for too long increases the risk that you will forget about it, which can be a serious fire hazard. Finally, burning a candle down to the very bottom of the jar can make the jar very hot, and able to set fire to anything burnable around it.
So for security reasons, and to keep your candles for longer, avoid burning them for more than 4 hours at a time.
Why not let your candles burn too little?
For the right smell to be released from a scented candle, you should be careful to burn it for at least one hour for every inch of the candle's diameter. This will ensure that the way has melted properly in the entire circumference of the candle.
Not only is properly melted wax necessary to get the full smell of the candle, but it also ensures that you are not creating a candle tunnel. A tunnel is formed when only a ring of candle wax has been burned.
Once that ring has formed, the candle will burn unevenly the subsequent times that you light it up, never burning to the edges. So to get a nice, even burn, make sure to respect the 1 hour rule. You can read more about how to fix a candle tunnel here.
As it turns out, candle science is quite a bit more involved than you might have expected, right!? From the type of wax that is used, to the shape of the candle, the size of the wick and the environment in which you burn it, everything can affect your candle burn time.
This doesn't mean that you should give up on calculating it however, with the right tools, it can be easy to determine how long a candle can expect to burn for, no matter what type of candle it is.
Finally, let us recap a few basics on proper candle care: make sure to trim your wick to get a longer burn, don't let a candle burn for less than 4 hours at a time, and use your scented candles right away if they are not closed in a protective jar.
This will ensure that you get the best possible experience out of your scented candles...and really get your money's worth!