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Home > How To Test Burn Your Candles

How To Test Burn Your Candles

Test Burning Your Candles...

If you're test-burning for scent throw you need a longer cure time than if you're test-burning to see if the wick is right for the diameter of the candle.

Rule #1 - Wait 2-3 days if you are just test-burning the wick

Rule #2 - If you're test-burning for scent throw, wait 5-7 days. (It takes that long for the molecules to redistribute and settle.)

Now for testing your burn time:


1.  Be sure you have an hour for every inch of diameter to do each test-burn.  This is the time needed to get the most accurate evaluation.

2.  Know the weight in grams of the wax in the candle.  In other words, the weight without the jar.  There are a couple of ways to do this, but I'll give you one way here.

* Weigh an empty jar, then weigh your candle in the jar, and subtract the empty jar weight from the completed candle weight.  This will give you the weight of the material inside the jar.  Just keep this figure handy.  You'll need it at the end.*

Begin by weighing your candle. A gram scale is most accurate, so if you have a Walmart available, pick up a Cook's Collection (I think that's the brand) scale which provides oz. and grams.  They are about $30, but will work well for your measuring needs.

Write down your beginning weight in grams and light your candle.  Be sure you can allow the necessary time.  (I.E.  if your candle is 2 1/2" in diameter, you need 2.5 hours to burn it).  Write down your beginning time and ending time.

An optimum candle will follow this timing to burn a full meltpool to the edges.  If your meltpool reaches the edge sooner, then you may be using too large a wick.  If a full meltpool takes longer, but does eventually reach the sides, then you will probably have a longer-burning candle.  Of course, you will need to burn the entire candle to find this out, and you will also need to consider your scent throw.  Although you may have a wick which gives your candle a longer burn time, it may not necessarily give your candle the best scent throw.  You'll have to observe.

At the end of your first test burn, weigh your candle again, and write down the weight and total minutes you burned.

Let the candle re-harden and then start the process again.  Once you've burned the candle 3 or 4 times this way, you'll have a good idea of its burn time, but it won't be accurate until you've burned several of the same candles all the way through.

So to get the estimate from your 3-4 burns, total your minutes burned,then total the grams lost from the beginning of the first burn to the end of the last burn.  (You're using the candle in the jar for both weights).  Here's the math formula to figure out the burn time:

1.  Subtract the ending weight from the beginning weight.  This gives you the total grams burned.

2.  Now total the time burned IN MINUTES (not hours). 

3.  Divide total minutes burned by the total grams burned.  For example, if you burned the candle a total of 390 minutes, and you lost 20 grams of weight in the candle, your equation will look like this:  390 / 20 = 19.5

This means you burned 1 gram every 19.5 minutes.

4.  Now take the 19.5 (or whatever your answer is), and multiply it by the total weight of your wax.  Remember the first number you wrote down?  Don't multiply it by the weight of the completed candle in the jar, because then you're counting the jar weight.  You want the weight in grams without the jar.

So, if my weight of material was 280 grams to begin with, I would do this:  19.5 x 280 = 5,460 minutes of total burn time for this candle.

Divide 5,460 by 60 to get 91 hours burn time estimate.

That's it! :)  It's not as complicated as it sounds, but it does take a few steps if you want to be accurate.  Print out the instructions and plug in your own figures, and you'll do fine.

Don't panic if your numbers are not close to mine.  It all depends on the candle you're burning.

REMEMBER - be accurate and keep good notes.  Observe -- Observe -- Observe -- and your candles will be better for it.


Maria Harbert - Owner
KevMar Ventures, LLC
DBA Moon Glow Supplies

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