How To Conduct a Basic Burn Test
- Trim the wick to 1/4 inch. If testing multiple candles, make sure they are clearly labeled.
- Place the candles on a clean, flat, heat resistant surface 3 - 6 inches apart. This area should be clearly visible from your work space as the candles must not be left unattended while lit.
- Light the candles and record the time. It is critical to keep an eye on the candles while they are burning especially when testing new wicks.
- After 2 hours record the details of the melt pool and wick appearance. Ideally the melt pool will achieve the desired diameter* by that point. If it hasn't, the wick is most likely too small. Note any soot or mushrooming on the wick.
- After 4 hours record the details of the melt pool and wick, then gently blow out the flame. At this point the melt pool of a well wicked candle with have achieved the desired diameter* and should be approximately 1/2 inch deep. If the wick is mushrooming, the candle is sooting, or the melt pool is substantially deeper than 1/2 inch the wick is most likely too large. See our video "Choosing the Right Wick Size" to see a correctly wicked candle.
- Allow the candle to cool for at least 5 hours and repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 until the candle is completely burned. The quality of burn will almost always change during the entire burning of the candle. To make sure you see exactly what your customers will see burn the entire candle before making a wick decision.
This depends on the type of candle. Most candle makers want a container candle to burn all the way out to the glass, not leaving any wax on the sides. With a pillar candle you might choose to leave a 1/4 inch of side-wall to avoid the possibility of spillage.