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What actually burns when you light a candle?

When you light a candle, the heat of the flame melts the wax near the wick. This liquid wax is then drawn up the wick by capillary action. The heat of the flame vaporizes the liquid wax (turns it into a hot gas), and starts to break down the hydrocarbons into molecules of hydrogen and carbon.

How hot is a candle flame in Fahrenheit?

Common temperatures

Material burned Flame temperature
Bunsen burner flame 900–1,600 °C (1,652–2,912 °F) [depending on the air valve, open or close.]
Candle flame ≈1,100 °C (≈2,012 °F) [majority]; hot spots may be 1,300–1,400 °C (2,372–2,552 °F)
Propane blowtorch 1,200–1,700 °C (2,192–3,092 °F)

How does candle burn?

Because the wick is absorbent it sucks the liquid wax into the wick and upward into the flame. Once the liquid wax gets hot enough, it then turns from a liquid into a gas. The hot gas then reacts with the oxygen from the air and is burned, creating the candle flame that we see.

What is a candle wick made of?

Candle wicks are normally made out of braided cotton. Wicks are sometimes braided flat, so that as they burn they also curl back into the flame, thus making them self-consuming. Prior to the introduction of these wicks special scissors were used to trim the excess wick without extinguishing the flame.

Can you use string as a wick?

Soaking the twine in a solution of water, salt, and boric acid strengthens the wick and helps it to burn steadily. You can make wicks without this solution, but they will burn faster and can cause your candle wax to melt unevenly.

How long should you cure wax melts?

We recommend storing your wax melts in a cool, dark place for approx. 2 weeks to ‘cure’.

Can you use vanilla extract to scent a candle?

For best results, when wax is melted, place candy thermometer in wax and bring to wax manufacturer’s recommended temperature for adding fragrance. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and ½ teaspoon ground cloves for about every 2 cups of melted wax.