Scented candles are a very popular product in the modern home, filling the house with fresh scents of fruit, flowers, and other things. Yet you may be curious how it affects the candle itself.
Does scent affect how a candle burns? Unfortunately, the science is out for the most part. However, scent and fragrance oils don’t affect the lifespan of a candle, and are unlikely to affect the burn time.
Generally, the burn life of a candle relies more on the wax rather than any scent or additional oils mixed into it.
You might expect that having less wax (as additional fragrant oils replace some wax in the candle jar) would make a candle burn faster.
However, the amount of wax replaced is usually so small in volume, that te effect is practically negligible. Meaning you can’t tell the difference.
For homemade candles, the fragrance oils are used as a total addition, not a replacement for some wax molds which are poured into several containers in a factory.
Do Scented or Unscented Candles Burn Faster?
Everyone knows that burning candles produce a warm and luxurious atmosphere. But not many people know how the different candle types burn or what this burning process involves.
Some burn quickly and produce a strong scent while others burn more slowly with a weaker scent. Understanding how different types of candles burn can help you choose the best candle for your home.
As natural and eco-friendly as they may seem, unscented candles burn much faster than their scented counterparts.
Although this is not the case for all environmentally friendly candles, especially those which use wooden wicks. Wooden wicks, while a pain to light, burn very slowly.
Traditional cotton wicks burn much faster by comparison. However, both cotton wick candles and unscented candles do have their benefits despite a shorter life.
You can use unscented candles anywhere that would irritate your nose with strong aromas, such as a kitchen or a space with animals you may be allergic to.
Which Wax Burns the Fastest?
Most candles use paraffin wax, a useful byproduct of oil manufacturing that actually ends up in all kinds of products.
Not just candles, but even many skincare products use paraffin in some regard. Especially moisturizers which use paraffin as a hydrating agent.
Alternative waxes include soy wax, a very popular substitute in organic candles as it is naturally produced rather than being a waste product of gasoline refining.
For vegan and plant based candles, soy wax is the prime candidate for the wax. It does have some downsides however.
When compared to paraffin wax, soy wax has a higher melting point because it contains more unsaturated bonds that contribute to its stability.
Soy wax also has stronger thermal transitions; it melts slowly and reaches its maximum temperature quickly.
In theory soy wax and paraffin should be comparable, but paraffin wax takes a longer time to reach maximum temperature from a small flame on a candle wick.
Is it Better to Buy Long Lasting Candles?
While both long lasting and short burn candles have their advantages and disadvantages, it may be beneficial to know what these are before deciding which type of candle to purchase.
The most obvious advantage of buying long lasting candles are that they burn longer than shorter, soft wax ones.
This means it is an economical choice, as you won’t need to buy a new candle as soon. Helping you save some money.
On the other hand, an argument could be made that shorter lasting candles will also save you money as they tend to be cheaper up front than more reliable burners.
How to Make a Candle Burn Longer
If you want to make a candle burn for longer, there are several ways to go about it. The chief among them is to reduce the candle’s temperature.
How can you reduce the temperature of an open flame in a wax jar? It is actually more simple than you might be expecting.
Simply placing a glass jar candle on a cool surface will help extend the life of your candle. Warmer surfaces can lead to overheating, and accidents happening.
Finding a cold surface can be difficult, unless you are in the middle of the winter months and keeping your windows open for air circulation.
As such, you may try another method: Putting your candle in the freezer to chill it down very quickly and effectively.
That’s right, tossing a candle into your freezer will keep it more than cold enough to last an extra hour at least.
Another neat trick to slow wax melt is to put salt on top of your candle. This slows the burn, giving you a longer burn time and life in your candle.
Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of NeoCandle.com where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay – so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions 🙂 (pun intended 😉 )