Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 20, 2011: Recipes for Using Candles

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Continuing with the theme of a romantic February, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about candles. Most of us use them – I know I light at least one candle a day to add subtle scent to my house. I received the most wonderful candle for Christmas from my son and daughter-in-law last year. It's an expensive one from Bath & Bodyworks, made by Slatkin & Co., mint chocolate scented. I burned it daily for a while but then stopped because I didn't want it to end! It is the most luscious smell - you can just imagine eating a rich, decadent, chocolate-covered mint candy while it's burning. It's an incredibly realistic scent!

But I digress... Most of us, I would imagine, opt for the cheaper candles we aren't afraid to burn often. But even those can end up costing quite a bit if you're an avid candle burner.

Here, then, are some tips to make your candles last longer, stay fresh, and safely light them and extinguish them.

• Store your candles in the freezer when not using. They should last longer and drip less when you light them.
• Use plain rubbing alcohol to clean the outside surface.
• To repair a small break in a votive or taper, take the two pieces and run them under very hot water (you can also carefully use a lighter or match as long as you don’t melt the wax too much). Press the two pieces together to “glue”.
• When you blow out a candle, place your fingertip in front of your mouth before blowing; this prevents hot liquid wax from spraying onto surrounding surfaces.
• When lighting a canister candle with a wick too low to reach with a normal match, use a piece of dry spaghetti. Just light the end and use as a match.

One thing I want to do in the future that I haven’t done in a long time is make my own candles. I’ll be on a quest to find wick material soon. In the meantime, I’m saving the containers and remaining wax from candles whose wicks have burned too short to use. Stay tuned.

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