Imagine that you’re set to host a fabulous dinner party. A perfect menu has been planned and you’ve laid out your best linens. When retrieving the ten-inch ivory tapers, you find them bent and severely out of shape. If you’re thinking of warming them, in an effort to regain their shape, think again. Tapers appear to be very sturdy, however, they must be handled gently when storing. Here are a few tips to keep tapers straight.
When purchased, tapers are wrapped individually and that’s the best way to store them. Wrap each candle separately in a soft cloth, or plain tissue paper, and lay flat. The longer the candle the more chance it may bend. Scented candles should be wrapped, and then placed in a sealed plastic bag. This will keep them smelling like the day they were purchased. Store tapers in a cool, dark place. Never place them in the freezer or refrigerator. Extreme cold will cause them to crack.
Scented candles are at the top of my list especially soy. Soy burns more evenly than paraffin and the scent lasts longer. However they are best suited for jars. Cotton braided wicks are better than the wired ones. Wired wicks also burn more irregularly and smoke more. Have you ever had a jar candle that wouldn’t stay lit? Before I melted my first batch of wax I learned that you’re supposed to trim the candle wick to ¼ inch. Then I read that you have to condition the candle with a first burn of four hours. This is because sometimes the top of the candle isn’t level, due to the crystallization process, temperature and humidity. If you decide to trim your wick, stay within the ¼ inch guideline. Digging the wax from around the wick is not fun and more than likely you’ll end up tossing the candle. One of the worse things about jar candles is the soot around the neck of the jar. To avoid this, make sure the neck isn’t smaller than the opening.
Now that you know the how to store your candles, and what candle gives you the best burn for your buck, there’s something else you should know.
How to Remove Candle Wax
Now, back to that fabulous dinner party. You set a lovely table and prepared the most divine meal. After the last guests have said their good-byes, you return to the dining table only to find a pool of wax at the base of the candles. No worries, all is not lost.
One tried and tested method is to use a warm iron to remove wax from your table linens. Place a few thicknesses of paper towels under the linen, and then cover the stain with a thinner layer of paper towels. Set the iron to a temperature appropriate for the fabric being treated. Apply gentle pressure on the top layer of paper with the heated iron to melt the wax. The wax will soften and be absorbed by the paper above, and below the piece. Repeat if necessary, using fresh paper layers, until all the wax has been absorbed. If any spots remain, the linen may have to be cleaned with a chemical solvent. Check the label on the cleaner to make sure it is appropriate for the fabric. You don’t want to create another problem. Then launder or dry clean as recommended.
To remove wax in glass votives or other candleholders, place them in the freezer until the wax has hardened, and becomes brittle. Use a dull knife to scrape away any residue and then wash with liquid detergent, or in the dishwasher. A paste cleaner is best to remove residue from silver or other metal candleholders.
If by chance wax has dripped on the furniture, scrape it away with a dull knife, or preferably, a plastic spatula. Waxy residue can be removed from wood with a creamy furniture polish. Spray hard tile like surfaces with a commercial cleaner and wipe dry with a cloth or paper towel.
Common Sense Precautions
Don’t burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the candle when it burns down to two inches, ½ inch if it’s in a jar. If the flames burns to high or flickers repeatedly, blow it out. Hold that thought, don’t blow it out, use a snuffer. This helps to prevent hot wax from splattering.
Now you’re ready for the next soiree or maybe just a candlelight dinner for two.