Six years ago the Mr. and I renewed our wedding vows for our 30th anniversary. At the time I was on a huge candle kick and there were candles all over the hall. Tapers, votives, tea lights you name it. After the ceremony I put the tapers in a decorative bucket. I should add that they were haphazardly thrown into a decorative bucket. My tablescaper mindset was on hiatus at that time. I’d also shelved everything I learned from making candles years ago. Recently I went to retrieve my half dozen 10 inch ivory tapers only to find them bent, crooked and severely out of shape. My first thought was to try and warm them in the oven and coax them back into shape. Thinking back on it, even I, have to laugh at that one. Although candles, particularly tapers appear to be very sturdy, they must be handled gently and with care when storing them. Here are a few tips to keep your tapers straight, sturdy and smelling like the day you bought them.
When you buy tapers they’re wrapped individually and that’s the way you should store them. Wrap each candle separately in soft cloth, undyed tissue paper or unprinted newsprint. If your candles are scented wrap them and then place in a sealed plastic bag. This helps them to retain their scent. Store them in a cool, dark place, and this doesn’t mean the freezer. Frozen candles will crack. The longer the candle the more chance it will bend, so please store them flat. If you have colored candles and they’re exposed to light they will fade. I told you they were delicate didn’t I?
Now you may be thinking that for the cost of tapers why not just toss them and buy new ones? Yes, this is an option but why toss a perfectly good candle if you don’t have to. Of course if it’s been burned halfway, tossing it may be the best option.
When I was making candles I made lots of pillar and jar candles, tapers were a royal pain in the hiney. I found beeswax to the best choice for drip free, but I was head over heels in love with soy. I bought soy by the 50lb blocks and even had a source for soy flakes. Soy burns more evenly than paraffin and holds a scent better but is best suited for jars. Cotton braided wicks are better than the ones with the wire in them. The wired wicks also seem to burn more irregularly and smoke more. Have you ever had a jar or pillar 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 in the soot around the neck of the jar. When buying jar candles make sure the neck isn’t smaller than the opening. Candles made with essential oils can also have therapeutic properties as well as just smelling good.
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
It happens to the best of us. You’ve set a lovely table and prepared the most divine meal. You and your guests have moved from the dining table to the den or living room for an after dinner drink or cup of coffee. After the good-byes have been said you return to the dining table only to find a pool of wax at the base of the candle. So much for all the warm fuzzy feelings, you have wax to remove.
Use an iron to remove wax from tablecloths, napkins, and other linens. Place a clean paper grocery bag, sheets of blank newsprint paper or a few paper towels under the piece to be cleaned, and cover the stain with a similar layer of paper. Set your iron to a temperature appropriate for the fabric you’re treating. Gently press down on the top layer of paper with the heated iron, melting 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. Spot clean any remaining stains from candle wax dyes with a product suited to the fabric. Then launder or dry clean as recommended. I had spilled wax from a burgundy colored candle on my ivory tablecloth after Thanksgiving and tried this. This method took out most of the stain. I’ll have to use some creative tablescaping the next time I use it.
If you have a waxy buildup in glass votives or other candleholders place them in the freezer until the wax has hardened and becomes brittle. Chip the hardened wax out of the candleholder or scrape it from the sides with a dull knife. Finish by washing glass or ceramic candleholders with liquid detergent and hot water. Placing them in the dishwasher removes any candle residue lots easier than washing by hand. Use an appropriate paste cleaner to remove residue from silver or other metal candleholders, and buff with a soft cloth.
If the wax has dripped on a hard or furniture surface scrape the hardened candle wax with a blunt knife or plastic spatula. Use a gentle motion to avoid damaging the finish of the piece. Clean up wax residue by rubbing wood furniture with a cloth dipped in creamy furniture polish. Spray hard surfaces like tile or laminate countertops with a commercial cleaner and wipe dry with a cloth or paper towel.
* With the exlcusion of the top photo, images are from 123RF
Resource : http://www.ehow.com/how_2050817_remove-candle-wax.html#ixzz1i4V8CKpk