Candle burning seems like a no brainer, right? You light the candle and it burns away, releasing a wonderful scent in the process. That simple? Yes and no. If you want the cleanest and longest burn from your beeswax pillar, there are some simple things you can do to ensure you get what you paid for. First, before you light your candle, each time, trim your wick to 1/4 inch. This will help in three ways:
1) It will help your candle to burn at a steady, moderate rate. A long wick can burn your wax much faster, leaving you wondering what happened to the burn rate.
2) It will keep your wick from smoking. A long wick can smoke due to the amount of material the flame has available to it to burn. A short wick will focus on burning the wax!
3) It will keep the flame contained. A long wick can throw a long flame, creating a fire risk. If you keep your wick short and contained, it helps to lower that risk.
A pillar candle should burn to approximately 1/4 inch from the edge of the candle. During your first burn, the candle should be allowed to burn to this point before blowing it out, creating a wax pool covering the most of the top of the candle. Depending on the size of the candle, this can take two to four hours for a beeswax candle. This first wax pool is important as the wax "remembers" and will only burn to this point during future burns. Patience with this process will ensure the longest burn from your candle.
Lastly, if you are the thrifty type (I am), and want to burn every drop of that wax, you can push the wax in slightly towards the wick after you blow out the candle. Be very careful that you don't drown the wick while doing this as you may not be able to relight it. Also be careful not to burn yourself. The best method is to blow out the candle and wait a few seconds before pushing the wax in.