How to make a candle last longer - interior designer Victoria Cator shares her secrets

Knowing how to make a candle last longer is the way to get through lockdown

how to make a candle last longer
(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Knowing how to make a candle last longer means is a handy trick to have up your sleeve. Scented candles are easily the most versatile type of home fragrance: not only is the choice of scents almost limitless, but candles also work really well for interior styling. Whether nestling on your mantlepiece or in the bathroom, candles are unrivalled for conjuring up a soft and inviting atmosphere. But how do you make your candles last that little bit longer? Some candles just seem to burn through too quickly, while others burn unevenly and quickly become unstable.

Well, candle burning not an exact science, but rather a subtle art, and designer and candle brand founder Victoria Cator offers her top tips for making your candles a little longer-lasting.

1. Burn your candle for no longer than four hours

how to make a candle last longer

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

You've probably heard about burning your candles for a minimum of 45 minutes to avoid the wax cratering in the middle of the candle, but did you know that burning it for too longer could also create problems? 

Victoria advises: 'Always burn your candles on an even surface, away from drafts and burn for a maximum of 4 hours. If you keep the candle burning for longer than that, then hot wax can build up which can cause a scented candle to lose its fragrance more quickly.' 

2. Opt for multiple wicks

how to make a candle last longer

(Image credit: Victoria Cator)

A candle with multiple wicks will burn more evenly than those with single wicks.  'Choose for a 4 wick candle where possible, as this gives an even burn and prevents any hollowing,' explains Victoria.'Wicks that are made of cotton allow them to burn with the candle which means that the wick doesn’t need to be trimmed.' The wicks of Fornasetti candles are made from cotton. 

3. Open the window

how to make a candle last longer

(Image credit: Catherine Gratwicke)

This may feel counterintuitive, as it seemingly makes more sense to keep windows shut in order to get the most out of the candle's fragrance. However, this is not true, and you should always allow air to circulate in order for the scent to disperse well across the room.

'Fresh air from a partially open window allows for good circulation and an even throw of scent from the burning candle, helping the candle to circulate around the room and ensure your room is filled with the fragrance.'

4. Let the candle cool down completely before relighting 

If you can't get enough of your favourite scented candle, you should wait until the wax has re-solidified after blowing it out if you decide to relight it the same day. This will prevent disturbing the wax (if you want to move the candle) or destabilising the wick. 

Victoria explains that '[m]ost candles can take up to two hours to completely cool down for both safety reasons and to allow you to trim the wick if necessary. Trimming the wick will allow for a gorgeous bright flame and ensure even burning.' 

5. Reuse the jar 

how to make a candle last longer

(Image credit: Diptyque)

If you loved the jar while using the candle, why not keep it? 'Candles are often housed in beautiful jars, so why not use them to store pens, make-up brushes or cotton wool? A beautiful addition to your dressing table.' Some candles even come with specific suggestions for how to reuse them after the candle has burnt all the way through, from storage to (our favourite) a whiskey tumbler - Diptyque candles are particularly ideal for Negronis. 

Anna K. Cottrell
Freelance writer

Anna is a professional writer with many years' experience. She has special interests in architecture, photography, and high-end interior design. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Gardeningetc, and many other publications.