How Long Do Candles Last?
Ever dig into the back of your closet to find a bunch of old candles and wonder if they’re still any good? There are so many factors that impact the lifespan of your candle, as well as different things to consider when purchasing a candle to ensure you are getting a high quality product. Once you have your candle, it’s also important to know how to take care of it to get the most life out of it. Overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Do Candles Expire?
Wondering about a candle's shelf life? While they won’t actually expire, they can lose their color and scent over time. Candles are best used within the first 6 months to a year of purchase.
The burn time of a candle is the number of hours a candle will stay lit and emit fragrance. Each candle is different and it depends on a few factors: wax, wick and container size. We will take you through the variables of a candle and how to determine the best candle and wax type for you.
Candle wax can be natural, synthetic, or a blend of the two. An important factor for determining the burn time of a candle is the melting point of your candle wax. The higher the melting point, the longer the candle takes to melt, resulting in a longer burn time. Here is a broad breakdown of common wax types and their melting points.
- Palm wax: ~134° F **
- Paraffin wax: ~129° F *
- Paraffin + Soy wax: ~127° F *
- Malibu Apothecary Proprietary Wax (All-natural Coconut + Soy Wax): ~127° F
- Coconut wax: ~124° F
- Soy Wax: ~115° F
** Not environmentally sustainable due to illegal logging and deforestation
The scoop on standard candles: Your run of the mill, traditional candle likely uses a synthetic wax or blend such as paraffin wax, and synthetic additives like vybar. Paraffin wax blends are typically filled with so many synthetic additives and preservatives, that they will essentially never go bad (the scent and color of your candle can still diminish over time, though). This synthetic wax is comprised of the same petroleum byproducts plastic is made of, but these ingredients come with a price to pay: while they can last longer and release more scent into the air, toxic chemicals are released as well. If you want to learn more, our founder explains what makes a candle toxic as well as the truth behind synthetic fragrances in depth in her articles.
Longer lasting alternatives: Our proprietary blend of coconut and soy wax is going to not only burn cleaner, without those dangerous chemicals, but also burn just as long as the toxic alternatives. All of our candles are made of soy and coconut wax for a slower and more even burn throughout your home, without being too overpowering. As a plus, our 8oz candles have a burn time of up to 55 hours.
The burn time also depends on the size of the wick. A good wick allows the candle to burn cleaner and emits a more even fragrance. If the wick is too large, the candle will burn very quickly. If the wick is too small, the candle won’t burn all the way through, and the result will be a “tunneled” effect. A good rule of thumb here is keeping your wick between an eighth and a quarter of an inch before lighting. It’s also important to note that you should burn your candle for three to four hours the first time you light it.
The container size affects how long a candle will burn. Large candles, over 12 ounces, will burn around five to eight hours per ounce. Smaller candles, under 12 ounces, will burn around four to seven hours per ounce. Our candles are eight ounces and burn for 55 hours, so they burn approximately 6.87 hours per ounce.
How to enhance the life of your candle?
Always store your candle in a cool, dark place away from direct light.
Trimming your wick is essential to a long lasting candle. You should always use a wick trimmer to trim the wick down before using a new candle. The sweet spot is between an eighth and a quarter of an inch long. Did you cut your wick too short? Check out our hacks to save your candle.
You should not burn a candle for more than 4 hours at a time. Carbon will collect on the wick, making it unstable. This can cause your candle to start to smoke and release soot into the air and in the candle. Check out our article on candle care to learn the basics of how to care for your candle.