Woman Praying in Front of Catholic Burning Candles

Church candles are an iconic part of any service. The beautiful displays are symbolic, welcoming, and have been used in churches for centuries. If you want to get the longest lifespan possible out of your church candles to prevent unnecessary waste, follow these care instructions.

Light with a Taper

Using a taper to light church candles ensures you don’t have to touch the wick or candle to light it. Touching the wick is likely to cause pieces to break off and fall into the wax below. Gently light candles using a taper, then extinguish the taper. This is the safest method of lighting church candles for both you and the candles.

Follow Minimum Burn Times

All candles should come with an instruction sheet of minimum burn times. The minimum burn time is designed to allow the top layer of wax to melt evenly. If candles aren’t burned until the top layer of wax has melted, they’re more likely to burn unevenly or drip the next time they’re lit.

Use a Candle Cap

A candle cap helps to stabilize a candle for even burning and minimal dripping. If you aren’t already using candle caps for your church candles, make the change ASAP. Choose a candle cap that matches the diameter of the candle for the best fit. Candles burned in a candle cap are less likely to tip over too, preventing potential wax damage and fire hazards.

Trim the Wicks

Candle wicks should be around ½ inch ideally. If the wick is too high, the flame will become too high which can result in the candle dripping or producing soot. Wait until the candle is completely cool to trim the wick. If a wick is trimmed before the wax has cooled, it could fall into the wax and become stuck, altering the beauty of your church candles.

Don’t Blow the Flame Out

Instead of blowing out the flame on your church candles, use a candle snuffer to gently extinguish the flame. A candle snuffer should never touch the candle or wick directly. Simply hold it over the flame until it goes out, then gently lift it up and away from the candle.

Cleaning Church Candles

Church candles should not be cleaned very often, but the occasional cleaning can help remove dust and soot. Clean the candles by making a solution of warm soapy water. Use a gentle rag to wipe the candles, being careful not to scratch the wax. Dry the candles completely after washing before lighting. Store candles in a cool, dry place when they’re not in use to extend the lifespan of the candles.

If you need help caring for your church candles, contact Catholic Purchasing Services for more information.

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