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Keeping your wicks trimmed on your candles is very important for candle safety. Here's why getting the right candle tools will make this task much easier and safer. Each time you light a candle the wick should be trimmed to approximately a ¼ inch (the width of a pencil) to keep candles from smoking excessively. Candle tools, called wick trimmers, are made especially for this task and are designed to make reaching those wicks easier. Shaped like a pair of scissors, wick trimmers are long and thin and the tip portion, which does the trimming, is curved up to cut the wick flush. That's much easier than trying to stuff a bulky pair of scissors into your candle holders. Be sure you dispose of the trimmed wick instead of leaving it on the candle, which can ignite and be a fire hazard. While burning your candle, if the wick develops a “mushroom” shape at the tip, gets excessively long, or starts smoking, it's time to put out the candle and trim the wick again. Be careful not to spill the hot wax or burn yourself on heated candle holders. Gently snip the wick and you can then re-light you candle.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|