Candle Memory Burn – Fact or Fiction


Have you ever heard of “Candle Memory”? Up until today, I never had but then again sometimes I don’t pay attention when I should. So, I looked on the bottom of the candle hoping to find “instructions” telling me how to burn a candle properly but only found approximate burning time in 3 different languages and branding info.

I never really thought about why a candle burns the way it burns. It turns out that I MAY have major control over how my candles burn. I had another candle of the same brand and decided to see if Candle Memory was a fact or fiction.

First of all, here are two no-brainer tips. Always keep your wick trimmed to 1/4″ especially when using scented candles as the scent imparts impurities and increases soot output. 1/4″ is the recommended length for an optimal burn. Drafts will also affect the burn, so have your candle in a protected area or place it in a hurricane candle holder.

The candle on the right is a great example of what is called a “core burn”. I probably lit the candle and let it burn for a short period of time. The length of time established its burn memory or so I’ve been told.

Online candle sources collectively say…

that you should burn a candle 1 hour for every inch of WIDTH. For example, a 4″ candle should be burned for 4 hours the very first time to ensure that the burn pool extends to about 1/4″-1/2″ to the outside perimeter of the candle.

Doing so will allow maximum scent throw and optimum candle usage. Allowing the burn pool to move any closer to the perimeter may cause the dreaded dripping candle syndrome.

Well, these candles seem to have a memory of their own. Complete failure. I burned the 4″-wide candle for 4 hours and the burn pool didn’t even come close to getting within 1/2″ of the perimeter.

I will try this again with another set of candles to see if these candles have ingredients which inhibit heat. We’ll see.

What’s your experience with candle memory burn?