Candles have been a household staple for centuries. They’re not just about light anymore. Over time, they have become versatile symbols of joy, leisure, and even spiritual significance. Many of us use candles to decorate our spaces, infusing them with a warm, ambient glow. Additionally, candles are employed for their soothing fragrances, which can transport us to different places or times, evoking memories and emotions. From birthday celebrations to spa-like relaxation sessions, from romantic dinners to meditative practices, candles play a versatile role in our lives.
But have you ever stumbled upon an old candle and wondered, “Do candles expire?” or “How long can a candle burn effectively?”
The Lifespan of Candles: Do They Really Expire?
At the heart of it, candles, especially those made of wax, don’t “expire” in the traditional sense. Unlike food or medicine, they won’t become harmful or ineffective after a certain date. However, over time, especially with scented candles, the fragrance oils can evaporate or become less potent, leading to a weaker scent throw when lit.
Why Isn’t Your Candle Burning Right?
The way you store your candles plays a significant role in their longevity. Exposing them to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or damp conditions can affect their texture, color, and scent. For instance, a candle stored in a hot environment might become soft or misshapen, while one in a damp area might develop mold.
Type of Wax
Different waxes have varying shelf lives. Soy wax, for instance, is natural and might have a shorter shelf life compared to paraffin wax. However, with proper storage, even soy candles can last for years without any significant degradation in quality.
Over time, the potency of the fragrance oils in scented candles can diminish. If you’ve ever found an old candle that doesn’t smell as strong as it once did, this is likely the reason. The oils can evaporate, especially if the candle isn’t stored in an airtight container.
Maximizing Your Candle’s Lifespan
To ensure your candles remain in top condition, consider the following tips for taking care of your candles–
Store in a Cool, Dry Place: This will prevent the wax from melting or becoming soft and will also protect the fragrance oils.
Keep Away from Direct Sunlight: Sunlight can fade the color of your candles and reduce the potency of the fragrance.
Use a Lid: If your candle comes with a lid, use it. This will protect the candle from dust and preserve the fragrance.
Regular Candle Care: Taking care of your candles isn’t just about making them last longer; it’s about ensuring they burn efficiently and safely.
One common issue many candle lovers face is candle tunneling, where the candle burns down the middle, leaving a ring of unburned wax around the edges. Regularly trimming the wick and ensuring proper burning can help reduce soot formation.
Then there’s candle soot – those black marks on the jar or walls. It’s not just about looks; it’s about clean air too. Check our comprehensive guide on how to get rid of candle soot
Candles might not have a strict “use-by” date, but they can change over time. With a little care and the right storage, you can make sure they burn bright and smell right for years. As you light up your spaces with these fragrant wonders, remember that it’s not just about the flame, but the memories and warmth they bring. Let your candles be a reflection of the care and love you infuse into your home.
How long can a candle burn?
The average lifespan of a candle varies based on its size and type. Typically, a standard-sized candle can burn for 40 to 60 hours. Proper care, like trimming the wick, can extend its burn time.
Aluminate Life candles, infused with essential oils and adorned with crystals, offer an eco-friendly burn of up to 80 hours. Each hand-poured candle comes in a luxurious white barware glass, complete with gold cover and wood matches, ensuring a premium experience.
Is it a good idea to store candles in the fridge?
Storing candles in the fridge can make them last longer and burn slower. However, avoid freezing them as it can cause the wax to crack. Always let refrigerated candles come to room temperature before lighting.
Do candles expire if unopened?
Unopened candles don’t have a strict expiration date. However, over time, especially with scented candles, the fragrance might weaken. Store them in a cool, dry place to maintain their quality.