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Guide and template to perform a burn test for candles

Doing a burn test is the most important step in selling your candles. It takes time and patience but we’ve created a guide to help you through the process! 

Burning candle for burn tests

(If you want to skip the reading and just get to the template, scroll to the last step!) 

1. Make sure you’ve labelled your candles correctly! You can use sticky notes or put a sticker on the jar itself. 

2. Trim the wick to ¼ inches. In general, any candle wick should be trimmed to ¼ inches before burning.

3. Place the candle on a flat surface that’s visible to you and make sure the candles are at least a few inches apart.

4. Set a timer for 2 hours and also not the time! (don’t forget this step. It’s easy to think you’ll remember that you lit the candle at 3:26 pm in 2 hours but trust us, you won’t)!

5. At the 2 hours mark, note the appearance, hot throw (how strong the fragrance is), the melt pool (how wide the melted wax appears to be), and the appearance and characteristics of the wick. At this step, it’s easy to eliminate some candles as failed, and have one of the following characteristics.

  • The melt pool hasn’t achieved the desired diameter. General rule of thumb, the candle should achieve a full melt pool within 1 hour for each inch of diameter. For example, a 3” diameter candle should achieve a full melt pool within 3 hours.
  • The candle doesn’t give off any fragrance 
  • The candle is producing excess soot, smoke or mushrooming 

6. If the candle seems to be burning well, note the characteristics of the candle and set another reminder for 4 hours. (OK Google, set a reminder for 2 hours!)

7. After 4 hours, record all the details again. 

  • Melt Pool
  • Strong throw 
  • Characteristics of the wick 

8. Let the candle rest for at least 5 hours until you repeat the above steps. The quality and characteristics of the candle will change with every burn. You’ll also want to note the total burn time of the candle before selling it! 

This is the template we use for our tests! Feel free to make a copy! 

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