After years of burning and making candles, I want to take a nip at an old wives tale. One that has been told for centuries. If you freeze your candles they will stay fresh until your ready to use them.
Most consumers when they buy a candle normally light their candle within 24 hours of purchase. However if you are like me and tend to purchase more then one, your going to wonder the best practices for storing your unused candles. A friend might suggest you put them in the freezer to keep them fresh until you are ready to light them, only to be surprised that your beautiful candle now has a huge crack in it after only a few days of being frozen. So what happened?
The first thing is that when you put a candle in the freezer, if left in long enough, it will get cold all the way to the core. Candle wax will crack when subjected to fast temperature swings. A cracked candle may not burn as evenly or at all. This typically happens because moisture has gotten into the wick from freezing. This alone is why I say never freeze your candles.
So I am assuming for this next part of the debate that the candle made it through the freezing process unscathed & without cracking. As soon as you take the candle out of the freezer it will begin to go back to room temperature. The outside of the candle will warm faster than the inside of the candle. I think that what most supporters of a frozen candle burning longer forget is that when you light a candle you are only melting a small portion of the outside of the candle. The flame is not pulling wax from the colder center of the candle. The temperature of a candle flame is about 2500 degrees F depending on the type of wax & wick being burned. So when the candle is lit, the surface area of the candle around the flame will warm up above room temperature super fast, undoing any effect the freezer may have had on the candle. By the time you get to burning the center of the candle it will have long lost the effect the freezer had on it.
Now to answer about freshness of a scented candle. When you freeze your scented candle, the wax undergoes extremely fast temperature changes causing the wax to contract. As this happens the oils used to scent your candle are pushed out of your wax. As your candle warms up to room temperature you will begin to see what looks like small water droplets form on top of your candle. When you light your candle the droplets will disappear along with your strong fragrance. Although your candle will still have a scent, it just won't be as strong as if you left your candle set on the table.
So what is my advice on the best practices for storing your unused candles? My advice is to store your unused candles in a cool dark space like a cupboard or closet. I personally store mine in plastic bins under my bed. I suggest storing your candles in a dark space because UV light can cause the color of your candles to fade over time and a nice cool place so they don't melt. To see more candle tips check out my FAQ section of my website www.katescandlesco.com