Everything you should know about candles

Our grandmothers’ secrets…

Candles are living and at times unpredictable! To offer you the brightest sparkle mixed with the most subtle of perfumes, and also to cope with the little quirks of a candle that burns for you day by day, here’s what our grandmothers whispered to us. But hush! It’s a secret…

Have your candles gone dull with time? A lady’s stocking can be used to polish a candle! White candles will gleam virgin-pure if you clean them with a brush soaked in methylated spirit. And for coloured candles, a drop of soapy water does the trick.

If the base of your candle is wider than the diameter of your candle-stick, just dip it in very hot water and then re-model it to your needs. Or even easier, use a candle sharpener which operates like a pencil sharpener to trim off the surplus paraffin to make your candle fit your holders.

To extend the life of your candles, leave them in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Have you accidentally splashed white wax on your tablecloth? Just lay a sheet of kitchen paper or blotting paper on top of the drips and underneath the cloth, and you can iron it with a warm iron (no steam) until all the wax disappears. If the wax is coloured, your iron must not be too hot or you risk burning the pigments and marking the tablecloth permanently!

If you have wooden furniture spattered with melted wax, sprinkle the stains with talc. Lay three thicknesses of tissue paper on top and go over it with a warm iron. It is also possible to put a single piece of kitchen paper and melt the wax with a hair-dryer. Finally, on varnished wood, rub gently round and round with a duster dampened with hot water.

When you come to clean your candlesticks, just pop them in your freezer for an hour or so. The wax will harden and you can take it off very easily. Alternatively, it’s equally effective to put them in the oven, if the material of the candlestick permits it! The melted wax needs collecting in a container.

The flame deserves a little attention too. To keep it beautifully bright, don’t be afraid to trim the wick regularly. And before each lighting, rub the wick with slightly dampened soap.

Finally, so that your candles reflect your home better and give you the perfect atmosphere you dream of, limit the range you use. In the living room, candles perfumed with tea, cedar, clove or rose… When you sit down for a meal, choose fresher notes rather than the more heady and intense ones that might affect the flavour of the food. Opt for the scents of orange blossom, mint or verbena.