Does Salt Make Candles Burn Longer? 

  • By: Carl
  • Time to read: 7 min.

It is a common belief that sprinkling salt on a candle can make it last longer. In this article, we’re going to discuss if that’s really true. We’ll look into how salt might change how long a candle burns, any risks that might come with it, and what actually makes a difference in how long your candle can last.

Salt does not make a candle burn longer. Although salt might slightly delay the candle wax from melting due to its higher melting point, it doesn’t prolong the overall burning duration of the candle. It just burns the wax near the wick faster.

This belief may have stemmed from the observation that salt increases the melting point of the wax, theoretically allowing for a longer burn time. 

However, while this can slightly delay the melting process, it doesn’t considerably lengthen the overall life of your candle. In addition, adding salt to your candle can cause a variety of burn-related problems. You might be making the wax melt slower, but the wick is unchanged, and that can lead to problems. Let’s take a closer look at this issue.

Examining the Salt and Candle Burn Time Connection

The theory is that the salt sprinkled on the melted wax or candle wick, with its higher melting point, makes the wax harder to melt, thereby extending the candle’s burn time. However, this theory lacks solid scientific rationale.

While there are popular anecdotes and personal experiences supporting this claim, objective, and controlled studies fail to validate it. The impact of salt is minimal and can sometimes even be counterproductive, as we will see in the next section.

Risks of Adding Salt to Candles

Sometimes, people think adding salt to candles can make them burn longer. But, this can actually cause a few problems if the salt makes the candle wax too hard for the wick to handle. 

Here are two main issues:

  1. Candle Tunneling: This is when a candle only burns down the middle and not the edges, forming a tunnel-like shape. It usually happens if the candle isn’t burned long enough for the whole top layer of wax to melt the first time you light it. But adding salt could make this happen more because the salt can make the wax near the edges harder to melt. This not only wastes the candle wax but also makes the scent weaker because less wax is melting.
  1. Drowned Wick: The second problem is when the wick gets buried in the wax, causing the candle to go out. This can happen if the wax gets denser with the added salt, making it harder for the wick to melt the wax. Over time, the un-melted wax can build up and put out the flame. This can make your candle last for a shorter time and might even make it impossible to use if the wick gets completely covered in wax.

So, while adding salt to your candles might seem like a good idea, it can actually cause more problems than it solves. 

It’s important to know about these potential issues before you decide to try something new with your candles.

Factors Affecting Candle Burn Time

There are several things that can change how long a candle will burn.

Here are two major factors:

  1. Wick Trimming: The length of the candle wick can really make a difference. A longer wick creates a bigger flame, which makes the wax melt faster. By using a wick trimmer to keep the wick the right length, you can help your candle last longer.
  2. Avoiding Drafts: Wind or drafts can make the candle flame flicker. This can lead to the wax melting unevenly and faster. Keeping your candle on a flat surface away from drafts and out of direct sunlight (which can also soften the wax) can slow down the burn time.

How to Make Your Candle Burn Longer: Proper Candle Care

Your candle’s burn time isn’t just about what kind you buy; it’s also about how you use it.

Here are some tips to make your candle last longer:

  1. First Burn: The first time you light your candle is very important. Make sure to let it burn until the whole top layer of wax has melted. This helps avoid ‘tunneling’ and lets the candle burn evenly.
  2. Trim the Wick: Before you light your candle, cut the wick down to about 1/4 inch. If the wick is too long, it’ll make a big flame and melt the wax quickly. A shorter wick makes a smaller flame and burns slower. Using a wick trimmer makes this step easier.
  3. Stay Away from Drafts: Keep your candle somewhere where the wind can’t get to it. Wind can make the flame flicker and cause soot, making the wax melt unevenly and quicker.
  4. Don’t Blow Out the Candle: Use a snuffer or dip the wick into the melted wax to put the candle out. This stops smoke from the wick and keeps it ready for the next time you light it.
  5. Let it Cool Before Relighting: After you put out the candle, let it cool and let the wax get hard again before you light it again. If the wax is still warm, it can melt unevenly and make the candle last for less time.
  6. Follow the Instructions: Each candle should have burn time instructions. Follow them to make sure you’re using the candle in the best way to make it last a long time.

With these steps, you can get the most out of your candle and enjoy its scent for a longer time.

How to Get Candles That Burn for a Longer Time

The only surefire way to have candles that burn for significantly longer periods is to purchase candles specifically designed to last longer.

Here are some options you can consider:

  1. Larger Candles: Candles that are bigger in size are an excellent choice if you’re seeking longer burn times. They come with more wax and often have multiple wicks, ensuring that you can enjoy their pleasant fragrance for a longer time.
  2. Beeswax Candles: These candles are known for their longer burn times. Beeswax has a higher melting point compared to other common candle materials like paraffin wax or soy wax, which means it doesn’t melt as easily and therefore lasts longer.

Choosing either of these types of candles will ensure a longer, more enjoyable candle-burning experience.

Clearing Up Candle Burning Myths

There are a lot of untrue stories about how to make a candle last longer. For example, some people think if you freeze a candle before lighting it for the first time, it will burn longer. But this can actually cause the candle to crack or even break the jar it’s in. It’s really important to get the right information to take good care of your candles.

What Additives Do in Candle Making

Candle makers often add things like colors and scents to make candles look and smell nice. Some things they add, like hardeners, can make a candle burn a little longer. But these things don’t make as much of a difference as the kind of wax and wick used in the candle.

Let’s look at candles with scents. Sometimes, they might seem to burn faster. But it’s not because of the scent added to them. It’s because adding the scent can change the way the wax melts.

In the end, even though some people think salt can make a candle last longer, what really matters is what the candle is made of, like the type of wax and the quality of the wick.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the importance of trimming a candle wick?

Trimming a candle wick helps maintain a smaller, steady flame, which helps the candle wax to burn slower and more evenly, thus extending the candle’s burn time.

How can I put out my candle properly?

The best way to put out your candle is by using a snuffer or by dipping the wick into the melted wax. This method reduces smoke and keeps the wick in good condition for the next burn.

What is the ideal place to burn a candle?

The best place to burn a candle is on a flat surface, away from drafts, and out of direct sunlight, which can soften the wax and cause it to burn faster.

Can the scent of a candle affect its burn time?

The scent itself doesn’t typically affect a candle’s burn time. However, the process of adding fragrance can alter the consistency of the wax, potentially affecting how it burns.

What is the correct length to trim a candle wick?

Before you light your candle, it is recommended to trim the wick to about 1/4 inch to maintain a smaller, steady flame.


In conclusion, we’ve learned a lot about candles and how long they burn. We found out that adding salt to a candle doesn’t really help it last longer and might even cause problems, like tunneling or the wick getting covered in wax.

What really makes a candle last longer is the kind of wax it’s made from, the type of wick it has, and how well we take care of it. If you use your candle the right way and choose candles that are larger or made from beeswax, you can enjoy their lovely scent for a longer time.

Always remember, it’s important to know the real facts when it comes to making your candles last. We all want to enjoy the pretty light and nice smell of a candle as long as we can.

Next time you light a candle, think about what you learned here. If you take good care of your candles, they can last a lot longer and make your home feel cozy for more time.

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