Candle Making: How To Test For Safety

If you're reading this, it means you care about your customers' safety as much as you care about creating beautiful candles. We all love the cosy and romantic ambience that candles bring to any space, but let's face it - safety should always come first.

Don't worry, testing your candles' safety doesn't have to be complicated or intimidating. In fact, it can be a fun and rewarding process that ensures your candles are not only gorgeous but also safe to use. So grab your creations and let's dive into the essential steps to ensure your candles pass the safety test with flying colours!

Conditions of testing

Before testing your candles, make sure your testing environment is appropriately set up. First, gather your candles and trim your candle wicks at 5mm from the top of the candle. We recommend having 3 candles per batch to test to have a good idea of the average performance of your products.

Then, ensure the room where you will be conducting your tests is at approximately 20°C. To avoid any breeze, close your windows and doors. This will help keep the room temperature stable and avoid skewing your results.

To keep a record of your tests and results, get a camera to take pictures or videos of your various tests and record the result in a document. This will be helpful if you are ever asked to prove that you tested your candles’ safety.

Test 1: Stability

This first test is crucial for pillar candles as it is designed to ensure your candles are not unstable and that they are not in danger of falling over unexpectedly. To conduct this test, simply place your candle on a surface with a 10° angle.

To create your 10-degree slope, start with a flat surface like a table or a countertop and use a stack of books (or anything similarly shaped) to create the slope. The height of your stack should be approximately 1/6th of the length of the surface you're sloping. For instance, if your surface is 36 inches long, your stack should be about 6 inches high.

If the candle stays upright on its own, it is deemed stable. If your candle tops over, it will be considered unstable and therefore unsafe. Keep running this test while rotating your candle so that all of its orientations are tested.

Test 2: Secondary ignition

A secondary ignition occurs when there is a flame (or multiple flames) in any other place than the wick or wicks. To run this test, burn your candle all the way down in 4-hour cycles. If no secondary ignition occurs or if it occurs for less than 10s, your candle will be considered safe in that regard.

Test 3: Flame height

For this test, light your candle and after 5 minutes, measure the height of its flame. A safe flame height is 75mm for container and pillar candles and 30mm for tea lights. Then 5 minutes before you extinguish it, measure it again. If at any point while burning the candle your flame looks like it is getting closer to the maximum limit, measure it again and record the result.

Test 4: Behaviour after extinguishing

This test has two parts. First, blow out your candle and check that it doesn’t spontaneously relight on its own. If it does, your candle is unsafe.

Then, look at your wick (or wicks) straight after blowing it. For your candle to be safe, the wick should not smoke or glow for more than 30s after extinguishing.

Test 5: Vessel

This last test is only for container candles. Light your candle and let it burn for 4 hours while monitoring its vessel. If the container cracks or breaks during that time, your candle will be considered unsafe.

Now you’re all set to sell or gift your candles! With 5 simple tests, you’ll have the peace of mind that your products will be both beautiful and safe for their future owners. So go ahead and share your masterpieces with the world!