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Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

How Does a Candle Burn?

How Does a Candle Burn?

How does a candle burn? A candle is a stick of wax with a wick, or woven cord, running through its center. When the wick is set on fire, the heat melts some of the wax at the top of the candle. The melted wax soaks the wick and becomes so hot that it turns to a gas.

The gas burns brightly, giving off light. When you blow out a candle, the force of your breath pushes the heat of the flame away from the candle. Never snuff a candle by blowing directly at the flame.

To be perfectly safe, use a metal candle snuffer to extinguish the flame. When blowing out a candle, hold your finger in front of the flame and blow at it. The air will flow around the finger and extinguish the candle from both sides.

This will prevent hot wax from splattering. The temperature of the wick cools until it is too low for the candle to burn. Candles are usually made by pouring melted wax into molds around a wick.

Is it OK to leave a candle burning all night? Never leave a candle burning unattended. If you burn your candle for more than 4 hours, carbon will collect on the wick, and your wick will begin to “mushroom.” This can cause the wick to become unstable, the flame to get too large. Either your glass container may get crack, or your furniture may catch fire.

Content for this question contributed by Michele Lannon, resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA