How To Store Candles Properly: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on "How To Store Candles Properly". Whether you're a candle enthusiast or simply love the warm, inviting ambiance they create, proper storage is crucial to maintaining their fragrance, color, and structure. Not only does it prolong their life, but it also ensures optimal burning every time you light them up.

So, let's delve into the world of candle preservation and explore the best practices, things to avoid, and the science behind it all. Your journey to maximizing your candle's potential starts here.

Understanding the Importance of Proper Candle Storage

The importance of proper candle storage often goes unnoticed, but it plays a significant role in preserving the quality and longevity of your candles. Incorrect storage can lead to loss of fragrance, color fading, structural damage, and reduced burn time.

Preserving Fragrance and Color

One of the main reasons we love candles is for their soothing fragrances and beautiful colors that add a touch of elegance to any space. But did you know that how you store your candles can significantly impact these characteristics?

A candle's fragrance is its essence, created by a blend of essential oils and aroma compounds. When stored improperly, these fragrances can evaporate over time, leaving you with a scentless candle. Worse still, they may mix with other scents if you store different candles together without proper protection. The key to preserving the fragrance lies in keeping your candles in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and other heat sources.

Color, on the other hand, is another aesthetic feature that can be compromised with improper storage. Direct sunlight or bright indoor lights can cause the colors to fade over time, diminishing the visual appeal of your candles. To keep your candles vibrant, store them in a dark place where they are not exposed to light for extended periods.

Proper candle storage is a critical aspect of maintaining the quality and enhancing the life of your candles. It preserves the sensory experience - the inviting fragrances and the visual allure of vibrant colors - associated with each light-up. In the following sections, we'll delve into more specific storage practices and things to avoid to ensure your candles stay at their best.

Preventing Structural Damage

Apart from preserving the fragrance and color of your candles, proper storage is also essential in preventing structural damage. Candles come in various shapes and sizes, each with its own unique structural considerations.

For instance, if you've ever found a candle that's misshapen or warped, it's likely due to improper storage. High temperatures can cause candles to melt or warp, which not only ruins their appearance but also affects how they burn. A warped candle may burn unevenly, leading to wax pooling on one side or the wick becoming submerged.

Additionally, candles stored in damp or humid conditions can also suffer structural damage. Moisture can cause the wick to become damp, making it difficult to light the candle. In extreme cases, it can even lead to mold growth.

To prevent these issues, it's critical to store your candles in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them near windows, heaters, or other sources of heat and humidity. Instead, consider using a cabinet or drawer in a room with consistent temperature.

Ensure your candles are stored upright to prevent them from warping or bending. For delicate or uniquely shaped candles, consider using bubble wrap or soft cloth for additional protection.


a person opening a drawer for storage


Best Practices for Storing Candles

Proper candle storage goes beyond merely placing them in a box and tucking them away. It involves specific practices that ensure they maintain their quality, structure, and aesthetic appeal. Here are some best practices to help you store your candles effectively.

Choosing the Right Location for Your Candles

The location where you choose to store your candles can have a significant impact on their longevity and quality. The ideal storage location should be cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight or harsh indoor lighting.

Heat and light are the main culprits behind melted, warped candles and faded colors. Therefore, avoid areas near windows, heating appliances, or places prone to high temperatures, such as attics or cars in the summer.

Instead, consider storing your candles in a cabinet, closet, or drawer. These locations typically maintain a consistent temperature and protect the candles from light exposure.

When choosing a location, also consider the risk of accidental damage. For instance, a high-traffic area might not be the best place for candle storage as there's a higher chance of them getting knocked over or damaged.

Remember, the right location can significantly extend the life of your candles, preserving their fragrance, color, and structure for your continued enjoyment.


The Role of Temperature in Candle Storage

Temperature plays a pivotal role in candle storage. Exposure to high temperatures can cause candles, especially those made from soft waxes like parasoy, soy, and coconut to melt or warp.
According to Shield Storage, a parasoy wax candle will likely melt around 133 degrees Fahrenheit, while soy candles, made from plant-based wax, have a melting point between 113-127℉ (45-53 ℃).

On the other hand, the temperature of molten candle wax can range from 120 ºF to around 400 ºF+, indicating how resilient candles can be when lit. However, in storage, it's best to keep them in a cool environment. 

And it's not just about avoiding heat; extreme cold can also be detrimental. Candles should ideally be stored between 50ºF and 85ºF. Outside this range, the wax can become brittle, leading to cracks or breaks.


a woman adjusting the temperature in the room


Why Dryness is Crucial for Candle Preservation

Humidity or dampness is another factor that can affect the longevity and performance of your candles. Excess moisture can lead to a damp wick, which can make it difficult to light the candle. In extreme cases, it could even encourage mold growth.

Dryness is essential for preserving both the structure and functionality of your candles. However, it's important to note that an overly dry environment could also lead to issues. If the air is too dry, it can cause the wax to dry out and crack. Therefore, a balance is needed - a dry but not arid environment is ideal for candle storage.


Organizing Different Types of Candles

 Different types of candles require different storage considerations. Let's look at how to best store some of the most common candle types.


Storing Jar Candles

Jar candles are popular for their convenient and clean-burning design. However, they also have specific storage needs.

Firstly, jar candles should always be stored upright. Laying them on their side can cause the wax to shift or the fragrance oils to leak, which could damage the candle or the surrounding area.

Secondly, it's essential to keep the lid on when storing jar candles. The lid helps to lock in the fragrance, preventing it from dissipating over time. It also protects the candle from dust and other contaminants.

Thirdly, avoid stacking jar candles on top of each other. The weight can cause the lower candles to crack or break, especially if they're made from glass. Instead, consider using a shelf or cabinet with enough space to store each jar individually.

Lastly, try to store similarly scented candles together. Strongly scented candles can transfer their fragrance to other candles if stored in close proximity.


Keeping Tapers, Tealights, and Votives

Taper, tealight, and votive candles, while smaller than their jarred counterparts, also require some specific storage considerations to maintain their quality.

Taper Candles: These long, slender candles are prone to bending if not stored properly. When storing taper candles, make sure to lay them flat in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. It's a good idea to store them in their original box or a similar container that will keep them straight and protected. Never stack heavy items on top of your taper candles as this can lead to warping.

Tealight Candles: Because of their small size, tealights can be stored in a variety of containers. A drawer or box works well, provided it's cool and dry. Like other types of candles, they should be kept away from heat and light sources. If your tealights came in a plastic or aluminum holder, keep them in these holders during storage to protect the wax from damage.

Votive Candles: Votives are usually sold without a container, which makes them more vulnerable to damage. When storing these, wrap each one in tissue paper or bubble wrap to protect them from dust and scratches. Store them upright in a sturdy box, and like with tapers and tealights, keep them in a cool, dry place away from light and heat.

Regardless of the type of candle, remember to always store scented candles separately from unscented ones to prevent the fragrances from mixing. Proper storage will ensure that your candles stay fresh, retain their shape and color, and are ready to create the perfect ambiance when you need them.


Looking for a complete guide to all things candles? Why not check out our guide below.


Things to Avoid When Storing Candles

While proper storage can significantly extend the lifespan and quality of your candles, there are also a few common pitfalls to avoid. These dangers can not only shorten the life of your candles but may also pose safety risks.

Dangers of Sunlight and Heat Sources

One of the most common threats to candle longevity is exposure to sunlight and heat sources. Sunlight can cause the colors in your candles to fade, and if the heat is intense enough, it can even cause the candles to melt or warp. Candles left in a hot car, near a window, or in a warm room during the summer months are particularly susceptible to such damage.

Heat sources like radiators, heaters, and even other candles can pose similar risks. Placing candles too close to these heat sources can cause them to soften or melt, altering their shape and potentially making them unsafe to use.

In addition, heat can cause the fragrance oils in scented candles to evaporate more quickly, reducing their scent throw when lit. This means your candles might not smell as strong or last as long as they should.


blinds to block out the sunlight


The Impact of Humidity and Moisture

Just as humidity and moisture can impact the human body and various materials, they can also have a significant effect on candles. Similar to electronics, candles are susceptible to the effects of humidity and moisture.

When exposed to high levels of humidity, candles, especially those made of softer waxes like soy or beeswax, can begin to 'sweat'. This occurs when the ambient temperature causes the fragrance oil in the candle to separate from the wax and come to the surface, creating droplets that look like sweat. Not only can this alter the look of your candles, but it can also affect their scent throw, as some of the fragrance oil is lost.

Moreover, moisture from humid air can settle on candles, leading to potential issues with the wick. A damp wick can be more difficult to light and may not burn as brightly or as evenly as it should. In extreme cases, moisture can even cause the wick to become moldy.

To prevent these issues, it's important to store your candles in a cool, dry place, away from high humidity areas like bathrooms or kitchens. If you live in a particularly humid climate, consider investing in a dehumidifier or using silica gel packets to help control the moisture in your storage area.


someone monitoring humidity in their house


Why You Shouldn't Store Candles Upside Down

Storing candles upside down might seem like a good idea, but it can actually lead to several problems. Firstly, if the candle fragrance separates in any amount, storing it upside down can cause the fragrance oils to seep out, potentially damaging the surface it's stored on. 

Secondly, storing candles upside down can cause them to lose their shape, especially in warmer conditions. This is particularly true for taper and pillar candles, which can bend or warp if not stored upright.

Lastly, upside-down storage can lead to dust and other particles settling on the wick. This can affect the burn quality of the candle and may even pose a fire risk.


The Science Behind Candle Storage

Understanding the science behind candle storage can help you better maintain the quality of your candles. From chemical changes to how storage affects the burning process, there's a lot more to storing candles than meets the eye.


Chemical Changes During Storage

Candles are primarily made of wax, with the addition of dyes for color, fragrance oils for scent, and a wick for burning. Each of these components can undergo chemical changes during storage that affect the candle's overall quality.

Wax, for instance, can undergo oxidation when exposed to air. This can lead to discoloration and the formation of a white, powdery substance on the surface known as bloom. While it doesn't affect the candle's performance, it can alter its appearance.

Fragrance oils can also degrade over time, especially when exposed to heat and light. This degradation can result in a loss of scent, reducing the candle's fragrance throw when lit. Furthermore, some fragrance oils can react with certain types of wax, leading to 'sweating' or seepage.

Dyes, too, can fade or change color over time, particularly when exposed to sunlight. This can lead to a less vibrant or uneven color in the candle.


The Impact of Storage on Candle Burning

How you store your candles can also impact how they burn. For example, candles stored in high heat or humidity might not burn as long or as evenly due to changes in the wax consistency or wick moisture content.

Candles that have been improperly stored may also produce more soot when burned. This is often the result of dust or other particles on the wick, which can occur if the candle isn't stored in a clean, covered area.

Furthermore, candles that have warped or lost their shape due to improper storage might not burn evenly. This can lead to tunneling, where the candle burns down the middle but leaves a ring of unburnt wax around the edge.


Conclusion: Maximizing Candle Life Through Proper Storage

Candles, with their ability to create ambiance and evoke emotions through scent, are a beloved addition to many homes. However, to ensure you get the most out of your candles, it's crucial to store them properly. Let's review what's been talked about.

Understanding the dangers of sunlight and heat sources, the impact of humidity and moisture, and the reasons why candles shouldn't be stored upside down can help prevent premature damage and degradation. Furthermore, knowing the science behind how candles change during storage and how storage affects their burning can help you make informed decisions about where and how to keep your candles.

Remember, the key to maximizing candle life is to store them in a cool, dry, dark place away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Always keep them upright and covered to protect them from dust and other particles. By following these guidelines, you can preserve your candles' appearance, scent, and performance, ensuring they're ready to light up your space whenever you need them.

In essence, proper candle storage is more than just about prolonging the life of your candles. It's about preserving the experience that each candle offers - the flicker of its flame, the aroma it releases, and the mood it sets. So, take the time to store your candles correctly, and they'll continue to bring warmth and comfort to your home for many cozy nights to come.