Candle Use and Care
Make sure the unfaltering light produced by your Cathedral candle adds the most to your celebration or gathering.
Proper care and usage are essential to enjoying Cathedral candles. Following a few basic guidelines will ensure you receive the maximum value from our products.
Care While Burning
Minimum Burning Times
- Seat a properly sized candle FIRMLY and VERTICALLY STRAIGHT in the candlestick. Tilted candles may cause irregular burning and dripping.
- Approximately 3/4-inch of EXPOSED WICK is recommended for efficient burning. Trim if necessary.
- A candle follower must be used for the satisfactory and economical performance of your candle. Use only a follower that is the CORRECT SIZE for the candle diameter. Before seating a follower on any candle, it should be cleaned of all wax both inside and out. To seat the follower, place it on the shoulder of the candle giving it a snug 1/4-inch turn. Visually inspect the follower to ensure it is straight on the candle and that a perfect seal has been achieved. A perfect seal is when all edges of the top rim, or shoulder, of the candle are touching the inside of the follower.
- Before placing candles on the altar, STRAIGHTEN THE WICK and precondition the candle by burning it for at least TWO MINUTES.
- Extend the lighting taper 1 inch out from candle lighter BEFORE lighting.
- When lighting the candles, do not touch the candle wick or follower with the lighter. HANDLE LIGHTER CAREFULLY to prevent pieces of taper or wick from breaking off and falling into the candle cup. These broken-off pieces may act as a second wick, creating a double flame and resulting in candle failure.
- After extinguishing taper flame by retracting into candle lighter tube, IMMEDIATELY EXTEND TAPER OUT from the tube to avoid wax build-up and jamming. Inspect to ensure the taper is completely extinguished.
- >Always use a candle extinguisher to put out a candle flame. Never blow out a candle. To extinguish, gently place extinguisher over the candle follower, being very careful not to touch either the wick or follower. The follower is resting on both liquid and soft wax. Tilting it or compressing it with the extinguisher may cause the candle to malfunction the next time it is used.
- To avoid afterglow, always allow a candle to burn at least two minutes before extinguishing it. Afterglow may cause a wick to shorten itself, making it difficult to relight.
Care While Burning
- Try not to disturb candles that are performing satisfactorily.
- Place candles out of the way of drafts. Airflow from sources such as ceiling fans, heating or air conditioning ducts, or perhaps an open sacristy door, may need to be redirected.
- Inspect the top, or burning cup, of candles weekly to detect conditions that may cause improper burning. This is particularly important with Paschal candles where the burning cup is above eye level and problems might otherwise go undetected.
- Broken portions of wick or foreign objects such as pieces of lighting tapers, matches, or wooden lighting sticks, that have become imbedded in wax MUST BE REMOVED to prevent them from acting as a second wick. This could create a double flame resulting in candle failure. It may be necessary to recondition the candle head as described below.
- When a candle wick has become too long and curls over, it accelerates the burning of the candle, and may cause the candle to malfunction. Trim the length of the wick back to ¾-inch. It may be necessary to recondition the candle head as described below.
- If a candle wick is too short, it will be difficult to relight. Once lit, the flame may not be large enough to allow the candle to perform adequately. It may be necessary to recondition the candle head as described below.
- Large-diameter candles must remain lit long enough for the entire top, or burning cup of the candle, to become liquefied. In circumstances where a candle does not remain lit for the required length of time, it has a tendency to burn down the center of the candle body, causing the candle to malfunction. When this happens it may be necessary to recondition the candle head as described below. Please refer to Minimum Burning Times for more information.
Using a dull knife, remove all debris and/or darkened wax from the head of the candle. Next, expose ¾-inch of good wickm being careful not to damage the wick. Finish off by making the shoulders of the candle symmetrical and level. This is most important to insure proper reseating of a follower. Continue with Step 3 under Preparing.
Candle followers, also referred to as candle burners or wax savers, are available in all sizes to fit the largest Paschal candle to the smallest Altar candle. Properly fitting candles with followers will insure maximum burning time and minimize the potential for problems.
A correctly sized follower is determined by the diameter of the candle to be used. Your church goods dealer can assist you in selecting the proper size follower for your Cathedral candles.
A clean, glistening follower looks better and performs better. To remove any accumulated wax from the follower, immerse it in warm water and wipe clean with a soft cloth. Use of abrasives may affect the finish of the followers.
Minimum Burning Times
Beeswax candles are not all created equal. The grade of materials and the skill in manufacturing ascertain the quality of performance from one brand to another. At Cathedral Candle Company, established in 1897, beeswax candles are handcrafted with choice, imported, pure, natural beeswax that is unequaled and highly favored for its matchless bleaching and burning qualities.
Cathedral Candle Company’s continued growth over nine decades is built on an uncompromising dedication to superior candle craftsmanship and outstanding personal service through the finest church goods dealers nationwide. Get to know your nearest Cathedral dealer—they know candles. Their years of experience and knowledge are an invaluable source for helpful information about Cathedral beeswax candles and their full line of other church products.
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