• Sarah S.

Do 3 Wick Candles Burn Faster?

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

It goes without saying that we love candles. In many ways, we’ve devoted our lives to them, or at least the pursuit of finding knowledge that can help us create and enjoy the best candles possible. So when I started researching and testing 3 wick candles, I learned a few things that I thought might be worth putting into out there into the ether. And that started with the question: Do 3 wick candles burn faster?

The short answer is yes, 3 wick candles burn down at a quicker pace than candles with less volume and less wicks. The upside is the ability to get more fragrance throw from one candle.

Below is more detail as to why 3 wick candles burn faster, and a few things you can do to help your 3 wick candles burn longer.

Why Do They Burn Faster?

Three wick candles do burn faster, and there are a number of reasons for this. Below are the two main reasons why three wick candles burn faster.

More Volume Requires More Wicks

3 wick candles tend to be much larger in volume than a candle with fewer wicks. More wax volume will require a larger volume container, and larger volume containers will need additional wicks in order to burn the candle evenly.

The more wicks in a candle, the more heat and flame on the top of the candle while it burns. This adds to how fast the candle burns.

Burning Outdoors, Burns Candles Faster

Large gorgeous candles like these are favored for outdoor settings. While this is great, patio-life will definitely help any candle burn faster.

Wind gusts or drafts can cut down the life of your candles and force them to burn rapidly.

Additionally if you’re busy entertaining and are unaware that one flame has been snuffed out by the wind your candle will burn lopsided and likely begin tunneling on one side, cutting down its life drastically.

Why buy a 3 wick candle?

While 3 wick candles may burn a little faster than single wick candles, there are still a TON of reasons to buy a 3 wick candle. Here are our favorites:

Three Sources of Ambient Light Instead of One

Obviously there are three sources of light on a three wick candle, but what so three wicks add? Ambiance and comfort. Yes, three wicks burn faster but having three wicks creates a candle source with more light and flame.

In other words, three wick candles look cool. Three sources of ambient light instead of one.

Scent Throw is Dramatically Increased

In addition to having the luxury of three ambient sources of light, 3 wick candles put off much more scent throw than smaller candles. Simply pu, the larger the surface area of melted wax, the more physical space you can fill with its scent.

The trade off between burn time and scent throw is worth it in my book. Especially if you're trying to create a certain mood in your home during a party, or if you're dog sadly runs into a skunk or dumps the trash can in your kitchen.

Candle Containers Are Ideal For Reusing

In addition to having the luxury of three ambient sources of light, 3 wick candles put off much more scent throw than smaller candles. Simply pu, the larger the surface area of melted wax, the more physical space you can fill with its scent.

It should also be mentioned that the larger vessels of 3 wick candles are more desirable if you’re looking to reuse the container after it’s lived its life as a candle. Since these will likely be the size of a small gardening pot, they’re also going to be an awesome addition to your patio in other ways!

How can I get the most life out of my 3 wick candle?

Our best advice for getting the most burn time out of 3 wick candles is very simple; candle selection and how you burn them.

Candle Selection

Be sure to buy candles made of pure soy wax for longevity.

How to Burn 3 Wick Candles to Improve Burn Time

Make sure your candles are burned all the way to all edges of the vessel every time you burn them. This will eliminate your wicks tunneling through the center of the wax, this can cut the life of your candle in half or more!

Avoid Drafts, Wind and Humidity

Drafts and wind gusts can cause your wicks to burn more erratically and ultimately they'll eat up more fuel (wax and fragrance).

To eliminate this, place your candle in hurricane glass or a lantern if you'll be using them outdoors. Take them indoors during humid days or rain storms and keep a cover on them when placing them in bathrooms. Humidity will swell your wax, creating air pockets that your wicks will burn through more rapidly.

Limit Burn Time to 4 hour Intervals

Only burn your candles up to 4 hours at a time. Allow them to cool and trim your wicks back down to 1/4". Shortening the wicks this way will help them burn through less wax each subsequent time they're burned.

Trimming your wicks back down to 1/4" will decrease the amount of smoke emitted during the burn as well!

Also, those next burns will be less fragrant if wicks are left untrimmed. Your wicks will be working super hard to consume all of the fuel (wax and fragrance) you're offering them. This will ensure your candle will consume more of its volume during this period as well.

Can I fix issues with my 3 wick candle?

Yes you can.

These larger candles can become more maintenance than those with a single wick if any one of those three flames are extinguished before the others. This happens primarily in drafts or wind.

Resurfacing your candle is Easy

Resurfacing your candle is easy, especially with soft soy wax.

Be sure to extinguish the entire candle and allow the wax to cool completely.

With a spoon or a popsicle stick, carve out the higher portion of the candle that hasn't been melting too well. Make sure the entire surface of the candle is a level surface and trim all wicks to the same height.

The excess wax removed from the candle can be added into a plug-in wax melter for later enjoyment.

How do I reuse my candle vessel?

Because the size of 3 wick candles are so large, we wanted to throw in some tips for reusing the vessel of your used candle.

3 wick candle vessels are a perfect reusable size for a few fun projects. When we buy or create any candles this size, we choose vessels that we can see in our home after the candle is gone.

Vase, Change Jar or Catch All

Depending on the shape, your vessel could also be used as a vase or an entry table catchall. If you've got pockets of change or bolts or keys and other miscellany like our family, these will work perfectly.

Planting Pot from Your Candle Jar

Plant a plant… most candles will likely not have a hole for drainage in the bottom, so planting anything that likes to be kept moist but also needs good drainage isn’t advisable.

Plant a cactus and make sure it completely dries out each time!

We like to plant mint or ivy in ours… they’re pretty much un-killable.

You could also try drilling a drainage hole in the bottom of your pot, it's a bit risky and require some materials to be procured, but it can be totally worth it if not just to keep the candle jar out of a landfill.

Refill Used Candle Jars

Since ceramics, metal or cement are more ideal for reusing as a future candle, many local candle makers might even refill your candle for you if you bring it back to the sight of purchase.

Alternatively, you can refill it yourself with leftover melted wax from the bottom of spent candles or wax melters. Just pick up three moderately sized wicks at the craft store and hot glue them to the bottom of the vessel in a triangular configuration. Then through time you will have a beautifully scented (free) custom candle made of an ambrosia of scents from candles past.

-Happy Candling!


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