Home Again Studios - Studio Notes

How Does a Candle Burn?

You’ve found your favorite candle scent (congrats!) and have been lighting it every evening to fill your home with the sweet aroma. But how, exactly, does your 100% pure, plant-based soy candle burn?

There’s a lot of science and physics packed into the light of a candle flame and we thought we’d break it down for you.

Fun fact: candles fuel themselves.

They produce light by making heat, which amounts to a quarter of the total energy created by a burning candle. The combustion process starts when you light the candle. Heads up, it takes a few minutes to stabilize when you first light it. This can cause the flame to flicker or smoke a bit at first. Once lit, the heat of the flame travels down the wick and melts the wax around the base. The liquid wax is then drawn back up through the wick to the flame where it’s vaporized and turned into gas.

This combination of hydrogen and carbon reacts with oxygen to create heat, light, water vapor (H20) and Carbon Dioxide (C02). Enough heat is created to travel back down the wick to melt more wax, keeping the combustion process going.

The dance of heat, wax and vaporized gases will continue until the fuel is used up (all the candle’s wax has melted) or the heat is eliminated (you extinguish the flame). And that favorite scent of yours? It’s added to the wax so that when it vaporizes the fragrance is released into the room.

Now you can enjoy the flickering light even more, knowing that your candle is fueling itself all evening long.