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When Your Beeswax Votive Doesn’t Burn Well

Thursday, June 22, 2017 | By Pat Cattermole
When our customers run into a problem burning a beeswax candle, they often call us. Usually I am the first person they talk to. I have been burning our beeswax candles for almost 13 years so I generally have some troubleshooting suggestions. I may even have a blog written already that I can refer you to that will help you through your problem. So imagine my surprise when I had to take my own advice recently. It worked out so well I thought I needed to share it with you. I documented the whole thing with photos.

I took home a Honey Candles® Paris Pink Votive to burn as a memorial candle. I prefer votives because they are enclosed as they burn.  I used a standard snug fitting glass votive cup (something I always recommend to you). Then I put the glass holder with the votive into a pottery cut out Celtic candle holder. The candle light then shines through beautifully. I like votives because they will burn all day, 15 to 16 hours. 

I lit the votive and it wasn’t long before it burned a track through the side as you can see in the first photo here. Then wax started running out the side into the cup. What the heck? After a while there seemed to be a big pool of wax in the center and the votive didn’t seem to be burning it up fast enough. It spit and sputtered.  I heard words coming out of my mouth that I have heard from our customers. Things like, “The wick seems defective. “  or “The wick is too small”.

I already had my camera because when the groove burned into the side my first thought was I need to show this to Alecia, one of the owners. So I took a photo of the groove. Then I took a photo of the weak sputtering wick. Here it is in the second photo.

Than my next thought was, this is going to be a fine mess to clean up. How am I going to get that wax out of that cup if this votive won’t burn? Yikes, I can’t let that happen. Then suddenly I realized I had become one of my own frustrated customers. What would I tell a customer that this had happened to? 

Because of some votive burning trials we had done recently in the office when we switched wick I thought my way through to a possible solution. I picked up the outside holder which wasn’t too hot because it had a large circumference and gently tipped it. This in turn tipped the holder on the inside just a bit. Some of the wax pool that was collecting then poured off the side into the bottom of the votive cup. Slowly the flame recovered and started to burn strongly as you can see in the third photo. If you are burning a votive using just one cup you will need a thick potholder to do this with a good grip so as to not burn yourself. Beeswax burns very hot and the glass holder will be hot enough to burn you.

An hour or so later the votive continued to burn fabulously, as though there had never been a problem. You can see in the fourth photo it is burning perfectly. It burned like that for hours and hours. I easily got 16 hours of beautiful light out of that Paris Pink Votive.

The next morning I saw how easy it was going to be to take the metal tab out of the bottom so that I could put a new votive into the cup. Please see the last photo. I forgot to mention that I had put a tablespoon of coarse pickling salt in the bottom of it which makes the tab easier to remove. If you want, you can just pop another votive in or you can clean everything out and wash the cup in hot soapy water and start over if you wish.

I was very pleased with the result of my ‘fix’. I felt that I had some very good advice for myself. I hope that if this happens to you it works as well. We would like to hear about it, of course.

If you are interested in finding out more about burning our beeswax votives you can visit this link:


or if you want to see our selection of beautiful beeswax votives we have them on our on-line store. We even have some scented with 100% pure Essential oils in our Honey Candles® Essentials line.

Pat Cattermole picture Published by Pat Cattermole - I had the good fortune to be hired at Honey Candles in the fall of 2004. Experience managing a small rural printing business and 15 years as an elected public school trustee has been a benefit as Honey Candles moves through the need for flexibility and the demands of rapidly changing natural products marketing. I am the Sales Manager and most likely to be the one answering the phone when you call. Social Media and blogging for Honey Candles has been a recent addition to my list of skills.

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