Believe it or not, there's more to your little waxy friend than just looking and smelling pretty! There is science behind candles and how they sustain their constant flames.
Candles have been around for centuries and have been fascinating both scientists and common folk with their flickering flames. All the way back in 1860, a scientist named Michael Faraday gave an incredible series of lectures titled "The Chemical History of a Candle." Through those lectures, Faraday demonstrated lots of scientific principles using only the flame of a burning candle.
Even as late as the 90s, humans have been learning new and exciting things about candles, including how candles behave in space. Needless to say, there are complicated elements of physics and chemistry at play here. Here's the basic science behind how a candle works:
How Do Candles Work?
The start of a candle's process begins when you light the wick. The heat from the flame melts the wax around the base of the wick, and this melted wax becomes the fuel for the burning flame. There is a process called capillary action, where the heat of the flame draws the hot, liquid wax up the thin wick. As it reaches the top of the wick, the flame vaporizes the wax and fragrant oils into a hot gas, which is expelled into the air as both oxygen and hydrogen.
When combined with the oxygen in the air, this entire chemical reaction creates light, heat, water, and CO2 in a combustion reaction. Because heat is a byproduct of this reaction, it will continue to melt more wax, which continues tocyclically fuel the flame. This reaction will continue to occur until the flame is extinguished or the candle wax has completely evaporated.
Note: Becuase it takes a minute for the combustion reaction to stabilize, you may notice some flickering or instability when you first light your candle. A properly trimmed wick can usually solve this - learn more about wooden wick management here.
Not All Wax Is The Same
Candles come in lots of different forms - soy wax, paraffin wax, and even some that present as clear gels... But different waxes provide different burn qualities.
Soy wax (or another organic material like coconut wax) will give you the cleanest, most even burn. But even beyond that, a well-taken-care-of soy candle will burn for longer than a lower-quality wax; approximately 60-80 hours. There are lots of helpful tips for taking good care of your candle - learn more about how to make the most of your soy candle here!
Burning a candle made of paraffin wax will result in more soot being released into the air (as well as some nasty air pollutants, some of which are carcinogenic). These candles may look and smell nice, but ultimately, are worse for your lungs and the environment as a whole.
Jackpot Candles is fully committed to 100% soy wax for a clean, long-lasting, organic burn!
Why Does My Candle Flame Always Point Up?
Have you ever wondered about your candle's flame? Why does it point toward the sky? Why are candle flames teardrop-shaped?
As a candle flame heats the air around it, the newly-heated air will start to rise, which pulls the cooler air adjacent to the flame downward. This is called a "convection current," which is essentially a continuous cycle of upward-moving air surrounding the candle's flame. The upward air shapes the flame into a teardrop.
Interestingly enough, in zero gravity, a candle's flame is spherical! This is because the movement of air around a candle flame is completely dependent on the Earth's gravity... Weird!
You might also notice that your candle flame burns in different colors - blue at the bottom and surrounding the flame (aka the candle veil), orange in the middle, and a pale yellow toward the top. The candle is hottest and most oxygen-rich in the blue zones, and gets coolers as it fades toward the yellow part of the flame.
Candles Are Cool!
Sometimes, we take for granted the amazing science behind something as simple as a candle. With the knowledge of how they work, it can help us to appreciate the lovely, gentle light that they give off, as well as the amazing scent profiles they can throw into a room.
One last bit science behind Jackpot Candles... We hypothesize that you'll be ecstatic when you find the hidden ring inside! Each Jackpot Candle comes equipped with a foil-wrapped ring worth anywhere from $15 to $5000.