Do Scented Candles Expire Or Go Bad


Candles don’t typically come with an expiration date printed on them. As a result, you might wonder whether your scented candle can go bad or expire. To answer this question, you have to consider the materials used to create candles.

Wax and other organic ingredients used in a scented candle do not typically go bad. They will continue to burn years and years after purchase. However, the oils and chemicals in a candle can go bad. This causes the scent and color of a candle to degrade over time.

Luckily, there are ways to prolong the lifetime of a scented candle. After all, you buy a scented candle for the beautiful aroma that it projects. In this article, we’ll discuss the proper storage and usage that will ensure a prolonged life for your scented candles!

Can Scented Candles Go Bad

As mentioned before, candles will rarely go bad, but candles made from organic material can decompose after a period of time. Even a candle that has gone bad will still be able to burn, as long as there is wax and a wick. The scent that it projects, however, is a different story.

Loss of scent is usually the first signal of your candle starting to decay. Most scented candles have their scent come from essential oils, which are plant-based oils. These can go bad over time, causing the scent to change. You’ll start to notice that it no longer has the aroma it used to have.

This usually goes alongside with a changing color of the candle, where the dye in the wax will start to fade. These can actually be resolved, or at least prolonged, by properly storing your candles. Outside factors can have a big influence on your candles, just like it has on perfumes and colognes. Therefore, consider storing your scented candle in an airtight box (like this one found on Amazon). This will prevent the outside air from drying out the candle.

How long a candle lasts depends on the products used to make the candle. But we’ll get into that more into the next part of the post. Really though, regardless of what candle you have, you want to know the best ways to store and use your candle. This way your candle can burn longer and retain its smell and look.

In some rare cases, candle wax will spoil and cease to burn. But if candles are sealed properly this isn’t likely to happen. In short, candles can expire and they can lose their potency, so try to use your scented candle within a certain amount of time and take care of them so they last.

How Long Can Certain Types Of Candles Last

A variety of candle types exist and each has differing life spans. Again, your candle won’t rot, but it will lose its scent after a certain amount of time. We’ll go over the typical lifespan of certain candles here.

  • Beeswax Candles are some of the longest-lasting candles. Scents disappear over time, but if they are mixed in with beeswax they tend to last a lot longer. Typically candles should be used within a year of opening them. But with beeswax candles, the scent can be strong for many years. There isn’t an exact number of years, as this can depend on a number of factors. But know that beeswax candles have a much longer shelf life than most candles.
  • Another popular candle option is Soy Sandles. Soy candles are natural and mix well with scents, but they won’t last as long as other candle products. You can use soy candles for up to a year before they start to lose their scent and degrade. But if you preserve them well enough they can last up to a year and a half.
  • If you want a scented candle that lasts a little longer though, try using Citronella Candles. Citronella candles can last upwards of two years without degrading. They are made from an assortment of grasses and plants. These candles also have a pleasant fruity scent that even works great as a bug repellant! Beeswax candle products last longer, but if you preserve these candles well, they can last you a long time too.
  • The last candle type you can go for is the Yankee Candle. Yankee candles are made from paraffin wax. They have a shelf life of five years, but if you keep them correctly the scent will not degrade at all. The petroleum base keeps these candles smelling good and looking good for years and years.

7 Tips To Make Your Scented Candles Last Longer

You want to keep your scented candle burning for as long as possible. Candle care and storage play an important role in prolonging the shelf life of your candle product. There are many ways to preserve the scent of your candle and make it last longer. The following tips are just a few helpful suggestions you should consider!

1. Correctly Burn Your Candle

The first time you burn your candle is important. You want to create a protective layer of wax to help seal in the scent of your candle. But this only happens if you burn your candle right. Luckily, it’s relatively simple to correctly burn your candle for the first time. All you have to do is light your candle and burn it till the wax reaches the very edges of your candle. Afterward, let the wax sit until it rehardens.

Make sure you burn your candle long enough, though. If you don’t, the protective layer will not form, and more scent and moisture will escape your candle when you burn it next. In addition, a memory ring will develop on your candle.

2. Keep The Wick Short

You don’t want your candle wick to get long. The longer your candle wick is, the faster the candle will burn. This will give it a shorter lifespan. To prevent this, trim the wick to keep it short! Consider purchasing a wick trimmer for this. It’s a small investment that will greatly prolong your candle usage!

3. Keep Your Candle Out Of Humid And Wet Places

Candles are sensitive to extreme heat and moisture. So you never want to leave a candle in a humid or wet area. This will cause the scented candle to degrade faster and lose its potency. Your candle will also have a harder time staying lit or lighting up.

4. Keep Your Candles Away From The Sun

You want to keep your candle out of the sun. Don’t leave it outside or near a window with a lot of direct sunlight, as this will cause your candle to melt and lose wax. Really, a candle will last a lot longer when they are placed in a cool and shaded area!

5. Don’t Leave Your Candles Outside

This goes without saying, but don’t keep a candle outdoors for a long time. Not only will sunlight cause your candle to degrade, but other outdoor elements can shorten the lifespan of your candle.  You especially don’t want to leave a candle out in extremely hot or cold weather. Candles are sensitive to temperature and light so keep this in mind.

6. Don’t Burn Your Candle For Hours On End

At most, a scented candle should be burned for four hours. You don’t want to burn a candle past this amount of time in one sitting. If you plan on using your candle again in the same day though, wait for it to cool down for a few hours.

7. Keep Your Candles Sealed

Candles lose their scent when they are exposed to oxygen. So don’t just leave your candle out and uncovered. If you have a cap for your candle use this to cover it. If your candle does not have a cover then put it in a jar or plastic container. This will help keep the scent of your candle sealed in.

Jasper Pieterse

Hi, my name is Jasper and I've been a long time fragrance fan. Ever since 2014, I started to get a huge interest in fragrances and I've had my nose on countless of different fragrances. I'm excited to share my experiences!

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