How to Burn a Candle Without a Jar in 5 Ways

Nowadays, candles come inside ornate jars that can class up any room. These jars contain candle wax and a wick that allow for a steady burn and mood-enhancing lighting. However, some candles don’t come inside jars. This leads to the question: How can you burn a candle without a jar?

You can light up a pillar candle and use it without any candle holder. It would be best to have a stand or a tray to hold the candle in place. Thicker ones can even stand without a supportive base and still burn evenly or smoothly. The only issue is you may not be able to use it outdoors or in a gusty room.

Many types of candles are manufactured minus the jar. For instance, pillar candles standard in church cathedrals are prime examples of jar-less candles that you can get in any shape or size.

If you like burning candles without a jar, then Pillar candles are the best place to start. But there are a few things you need to avoid dripping hot wax all over your house. Fortunately, we’ve scoured the internet on how to burn a candle without a jar. So, please sit back and relax as we put such issues to bed.

how to burn candle without a jar

Can You Burn a Candle without a Jar?

Getting a pillar candle is the best way to burn a candle without a jar. However, it will still drip wax as the wick burns. So, it’s essential to learn how to burn candles properly.

Some pillar candles can also stand without a candle holder. You can light one up and place it anywhere. However, it may still be wise to put them on a tray or plate so you can collect all the dripping wax.

Use any heat-resistant surfaces such as a saucer or ceramic table coaster as a holder. You can get loads of inexpensive candle stands on Amazon and other online retailers. They also look great inside a vase, lantern, or Mason jar. But, you can still light up your room even without a holder since pillar candles stand upright.

NB: The National candle association (yes, it’s still a relevant body) doesn’t recommend burning a free-standing candle or a candle housed in a jar. This is because glass containers can shatter and cause injury or damage to you or your property.

Let’s move on to 5 ways you can burn a candle safely without a jar. 

5 Ways to Burn a Candle without a Jar

1. Trim the Wick and Do the First Burn

Pillar Candles typically come with a 1-inch or longer wick when you take them out of the pack. You can experience an even burn merely by trimming the length to a ¼ or 1/8 –inch tall. This is because the candle crown (that mushroom-shaped inward dent at the top) will protect the bottom of the flame from the wind. 

For this, you’ll need a pair of scissors, a nail clipper or a wick trimmer. Next, light the poured or pillar candle and let it burn until the top wax player or the crown melts. Keep the candle burning until the wax has a ¼ inch diameter for poured candles.

You can stuff out a pillar candle as soon as you get a melted candle wax pool on your candle holder. Once the candle cools, you can trim the wick again so it can be good to go the next time you want to use it.

2. Position and Light the Candle Properly

  • Position a candle  

The safest way to place a pillar candle is vertically on a stable and flat surface where people can’t bump into it. It’s also worth noting that pillar and taper candles drip a lot when placed on uneven surfaces.

Placing a candle on a sloppy surface is sure to get an uneven burn that wastes wax. It may also flicker and give off dark sooty flames that stain walls and other surfaces.

The support surface should also be fire resistant for obvious safety reasons. So avoid the temptation to place candles on wobbly counters, desks, or chairs.

  •  Light the Candle Properly
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Once you find the best place to put a candle, you can light it up and improve your ambiance. It pays to have an extra-long set of match sticks or a long gas, electric, or friction lighter. Such tools allow you to reach the wick to have an even burn right from the start.

Shield the wick and lighter with your palm if it gets snuffed out by the wind. You can also tilt the candle to its side if you have a short matchstick or gas lighter. This may cause flickering or an uneven burn on the onset. But it should settle when you place the candle in a less windy location to ensure the candle burning smoothly.

  • Ensure pillar Candle Burning Is Smooth

Flickering pillar candles may add an element of mystery or whimsy to your home. But, it’s a sure way to waste loads of candle wax on an uneven burn. So, it pays to place your mounted candles in a breeze-free environment. This means finding a location safe from fans, air-con systems, windows, passers-by, and other sources of moving air.

3. Burn Pillar Candles for a Minimum of Four Hours

Unlike lightbulbs and other flameless lighting solutions, You must constantly monitor candles for efficiency and safety. So, it may be wise to snuff out a candle with a significant melted candle wax pool on the top.

Candles should also burn for less than 4 hours. Burning them beyond such a period presents the risk of the wax melts and essential oils igniting and sparking a fire. Whenever in doubt, please consult the manufacturer’s instructions.

Some candles can only sustain shorter burn periods. So, it may be advantageous to consider a multi-wick candle if you’re looking for more extended burn periods and brighter candle flames.

Sure, this sounds counterproductive. Won’t more wicks ensure a quicker candle burn? But, the reverse is true. Multiple wick candles position each wick evenly across the candle edge. This effectively prevents tunneling, which economizes candle wax expenditure for a brighter light!

How to get the most out of each candle burn:

  1. Ensure the melted candle wax is liquid after every use
  2. Centre and trim the wick after snuffing the candle flame while it is still warm.
  3. Allow the candle to cool off and solidify before the subsequent burn.
  4. You can preserve the essential oils that give the candle its fragrance by burning it for 3 hours or less on the first session. You can reduce this period as the candle grows short with use.
  5. Lastly, enjoy using your candle!

4. Extinguish Your Pillar Candle Properly

Using water to extinguish a candle may seem like a good idea. But, it’s an unsafe practice. For one, the concussive force of throwing water on a candle may splatter hot candle wax on your skin and property. It can also degrade a metallic candle holder by making it rust.

So, does this mean blowing out a candle is your best option? Well, it’s safer, but it leaves a smoldering wick that can continue burning to the base of the crown. This, in turn, forces you to trim excess soy wax off the candle to light the wick for your subsequent use.

Snuff out the candle instead of blowing or throwing water on it. You get a candle snuffer online at a fair price. Alternatively, you can wet your fingers and use them to snuff out the candle.

After this, you can sprinkle a like salt around the wick. This cools down the temperature of melted wax and leads to a slower burn rate in the future.

5. Proper Candle Storage

Learning how to store candles ensures they last longer, and you get an even burn with each subsequent use. First, the candle has to cool off and harden. Such a measure allows you to extend the use of a candle beyond a single 24-hour burning session.

Where should you store your candles? It may seem like a no-brainer, but this choice directly affects the shelf life of the candle. However, most people only think of ease of access when it comes to storage when all they need is a cold and dark space for their pillar candles.

Storing a candle in a freezer helps for a few hours improves your experience in subsequent burn sessions. You’ll even notice that the wax candle burns clearer and brighter burn the next time. Here’s how to go about this:

  • Narrow taper candles need 1 hour to freeze so that you can pop them in the freezer before a dinner party or a chill session.
  •  Larger pillar candles need to be cured for no less than 8 hours, so it may be wise to store them in the freezer overnight in preparation for a next-day event. 

Candles also need to be stored to protect them from dust. Exposure to dust may clog up the candle wax. This prevents you from lighting the wick effectively. This, in turn, causes a lot of smoke, soot, crackling, and the most uneven burn you’ll ever experience. The candle may even flicker even in the absence of wind.

To avoid this, wipe the candle with a nylon cloth to evacuate any loose dust particles. Then you can wrap the candle in tissue paper or a piece of kitchen roll. You can put the candles in their original package or a zip lock bag. You’re ready to store your wax candles in a freezer or dust-free drawer.

Can You Burn a Candle in a Broken Jar?

Adding a Pour candle to a desk, mantle, or any open surface enhances that space’s aesthetics. It’s not purely visual, as the scents and aromas of the essential oils also give you a much-needed mood boost. However, these products can be fragile to some extent.

Sellers may ship a wax candle jar to you with some defects. Or it can table off your desk, so you’re left with a broken jar. Can a fractured candle jar withstand the pressure? It may still look good enough to put on a shelf, but it’s just as vulnerable as other glass products.

Is burning a candle in a broken jar worth the risk? While making the most of your purchase may be tempting, it’s a risky affair. Broken glass jars can have missing chunks of glass, tiny or Signiant cracks. This doesn’t seem like much of an issue for some.

However, such cracks widen; eventually, the melted wax can seep through. And once you combine this with flammable essential oils, you’re left with a walking fire hazard! This is how to avoid all this:

  1.  Insist on buying candles from reputable suppliers that place quality and service delivery. You can always return the candles if they have significant jar damage.
  2.  Perform a quality check. The candle jar needs to be smooth to the touch and free of all visual imperfections.
  3. Check even for the tiniest imperfection when buying candles. Leave it in the store if it has even a slight blemish. Immediately return any wax candles shipped to you by a seller if they experienced significant damage while in transit.

Can You Burn Candles in a Plastic Container?

Has the DIY bug hit you? And you feel like making some homemade pour candles. Or maybe you feel like decorating a pillar candle by adding it to a plastic jar. This leads to the ultimate question: Can a plastic container withstand the wax temperature? Or will it melt?

You can store and burn candles in plastic jars provided that the material is thick and rated “safe to burn .”A lighter jar may melt under the heat of the melted wax and wick flame.

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Fortunately, there are plastic jars made especially for burning candles. Such products are widely available online and in brick & mortar stores. You can test them out by holding one against a flame to see if it’ll melt.

NB: insist on using a fire-resistant candle holder. You can use metal if you can’t find a reliable glass or plastic candle jar.  

Can You Burn Candles in a Glass?

It seems that wax candles contained in glass jars are all the rage these days. This is mainly because of their decorative and non-drip factor. Pour candles also light through the glass, revealing beautiful colors and patterns if the gar is more ornate.

But are glass jars or poured candles as safe as we think? Some feature highly heat-resistant glass that prevents them from cracking or breaking, while others don’t. But, even the most heat-resistant glass is subject to cracks and breakages.

This occurs when a lot of heat is concentrated on one spot as it would with a non-centered wick. Or if a gust of wind blows the flame on the glass. It also happens when the flame burns right to the bottom of the glass jar. So how can you ensure the candle you buy can withstand high heat and pressure?

An excellent place to start is checking if the glass jar candle meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) approval standards. Retail sites will display such a badge of honor, and it’ll also feature in the packaging.

You can take the following precautions to ensure each glass jar candle burn is safe and rewarding:

  1. Ensure you place the candle on a heat-resistant surface before lighting it. You can use a metal or ceramic plate or saucer if you don’t have a dedicated candle holder.
  2. Keep the wax candle away from highly flammable objects
  3. Centre the wick and trim it after each use.
  4. Snuff out the wick before the wax level is close to the bottom of the glass jar. 
  5. Never leave a burning candle unattended

Once you follow these rules, you’ll enjoy the mesmerizing flames and alluring aromas minus the stress of burning your house down.


As you can see, candles are not merely effective during a blackout. You can use them every day to give any room an ambiance boost. You can also use aromatic candles to deodorize your home while lifting you’re mind, body, and soul – It’s very therapeutic when you think of it!

Are you surprised to learn you’ve been burning wax candles the wrong way for years? Well, you’re not the only one. We learned a lot of new things that would have never been apparent. Hopefully, this clears the air, and you can continue to enjoy those golden flames in safety.

Please share this article if it has improved your life so it can reach more people. And don’t forget to bookmark our site and follow us on social media for more inspiring DIY tips in the future. 

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