Our Guide To Keep Candles From Tunneling
If you’ve recently brought a candle only to find that the wax isn’t burning evenly around the wick and it’s starting to tunnel, don’t panic, there are ways you can prevent this from happening.
To stop your candle from tunnelling you can use tin foil to melt the extra wax around the candle or a hair dryer, to stop it from happening to begin with we suggest trimming your wick properly and burning for long enough.
We’ve made a small informative guide below which will discuss in more detail below why candle tunnelling happens, two methods to fix candle tunnelling, and some tips for taking care of your candle.
Why Does Candle Tunneling Happen?
Before we get into how to stop candle tunnelling from happening, let’s start with why candle tunnelling happens to begin with.
Tunneling happens in a candle when the wax doesn’t melt evenly around the wick affecting the candle melt, this tends to become worse over time making the tunnel deeper.
Most of the time, if candle wax is tunnelling it’s down to two reasons, the first being poor candle burning and the second the wick.
- Poor candle burning – The first burn of your candle is very important, you should always allow the wax of the candle to burn evenly all over which can take around 2/3 hours. This is because wax technically has a memory of where to burn.
- Bad candle wick – A second reason as to why your candle is tunnelling could be that the wick is too small for the candle size. Wicks which are too small might not be able to generate the right amount of heat to reach the edges of the candle jar. This tends to be seen the most in cheap candles since they don’t take time to size the wick properly.
How To Fix Candle Tunneling (Two Methods)
If you’ve recently bought a new candle and it’s tunneling or you’ve made a homemade candle (see our best guide here) and it’s burning unevenly there are two methods you can try below to remedy the tunneling.
How to Fix Candle Tunneling without Foil? – Try A Hair Dryer
For this method, we recommend you can use a glue gun or a hair dryer to melt the hardened wax around the sides of the candle.
Before we get into this method just ensure you’re wearing a form of eye protection and some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
- Start by trimming the wick and removing the dirt in the candle, heat the wax around the outsides, do not do this directly over a flame.
- Scrape any wax to help remove it around the sides then relight the candle and allow it to burn for 30 minutes, set aside and allow the candle plenty of time to harden again and dry.
Use Tin Foil
Using tin foil on your candle allows the heat to reflect and melt the rest of the wax on the outside.
To use tin foil on a candle simply cover the top of the candle then cut an opening in the foil and light the wick. Allow the candle to burn for a few hours so that the wax is melted on top then let the wax harden.
Tips For Taking Care Of Your Candle
Apart from preventing your candle from tunnelling there are lots of other tips you should follow to take care of your candle properly and make it last longer.
- Think about the first burn – The first burn of your candle is very important, you need to do this for around 2 hours, to begin with so your candle can have a good wax memory.
- Consider trimming the wick – Trimming the wick is important to keep it burning properly, the wick should be trimmed to 6mm to avoid soot you don’t want.
- Do not burn down – Never burn your candle all the way down, keep 1/3 of the wax at the bottom of the container otherwise it could potentially be dangerous and cause the jar to shatter. We have a guide to re-using your candle wax here.
- Store it properly – Always store your candle with the lid on it to preserve its scent and keep any dirt out of it.
- Avoid sunlight – Direct sunlight is not good for candles and can affect their quality of them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Candles Tunneling
Can you burn your candle for more than 4 hours?
It is not recommended to burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time since it can interfere with the candles memory and make it burn unevenly.
Should you put your candle out with a lid?
Do not extinguish your candle with a lid, not all lids are non-flammable and the smoke can also get trapped inside and make the candle dirty.
Can you put a new wick in an old candle?
You can indeed thread an old wick into a new wick if yours has broken off, this will help to burn the unusable candle down to its old wick, and then you can start to use this wick again.
Are candle container types ovenproof?
Most candle containers are heat resistant not ovenproof, only very thick glasses or candle containers made out of ceramics are oven safe.
Do scented candles burn faster?
Some people often think that scented candles burn faster than normal candles, however, this is not always true, they can often give the sense that they are burning fragrance for longer due to their scent, natural wax candles like soy and coconut also tend to burn for longer.
To conclude, to stop a candle from tunnelling tin foil can help to reflect the heat and melt the wax around the sides of the candle, a hair dryer can also be used to apply direct heat and melt the leftover wax.
Always remember when making your own candles to match larger candles to a larger wick otherwise they may not burn properly, we have a wick size guide here.
Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of NeoCandle.com where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay – so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions 🙂 (pun intended 😉 )