Candle Tunnelling: How To Fix and revent it

There's nothing more frustrating than lighting a candle and watching it tunnel, leaving a narrow hole in the center while wasting precious wax along the edges. Candle tunnelling not only affects the aesthetics of your candle but also hampers its burn time and fragrance throw. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of candle tunnelling and provide you with effective solutions to fix and prevent it, ensuring a more enjoyable and efficient burning experience.

Understanding Candle Tunnelling: Candle tunnelling refers to the uneven burning pattern that leaves a hole down the center of the candle, often wasting a significant amount of wax. It occurs when the candle's burn pool does not extend across the entire diameter of the container. Several factors contribute to this issue, including improper wick selection, incorrect burning technique, and low-quality candles.

  1. Choose the Right Wick: Using the correct wick size is essential to prevent tunnelling. If the wick is too small for the diameter of the candle, it will not generate enough heat to melt the wax evenly, resulting in tunnel formation. Conversely, a wick that is too large can cause excessive heat, leading to a wide and shallow melt pool. Experiment with different wick sizes to find the one that suits your specific candle and container.

  2. Trim the Wick: Before each burn, trim the wick to approximately 1/4 inch (0.6 cm). A long wick can create a larger flame, causing the candle to burn too quickly and unevenly. Trimming the wick helps maintain a steady flame and prevents excessive heat, allowing the wax to melt uniformly.

  3. Practice Proper Burning Techniques: To prevent tunnelling, it's essential to establish good burning habits. The first burn is critical; allow the candle to burn long enough for the wax to melt across the entire surface. This establishes a memory burn, ensuring that subsequent burns will follow the same pattern. As a general rule, allow the candle to burn for one hour per inch of its diameter.

  4. Avoid Short Burn Times: Candles need sufficient burn time to achieve a complete melt pool. Short burn times, such as lighting a candle for only a few minutes, contribute to tunnelling. It's important to allocate enough time for each burn, allowing the wax to liquefy entirely and reach the edges of the container.

  5. Consider Candle Placement: Drafts or uneven air circulation around the candle can affect its burning pattern. Place your candle on a stable surface away from open windows, fans, or air conditioning vents. Avoid placing candles near doorways where drafts can disturb the flame and cause uneven melting.

  6. Give Your Candle Some Love: Proper care and maintenance of your candles can contribute to a more even burn. Store candles in a cool, dry place to prevent them from warping or softening. Keep them away from direct sunlight, as heat exposure can affect the integrity of the wax.

Conclusion: Candle tunnelling can be a frustrating experience, but with the right techniques, you can fix and prevent it. Selecting the appropriate wick size, trimming the wick before each burn, practicing proper burning techniques, avoiding short burn times, considering candle placement, and providing proper care and storage for your candles are all crucial steps in achieving an even and satisfying burn. By implementing these strategies, you'll maximize the burn time, fragrance throw, and overall enjoyment of your candles, ensuring a beautifully consistent melt pool and a more delightful candle experience.

Back to blog