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This page will help you get consistent, evenly burned wax throughout the life of your favorite scented candles. You will learn how to avoid candle tunneling and what you should do if your candle has started burning in expected way.
Your candle tunnels when it burns down the center leaving the surrounding wax unmelted. As the candle melts down the middle, it will drown the wick and make it more difficult to relight over time. When this happens, the maximum burn time is shortened and you won’t be getting the most out of your scented candle.
While you may experience candle tunneling regardless of the quality or price, there are actually a couple of things you could do to help make your candles burn as long as possible.
Tunneling begins as your candle's “memory” ring. A memory ring is the indent in the center of the candle wax on its initial lighting, and normally shows where all future burns could reach. Take immediate action when you see it, this is when tunneling occurs.
Did you know that the FIRST BURN is very important?
Well, it is! How your candle is initially burned will determine the length of its life, so we want to provide some tips on how to get the best first burn.
In order to prevent tunneling, during the first use, ensure that the pool of melted wax spreads entirely across the top before you put out the flame (ideally melted wax pool should be at least 1 centimeter deep around the edges before putting it out).
The diameter of the candle is actually a factor to its burn time. For wider candles, we recommend you leave the wick a little longer than usual. This will produce a bigger, hotter flame which will help reach and melt the wax all the way across.
Another helpful tip is to keep the flame away from moving air. This will help with a more even burn and avoid the candle being unintentionally blown out.
Keep an eye on your candles when they are being lit. If you notice tunneling happening early on, you could actually reset the candle memory ring. The quickest way to readjust the memory ring is by using a hairdryer. Simply heat the candle top on a high heat setting and allow the wax to melt more smoothly. Maintain a good distance between the hairdryer and the candle in order to avoid spilling melted wax.
If the tunneling has sunk deeper than a few centimeters, you could try the foil method below.
The foil method is a quick and easy method to help with tunneling.
First, tear a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the entire top of the candle. Poke a hole in the middle of the foil in order to allow some oxygen in and avoid burning the foil. Light the candle and carefully wrap the foil around the top of the candle. The primary purpose of this is to trap all possible heat within the container, enabling the hard wax around the edges of the candle melt evenly.
Caution: While this method does not require application for a long period of time, please be careful not to burn yourself as foil absorbs heat in the process. Additionally, since all of the heat is being contained in the candle, it may cause shattering of the candle glass. We suggest not leaving the foil on top of the candle for more than 30 minutes.
If you have tried the techniques listed above and your candle still does not burn evenly, there are a few additional ways to get the most out of your candle.
Electric candle warmers are designed to warm wax melts, cubes and candles, quickly releasing the scent. They include a small bulb which helps melt wax placed in a container above. If you opt for wax melts or cubes, use them per instructions for best results.
To ensure that leftover wax in candle containers do not go to waste, you can also use a tealight burner. Transfer the scented wax from your candle to the top of the burner, and place a lit tealight in the base. One thing to note is that unlike electric candle warmers, tealight oil burners take a little longer to release the aroma of the scented wax.