The goal when burning a candle is to have a smooth and even surface. When a candle tunnels, you’re wasting a lot of wax on the side and therefore not really getting your money’s worth. This can also effect the strengthen of your candle, as a smaller melt pool means less scent released into the air.
So how can you prevent this?
Yesterday we explained that you need to allow the candle to stay lit until there is a complete and even wax pool, meaning the wax has completely melted to the edges of the container. Otherwise, it will melt through the center of the candle, wasting a lot of wax. This is called "tunneling."
Example of a tunneling candle pictured here:
The reason for this is that candle wax has “memory” and the next time you light your candle, it will “remember” how far the previous wax pool was and only melt to that point, causing your candle to tunnel
A second reason this maybe happening is that your candle could be poorly made. Sometimes no matter how you burn a candle, it will still tunnel. Generally this is due to the manufacture using the wrong size wick.
In the example picture above, this candle appears to have been made with wicks that were too small. (Or it may have even needed 3 wicks with how large it is) When I purchased this candle last year, I tried to burn it properly. However, no matter how long I let it burn I could not get it to create an even melt pool.
So how do you fix it?
The easiest way to fix a "tunneling" candle is by getting some aluminum foil and wrapping it around the candle, making a dome shape on the top.
This allows the heat to stay in and melt the wax on the sides. If you burn the candle for about 1-2 hours, you should have a good even wax pool. (Time will vary depending on the size of your candle & how deep the tunneling is)
This picture is my candle after 1.5 hours of burning with the foil on
And there you have it! An even melt pool! Simple, right?
Please be careful when removing the foil, as it will be hot!
Carefully extinguishing the candle and allowing the foil to cool completely before removing, is the safest way to avoid burning yourself.
At Melting Moon Candles we spend months testing our candles to ensure your candle will burn properly. So as long as you burn our candles correctly from the start, you should never run into this issue.
But if you forget, feel free to come back to this tip and "save your candle!"