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candle tunneling

In the beginning when I was researching everything candle related, I learned that when a candle “tunnels”, it’s a bad thing. The goal is the 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. Sometimes you’re left with a lot of wax that can still be melted, which means there’s a lot more lovely scent to smell, too!

So how can you prevent this? Some candles are poorly made and will tunnel no matter what you do, and this is mainly do to wick size. In the above picture, the wicks are a little too small (in my opinion) for the jar. Three wicks would have been better considering the size of the container, and you would get a much better even burn. Instead, it started to tunnel.

Sometimes tunneling happens due to the very first time you’ve lit your candle. You maybe allowed it to burn in perhaps 30 minutes or less and blew it out for whatever reason and didn’t get a good wax pool going. 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. What you need to do is on that first burn, 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. I’ll show you what I mean in a picture.

But let’s see how you can fix this. I learned this trick by watching many youtube videos a while back. The best way to do it 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, and in an hour or so you should have a good even wax pool. Please be careful when removing the foil, it will be hot.