How to Prevent Candle Tunneling
What is candle tunneling?
Candle tunneling occurs when only the center of the wax right around the wick melts and burns down. If candle tunneling occurs over time, you’ll end up with a ring of hard wax around the outside of the candle. Candle tunneling can occur in any candle, more often it’s caused by the timing of the first burn.
You want to avoid candle tunneling because it reduces the overall burn time for the candle (since all the wax isn’t being used up). It also makes it harder and harder to light the wick as the candle continues to burn down. Keep reading to learn how to prevent tunneling in your candle from happening.
How to prevent tunneling:
The first burn is most important and is critical to prevent your candle from tunneling. The candle wax must pool to the edge on the initial burn. Wax has memory, meaning that if your candle doesn't burn to the edges, it will begin to tunnel and won't burn evenly the next time.
The first burn tends to set the radius of the melt. If you create a tunnel on the first burn, the next time you light the candle, it will melt the wax in the tunnel first, making it deeper and continuing to leave un-melted wax around the edges. That’s why it’s so important to completely melt the first layer of wax on the first burn before blowing out the candle.
For the first burn, place the candle in a draft-free area to ensure that it will burn evenly. After lighting it, check it every 30 minutes or so to make sure that the first layer of wax has completely melted—the deeper the layer, the better. The amount of time this will take will vary depending on the size of the candle. As a general rule, it takes about one hour of burn time for each inch of the candle’s diameter. However, this is only a guideline, and you should continue to check on the candle and blow it out only when the first layer of wax has completely melted. Never burn your candle more than 3-4 hours at a time. The glass jar needs time to cool down.
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