Have you ever been excited for a new candle, but after burning a couple times notice that the candle has a thick wall of wax around the wick that never seems to burn down? That the wall of wax continues getting deeper and narrower with each burn till your candle barely stays lit, the flame is dim, or is snuffing out long before the burn time that was promised?
There is one simple solution to eliminate what is known as candle tunneling and get the longest burn out of your candle. When lighting your candle, make sure you have time to stick around and safely burn your candle all the way to the edge. This is most important on the very first burn. Less so for future burns, though if you repeatedly light a candle for only a short period of time, this can still be an issue. So, on the first burn, and as much as possible on subsequent burns, try to make sure the wax is melted to the edges of the container before extinguishing. That’s it!
There are times when tunneling can happen when buying poorly made candles that have been manufactured with the wrong size wick, but the most common reason for tunneling is an improper first burn. Note that, along with ensuring the highest quality wax and carefully choosing scents without harmful additives or chemicals, we use a carefully sized 100% cotton wick to ensure a perfect burn on our small batch, hand crafted candles.
For taper candles, tunneling is less of an issue, though to ensure an even an drip-free burn, it’s important to not burn where there is a breeze or fan!
What if your candle is already a victim of candle tunneling? Here is a trick that may help regain some of the burn time: Trim the wick of your candle and remove any debris. Wrap foil across the top of your candle, make a small opening of about 1.5” above the wick. Remove the foil, light the wick, carefully place the foil back on the candle. Stick around while you burn until the top layer of wax has melted evenly. You may need to pour out some of the excess wax along the way if there is so much it is drowning the wick.