Candle Blog

How to Fix Candle Tunneling

言語の切り替え : 日本語

Have you ever had an experience where you end up having a candle burning down the centre and leaving a rim of wax around the outside?
That is called “Candle Tunneling”.
I thought that was something that it is supposed to happen and nothing I can doa about it but actually there are few things you can do to prevent it.

※There are many different types of candles but in this article, I’m specifically talking about candles in containers such as glass, tin etc.


My candle only burn in the middle

What should I check and do?

Burn the candle for at least 1 hour or more

The most common reason for a candle tunneling is burning for too little time.
You should burn the candle for at least 1 hour or more to let the wax melt all the way across the candle.
If you blow it out before it melts all the way across, you will get a rim of wax around the outside and it will be more difficult to burn it evenly in the future.
※Especially for the first burn, make sure you burn it until it gets liquid wax on the top.
The burning time will be depending on the size of the candles, but it is said that the ideal burning time is around 2~3 hours.
If it looks like the photo below then you know are burning it correctly!


Is the room warm enough?

It’s sound quite funny that I’m asking if the room is warm enough when you think the idea of burning candle normally means to heat up your room.
But we are in the 21st century where we have a warm room and simply enjoying the scented candles.

Burning the candle in the low-temperature environment can be one of the reasons for a candle tunneling.

I had an experience where I burn the candle for about 2 hours and it was burning it evenly but when I burn the same candle on a cold winter’s day, even after 3 hours, the candle did not burn evenly.
It seems that if the room temperature is low, the heat from the flame doesn’t reach the edge of the candle.
If you are going to use candles in a low-temperature environment such as outside or cold winter’s day, you may want to check the melting condition occasionally.

【Tip】How to heat up the candle (wax)

When I see a rim of wax around the edge of the candle, I normally use tinfoil to wrap around the candle. (Photo below)
It helps to hold the heat to burn evenly.

Yes yes, I know it looks like an ashtray I just made, but it does what it needs to do!
I’m only doing this to enjoy the candle as long as possible.


Recently I found an interesting product which is called “Candle Warmer“.
It uses a halogen bulb to warm a candle and it is very popular in Japan now.
With this product, you probably don’t have to worry about a candle tunneling at all.
I was thinking to buy it but the design I wanted was sold out on most sites.

Maybe the wick is not correct

There seem to be some candles that even you follow the correct way to burn it, the candle still burns in the middle.
Not all the candles are going to be perfect but sadly some cheap candles or candles made by private handmade label might have this kind of problem by not doing the burning test correctly or not doing the wicks test.

I had one experience where it might match with this case.
A few years ago I bought a candle which was a large size candle with 1 thin wick and I was thinking shouldn’t this size have 2 wicks instead of 1?
I wasn’t sure if the flame from one wick will be strong enough to melt the wax but just as I thought, it didn’t burn well and left 20~30mm wax around the outside.


Once you start burning the candle, burn it for at least 1 hour or more.

If you are in the environment where the temperature is low, make sure to check the candle every once in a while.

Maybe consider purchasing the “Candle warmer lamp” so that you don’t have to worry about it at all.