Preventing jar candles from tunnelling
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Preventing jar candles from tunnelling

Tunnelling is when the candle burns in a small area around the wick, leaving a portion of the candle unmelted on the outer rim.

The result of tunneling is uneven burning and it will look as though the flame is burning a tunnel down the centre. As the tunnel gets deeper, the flame won’t be able to get enough oxygen to burn and it will cause the candle to extinguish – even though it is still surrounded by wax.

The best way to avoid tunnelling is to burn the candle for long enough to let the entire surface melt. The time this takes depends on the size of the candle, our smaller candles should get a melt pool around 1 hour and our larger ones around 2 hours.

Why do candles tunnel?

One of the main reasons a candle will tunnel is an incorrect wick size, however our candles have been tested thoroughly and we’re confident that tunnelling won’t happen naturally.

If you need to extinguish a candle before a full pool has been established, this can create an uneven surface, causing the candle to tunnel in future burns and reducing the overall burn time of the candle.

If you believe a candle is starting to tunnel, ensure you have enough time to leave it burning in a safe place and where you can keep an eye on it. Allowing it to burn slightly longer, should help to smooth the surface ready to be burned again ‘fresh’, so you can enjoy your candle. You can also manually remove some of the wax surrounding the wick and with the goal to smooth out the surface before relighting.

What can I do with a candle that has tunnelled?

If you’ve found that a candle you have has tunnelled, one way to save what you can is to remove the wax from the jar, such as scooping it out with a spoon (which you can easily clean with hot, soapy water as our rapeseed and coconut wax is water soluble) and placing it onto a wax melter – using a tea light to melt the wax down, allowing for the scent to release. While this method won’t last as long as specifically created wax melts – it’s a great way to save what you can from a candle that’s tunnelled.

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If you have any questions about our Rapeseed and Coconut wax candles, tea lights or wax melts – please get in touch, we’re always happy to help or you can browse the shop.

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