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How to Fix a Candle that is Tunneling

Updated: Jan 31

Candle tunneling occurs when the wick burns straight down the center, instead of creating an even melty pool of wax across the entire surface. This typically happens when you don't let a candle burn long enough the first time you use it. Once this happens the tunneling will continue but we can help you save your candle.

How to fix a tunneling candle

The first time you burn a new candle it is very important to follow a few simple rules to ensure your candle burns evenly and clean.

  1. Always (and we mean always!) trim your wicks before each and every burn. Trimming your wicks will ensure a nice even burn with little to no soot from the flame.

  2. The first burn is always the most important. Never light your new candle unless you can let it burn for a good 3-4 hours. This will ensure a nice edge to edge melt pool which will keep your candle wax even as it cools. By doing this you will eliminate any chances of "tunneling".

  3. Place your candle on a level, heat safe surface. If you plan on sitting your candle on a wood table, it is highly recommended to place a little hot plate or place mat underneath the candle. This will protect your wood surface from heat damage.

  4. Avoid placing your candle in drafty areas when burning as this can affect the burn process of your candle.

  5. Keep lit candles away from children and pets.

How to Correct a 'Tunneled Candle'

You have done everything right but still your candle tunneled. Do not worry! This can be fixed but you must do this after the first signs of tunneling. Follow these steps:

  • Place candle on a heat safe surface and wrap the candle in foil leaving a small opening at the top (see picture).

  • Light the wick(s) and make sure candle is not in a drafty place.

  • Leave to burn for a good 2 hours or until you notice the wax melting evenly across the candle vessel (see picture)

  • Extinguish candle (dipping the wick causes no smoke) and let cool down. Do NOT put in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process. Let cool at room temperature.

Now your candle wax is even across the top and will burn beautifully the next time you light it.

Candle tunneling is a common problem but one that can be easily fixed so you can continue to enjoy the warm glow and soft scent of your favourite candles.

Looking for help with your candle needs or issues? Please feel free to reach out to us here at Itty Bitty Candles anytime. We would love to help you.

Burn clean and safe!

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