Why do Some Candles Tunnel?

Candles can tunnel for a few reasons. Tunneling is when your candle burns down the center, leaving a thick outer wall of wax. This can happen for the following reasons:


  1. Improper Initial Burn: When you first light a candle, it’s important to allow it to burn long enough for the wax to melt and pool evenly across the entire surface. If you extinguish the flame before a full melt pool forms, the candle may begin to tunnel during subsequent burns.

  2. Wick Size: The size of the wick in relation to the diameter of the candle plays a crucial role. If the wick is too small for the candle, it may not generate enough heat to melt the wax around it, resulting in tunneling.

  3. Poor Candle Quality: Low-quality candles or candles made with subpar materials may be more prone to tunneling. Cheaper candles may have an improper wax blend or low-quality wicks, which can affect how evenly the candle burns.

  4. Drafts or Airflow: Airflow around the candle can affect its burn pattern. If there is a draft or consistent airflow in the room, it can cause the flame to burn more intensely on one side, leading to tunneling.

To prevent tunneling and ensure a more even burn, here are some tips:

  1. First Burn: When lighting a new candle, allow it to burn for a sufficient amount of time, typically 1 hour per inch in diameter. This allows the wax to melt and form a full melt pool, preventing future tunneling.

  2. Trim the Wick: Before each burn, trim the wick to about 1/4 inch to promote a steady and controlled flame. A trimmed wick helps maintain a consistent burn and reduces the likelihood of tunneling.

  3. Avoid Drafts: Place candles away from open windows, fans, or vents that may create drafts or airflow. Minimizing airflow around the candle helps ensure an even burn.

  4. High-Quality Candles: Invest in candles made from quality materials and reputable brands. These candles are often designed and tested to minimize tunneling and provide a more enjoyable burning experience.

By following these guidelines, you can increase the chances of your candles burning evenly and avoid tunneling.

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