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Candle Care: How to Prevent and Fix Candle Tunnelling

Candle Care: How to Prevent and Fix Candle Tunnelling

What is Candle Tunnelling?

Candle Tunnelling happens when a candle is lit but the melt pool isn’t complete and doesn’t reach the edge of the jar. Instead, the candle burn tunnels down the candle leaving residue wax stuck to the sides of the candle jar.

Candle tunneling


What causes Candle Tunnelling?

There are a number of factors that can cause Candle Tunnelling including: 

What causes candle tunnelling



  • If the candle is not placed on an even surface. As you can imagine, if the flame tilts towards one direction, the wax burn is impacted and melts unevenly

  • Wick size being too small for the candle. If the flame is too small for the surface area of the candle wax, then it will not generate enough heat, creating a tunnel in the centre

  • If the candle is near a window draft where the wind is blowing in one direction. This causes an uneven distribution of heat leading to uneven melting of Candle Wax

  • When the first burn of the candle is less than 2 hours. Chances are that Candle Tunnelling will occur. Usually, it takes time for the heat to melt the whole surface of the candle, thus if it’s lit for a short period of time the only section that melts is the one around the wick. 

Why is Candle Tunnelling bad?

Candle Tunnelling affects the amount of time you can enjoy your candle.  Candle burn time is wasted as heat doesn’t reach the wax around the edges of the candle jar. . It’s such a shame when you don’t get the optimum use out of your product.

How can I prevent Candle Tunnelling?

Once you know the causes, the solutions are super easy! Before lighting your candle, ensure that your candle is placed on an even surface. During the burn,  keep it away from any draughts or windows.  Ensure that you let your candle reach its full melt pool. We advise that the first burn of your candle should last 2-3 hours depending on the diameter of your Candle jar.  

How do I fix Candle Tunnelling?

One of the most popular ways of fixing Candle Tunnelling is by using the Candle Foil Method. Although, any method that involves using heat to reach a full melt pool will work. Let’s talk through the tunnelling fixes.  

What is the Candle Foil Hack?

It’s super simple! You wrap the outside of your candle with a small overlap around the rim on the top of the candle. This creates an almost cocoon effect.  foil around the edge of the candle to slightly overlap the top of the candle. 

Why does foil help with Candle Tunnelling?

The Candle Foil Hack uses heat to help candles reach a full melt pool and stop Candle Tunnelling. When the flame is burning, the heat is contained within  the foil layer. This helps distribute the heat evenly and helps to melt the wax to the edge of the Candle jar.

How can I fix Candle Tunnelling without foil? 

Heat is the main variable that helps fix Candle Tunnelling. There are several heat techniques that you can use that don’t involve heading out to buy foil. The most common techniques are using your oven or using a hairdryer to to create an even melt pool. 

How to use an oven to fix Candle Tunnelling?

The purpose of the oven is to apply heat evenly to the candle in order to help it reach a full melt pool. You can place your candle in the oven/grill for a few short minutes on low heat to ensure its melting the surface consistently. WARNING: This method requires you to keep a very close eye on the candle as some ovens are bottom heating and will melt the bottom and edges of the candle before reaching the top. Proceed with caution. 

How to use a hairdryer to fix Candle Tunnelling?

Some might argue that fixing Candle Tunnelling with a hairdryer is one of the easiest ways to do it. Grab your blow dryer and use the same technique as if you were drying your hair. Direct the heat towards the top of your candle at a slight angle, facing away from you. Not too close but not too far away from the surface of the candle and repeat a gentle circular motion. WARNING: Use the lowest heat setting for this. At times the wax may splash back, so do wear protective clothing / eyewear. Using a hairdryer to provide heat will help the candle melt pool reach the edge of the candle jar and fix any Candle Tunnelling.