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How to Prevent Candle Tunneling: Tips and Tricks

Candles are a delightful addition to any space, creating ambiance, warmth, and sometimes even a soothing aroma. However, nothing can ruin the aesthetic and longevity of a candle like tunneling. Candle tunneling occurs when the wax melts unevenly, leaving a tunnel-like hole in the center while the outer edges remain untouched. 

Not only does this waste wax, but it also shortens the lifespan of your candle. Fear not! With a few simple tips and tricks, you can prevent candle tunneling and enjoy a beautiful, even burn every time.





What is Candle Tunneling? 


Candle tunneling refers to the process where a candle burns down the center, leaving wax along the sides untouched. This creates a tunnel-like effect inside the candle, hence the term "tunneling." It occurs when a candle is not allowed to burn for sufficient time during each use. Tunneling can be caused by extinguishing the candle too soon after lighting it, resulting in the wax melting only in the center of the wick. 


What Causes Candle Tunneling?


Tunneling occurs when a candle burns down the center, leaving wax along the edges unburned. In this situation, several factors can play a role:


1. Improper Wick Trimming: If the wick is not trimmed properly before each use, it may be too long, causing the flame to burn hotter and faster, which can lead to tunneling.


2. Short Burn Times: Candles need enough time to create a full melt pool across the surface. Burning a candle for too short a time can lead to tunneling because the wax doesn't have a chance to melt fully.


3. Drafts or Uneven Heat: Drafts or uneven heat sources in the environment can cause the candle flame to burn unevenly, leading to tunneling.


4. Container Size and Shape: The size and shape of the candle container can influence how evenly the candle burns. Tall, narrow containers are more prone to tunneling than wider, shallow ones.


5. Inadequate Wick Size: If the wick is too small for the diameter of the candle, it may not generate enough heat to melt the wax evenly, leading to tunneling.


Tip: Make your space more lively by using Sea Zen's homemade aromatherapy candles crafted from natural soy wax. Our scented candles are carefully made to ensure a clean, even burn, providing you with the ultimate aromatherapy experience. Whether you're seeking relaxation, rejuvenation, or a touch of relaxation, our soy wax-scented candles target your senses with their calming aromas. Sea Zen offers the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy while creating a warm atmosphere with homemade candles. 




How to Prevent Candle Tunneling?


Candle tunneling occurs when the wax of a candle doesn't melt evenly across the diameter, leaving a tunnel-like cavity down the center. This not only reduces the aesthetic appeal but also wastes the wax and shortens the lifespan of the candle. Here are some tips to prevent candle tunneling:


1. First Burn: When you light a new candle, allow it to burn long enough to melt the wax to the edges of the container. It usually takes about one hour per inch of candle diameter. This sets the "memory" of the candle, ensuring it burns evenly each time thereafter.


2. Trim the Wick: Trim the wick to about ¼ inch before each use. A longer wick can cause the flame to burn too hot, leading to uneven melting and tunneling.


3. Burn Time: Avoid burning candles for more than 4 hours at a time. Excessive burning can cause the wax to melt too quickly, creating a tunneling effect.


4. Draft-Free Environment: Place the candle in a draft-free area. Drafts can cause uneven burning by disturbing the flame.


5. Use a Candle Accessory: Candle accessories like wick trimmers, wick dippers, and candle shades can help maintain proper burning conditions and prevent tunneling.


6. Rotate Candles: If you have multiple candles, rotate their use. This prevents one candle from burning more than the others, leading to uneven melting.


By following these tips, you can help prevent candle tunneling and enjoy your candles for longer periods.


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How to Fix Candle Tunneling?


When you light a candle, it's best to let the wax melt to the edge of the container. But sometimes, the candle burns down the middle, leaving wax around the sides. Here's how you can fix it:


1. Hair Dryer Method: If you see tunneling, use a hair dryer to melt the wax around the sides. Keep the hair dryer on low, and hold it a safe distance away to avoid spreading wax. This helps the wax melt evenly the next time you light the candle.


2. Aluminum Foil Method: Another way is to wrap aluminum foil around the candle, leaving space for the flame. The foil reflects heat, helping the wax melt evenly. After a couple of hours, the wax should reach the container's edge.


3. Wax Removal Method: You can also use a spoon to scoop out the wax from the middle until it's level with the sides. This removes the wax "memory" and helps the candle burn evenly next time.


Preventing candle tunneling doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following these simple tips and tricks, you can enjoy a more even and efficient burn from your candles, maximizing their aroma and longevity.


With a little care and attention, you can enhance your candle-burning experience and create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your home.


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