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Beginner's Guide to Burning Candles

Candles are undefeated when it comes to adding a little spice to your home decor and providing a pleasant scent in the atmosphere at the same time. They come in a variety of sizes, colours and designs to suit your preferences, of course, the choices of fragrances are endless when it comes to these candles.

But, candles also have its drawbacks and the most common is candle tunnelling. I'm sure that those who regularly use candles have encountered this problem at least once. Good news is, candle tunnelling is reversible - only in some cases!

What is candle tunnelling?

Candle tunnelling is a result from improper burning of the candle where the wax does not melt evenly during the burn. This causes the remaining wax to only melt at the center during the subsequent burns, forming a ring of unused and wasted wax as the wick burns deeper into the "tunnel" of wax.

The right way of burning a candle is seemingly not as simple as you thought.

How do you prevent candles from tunnelling?

The first burn for a candle is the most crucial as it will determine how your future burns for the candle will turn out. Here are 5 tips you must follow if you want to prevent your candle from tunnelling.

Tip 1: Burn your candle and allow the entire top layer of wax to melt into a pool of liquid. This will take several hours depending on how big your candle is. The main point is, you have to let the wax melt to the very edges of the candle jar.

Tip 2: When the top layer of wax has completely melted into a liquid pool, it is safe to extinguish the flame. Leave the candle after extinguishing the flame and allow the melted wax to hardenly evenly. 

Tip 3: On your subsequent burns, trim the candle wick to 1/4 inch before lighting the candle. If the wick is too long, it may burn unevenly can produce smoke and soot, if the wick is too short, it may end up being drowned in its melted wax after a few minutes of burning, causing uneven melt pools.

What can I do if my candle has already started to tunnel?

If you see that the centre of the tunnel is beginning to form a tunnel, it is still salvageable by using a lighter to melt the edges so that the top surface is even. If you are unable to do so, you can use a knife to scrape off the uneven edges and smoothen the top surface of the candle. Alternatively, you can also rework the candle by melting all the wax and pouring it into a narrower candle jar so that it is easier to burn.