candle care

How to fix a tunneling candle

The number one question people ask us: How do I fix a candle that's tunneling?

Have you ever had a candle that looked like this? This is a sad candle. It's tunneling ☹️

 how to fix candle tunneling with tin foil

What causes candle tunneling? 

Candle tunneling happens when the melt pool created by a lit candle doesn't go from edge to edge in the vessel. Tunneling happens when the wax starts to burn down instead of out. Candle tunneling happens because wax has a memory and will create a melt pool only as wide as it did the last time it was lit, which is why it's so important to let a candle burn long enough to pool from edge to edge on every burn. When you blow out a candle too soon (have you ever lit a candle to cover up a the bathroom and then realize 10 minutes later that you have to leave?), the wax says "Oh, I can only burn this far out until I cannot pass go or collect $200." 

What to do if a candle is tunneling? 

First, don't panic. Your candle is not ruined. Can you fix a candle that's tunneling? Yes. Absolutely. You can retrain wax and get your candle back to perfect condition with something you probably have laying around the house already - aluminum foil. 

How to fix a tunneling candle. Step 1: Grab a sheet of tin foil. 

how to fix candle tunneling with tin foil

Just trust me. Wrap the top part of the jar in tin foil. It doesn't have to wrap around the whole jar, but it does have to cover the entire opening of the vessel. When you're done, it should look like this. We're creating a tin foil house to trap heat, which will melt down the wax that's higher than the rest of the candle. 

Fix a tunneling candle step 2: poke a hole in the tin foil. 

how to fix tunneling candle with tin foil. wrap top and poke a hole in the center of the foil.

Poke a finger through the middle of your tin foil covering and create a bit of space. Fire needs oxygen to breathe. Make sure the hole is big enough to keep your wick lit, but not SO big that all of the heat will escape. 

Step 3: Light the wick and leave it alone for a minimum of 2 hours (4 hours is ideal).

No peeking! Well, peek a little to make sure it's still lit - the foil can sometimes extinguish the flame. If that happens, relight and restart your timer for another 2 hours. 

fixing a tunneling candle with foil

At the end, the wax should even out. If it's not perfectly even, repeat this process in a couple of days. Your candle will be good as new in no time!  Did you try this trick? How did it go? 

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