Tunnelling on a new candle is the worst nightmare for any aficionado. Not only can it ruin the look of a previously beautiful candle, but it can mean that you don't get the full release of scent that you ought to.
To help you avoid this scenario, we've put together a few tips and options for fixing a tunnelled candle if the worst does happen.
What is tunnelling?
Honestly, it's more or less what it sounds like, and is when the burn of a candle doesn't fully extend to the outer perimeter of the candle container and ends up just burning down with a ring of unmelted wax around the outside.
This usually happens when a candle is lit but then extinguished before all the wax has melted. It might sound bizarre, but candles have a sort of 'memory' when they're first burned, which means that wherever the wax stops melting on that crucial first burn is where it will stop forever after.
How to avoid tunnelling
The key is to let your candle burn for a minimum of one hour per 25mm of the candle's width. For instance, Golden Fords flagship candles are 98mm across, so we recommend letting it burn for three to four hours to fully ensure that the top layer of wax melts. This is just a rough estimate, so basically just keep an eye on it and watch for about 1cm worth of melted wax in the top.
Can you fix a tunnelled candle?
Absolutely, yes! There are a couple of ways to fix the dreaded tunnel, and the most simple way is with the help of a household staple: tin foil!
Before we explain the method, please be aware that tin foil will get hot when near an open flame so please be careful. We also recommend not using this method for too long a time period, as there will be a lot more heat than usual and this can cause damage and even shattering to your candle container.
If you haven't managed to let the first burn set the best memory for your candle, you can reset it by using foil to redirect heat down at the unmelted wax like so:
- Light your candle carefully as usual.
- Cut a section of foil and wrap around the top of your candle, folding in the edges and leaving a hole around the flame.
- Leave the candle to burn for at least an hour, or until you can see the wax has melted all the way to the sides of the container.
- Remove the foil with care, as it will be hot to the touch.
And voilà! You have successfully reset the memory of your candle and can once more sit back and relax to the gorgeous scents.
In the absolute worst case scenario that your candle tunnelling doesn't respond to the foil technique but you still have plenty of scented wax left, you could try removing it (again, please be careful!) and placing some on a wax melt holder instead. This way, you can still enjoy the luxury of your scented candle!
We hope our tips are helpful to you and once again, please exercise care around an open flame. For more candle care information, see our FAQ page.