Candle making is a very fun and enjoyable journey but we recommend you do your research before starting. A lot of candle company’s offer start up kits which is definitely ideal if you have never made candles before and it’s actually something that I started off with. Certain candle kits already come with instructions on what to do such as how much wax to use and what the correct temperature should be for the wax to start melting and the correct pouring temperature. However if you are wanting to make a candle using fragrance oils or essential oils then this process starts to get a bit more complicated and requires a lot of experimenting with different waxes, candle wicks and fragrance oils/essential oils. As you travel through your candle making journey you will soon start to discover what works best or binds well together.
While your finding out this new and exciting information, you will come across a strange tunnelling experience which will basically look like this as you start experimenting. This is a picture of one of my testing candles and as you can see the wax did not melt properly and started to create this tunnelling effect.
What is candle tunnelling?
Candle tunnelling occurs when the wick that you use is not the right fit/length/size for the candle you are making. Therefore as you light the candle the wax then starts melting down the way rather than reaching the ends of the candle container rim/edge. As you snuff out your candle the next time you burn it, it will follow the same memory and you won’t get much use from the candle you have made or purchased.
How do you avoid candle tunnelling?
The easiest way to avoid this is testing a few candles with different wick sizes, waxes and doing a test burn. Here’s a picture of some of my candles that I used when test burning but I would recommended testing more than 3 to get the best overview on what wicks are working well with what wax. Any candle that starts showing soot (black smoke) is a big no no! and you should discontinue burning it.
These candles were only burning for about an hour so they haven’t even reached their full burning point yet but the candle on the right with widest wick length is the one that I started noticing that had better results showing than the rest. It’s fun waiting to see what happens when your test burning specially with wood wicks because you also get a nice crackling noise to listen to which is really relaxing. Another method you can try to avoid candle tunnelling is by removing some of the wax and having a more levelled out surface so when it comes to burning this should reset the burning memory and allow the wax to reach the edges/rim of the container which will create a less tunnelling effect.
In order to get the best results please make sure when doing a test burn that your candles are not near anything that can catch on fire/flammable objects/any open windows/children or pets.
Another method I recommend you try which I have seen this a lot on multiple social media platforms that can be a quick fix is by using a heat gun which can be purchased from places like Amazon, eBay, Home Base, B&Q and am pretty sure many other DIY stores will sell them as well. They are really easy to use and all you need to do is lightly heat the top of your candle wax so that it creates an even melt pool, let it cool, trim the top of your woodwick/candle wick then burn candle again. This should reset the burning memory and allow the candle to burn down properly without the tunnelling effect happening.
So these are just some of the methods that I believe will help when candle tunnelling
occurs however why not have a look online for other interesting methods or maybe come up with your own method and just have fun with the process while being safe when doing so.