How To Fix A Tunneled Candle

One main issue candle lovers face is candle tunneling. You feel like you are wasting a lot of wax because not all of them gets melted. That is why we will teach you the basics of candle tunneling and how to fix a tunneled candle!

Candle tunneling happens when just the wax in the candle’s center melts and burns down. It will eventually result in a ring of hard wax around the exterior of the candle. Candle tunneling can occur in any candle, regardless of the quality or kind of wax used.

It is more common in low-cost candles. Candle tunneling can be caused by a wick that is too small for the size of the candle. Although the timing of the first burn more commonly causes it.

You should avoid candle tunneling since it affects the total burn duration of the candle. It is because all of the wax isn’t being burned up. It also makes it more difficult to ignite the flame as the candle burns down. 

We will thoroughly go through two issues. First, how to fix a tunneled candle and how to prevent it with your future candles. Let’s get through this one by one.


How To Fix A Tunneled Candle

Don’t worry if your candle has already begun to tunnel. It’s possible that you can still save it. If the tunneling is minor, you can use a hairdryer to dry the top of the candle. The heated air will melt and smooth the wax, resulting in a more level surface. 

To avoid this happening again, follow the directions for the first burn. Then, melt the entire first layer of wax the next time you light the candle. Then, if the hairdryer isn’t working, you can try the oven. 

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees F, lay the candle on a baking sheet, and bake for about five minutes. You may require less time to burn a smaller candle and more time to burn a larger one. Turn on the oven light to keep an eye on the candle and ensure it doesn’t grow too hot.

You might also try using a foil tent. Light the candle and then cover it with aluminum foil to achieve this. Make a hole on the top to allow smoke to escape. 

The foil will reflect heat onto the candle, melting the wax around the edges rather than just in the center. So keep an eye on it to prevent it from overheating. When all of the wax has melted, use an oven mitt or other protective device to gently remove the aluminum foil and blow out the candle.

Your candle tunneling may be too extensive in some circumstances to save your candle. While this may be disheartening, it does not preclude you from enjoying your candle. Instead, you may acquire a candle warmer, which heats the wax in the bottom of container candles. 

A candle warmer will heat the residual wax sufficiently to produce delicate aromas. It is the case even if your candle tunneling has progressed to the point that it is no longer possible to light the wick. These are the ways on how to fix a tunneled candle.


How To Prevent Candle Tunneling

One way to avoid the issue of how to fix a tunneled candle is to prevent it from happening in the first place! To prevent tunneling candles, the first burn is essential. Because wax has memory, the first burn establishes the melt’s radius. 

If you make a tunnel on the initial burn, the wax in the tunnel will melt first the next time you light the candle. After that, it makes it deeper and leaves unmelted wax around the perimeter. That’s why it’s critical to thoroughly dissolve the initial layer of wax before blowing out the candle on the first burn. 

Place the candle in a draft-free location for the first burn to ensure it burns evenly. Then, check it every 30 minutes after lighting it to ensure that the initial layer of wax has completely melted. The more profound the layer, the better. 

The time required will vary based on the type of wax used and the size of the candle and wick. As a general rule, one hour of burn time is required for each inch of candle diameter. However, you should keep an eye on the candle and blow it out only after the first layer of wax has entirely melted.


Causes of Candle Tunneling


On the first burn, you’re not lighting your candle properly.

The most common reason of a candle tunnel is insufficient illumination during the early burn. The first time you light a fresh candle is actually the most crucial. It influences the burn quality for all following instances.


You’re not completely burning it.

Assume you burnt your candle properly the first time. You’ve let it burn for several hours, and the wax has completely melted across the whole surface of the candle before you extinguish it. Can you now leave it on for a shorter period of time the second time?

In general, your second burn should not be quite as lengthy as your first. In fact, it is not recommended that you burn your candle for more than 4 hours. Even if it is the second or third time you use it. 

Nonetheless, the same rule applies: let your candle burn until its whole surface area is melted! What if you merely keep your candle burning for a half-hour? The wax will not be burned all the way to the edge, resulting in a tunneling effect the next time you use it.



Tunneling is one of the most common issues people face with their candles. Luckily you can put an end to it plus you can also prevent it from happening. Just follow this guide we have for you and you are good to go!

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