Here at Dotmaison we know that during the winter a spark of candlelight sets the scene for a cosy home. But burning candles sometimes comes with the annoying risk of ‘candle tunnelling’.
What is Candle Tunnelling?
The phenomenon of candle tunnelling happens when a candle burns down the centre creating a mass of hardened wax around the outside. This makes a messy waste of wax. Not only does it look bad, but it also cuts down on the burn time of your candles.
As the wax sinks down the middle the wick becomes more difficult to light. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this problem.
The First Burn
The most important stage of avoiding pesky tunnelling comes with the initial lighting. To make the proper burning template, you should choose a time when you can burn the candle uninterrupted.
The time you need to spend burning the candle for the first time depends on the width of the candle. Generally, an hour per 2.5 cm is a reasonable yardstick. The aim is to ensure that the pool of melted wax reaches the sides and that the entire top layer is burnt. This will allow an even burn next time you light, instead of the flame just burning down the middle.
Fix the Candle Wick
It is a good idea to trim the wick before the first burn. But if the candle is very wide you should allow a longer wick for a more powerful flame. If the wick has been cut too short, it won’t have enough heat to create a proper wax pool. If this happens, carefully remove some layers of wax until you can see the wick is at the correct length.
Cure the Candle Tunnel With the ‘Tin Foil Method’
If the tunnelling on the candle is really bad, you can use tin foil to help shift the stubborn hardened wax around the edges. Carefully wrap some tin foil around the top of the lit candle in its holder with an opening for the flame. This will heat up the vessel, allowing the hardened wax on the sides to fall.
Warm up the Candle
Drafts and cold interiors can also create a problem for candles. For this reason, try not to place candles next to drafts, or open windows. If you do the candle might become lop sided, burning in the angle of the draft.
Putting out the Flame
Take a bit of extra care when snuffing out the flame. As with all the methods here, the aim is to have an even distribution of melted wax without burying the wick amongst it.
So, light up the candles and enjoy the light, without any fear of tunnels!