How to Fix Candle Tunneling | Lèlior Blog

How to Fix Candle Tunneling [Top Tips]

Candles are wonderful items to light up your space and create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Unfortunately, they can also suffer from a common problem called candle tunneling. Fixing candle tunneling is important because it not only affects the appearance of the candle but it can also reduce its burn time and effectiveness. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to fix this issue and keep your candles burning brightly. In this guide, we will discuss how to fix candle tunneling and also provide some top tips to help you prevent it in the future.

What Is Candle Tunneling?

So what is candle tunneling anyway? Candle tunneling occurs when the candle wax melts down the middle but not around the edges. This can happen for several reasons, such as too much heat, an improper wick size, or a poorly formulated wax blend. As a result, you're left with an unattractive and ineffective candle that won't burn properly or last very long.

How to Trim Candle Wick

Causes of Candle Tunneling

As mentioned, there can be several different causes of candle tunneling. Here are some of the most common ones:

Poor Candle Design

Poor candle design can cause tunneling for a number of reasons. If the wick size is too small for the candle, the heat from the flame won't be able to reach all of the wax at once, resulting in tunneling. Similarly, if the candle container is too wide or too deep, the heat from the flame will be unable to reach all the wax at once, resulting in some of it remaining unmelted.

 Improper Burning Technique

Improper burning techniques can cause tunneling. This happens when you don't burn the candle long enough or you forget to trim the wick. The heat from the flame won't be able to reach all of the wax, so some of it will remain unmelted and not reach the sides of the candle container.

Wax Quality and Type

The quality and type of wax used in candles can play a crucial role in preventing or causing tunneling. If the wax is too hard or too soft, it won't melt correctly and will cause tunneling. Additionally, if a poorly formulated wax blend is used, the heat from the flame may not be distributed evenly throughout the candle, leading to tunneling.

Infographic With Steps to Fix Candle Tunneling

How to Fix Candle Tunneling

If you have encountered the frustrating problem of candle tunneling, you probably understand how annoying and tricky it can be to fix. Fortunately, there are a few steps that can be taken to fix this problem and ensure your candles are burning evenly and efficiently. In this section, we will discuss how to fix a tunneling candle:


There are a lot of ways to prevent candle tunneling. The best way is to make sure you use the right wick size and burn your candles correctly. Trim the wick before lighting each time and attempt to keep the flame height low so that all of the wax is melted. Additionally, ensure you are using a good quality wax blend with a high melting point, as this will help ensure the wax melts evenly and efficiently.

Tunneling Correction

When it comes to fixing tunneling once it has occurred, there are a few simple methods that can be used. The first is to trim the wick to ¼ inch or shorter. This candle tunneling fix

will reduce the amount of heat from the flame and ensure that all of the wax melts evenly.

Additionally, you can also try relighting your candle multiple times until all of the wax around the edges has melted. This will help spread out the heat and reduce some of the tunneling effects. Another technique used to fix tunneling is using a hot water bath to melt the wax around the edges. 

This technique involves pouring a few inches of hot water into the candle container, allowing it to sit for about 30 minutes, and then tipping out the excess water. This will ensure that all of the wax around the edges is melted and your candle will burn properly.

Troubleshooting Tips

One final troubleshooting tip for readers who are still experiencing tunneling issues after trying prevention and correction methods is to try using a higher-quality wax blend. Low-quality wax blends can cause tunneling due to the low melting point of the wax, so using a higher-quality blend will help ensure that all of the wax melts evenly and correctly. 

Additionally, you can try a different container or wick size to see if that helps with the tunneling problem. And if none of these work, try contacting a candle expert for more advice and tips.

Candle With a Topper

Candle Burning Best Practices

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when burning candles:

Wick Trimming

Wick trimming is essentially the most important rule when it comes to burning candles safely. The first step to burning a candle safely is to make sure the wick is trimmed down to ¼ inch before each burn. This will ensure that the flame is not too high and all of the wax melts evenly and efficiently.

Burn Time

It is advised to only burn your candle for no more than 2-3 hours at a time. This will ensure that the candle does not get too hot, and it also won't cause tunneling due to the wick being too long. Additionally, be sure to allow the candle to cool completely before relighting it again.

Candle Placement

Here are some great candle placement tips:

  1. Place candles on a stable and heat-resistant surface, such as a plate, coaster, or candle holder
  2. Keep the candle away from any drafts that could cause the flame to flicker
  3. Place candles out of reach of children and pets
  4. Make sure there is at least 10 cm between lit candles
  5. Do not place them near curtains or other materials which can catch fire easily
  6. Avoid placing candles in direct sunlight
  7. Choose wide containers for your candles so that wax doesn't pool along one side only
  8. Never leave a lit candle unattended for an extended period of time
Candle With Trimmed Wick


Now that you've learned how to fix candle tunneling, you can prevent and fix this issue with confidence. With these tips and best practices in mind, you will be able to enjoy your candles properly and safely.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Do You Fix Tunneled Candles Without Foil?

To fix a tunneling candle, you can use a hair dryer or heat gun. First, put some newspaper around the candle to avoid any mess. Then use the hair dryer or heat gun to gently melt the wax on the top surface of the candle, directing heat from around six inches away toward the unmelted edges until the wax softens.

How To Make A Candle Burn Evenly?

As discussed in this article, there are various ways to prevent and fix tunneling candles. The best way to ensure your candle is burning evenly is to follow the prevention tips outlined above. These include trimming the wick to ¼ inch before each burn, burning the candle for no more than 2-3 hours at a time, and ensuring that the candle is placed on a stable and heat-resistant surface. 

How To Fix A Candle Wick?

If you have a candle wick that is too short, the best way to fix it is to add a new wick. Before doing this, make sure the old wick is completely removed. Once the old wick is out, you can insert a new one that is long enough to sit at least ½ inch above the wax. Secure it with a wick sticker or tab, and then trim the top of the new wick to about 1/4 inch. Finally, let the candle wax cool until it is solid before relighting. 

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