Easy Tricks to Fix Candle Tunneling

Easy Tricks to Fix Candle Tunneling - Haze Fragrance Studio

Candle tunneling occurs when the center of the wax right around the wick melts and burns down, leaving an unburned band of wax around the outside of the candle. While it can happen to any candle, it is generally seen in cheaper candles due to either having a wick that’s too small for your candle or not allowing for a sufficient first burn. 

When a candle tunnels, it can be very frustrating for many candle enthusiasts since it results in an uneven-looking candle. Aside from the look, it also causes plenty of wax to go to waste. So, it is important to give your first burn plenty of time for the wax to melt to the edge of the candle jar. Else, the problem will just worsen. If you have a candle that has already tunneled, this guide is for you. We came up with 5 simple ways for you to solve the problem so you can enjoy a beautiful and even-burning candle at all times!

What Causes Candle Tunneling?

This phenomenon happens when the wick of a candle is unable to consume all of the wax in the container, creating a tunnel down the middle as it burns and leaving excess wax on the sides. The cause of this issue could be anything from cool air drafts or improper usage to cheaper materials such as paraffin wax or additives that don't evaporate readily. Higher-quality candles like those made from coconut-soy wax are much less likely to experience tunneling, making them worth their extra cost in terms of waste reduction and usability.


5 simple ways to fix a tunneled candle

Ways to Fix a Candle that has Already Tunneled

1. Blow your candle with a hairdryer

If you have a mild tunneling issue, try using a blow dryer to melt the top layer of wax until it is even and smooth. Once it has cooled, your candle should have a smooth surface, free from tunneling. Try to keep the blow dryer at least 20cm away from your candle to prevent melted wax from spilling out when blowing. 

2. Melt the wax in your oven 

When the tunnel is too deep for a hair dryer, you can try using your oven to clean the surface. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and place the candle on a cookie sheet. It should stay in the oven for around five minutes while you watch it closely. However, depending on the size and depth of the tunnel, some candles may need more or less time in the oven. Once the top layer of wax has melted, carefully remove your candle using oven mitts, as the glass container will be hot. Let it fully cool down (about 4-5 hours) before burning it again. 

3. Wrap the candle with aluminum foil

Get a piece of tin foil that can fully wrap the top of the candle jar, and poke a hole in the middle where the wick is placed. Then, you can go ahead and light the candle. As it burns, the foil will reflect heat and help melt the wax around all sides of the candle instead of just in its center. Be sure to remove the foil when it's hot and blow out your candle. Trim the wick if needed, and you're ready for your next burn!

4. Get a candle topper

Candle toppers act similarly to the aluminum foil trick we mentioned above, as they help keep the flames protected from wind and drafts so the wax can melt evenly. They are cute, open metal lids with beautiful designs. However, it only works best on large, single-wick candles. 

5. Remove the excess wax

If none of the above is working, then it is time to consider removing the excess wax on the side of the jar. You can carefully scrape off the unmelted wax with a butter knife or the back of a spoon until the surface of the candle is even. To maximize the use of the candle, you can use the excess wax in a wax melter or melt and pour it into a new container!


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How to Prevent Candle Tunneling?

We are all too familiar with the frustration of a candle burning down in a tunnel shape, leaving an unsightly ring of unmelted wax. To prevent this from happening, it is important to burn candles in a warm and draft-free environment and make sure to trim your wicks to about 1/8" before lighting. 

If you are lighting your candle for the first time, you must let it lit for at least 3 hours to reach a full melt pool to the edge of the jar before extinguishing it. During each subsequent burn, try to aim for at least 2 hours and no more than 4 hours for each burn session. Following our candle care guidelines will ensure you get the most out of your candle each time, as it will burn more evenly and minimize tunneling.


Having learned about the phenomenon of candle tunneling, you can now light your favorite candles without worry. It's important to ensure that the wick is efficient in order to avoid this issue, but in case you do notice tunneling, you can always refer back to the tricks we mentioned above to solve the problem with ease. If you're searching for a distinctive fragrance to enhance your living space, you might want to explore our Heritage Collection. Regardless of the scent you ultimately select, we trust that your Haze Fragrance candle will fill your home with a delightful aroma that evokes pleasant memories.