Updated at: 01-06-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Do you enjoy the smell of candles, but you’re frustrated by how unevenly they burn?

When a candle doesn’t burn evenly, you’re left with a large amount of wax that you can’t burn.

Using these guidelines will help you get the most out of your candles by ensuring that they burn evenly.

What is candle tunnelling?

Candle tunnelling occurs when a candle burns down its core, leaving hard wax around the perimeter.. If you’re a candle lover like us, this squandered wax means that your candle won’t burn as long as it should, which is a great shame.

The Right Way to Burn a Candle

In time, the wick will become increasingly difficult to light and will eventually be engulfed by melting wax as the flame advances.

Regardless of the quality or price of the candle, tunneling can occur. Because of this, there are numerous ways to ensure that your scented candles burn evenly and efficiently, with the least amount of remaining wax possible.

12 Ways To Burn Candles Evenly

Place on a Level Surface

When lighting a candle, it is critical to position it on a level and solid surface.

The wax will melt unevenly if the surface is unstable.

In addition, the flames are likely to flicker and produce dark smoke and streaks as they burn.

Trim the Wick

This is a crucial piece of advice.

It’s a good idea to trim the wick after each use of a candle.

You can use scissors or nail clippers to accomplish this.

Wick trimmers, for example, are designed with this purpose in mind.

The wicks of your candle will burn more evenly and neatly if they have been trimmed.

Long wicks, on the other hand, will result in larger flames, resulting in ‘burn pools’ and uneven wax burning, which can be dangerous.

The wick of a candle should be between 18 and 14 inches long as a general rule of thumb.

Every time you light a candle, make sure to trim the wick.

Use Multi-Wick Candles

It takes time to get a decent burn, so it’s not that simple.

Multi-wick candles are an excellent option here.

Candles with two or three wicks are available.

The candle will melt faster since it has more flames.

The use of multiple wicks ensures that the candle burns evenly, especially if the diameter is large.

Using many wicks prevents the formation of a tunnel or a burn pool.

Use Long Matches or a Lighter

It’s safer and easier to light a candle with a longer match or lighter than a lighter or lighter lighter.

This will also aid in the initiation of a uniform burn.

When lighting a candle with a short match, it’s common practice to tilt the candle in your hand in order to better reach the wick.

As a result, the flames will flicker and the wax will begin to melt unevenly immediately away.

Melt the Wax Fully Across

You should never blow out a candle until all of its surface area has been covered by melting wax.

You can avoid what is commonly referred to as tunneling by obtaining a full melt.

In this stage, the wick begins to descend into the candle’s core, forming a tunnel that extends from one end to the other.

There are instances when this tunnel gets so deep that you may not even be able to light a wick at all.

Furthermore, it’s a waste to leave all that wax on the tunnel walls that hasn’t been melted.

During the initial burn of a candle, it is critical to ensure that the entire upper layer of wax is completely melted.

The candle will continue to burn in the same way if you enable memory rings to be left in place.

In time, a tunnel will be formed as the melted wax continues to get smaller.

This is why it’s critical to use the exact same procedure each time you light a candle: it ensures consistency.

To ensure an even top layer, always allow the entire top layer to melt.

Cover With Foil to Melt Tunnelling

When dealing with candles, tunneling is a typical problem, thus it’s necessary to know how to fix this issue.

Using tin foil is a good option.

Once the candle is lit, all you have to do is wrap aluminum foil around the jar’s lid.

In order to be able to make a spherical cover with an aperture in the center, it’s best to leave around three inches of material.

Remove the foil after a few hours, and the tunneling should be gone.

Avoid Drafts

When a candle’s flame begins to flicker, this is the most common cause of uneven burning.

As a result, you should keep the candle out of direct sunlight and away from drafts.

A burning candle should not be placed near an open window or an air conditioning unit.

As far as safety is concerned, this is critical.

Burn 4 Hours Maximum

It’s best to keep an eye on the progress of a candle while it’s burning.

This will help you know when to extinguish the flame in order to avoid uneven combustion.

Because it’s better if the wax can pool all the way across the crown, as previously said.

Avoid burning a candle for longer than four hours as a general rule of thumb.

There are some candles that can only survive shorter burn times, therefore it’s advisable to check with the specific candle before lighting it.

Don’t Blow Out the Flame

Many individuals mistakenly believe that blowing out candles would do the trick when it comes to putting out a fire.

Snuffing out the flame is preferable to blowing it out.

You distribute ashy detritus into the melting wax when you blow.

The best way to do this is to place a candle snuffer right on the flame and lower it slowly until the melted wax pool is barely covered by the device.

Hold it there for about three seconds so that the remaining oxygen may be used up and the flame goes out.

Alternatively, a metal spoon can be used if you don’t have a candle snuffer.

The lid of certain candles is also fireproof.

This can be used to extinguish the flames.

Adding salt to the melted wax is another excellent method of extinguishing candles.

As a result, a more equal burn and a slower melting rate of the wax are possible outcomes.

Table salt iodized with iodine is excellent.

Using a toothpick, you can incorporate it into the wax of the candle.

The upper layer of the candle should be more even when the wax has cooled down entirely.

Performing this method after each consecutive burn will allow you to utilize the candle for longer periods of time while also ensuring a more even burn.

Candle company reveals you've been burning them wrong all your life

Don’t Extinguish with Water

Some people use water to put out the flame.

However, this is not a safe or practical way to put out candles.

There is a chance that the water will splash onto the candle, and the hot wax will also be splashed.

This can burn your palm, the holder of the candle, and even the surface on which the candle is situated.

Cool Before Reusing

Before relighting the candle, be sure the wax has totally cooled down.

If you’re planning to relight a candle that was just extinguished, be sure the melted wax has adequately solidified.

Cover When Unused

When candles aren’t in use, they should be hidden from view.

An uneven burn, as well as more smoke and crackling, might be caused by the presence of dust.

You should put your candles away if not in use in a cabinet or drawer.

Place them in the freezer if possible, or at the very least, keep them covered.

9 Handy Tips For Anyone Who Owns A Candle

1. Trim your wick to 1/8 of an inch every time.

What’s the point of trimming? Your candle will burn more evenly and brighter as a result. If you don’t take care to trim your wick, you’ll end up producing a dimmer light that’s more prone to produce smoke. Your jar can also be stained by the smoke, which makes you look like you don’t know how fire works!

After every four hours of burning, you should trim your wick. Trim the wick to 1/8 of an inch after extinguishing the flame and allowing the candle to cool to room temperature. A little scissor or spare nail clipper will do, but for less about $10 on Amazon, you can get an outstanding wick trimmer that will make things even easier.

2. To prevent tunneling, burn your candle one hour for every inch in diameter the first time you light it.

It’s hardly a myth that your candle has a past. You can only expect the wax to melt as far as it did the first time you lit it. This means that the candle will be confined to a narrow cylinder if you don’t melt all of the top wax on your first burn. YIKES. Candles should be burned for one hour for every inch in diameter to avoid this. To melt the top layer evenly, a candle with a diameter of three inches should be burned for three hours. To avoid tunneling and to get the greatest and boldest smell, you should aim for an equal burn every time you light a cigarette.

3. Use aluminum foil to fix tunneling if you already f*cked up.

Using a piece of aluminum foil, fold it in half, and then fold it over the flame like a tent, you can get rid of that ugly tunnel (leaving a hole for it to get oxygen). After 30 minutes, you should be able to remove all of that wax that’s built up. More information can be found on this page.

4. Get yourself a multi-wick candle if you want an even burn with less hassle.

What are you doing with your life if you don’t have three hours to burn your candle evenly? JK, that’s a fair price. Instead, purchase a multi-wick candle. With all of that additional heat, the top layer of wax will melt considerably more quickly. In my opinion, candles with a diameter of more than three or four inches are trash. They won’t be able to conduct enough heat to completely melt their wax. Avoid them at all costs.

5. Don’t place your candle near moving air.

Soot and black smoke can build up on the jar of your candle if you place it near open windows, fans, AC units, or high traffic areas of your home.

6. Stop using your candle when there’s half an inch of wax left at the bottom.

In order to avoid damaging the surface on which the candle is lying and the jar itself, you should not burn your candle past the half-inch mark.

7. Freeze the jar so you can pop out any remaining wax and reuse it.

If you’ve got a candle jar that’s too pretty to throw away, but the bottom is still caked with wax, freezing it might help. You should be able to puncture the wax with a butter knife and pull out the remaining chunk with ease once it’s hardened. When you’re done, your jar will gleam like new again.

8. Don’t burn your candle for more than four hours in one sitting.

First- and second-degree burns were inflicted on a woman in Texas who had to be taken to the hospital when her Bath & Body Works candle burst into flame. She tried to extinguish the flames by blowing them out, but this resulted in her face becoming covered in flames and hot wax.

There’s a problem here: It had been approximately four hours after the candle had started. It’s possible for the wick to “mushroom” when it burns for so long. An unstable and deadly flame will result from this. Your candle will also begin to smoke and spew soot into the air. Relight your candle once it has rested for two hours after being extinguished.

9. Never extinguish a wax candle with water.

Do not use water to put out a fire that has grown too large to be extinguished by blowing it out. You run the risk of getting burned if the hot wax splatters on you while you’re using the water. Instead, use a lid or snuffer to put out the flames, or sprinkle baking soda over them. Of course, if these methods fail to contain the blaze, you should escape and call 9-1-1 or use a fire extinguisher.

How to prevent candle tunnelling

It’s all in the first burn…

Lighting and burning your new candle for the first time has a significant impact on how well it performs over its lifetime.

Before snuffing the flame on the first burn, we recommend checking to see that your candle’s wax pool has reached the edges. Wax pools should be at least 1cm deep around the outside before they are set out.

The length of time it takes is determined by the candle’s diameter, so if you just have an hour to enjoy your new scented candle, choose one that isn’t very big. In contrast, a three-wick candle is ideal if you have a few hours to spare and want to immerse yourself in your new scent’s aroma. What size candle should you use? We’ll cover this in more detail in a future blog post!

We usually recommend trimming the wick before lighting a candle. In the case of a large candle, you may wish to leave the wick longer than normal. Using a larger, hotter flame will have a better chance of melting the wax all the way to the edge. Keep an eye on the flame and put it out if there are any problems.

Initial Burn Times By Candle Width

As a general rule, burn the candle until the wax pool spills over the rim, which may take several minutes.

The First Burn Top Tips

  1. You should allow the wax pool to extend to the borders of the candle when you initially light it.
  2. For every inch of width, let the candle burn for about an hour.
  3. Before the first burn, just trim the wick to 8 mm if the candle is quite wide.
  4. Repeating this method of burning every now and then will help maintain the wax open and evenly distributed.


Why do candles burn unevenly?

Single wick candles may burn unevenly if the wick is not properly centered. You’ll notice that the wax melts on one side of your candle if it’s leaning to one side, but not the other. Gently press the wick toward the center of the jar with a knife to straighten it.

Why is my candle tunneling?

Candle tunneling can be caused by a wick that is too small for the candle, although the timing of the first burn is more common. Since all the wax isn’t being burned, you want to avoid tunneling, which reduces overall burn duration for the candle.

What happens if you let a candle burn all the way down?

According to the National Candle Association (www.candles.org), safety is the primary reason for not burning wax all the way down. This can cause a fire, as well as other harm, if a glass container gets too hot and breaks, shattering, or explodes.

Why you should never burn your candle for more than three hours and how to make them last | Daily Mail Online

Can you fix a tunneled candle?

Simply melting the outer wax that surrounds the tunnel and making the surface level again is all you need to do in order to fix candle tunneling.

How do you stop a candle burning on one side?

Aluminum foil wrapped around the edges of a tunneled candle and allowed to burn can be used to repair it. Make sure the foil covers the regions where wax has piled up, but leave an opening in the center so the wick can still burn correctly.

Why do my candles have sinkholes?

They come in all shapes and sizes and have a significant impact on the performance of your candle’s wick. Sinkholes are formed as the wax hardens during the curing process. It is a fact of life that wax literally expands as it transforms from a solid to a liquid when heated.

How long should you let a candle burn the first time?

Burn candles for at least one hour per inch of container diameter for the first time. So, if you purchased a fresh 3-inch-diameter candle, you should burn it for at least three hours (though not more than 4 at a time).

Is it OK to let a candle burn all night?

Leaving a burning candle unattended, even for a brief length of time, is a risk that should not be ignored. Candles can be burned for no more than four hours if they are being watched. The mushroom wick problem may arise if they are burned for more than four hours.

How far should you burn a candle down?

When a candle is burning or the wax is liquefied, never touch or move it. Don’t go out with a smoldering wick. In order to ensure the safety of your home, keep a candle burning for no more than half an inch or two inches if you are using a pillar candle. Burning candles should be placed at least three inches apart.


Candles that burn evenly and for a longer period of time can benefit from the advice in the preceding paragraphs.

Be cautious and prioritize your own safety at all times when working with lit candles.

Thanks for reading, and we hope your candles become more enjoyable.