Why is my candle tunneling?

Posted by Kay Franciosa on May 23rd 2023

Why is my candle tunneling?

A candle tunnels when the wax burns straight down the middle of the jar, leaving a ring of hard, unmelted wax around the edges.  Sometimes, tunneling will even affect the ability of the wick to properly burn when excess wax pools and drowns out the flame.   It is extremely disappointing to see a candle tunnel and you may be left feeling as though you wasted your money.  If you are here, you may be wondering why your candle tunneled.

There are typically two reasons why a candle will tunnel:

Reason #1Not burning your candle properly.  

It may come as a surprise to some people, but the unavoidable truth is that there is a right way and a wrong way to burn a candle!  The number one most important rule to follow in order to avoid tunneling is to always allow your candle to melt fully to the edges of the container every time you light it.  Not only will this ensure your candle does not tunnel-- allowing the wax to pool will also give you the biggest, boldest scent possible!


This is especially important the first time you burn it.  Soy wax is a "memory" wax, meaning that the melt pool will typically only reach as far as the previous burn.  How long it takes to reach a full melt pool will depend on your particular candle.  Candles with a larger diameter will take longer than smaller candles...but a general rule of thumb is to allow your candle to burn one hour for each inch in diameter.  So, for example, a 3 inch diameter candle should be allowed to burn for at least a full 3 hours every time you light it in order to avoid tunneling.

Reason #2: The wick is too small.  

Here at Farm Kitchen Candle Co. we conduct very through testing on all of our candles. If you are properly burning your candle (see rule #1) but are still experiencing tunneling it may be due to a faulty or improperly made candle.  For this reason, we always recommend you purchase your candles from a reputable maker.  Candle making is truly an art and a science, and an improperly or cheaply made candle will likely never burn properly and will only result in disappointment.  A candle made by an artisan maker may cost a bit more than a mass produced one, but properly made, quality candle will give you many more hours of enjoyment for your money! We stand behind our products and if you ever have a problem with your candle we will be sure to make it right!

Be sure to shop our entire collection of top quality, handcrafted soy candles and find the fragrance that speaks to you!