top of page

How to stop a candle tunnelling !

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Did you know that there is a right and wrong way to burn your candle ?

Tip #1 - Trim the wick to stop a candle tunnelling

To ensure your candle burns cleanly without tunnelling, always trim your wick before lighting, Every, Single. Time

The wick must always be trimmed to approx 0.5cm long, i like to use a wick trimmer because it trims the wick precisely but do not worry if you don't have the fancy tools because scissors or nail clippers will do the job.

Now if you can get into the habit of trimming the wick before every burn you will be rewarded with a cleaner & brighter burn. Apart from looking ugly, untrimmed wicks are likely to cause sooting, which is smokey stains on the inside of your candle vessels & even worse sometime this smoke can mark your walls and that is not aesthetically pleasing is it ?!

Tip #2 - Give yourself time to relax & enjoy the candle

Candles like to be allowed to burn for at least 4 hours at a time, their role is to fill your room with gorgeous scent so you can relax and get cosy in your surroundings, they prefer the long term relationship rather than a quick in & out !!

So, once you light your candle, you need to leave it to burn for around 4 hours (depending on size of candle) or untill all the wax has melted to the edge of the vessel, (us chandlers call this a full melt pool)

The reason being, candle wax has a memory, so if you only light your candle for 1 or 2 hours and you fail to reach a full melt pool the next time you light the candle, the wax will only melt to the last melted point it reached, this then results in a process called tunneling, im sure in the past you have seen a tunnel down the middle of a candle? And my first thought would be, well what a waste of all the lovely fragranced wax that has been left around the outside that hasn't been allowed to melt.

So remember, burn the candle untill all the wax has melted across the surface of the candle & enjoy the scent throw.

Tip #3 - 4-5 Hours max burn time

I know i have just told you to burn your candles for atleast 4 hours, but i also want to suggest that 4 - 5 hours is ideally the maximum amount of time that a candle should be burning, again if you burn for too long the carbon can build up on the wick, the wick can become unstable which can cause sooting, but you also run the risk of the candle vessel getting too hot.

Tip #4 - Double wick candle

If you struggle to find the time to keep the candle lit for 4 hours then you could buy double wicked candles, double the wicks means there is double the heat, so the candle will melt quicker but as an added bonus you will also get double the strength of scent throw !

Tip #5 - Position away from draughts

There are many variables which will affect the performance of a candle, one is open doors or windows, draughts will affect how the wick burns and often result in a dancing flame that puffs out a bit of black smoke every now & then.

Tip #6 - Extinguish the candle safely

How to do you extinguish your candles ? Like most people i will take a guess and say you blow them out ? But have you noticed how much it smokes, this is because the core of the wick will still continue to burn, then the gorgeous candle fragrance that has filled your room has been drowned out by the smell of smoke.

But, don't fear, i have 2 easy solutions for you, Firstly, Heart & Soul Candles are presented in the most beautiful vessels with handy glamourous lids, now when it's time to blow out your candle all you need to do it put the lid on, the lack of oxygen will mean that the flame will extinguish and no nasty smoking travelling up your walls.

Or, option 2, use a fancy tool called a snuffer, we also sell these ! The snuffer is placed over the flame & again with the lack of available oxygen the flame is extinguished. Not only are these tools handy, they also look very stylish displayed next to your candle !

So, now i have shared with you some candle burning behaviours, i want you to go and practice what you have learnt.

Let your home glow with Heart & Soul

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page