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Why Candles Burn A Hole Down the Middle (Tunnel) and What You Can Do About It

you've made your soy wax candles, but they don't look quite right. What went wrong? How do you fix it? Is it normal? Don't worry, we've got you covered. We've compiled the most common issues you might encounter making soy wax candles, and have plenty of recommendations to get you right back on track.
Tunneling
Tunneling occurs when a candle wick consumes too much fuel (wax+fragrance) too quickly. Instead of a slowly forming, wide melt pool that extends to the edges of a container, a narrow melt pool forms in the center and burns down quickly, leaving a large amount of wax on the sides of the container.
Increase your wick size
If the wick is too small it cannot efficiently burn off all of the fuel (wax+fragrance) and generate enough heat to form a good melt pool. Try increasing your wick by one size in the same series.
Decrease your wick size
If the wick is too large, the wick will consume too much fuel too quickly, causing it to generate too much heat and melt right down the middle of your candle. This is a less common occurrence and often a harder form of tunneling to recognize. If you have tried going up a wick size and the melt pool size gets smaller, try sizing down instead.
How do you fix a tunneled candle?
Here are a few tricks to fix a tunneled candle, though it may take a bit of persistence that you may (or may not) feel worth it.
  • take all of your wax that's taller than your wick area and simply remove it. This wax can be re-purposed and made good use of or tossed, if you don't care to get use of it.
  • dig some wax away from the wick. This is because the wick has burned fiercely downward without the fuel (the wax pool) that keeps it burning at a steady pace, causing the wick to become stubby and too short to do its job properly.
  • a better solution would be to turn your candle on its side and use a long lighter to reach down into the jar and carefully use the heat of the lighter to melt that wax that's around the wick and discard the wax that's running off the candle. Once you've done this, it's important to let the wax pool reach the edge before attempting to extinguish your flame.

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