How to fix a tunnelling candle

Candle Care 101 - How To Fix A Tunnelling Candle

As we are spending much, if not all our time in our homes, small luxuries like lighting a candle is helping turn our homes into quasi spas. The scent of our Queen Idia, African Moss candle is the little pick me up I need when i’m going into yet another zoom meeting.

But like anything, candles also need a tad bit of TLC to keep them burning bright and ensure you get that beautiful fragrance throughout the room. We’ve complied a guide to help you get the most out of our Queen Idia, African Moss candle.

Burn evenly the first time lighting the candle;

To ensure an even burn, let the candle wax melt all the way to the edge of the candle cup. We suggest letting the large size candle burn for at least one and a half to two hours, this will avoid the candle tunnelling. Tunnelling happens when candle wax build-up around the cups sides. (scroll down to see how to fix a tunnelling candle)

Trim the wick;

Trimming the wick to about ¼ inches helps prevent the black bubbles that sometimes accumulates towards the top of the wick which causes smoking, or sooting wicks. If you don’t have a wick trimmer nail clippers or even an eyebrow scissors can be just as precise.

Limit how long you burn (only a suggestion)

We recommend putting a 4 hour limit on how long you let the candle burn. 4 hours will extend the life of a candle and will give you a full scent throw.  This is only our suggestion, you can burn for longer if you wish.


As mentioned previously, tunnelling can occur when the melted pool of wax hasn’t reached the edge of the candle before the flame is blown out.The more you continue to burn the candle down the middle, the worse the tunnelling gets.

Below are two methods to fix a tunnelling candle.

HAIR DRYER METHOD – use when the tunnelling as just occurred.

Use the high setting of your hair dryer to blast the top of until the top layer of wax has melted together and the top is smooth.

Next time you light the candle  ensure you burn the candle long enough that the wax reach the edges of the candle this will prevent the candle from tunnelling again.

If the tunnelling is quite bad you may need to use the foil method.


Fold a piece of aluminium foil in half and wrap it around the candle, folding it up so it covers the top of the candle slightly but with space in the middle to burn. Keep the foil wrap on for about 30 minutes the heat will melt the rim of the hard wax. Leave the candle for an hour or so and it should reset to a smooth and even wax surface.

Please ensure you are taking safety precautions especially when removing the heated foil and ensure you are not using this method for an extended period of time as it may put a strain on the candle container and crack the glass.
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