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Solving Candle Tunneling: A Comprehensive Guide

Tunneling is one of the most common issues encountered when burning candles. It’s a significant concern for the candle industry, leading to numerous customer service inquiries about resolving this problem. In this article, we'll guide you through several methods to fix a tunneling candle using common household tools.



The Volcano Method

The Volcano Method gets its name because the candle, wrapped in foil, resembles a volcano. This technique involves wrapping foil around the top of the candle to reflect the heat from the burning wick back onto the surface, melting the excess wax causing the tunneling. This method works well for light tunneling, typically if the wax build-up is less than 5mm. However, it might not be effective for thicker wax build-ups and could potentially

cause excess molten wax to drown or completely bury the wick once it solidifies.


The Scraping Method

As the name suggests, the Scraping Method involves scraping away the wax wall that has built up due to tunneling. This creates an even surface for burning. You can use a metal spoon or any heat-resistant tool for this task. While this method effectively eliminates tunneling, the downside is the waste of the scraped wax.


The Swirling Method

When the candle is burning, a pool of warm molten wax forms in the center. By gently swirling the candle, you can bring this warm wax to the edges where the tunneling has occurred, helping to melt the built-up wax. This process might take some time and patience, as the wax pool is warm but not hot enough to quickly melt the wax wall. It’s crucial to do this slowly to avoid drowning the wick in the excess molten wax.


The Hot Air Method

Using an industrial hot air gun is a quick and effective way to resolve tunneling. The hot air melts the wax wall, and any excess wax can be absorbed with tissue to prevent the wick from being drowned. While this method is efficient, it requires caution as hot air guns can cause serious damage if not used properly. Although a hairdryer might seem like a good alternative, its heat is typically insufficient, and its strong airflow can create a mess.


The Wick Adjustment Method

Second Home premium candles use wooden wicks, which can sometimes burn weaker than usual due to environmental factors, causing tunneling. If the wick burns too low, it can lead to further issues. To fix this, you can adjust the wick's length. Using a pair of pliers, gently pull the wick upwards from the metal clip to extend it by about 4mm. Be careful not to pull the wick out completely.


The Wick Replacement Method

Wooden wicks can be unstable, sometimes burning intensely and other times weakly. When a wick burns weakly, it may not generate enough heat to melt all the surrounding wax, leading to tunneling. If adjusting the wick doesn’t help, replacing it might be necessary. Use pliers to remove the old wick and insert a new one, trimming it to the optimal length. This task requires some experience, as you need to slot the new wick into the metal clip beneath the wax. The main drawback is that customers may not have spare wooden wicks readily available.


Our Professional Fix

In some severe tunneling cases, we recall candles from our customers to perform a fix. Here’s our process for rescuing a heavily tunneled candle:

  1. Scrape off the excess wax that has built up.

  2. Melt the scraped wax using a melt gun to minimize waste.

  3. Replace the wooden wick if necessary.

  4. Deliver the fixed candle back to the customer.

Although there's no absolute guarantee, we've achieved a 100% success rate in fixing returned candles.

We hope this guide helps you enjoy a perfect burn every time. If you have any further questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to us at Second Home.



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