Why My Candle Doesn’t Melt At The Sides

Candle tunneling takes place when the wick burns straight down the centre of the candle, leaving a build up of wax around the edges instead of an even melt pool across the surface of the whole candle. Tunneling is usually caused by the timing of the first burn, but can also be because the wick is too large. 

Here at Ava May Aromas, we’ve tested the best solutions to avoid Candle Tunneling so that you don’t have to. Below is a guide to help you maximise your candle life and save your money going up in flames! 

Always place your candle on a stable, heat resistant surface. Make sure to light it in a ventilated room and avoid any drafts, wind or humidity which can cause the candle to soot (black marks on the vessel), or cause rapid, erratic and uneven burning. 

Most importantly, make sure that the surface layer of wax melts all the way to the edges of the vessel on the first burn. This generally ranges anywhere between 2-4 hours. 

Wax has a ‘memory’. If you only burn the candle for a short period of time on the first burn, you will create a small pool of wax. Subsequent burns will also burn to the same diameter thus creating a tunnel in the candle. We also recommend that after the first burn, you only light your candle for a maximum of 4 hours at one time as longer periods can cause the wicks to drift and move if the melt pool becomes too deep.

For safety, we recommend that you leave at least 10mm of wax at the bottom of your vessel prior to disposal. Burning the wicks below this level can be dangerous and cause the candle jar to overheat and possibly even crack. 

However if safety guidance is adhered to then you should be able to sit back, relax and enjoy! Nothing quite compares to the relaxing ambience of a scented candle drifting through your home.