Understanding Tunneling and How to Correct It

Let's explore the phenomenon of tunneling and why it's crucial to achieve a full melt pool for optimal candle performance.

Understanding Tunneling and How to Correct It - Rhea Candle Co.

What is Tunneling?

Tunneling occurs when a candle burns down the center, leaving a ring of unburned wax along the edges. This creates a tunnel-like effect and prevents the candle from reaching its full potential. Tunneling not only diminishes the candle’s aesthetic appeal but also shortens its lifespan and reduces fragrance throw.

Why Does Tunneling Happen?

Candles have a “memory” and will continue to burn in the same pattern as previous burns. If a candle is not burned long enough to create a full melt pool that reaches the edges of the container, it will develop a memory ring, leading to tunneling in subsequent burns. This is why it’s essential to establish a proper burn pattern from the beginning to prevent tunneling from occurring.

The Importance of a Full Melt Pool: 

Achieving a full melt pool is crucial for several reasons:

Even Wax Consumption: A full melt pool allows the candle to burn evenly across the entire surface, maximizing wax consumption and extending the candle’s burn time.

Optimal Fragrance Release: The entire surface of the candle must liquefy to release the fragrance oils evenly. A full melt pool ensures consistent and robust fragrance throw, enhancing your sensory experience.

Prevents Tunneling: Burning the candle long enough to create a full melt pool prevents tunneling and promotes a clean, efficient burn.

Correcting Tunneling:

If tunneling has already occurred, don’t fret! There’s a simple solution to restore your candle’s performance. Wrap aluminum foil around the top of the candle, leaving a hole in the center to allow heat to escape. As the candle burns, the heat will reflect off the foil, melting the wax along the edges and correcting the tunneling effect. Be sure to remove the foil once the melt pool reaches the edges to prevent overheating.

By understanding the importance of achieving a full melt pool and taking proactive measures to prevent tunneling, you can ensure that your candles burn beautifully and provide hours of enchanting fragrance and ambiance. Happy burning!