Mastering Candle Care: A Guide to Fixing Uneven Burns

Candles have the power to transform a space, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. However, there's nothing more frustrating than discovering that your favorite candle is burning unevenly, leaving unsightly wax on the sides of the container. Fear not; this common issue can be addressed with a few simple steps to ensure you get the most out of your candles.

Understanding the Problem:

Uneven burning, often manifested as tunneling, occurs when the candle burns down the center, leaving untouched wax on the sides. This not only affects the aesthetic appeal but also diminishes the overall lifespan of the candle. Understanding why this happens is the first step to rectifying the issue.

Common Causes:

  1. Short Burn Times: If you extinguish the candle too quickly, especially during the initial burn, it may not create a sufficient melt pool. This can lead to tunneling in subsequent burns.
  2.  Wick Size: Using a wick that is too small for the candle's diameter can result in insufficient heat to melt the entire surface, causing tunneling.
  3. Drafts and Uneven Placement: Burning candles in drafty areas or placing them in uneven spaces can cause uneven heat distribution, leading to tunneling.
  4. Quality of Wax: Lower-quality or paraffin-based waxes may be more prone to tunneling compared to high-quality, soy, or beeswax candles.

Solutions to Uneven Burning:

  1. Longer Burn Times...solution: Allow the candle to burn for a longer duration, ensuring that the entire surface becomes a melted pool. For the first burn, let the candle stay lit until the wax pool reaches the edges.
  2. Proper Wick Trimming: Trim the wick to the recommended length before each use. A wick that is too long can produce too much heat, causing uneven burns.
  3. Rotate and Reposition: If you notice uneven burning, rotate the candle periodically. This helps distribute heat more evenly. Additionally, ensure that the candle is placed on a flat, heat-resistant surface.
  4. Aluminum Foil Tent: If tunneling has already occurred, create a foil tent over the candle, leaving an opening for the wick. This helps retain heat and encourages the wax to melt toward the edges.


Maintaining the beauty and longevity of your candles is a simple yet rewarding task. By understanding the causes of uneven burns and implementing the suggested solutions, you can ensure that every candlelit moment is as enchanting as the first. Whether you're a candle enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of candle care, these tips will keep your candles burning bright and beautiful. Enjoy the warm, flickering glow of a well-maintained candle, and savor the ambiance it brings to your space.

1. Garcia, M., & White, D. (2014). "Candle Making Genius: How to Make Candles That Look Beautiful & Amaze Your Friends." Amazon.

2. Covey, S. (2003). "The Essential Art of Candlemaking." Simon & Schuster.

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