Common issues with soy candles and how to solve them: Tunneling or uneven burn.

Common issues and how to solve them: Tunnelling

2 mins read

In our experience, soy wax provides the best balance of ease of use and consistent results out of all candle waxes available. As a candle maker, it’s important to be able to trust and work with your ingredients and we feel soy wax offers just that. Whilst this is the case, you may from time to time experience a handful of results that aren’t your liking. In this next article of the series, we look at ‘Tunneling’.

What is a ‘Tunneling’?

When a candle burns down the centre and leaves a hard wax around the outside, this is an example of tunneling. It’s a frustrating experience, as the candle will reach nowhere close to its maximum burn time. From the perspective of your customer, this often will reflect as a poor quality candle and ingredients, whereas the reality is very different.

What can cause Tunneling?

Tunneling is usually caused by having a wick that is not large enough for your wax, or ‘underwicking’ your container or fragrance. Essentially, tunneling happens as the wick drowns in its own melt pool and due to this, the burn time and scent throw is significantly reduced.

How can I avoid Tunneling?

As you’ll see across NI Candle Supplies, we always recommend thorough testing. Given that the wick is the effectively the engine of your candle, it’s absolutely critical to get it right. When you observe tunneling in you test burns, it's a good idea to observe the amount of wax left on the side of the container. Depending on how much wax you have left on the sides of your container (by the size of the tunnel) it’s likely you’ll need to go up one or even two sizes in the wick series you are using. For example: if you used the HTP 105 with CB-Advanced soy wax in a 20cl base and saw tunneling, you would next want to test the HTP 126.

For more information on ensuring you have the correct wick, a good place to start is our wick guide. You’ll also find a wealth of advice and support from fellow candle makers via our Facebook Group. As big advocates of soy wax, we’re always keen to offer support and advice where we can. To get more information on soy wax, we’re always happy to help via our online chat, email or telephone.

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