Mushroomed wick                Trimmed wick           Wick burns evenly



Candles can bring such calm and peace to a moment but what can ruin a candles is when you don't get the most out of them. No matter what you have paid for your candle whether that be a couple of pounds to upwards of £100 or more you want to make sure that you maximise its use and not left with a wick that's burnt down and a load of leftover wax. 

Common Issues

A common occurrence that used to happen to me is the candle would burn into a well which ran down through the centre of the candle leaving a load of unburnt wax. This is called tunnelling. Tunnelling occurs because candles have a memory and remember where the melt pool (melted wax) was burnt to. If the wick in your candle was blown out before the melt pool reached the side of the container, it will continue to burn up to this point  during each subsequent burn creating a tunnelling effect in your candle.  Which means you aren't maximising full use of your candle and wasting a lot of it. 


Let me explain how to effectively burn your candle and get the most out of its indulgent scent. Before I began to make my own candles I assumed that the quality of the burn was down to the quality of the candle but this is not always the case.  There are many out there for all budgets and like any product the quality of the ingredients tend to dictate its purchase price.  Not all candles are created equally, nowadays there is an abundance of waxes and scents to cater for desired scents, vegan, environmentally conscious, price aware, style and even celebration choice of the consumer.   So let's go through some simple tricks to ensure you melt every ounce out of your candle. 

Top Tips:

  • On the initial burn your candle must be lit for 3 - 4 hours for a standard 200ml size candle (you may have to vary timings depending on the size of your candle). I tend to go by how far the melt pool has gotten.  The melt pool must reach the edge of the glass and be approximately half a centimetre deep of melted wax. 


  • Before each burn always trim the wick of the candle to about 1cm above the wax and take any mushrooming of the wick away. If you do not do this the wick can splutter sparks which can be a fire hazard but also can cause the wick to burn unevenly. Ensure that the end of the wick is pointing upwards and not bent to the side or melted into the wax. It can be easily coaxed out if it has.


  • For subsequent burns after the initial you should only have to burn the candle for approximately 1 hour, sometimes a little longer. Crucially the melt pool should again reach the sides of the candle for each burn. This should also allow enough scent to fill the room. If the candle is left burning longer than this you will be burning away crucial scents embedded within the wax as the wick will be getting hotter and hotter. A quality candle should give off enough scent to allow it to linger in the room.


  • If tunnelling does occur there is a way to rectify it. Carefully wrap the outside of the container in tin foil and bring it about the top of the candle ensuring to leave an opening at the top to allow the heat escape. Ensure that the container is stable on the surface. Let the candle burn until again the melt pool has reached the edges of the container. The wax will then remember to burn evenly down the sides and all of the wax will be used.  You can then remove the foil after the candle has cooled.

There are of course other factors that can affect how your candle burns, there are a few different waxes on the market and each will have differing burn rates. The size and material of your wick is an absolute factor in how your candle burns and then there is also the chemical makeup of the scent used. I'll go into these in another post but for now try out the steps above to get the most out of your candle.

* Never leave a burning candle unattended or on an uneven surface and away from drafts. Ensure there are no surrounding obstacles that could alight from the candle. I hope you found this quick read helpful, why not join our mailing list and follow what else can be happen when all is said and done.





Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.