Recently someone posted a picture of their favorite Burn and Groom candle in action. They were loving it, but it made me shiver. The reason? Tunneling. Tunneling is when a candle burns down the center, leaving a rim of hard wax around the outside. It is the number 1 cause of death in candles, but fortunately, it is COMPLETELY preventable. I'll tell you how, and share some tips as far as resurrecting candles that may already be suffering from this horrible affliction.
Wax has a memory. The reason your candle tunnels is that wax will only melt as far out from the wick as you allow it to the very first time you burn it. That means the when you initially light your candle, you must allow the wax to liquefy all the way to the edges of the container. The general rule for this is an hour per inch. That means that for every inch of diameter of your container (one end to the other) allow one hour of burn time. Burn and Groom candles are 3 inches in diameter, so a 3 hour burn time is needed when you first light your candle.
Keep in mind a variety of factors can come into play as far as how fast your candle pools wax entirely across the container such as drafts/wind, length of the wick, and temperature of the room, so the Inch/Hour rule is a guideline more than a commandment. Subsequent burn don't have to be as long, but do try to allow for a longer burn every few lightings to re-establish the pool.
Trim your wick! Our 100% soy wax produces no soot. Soot will blacken your walls, your air filters, and your lungs! That's why we won't use it. However, any wick can produce soot if it's not properly trimmed. Remember that Inch/Hour rule? Well, here's another one for you: Never burn your candle for more than 4 hours. There are a couple reasons for this. Most importantly is that burning a candle for an extended length of time (like all day!) will cause the wick to mushroom, and that will produce soot. The second reason is that the wax can get so hot that it will burn up faster, shortening the life of your candle. After a few hours, extinguish your flame and let your candle cool back down. You'll notice a difference, I promise!
Saving Tunneled Candles: Here are some quick tricks that may just keep your beloved favorite candle with you a bit longer.
A. If the tunneling isn't very bad, lay the candle on its side and use your lighter to melt the wax away from the wick and pour it into the trash. Relight your candle and make sure that you allow the wax pool to reach the edge before blowing it out. This will be messy as the wax will turn black when melting it.
B. Cut out the wax that is above level of the wick with a butter knife.
C. Remove the wax after its melted with a cotton ball or paper towel. After removing enough melted wax so that the wick is above the melt pool the candle should begin to burn properly.
D. Wrap aluminum foil around the top of the lit candle, leaving a small hole in the center for the flame. The foil will reflect sufficient heat back down into the jar to melt the wax at the edges. Careful! The foil and container will get hot! I suggest this method only as a last result and only with our Tinders candles, as that much heat can cause glass container to shatter. (another great reason to buy a Tinder Candle, no sharpy-pointies!)
There you have it, folks! Using these tricks and techniques will keep your candles burning bright for as long as possible. Wait. If....if our candles last that long....People won't need to buy candles as often.....that means we won't sell as many candles.....ABORT! ABORT! ABORT!!!! Where's that "Men in Black" mind eraser thing when you need it?!?!?