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Burning a candle seems simple – light the wick, let the wax melt, and if you have a scented candle, enjoy the scent, right? Well, not so fast. In fact, there is a right and wrong way to burn a candle to get the value of your money.

By burning a candle properly, you can avoid it tunneling, where the wick burns a tunnel in the middle of a candle, leaving a thick ring of unmelted wax around the outer edge. Once a candle starts tunneling, it will continue to do so each time you light it (unless you fix it; I’ll show you how to do it below).

If you continue to burn your candle, which is tunneled, you will be left with a wick that burns quickly and a bunch of wax that has never melted and therefore has never given off any fragrance. If you spent over $ 40 on a A boy smells a candle or $ 70 for a Diptyque candleyou will want to extract from it all the fragrance you can.

For more tips, here the best way to travel with contact lenses and how to cut a cake with thread.

First cut the wick

Before burning a candle – whether it is new or one you have already started burning – make sure you cut the wick. In this way you can prevent the formation of black traces of burns on the container of the candle and stop the fall of pieces of charred wick in the melted wax.

You will want to trim the wick to 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch with scissors or wick cutter.

If your candle removed from the box has a wooden wick – eight to a quarter of an inch high – you can skip pruning it before the first burn, said Chris Powers, manager of the Newell Brands Home Fragrance Testing Laboratory. Yankee candles, Candlesticks from Chesapeake Bay and WoodWick). After lighting the candle for the first time, you can break off the top of the wick before lighting the candle again to prevent debris from entering the wax.

Then allow the top layer of wax to melt to the edge to protect the spark plug from tunneling

This is the most important step to avoid tunneling. When you burn your candle, let it burn long enough to allow the top surface of the wax to melt completely, from the wick all the way to the edge of the candle container. This will not only release as much scent as possible, but will also stop tunneling in your tracks.

Powers recommends burning your candle for at least 3 to 4 hours to “help completely melt the wax” and prevent tunneling.

Not every candle needs that much time to melt the top layer of wax. Be sure to read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for your particular candle, and do not burn your candle longer than the recommended time on the label (if any).

By doing this the first time you light a new candle, you make it so that the wax “I remember“how far from the wick it melted the first time and will melt again the same way the next time you light it. However, this is true every time you light the candle, not just the first time, so follow this rule every time when you light it.

Lighted candle with tunnel wax in a glass vessel on a wooden surface with southwestern fabric

Do you see this layer of unmelted wax around the edge? This is what you want to avoid.

Sarah Mitroff / CNET

Finally, avoid air currents when burning a candle

Tunneling can also occur when the flame moves around or tilts to one side while the candle is burning, usually caused by strong airflow. Turn off all fans and avoid placing your candle in front of an open window to keep the flame stable while burning.

Air currents can also cause black burn marks on the spark plug container.

How to fix a candle that has broken tunnels

All the tips above are important when you light a new candle for the first time, but what if you already have a candle with a tunnel in the middle? There are ways to get rid of the tunnel, depending on its severity.

Use aluminum foil to fix a candle that has begun to tunnel

The next time you light your tunnel candle, take a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the top of the container. Make a hole in the middle at least an inch wide so that the flame gets enough oxygen to burn.

Allow the candle to burn long enough to melt the wax to the edge of the pan. Aluminum foil helps retain enough heat to melt the entire surface of the wax.

You can also buy a metal top for candles, which works just like aluminum foil, only in a more enjoyable game. Yankee Candles for sale several toppers which fit his candles and you can find others on Etsy and other online stores.

Light a candle with the top covered with aluminum foil to help the wax melt

Cover the top of your candle with aluminum foil to help the wax melt evenly.

Sarah Mitroff / CNET

Try a cup warmer to fix serious candle tunnels

For candles that have deep tunnels, the trick with aluminum foil may not cut it. If you still want to enjoy the scent of your candle and the wick is almost exhausted, try a cup heater.

These small hotplates can heat the whole candle to melt the residual wax and remove the aroma. I used one many years ago while living in a dormitory where open flames were banned.

Since there is no flame to heat the wax, the wax will not disappear with this method. You can heat the candle on the cup heater again and again, but over time it will lose its aroma.

For more tips, here’s how wash your car without water and the smart way to travel with contact lenses.

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