Why do my candles “tunnel” and can I fix them?

tunneling candleAs I have been skimming over candle related questions posted by people online I have seen the topic of tunneling come up quite often.  For those of you who do not know what tunneling means in relation to candles, it is when the candle burns straight down the middle and not out to the edges.  The point of this post is to explain a few reasons why a candle may tunnel and how to try and fix the problem.  I mean lets face it, nobody wants to toss a candle that has hardly been used.

Two of the main reasons a candle could tunnel are poor quality and too many short burns.  In the case of poor quality, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the wax was bad or the fragrance was cheap but most likely the wrong wick was used in the candle.  If the size of the wick is too small, it doesn’t create a large enough flame, which in turn doesn’t create enough heat to melt the wax.  What you want to see when you burn a jar candle or votive, (any type of container candle) is for the wax pool to reach all the way to the edge.

Sometimes the tunneling effect is caused by too many short burns.  Take note to the size of candle you are burning and to how long you are going to leave it lit.  If you know you will have to extinguish the candle in an hour or even two, light a smaller one like a votive or tealights.  A 4″ diameter jar candle won’t usually melt out to the edge in an hours time.  A few short burns in a row will start your candle tunneling.  What starts to happen next is as the flame works its way down into the candle it starts to melt wax off the walls.  This wax runs down the sides and fills up the hole around the wick and drowns it out.  Once that happens, relighting the candle will not work.

So how do you fix a candle that has tunneled? The easiest way to get fix your candle is to remove all of the waxtunneling candle fixed that is higher than the area around the wick.  Use a butter knife or a fork to carve away the built up wax.  You can use that wax in candle warmer or toss it in the trash.  If you try to light your candle it may not easily light.  This is because the wick is not long enough due to the liquid wax which ran down into the hole surrounding the wick.  When the wax hardens it leaves the wick to short to light.  You can carve some of the wax away from the wick and try lighting it.  A better option is to lay the candle on its side, use your lighter to melt the wax away from around 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.

For the poor quality candle you can do a temporary fix using the method above however you will need to repeat the process after a few burns because the candle will not ever melt all the way to the edges.

Putting Candles in the Freezer Does NOT Help.

Watch this experiment done by Jeff, the owner of Keystone Candle company which compares the burning two identical candles.  The only difference is that one of the taper candles was left in the freezer overnight.

You can tell that putting the candles in the freezer, it did not cause the taper to burn longer, and it caused the pillar candle to crack.  Don’t take the chance of ruining your candles, just light and enjoy.

Battery Operated LED Candles

battery operated candlesAccording to the National Candle Association, candles are used in 7 out of 10 households in the United States.  Candles are purchased for a number of different reasons including, decorating, ambiance, emergency use, and to freshen the air.  With the advances in technology, battery operated candles are now available that can meet the demand for each of the reasons people purchase candles.

In the beginning candles were usually made out of plastic and didn’t look very realistic.  Now many battery candles are made using real wax so they feel and look just like the real thing.  Early battery powered candles used low watt light bulb to try and replicate the glow from a candle flame.  These primitive designs did not flicker like a real candle flame does.  In addition the color of the light emitted from these bulbs didn’t match the natural glow of candle light.  Also these candles would drain the batteries pretty quickly.

The newer battery candles now use LED’s to give off a realistic flicker and glow simulating natural candle light much better than before.  This means that you can get the ambiance from an LED candle like you would from a real one.  Also because LED bulbs don’t use much energy, the batteries last much longer.  A few of the LED candles will change colors automatically or can be set to a specific color with a remote control if you want something other than the natural yellowish glow.

The battery operated candles now also come in a variety of sizes, colors, and fragrances.  This makes them perfect to decorate with around your home or for events.  Many of the candles are also scented, freshening the air as well as being decorative.

There are many options available when it comes to turning your battery candles on and off.  All of them come with a manual on/off switch, usually on the base of the candle, out of sight.  In addition to that, some also have built in timers remote control candleswhich will turn the candles on and off automatically.  Some of the more advanced battery candles are remote controlled.  Usually 1 remote control can be used for all the candles in your home as long as they are from the same manufacturer.

Battery powered candles also come in a wide range of sizes and shapes from tealights to pillar candles and jars to tapers.  There are unique holiday themed candles like ghosts for Halloween, pumpkins for Thanksgiving, and snowmen for Christmas available too.  The greatest benefit to LED candles is that there is no open flame to watch or worry about.  They can be used safely around kids and pets.

Create Affordable Favors That Look Amazing

votive cup favors

People who are looking to get the best quality for the lowest price realize that sometimes it is hard to have both.  If you looking for some  inexpensive decorating ideas for place settings at your dinner table or favors at your wedding, these decorated votive cups will fit the bill.  With a little bit of work you can have 1 of a kind decorations at a very low cost.  The price to put together one of these votive holders is under $2.00 and will be even cheaper if you use flowers or greenery from your garden or yard.

What you need to make favor:

  • straight sided votive cups
  • some ribbon (we used 1 1/2″ wide satin but any kind will do)
  • raffia (twine or string can be used)
  • double stick tape
  • flowers (we used wild flowers on one and a lily on the other but you can use whatever you want, you can also use fake flowers, leaves, berry clusters, etc )
  • votive candles to fill the cups

Step 1: Cut a piece of ribbon to wrap around the votive cup and over lap about 1/2″.

Step 2: Stick a small piece of double stick tape to the votive cup right about in the middle.  If you use a thinner ribbon and want it to wrap around near the top or bottom, put the tape on accordingly.

Step 3: Attach one end of the ribbon to the tape, stick a second piece of tape on top and near the end of the ribbon which is now attached to the cup.

Step 4: Wrap the ribbon around the votive cup keeping it as tight and straight as you can.  Press the end of the ribbon down onto the tape to hold it in place.

Step 5: Cut a piece of raffia or twine long enough to wrap around the votive cup 2 times and to tie a bow or knot.

Step 6: Wrap the raffia around the votive cup 2 times (you can do more or less, just cut the length accordingly) and tie in the flowers or greenery you chose for the decorative accent.

decorative votive cups

I found that with the lily flower, since it had a thicker stalk, it was easier to tie my raffia into a knot then tie the flower in with the bit of raffia that was left.  For the wild flowers, the raffia was loose enough that I could slip them in behind the raffia after I had tied it.

If you are making your decorations up pretty long in advance you might want to stick with fake flowers so that they don’t look dead by the time your guests arrive.  Also, very important note… make sure that whatever you use for the accent does not hang down into the votive cup and create a fire hazard when you light the candle inside.

Decorations for Summer Parties

star floating candlesWith the 4th of July coming right around the corner many people are looking for patriotic decorating ideas for their parties.  Lots of decorative accents in red, white, and blue will be used on tables, walls, doors, and windows.  We have a lot of red, white, and blue candles to add to your home decor for the summer holidays but two new products we have found,  really stand out.  There are red, white, and blue star shaped floating candles in 2 sizes, and a 3 piece set of frosted votive cups with red, white, and blue stars on them.  The votive cups will hold a standard size votive candle.  The light shinning through the star shaped cutouts create a really neat light show.  These new candles and candle holders will really make decorating for your summer parties easy.

Another very simple way to decorate for summer is using red, white, and blue pillar candles on a mirror with some beaded garland.  Using pillars of varying heights will make a better display. Since we have very affordable candles that are made in the U.S.A., you can put together an attractive display with quality candles at a great price.

Magnetic Butterfly Accents

decorative butterfly accentsThe beauty of displays and centerpieces is often enhanced with small decorative accents like ribbon, flower, sand, or garland.  We have a new line of magnetic butterfly decorative accessories that are gorgeous.  These butterflies are hand crafted and hand painted in vivid colors.  Each painted glass section is set in metal cutwork which gives the decorative butterflies as stained glass look.  The butterflies have a small magnetic disc attached underneath so they can be placed on any ferrous (containing iron) metal surface.  In addition, we also include a small suction cup with a built in metal disc which matches up perfectly with the magnet on the base of the butterflies.  With this suction cup these butterflies can be used on a myriad of smooth surfaces including, vases, mirrors, window, candles, and more.  These decorative accents can be use all around your home or at events such as weddings or banquets.  Our wide selection of available colors means you are sure to find glass butterflies to match your color scheme.  For other accents and decorative accents checkout U.S. Candle Company.

Scented Candles

scented pillar candleScented candles… what is it about them that makes them so popular? Is it that scented candles are merely a tool to freshen the air in our homes? I think the reason scented candles are so popular is more than that. Our sense of smell is very closely tied to our memories. Have your ever been somewhere and suddenly out of nowhere caught a whiff of something that instantly caused you to remember an event, place, or person from your past. I know I have.

Scented candles can have the same effect. When you find a candle that reminds you of home, a friend, that first kiss… that candle becomes more than just an air freshener. At U.S. Candle Company we offer such a wide variety of fragrances so you can find that special scent to remind you of once upon a time.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free – Montana Jar Candle

Due to an over-run on this Jamaica Me Crazy scented jar candle we are offering a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal with no limit on quantities.  Purchase as many of these beautiful jar candles as you like for $30.00 each and get them same quantity for free.  This 64 oz. jar has a black metal lid in a matte finish.  Once your done burning this large 3 wick jar candle you can use it on your kitchen counter to store important stuff in, like chocolate chip cookies!  Jamaica Me Crazy is a really good fragrance for the spring and summer because it smells a lot like Hawaiian Punch.  This highly scented candle will burn for approximately 180 hours, is 6 1/2″ tall with the lid and about 7″ diameter.  This special deal will only last while we have stock available.  Once this jar candle is gone, it’s gone.

Battery Operated Candles

Outdoor Battery Candles

With summer approaching (at a snails pace if you’re going by the weather) most of us have turned our focus from the inside of our homes to the outsides.  We are weeding the gardens, putting down the weed killers, and getting our decks and patios ready for those backyard barbeques.  Outdoor decorating is also on the list of things to start looking at.

We have just added new outdoor battery operated candles to our product line.  These new battery candles are made of a weather resistant plastic that won’t melt in the heat of summer.  They also have been designed with a drainage system so that when it rains, water will not pool in the indented area around the fake wick.  In addition to a realistic, random, candle flicker and glow, these battery pillar candles have a built-in timer.  When the switch is set to the “timer on” position, the candles will turn themselves off after 5 hours.  But if that isn’t amazing enough, in 19 hours, the pillar candles will turn on again for another 5 hours. They will repeat this every day until you either put the switch in the “off” position (which will turn the candles off) or “on” position (which will keep the candles on until you turn them off).  With the switch in the “timer on” position the 2 “D” batteries needed to power the candle will last at least 100 days (500 hours @ 5 hours per day). Batteries are not included.  The outdoor pillar candles are 3 1/4″ diameter by 5″ tall.  These candles are priced at only $15.00 each.The price is not much higher than you would pay for a real candle, but the length of time you can use these candles far exceeds how long a real candle will burn.

Real Wax Scented Battery Candles

We also have battery candles with timers for use inside.  These battery candles are made of real wax and are scented vanilla.  The fragrance is not real strong but enough to be pleasant.  These battery pillar candles come in 3 sizes so you can use them to make beautiful displays.  They are 3″ diameter and 4″, 6″, and 8″ tall.  The two shorter candles are powered by 2 “C” batteries while the 8″ tall candle uses 2 “D” batteries (which are NOT included).  Like the outdoor pillar candles these also have a realistic flicker and glow, a built-in 5 hour timer, and a fake blackened wick that looks real even when the candles are turned off.

Scented Soy Votives Available in Inserts

We now offer votives in all of our soy fragrances in these polycarbonate inserts.  Why buy candles in inserts?  If you enjoy scraping left over wax out of your candle holders and getting wick tabs out then these are not for you.  However, if you are a candle lover, restaurant, or event planner, you should definitely check these out.  If you burn a lot of votive candles using these votive inserts will save time because they eliminate the wax mess left in your candle holders.  Simply remove the votive candle insert, recycle it, and replace it with a new one.  These plastic inserts will fit into any holders made for a standard size votive candle.  These votive inserts have a flat bottom so they can be used without another candle holder.  Simply set these inserts on a heat resistant surface like a charger or mirror and light it.