November 11, 2019


It happens to all of us, as the clouds roll in and the nights get darker, we look for something to brighten our lives. This is why burning candles in winter is so popular. They offer us a warming sensation, soft lighting, and smells that make us feel cozy. Across the country candle lovers like you are starting to search out the best and newest fragrances this winter.

Why burning in candles in winter is different

It may not seem obvious, but burning candles in winter does have some drawbacks. You have probably experienced one or two of them already. The drop in temperature presents a risk to your favourite candles in a number of ways. The first thing to bare in mind is the heat involved in candle burning. The heat from the flame is what turns your solid wax into a liquid heaven. This liquid wax is then absorbed by the wick to keep the flame alight. When you have a colder environment, this becomes a little harder as the flame is pushing against more cold air.

The first obvious sign that your environment may be too cold for your candle flame is what is known as tunnelling. This is when your candle burns unevenly, and it creates a tunnel through the centre of your candle. This happens because the outer edges of your wax are a lot colder than the edges close to the flame. If too cold, the flames heat does not reach the outer ring of wax, causing it to burn down in a tunnel form. A second cause of tunnelling is trimming your wick too short. If there is not enough wick to absorb melted wax and generate a big enough flame, tunnelling can happen also.

Tricks for burning candles in winter

A quick solution for burning your candles in winter is to place them near a radiator or wood burning fire. The additional heat from these things will help keep your wax warmer and reduce the chance of tunnelling. Alternatively, warming up a room before lighting your candle will allow you to place the candle anywhere in the room and avoid the troubles of burning candles in winter. Also, burning the candle for longer than an hour so that the wax has enough time to pool across its width will also reduce the chances of future tunnelling.

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If your candle has already started tunnelling, there are solutions to fix the problem. The first thing you could do is move the candle if it is far from another heat source. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you can also wrap your candle. Think of a jacket potato and you get the idea. Grab some aluminium foil from your kitchen and fold it so that it is as high as your candle container. When you have the right size, wrap the foil around your candle giving it a nice silver jacket. If you have extra foil after going around once, keep going. When your candle is wrapped, light the flame and leave to burn for at least 2 hours, up to 4. This should give your candle enough time to heat up and melt away the surrounding tunnel edges.

Foil works in this instance to keep all the heat from your candle on the inside of the jar. The insultation effect boosts the heat from your flame and increases its range. If your candle has tunnelled this is one of the best solutions to fix it.

What fragrances are best for burning candles in winter

Well, there is a lot of debate about the best candles to burn in winter. You may have your own personal favourite such as mulled wine or winter berry. However if you are looking for some new inspiration for the best fragrances for winter, we recommend this great article from the Independent newspaper. It lists up to 15 different fragrances that are great for burning in winter and can bring some beautiful seasonal fragrances to your home this winter. If you have some ideas for the best winter fragrances, please share them below in the comments section.

About the Author

I'm the Chief Candle Maker here at Penseth Company. I also write guides and updates for the blog.

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