Candle Sinkholes: 3 Easy Steps To Get Rid Of Them

Candle Sinkholes

Hey there, here is all you need to know about candle sinkholes and how you can save your candles from them.

Sinkholes are those unpleasant small pockets that can form inside your candle wax when it hardens. These cavities usually dip down toward the center of your candle. It is crucial to know more about sinkholes formation and how to prevent them since they can affect not only the look of your precious scented candle, but also its burning efficiency and scent diffusion.

Fear not, here is all the info about how they can happen as well as a few tips to help you deal with sinkholes in candles.

So, let's do this together.
Let's dive into the mystery of sinkholes, shall we?


What Causes Sinkholes In Candles?

Here's how it happens:

When you pour your melted candle wax into a jar, the heat from the wax causes it to expand, filling up the entire container. Now, as the wax starts to cool down and harden, it begins to shrink. However, this process of hardening and shrinking isn't uniform throughout the wax, and the edges and the area around the wick cool down faster than the rest of the wax in the jar.

As this cooling process continues, the wax begins to "stick" to the candle jar's edge and the wick, and it starts to solidify and shrink at the edges. Meanwhile, the still-cooling wax underneath the surface that's not touching the jar's edge or the wick continues to contract and dips down gradually, resulting in a cavity as it solidifies.
This cavity is what we call a sinkhole.

So, when you see a tiny hole or depression around the wick in your candle jar, you know what caused it - a sinkhole!

Wax Temperature And Sinkholes

Different types of wax require different pouring temperatures, and getting it right is crucial. Soy wax requires cooler pouring at a temperature, whereas paraffin wax requires hotter temps and beeswax is somewhere in the middle.

Now, here's the interesting bit - some candle makers opt for pouring the wax at cooler temperatures to help prevent sinkholes. While this can help, it can also lead to other issues, so there is a fine line, making it an art form.

The ideal temperature for your workspace can also come into play. Working in a ventilated area with no extraneous air movement, like drafts or breezes, can also help out.

One more thing to keep in mind is the temperature of the candle jar. The speed at which the wax cools can be affected by the jar's temperature. A cool jar proves advantageous for faster cooling, but a problem may arise due to sinkhole formation. By taking the time to allow the jar to naturally reach room temperature in an open area, it can prevent any issues.


Wax Type And Candle Sinkholes

The type of wax you use in your candle can affect the likelihood of sinkhole formation. How come? It all boils down to melting points and shrinkage rates. You see, different waxes have different melting points, and as they cool, some shrink more than others. For this reason, paraffin wax stands out, notorious for creating sinkholes. 

We prefer and use a coconut soy wax blend in our candles for many reasons.


Can The Candle Jar Size Affect Sinkholes?

So you're wondering if the size and shape of your candle jar affects the probability of sinkholes. Let me tell you, it absolutely does! But don't worry, because I've got the scoop on what you need to know.

First up, let's talk about wide and shallow vessels. These babies have a pretty low likelihood of sinkholes forming. So if you're interested in minimizing your chances of sinkholes, you might want to opt for a wider and shallower jar.

Next, we've got wide and tall vessels. These guys fall in the middle of the pack in terms of sinkhole likelihood. While they're not the most prone to sinkholes, they're not the least either.

Finally, we come to narrow and tall vessels. These are actually the most likely to form sinkholes. 

We feel like we have the perfect ratio of wide - tall in our jars. You can see them here.


Why You Don't Want Sinkholes In Your Candle

Sinkholes are not only visually unappealing, but they can also have a negative impact on the function of the candle wick. When you burn a candle, the wick acts as a sort of absorbent towel, drawing the wax up into the flame. When a sinkhole forms and your candle melts down to that level, suddenly a large amount of the wick is exposed. This excessive amount of wick then starts to draw up way too much liquid wax, which can create a dangerously large and unstable flame. By getting rid of these pesky sinkholes, you can ensure that your candle burns evenly and safely, providing the best experience for you and your home.


The 3 Steps To Fix A Sinkhole In Your Candle

Sinkholes are a relatively common occurrence, but they are usually easy to catch and fix.

In the unlikely event that you do discover a sinkhole in a candle that you purchased, here's how to fix it easily.

  1. Firstly, hold a heat gun - if you don't have a heat gun, a hair dryer works too - over the top of your candle to melt the surface layer. As the wax begins to melt, poke gently at the sinkhole with a chopstick or any similarly-shaped object to determine the size of the sinkhole. Sometimes, what appears to be a minuscule hole on the surface could actually be much bigger under the surface.

  2. Next, carefully puncture the wax around the sinkhole with a pin or the tip of your chopstick to allow melted wax to fill the open cavity. This step is important to help the melted wax penetrate deep enough and fill the cavity.

  3. Then sit back and allow your candle to cool back down to room temperature. It's actually best to leave it alone for 4+ hours.

Voila! Your candle is fixed, and you can enjoy its flickering flame without any pesky sinkholes in the wax.