Do you know the Melt Pool Rule?

August 17, 2018 2 Comments

How to get the proper melt pool

Have you ever burned a pillar candle with the hopes of enjoying it for many days, only to find that your beautiful pillar tunneled straight down?  Not only did you not get your money's worth, your candle wasn't able to give you that beautiful warm glow you were anticipating when you purchased it. There's generally two reasons why candles burn straight down the center (known as tunneling) and you can prevent one of them from happening. 

One reason a candle may tunnel down the center and leave a lot of wax behind is if the candle was not made properly. Anyone can make a candle that will burn, but it takes experience, education and a lot of testing to make a candle that will burn correctly. If the candle-maker used the wrong wick to make the candle, the candle will never burn properly. There are hundreds of wick types to use and an experienced candle-maker will follow wick guidelines to select the appropriate wick for that candle. It takes time, money and patience for a candle studio to select the appropriate wick for each candle, but it's the most important thing we can do to make sure our customers have the best experience they can when they light their candles. At Big Moon Beeswax, we like to say that "the wick is the heart and soul of a candle" because it's true. Without the right wick, there is nothing you can do to make that candle burn the way it was supposed to burn. Hopefully, you purchase your candles from trusted candle studios so you will not have to worry about buying a candle with the wrong wick.

So what can you do to make sure your beautiful candle burns beautifully?

Here's a big candle secret that every candle lover should know:

The most common reason a candle will tunnel down the middle and leave a lot of wax behind is that the candle was not burned for the appropriate amount of time for that candle. 

The ‘Melt Pool Rule’

  • For every inch of diameter of a pillar, you need to burn the candle for one hour to ensure that the liquid wax (melt pool) extends out towards the edge of the candle (leaving a thin wall of wax around the edge).
  • Example: a 3" wide pillar will need to be burned for approximately 3 hours each time you light the candle. A 2" wide pillar needs to be burned for approximately 2 hours each time you light the candle. If you purchased a 6-inch diameter pillar, be prepared to settle in for a long burn time of 6 hours each time you light the candle
  • It is very important that the first time you burn a pillar candle that you let it burn long enough so that the melt pool extends close to the edge of the candle before extinguishing it. The first burn is the most important as it lays the foundation for future melt pools each time you light the candle. Some candle-makers like to call this a "memory ring" because candle wax has a "memory" and will always burn to the same spot each time. 
  • You can burn your pillar longer than the minimum burn time as long as you keep a watchful eye on the wick to make sure it remains the correct length (approximately 1/4 inch tall). You will know when the wick needs trimming when the flame gets taller, pointy and starts flickering. Extinguish the flame, trim the wick back to approximately 1/4" and relight the candle. 

Knowing "the melt pool rule" will save you money, wax, and frustration. Plus, knowing how long a candle needs to burn so it won't get ruined, will allow you to choose a different kind of candle that requires less burn time (skinny tapers anyone?)

Thanks for stopping by and reading this post! Hope you have lots of great hours of candle enjoyment :) 

Bee Cozy


2 Responses


September 13, 2018

My goodness! super great information. Does your company use cotton wicks?
Thanking you in advance


August 18, 2018

How informative! Thank you!
I’ve recently been wondering about the length of the wick after it’s been burning a while.
And there you answered my question. Extinguish the flame and trim the wick then relight.

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