Sinkholes are seen in candles when you pour the wax at a high temperature. Sinkholes are quite common in taller, narrower containers than in wider, shorter ones. Votive wax candles are more prone to sinkholes usually. Use single pour wax to prevent sinkholes in candles. You can fix sinkholes in candles using a heat gun or a hairdryer. You can also fix sinkholes in candles by using the ‘second pour’ method.
You put great effort into making a beautiful candle only to find out later that there’s a sinkhole in the middle of the candle.
Why does this happen? Is there a fault in the process you’re following? Is there a way to fix this problem? You’ll find out all the answers in this post, read on!
Why do I get Sinkholes in my Candles?
Wax poured into the container contracts slowly, leaving a sinkhole in the middle. This happens because the wax sets when it cools down.
Sinkholes usually appear as sunken dips around the wick. There can be more than a sinkhole in the candle. They can be anywhere in the middle, not necessarily around the wick.
Note that sinkholes are entirely different from tunneling. Tunneling usually happens after the candle is lit.
Monitor room temperature, wax temperature, and container temperature closely if you want to avoid sinkholes in the candles.
Sinkholes are seen when you pour the molten wax at high temperatures. It’s crucial to monitor the temperature when you pour the molten wax.
Sinkholes are quite common in candles/candle melts that are homemade. This is a great issue if you’re working with Soy wax.
Sinkholes are seen when the room temperature is quite low. The outer edges cool down faster, leaving a hole in the middle.
Tip: Pour the wax at such a temperature that the candle cools in 2 hours. It needs some practice but it’s worth it!
Sometimes it’s just the type of wax that causes this issue. You may want to get some single pour wax to make candles without sinkholes.
You just need to read the label to find out if it’s ‘single pour’ or not. Let’s see how you can prevent sinkholes in candles.
Note that Votive wax is more likely to produce sinkholes in the candle that’s made from it. This is just the nature of the wax.
So, it pays to learn about different types of waxes in the market. Know your wax!
It may sound weird but sinkholes are seen because of the size/shape of the jar. Sinkholes are more likely to occur if the jar is narrower/taller.
I’ve seen this in my work too. Once I noticed this I started using wider, shorter containers to make my candles.
How to stop Candles from sinking in the Middle?
Preventing the sinkholes is always better than trying to fix them later. Below are a few ways to lower the chances of sinkholes in candles.
Pour at the right temperature
Pouring the molten wax when it’s hot is probably the main reason why sinkholes are seen in candles.
What happens is, the molten wax begins to contract in the peripheral region. So the part touching the container is safe and the middle part dips.
This happens when the temperature difference between the container and the molten wax is high. So, try to pour wax at lower temperatures. The lower the better.
Be sure to maintain the right temperature indoors. Ideally, you want to mold candles at room temperature. High or low temperatures aren’t ideal for molding.
Note: Try pouring at different lower temperatures and see what works. Note the ambient temperature too.
Use wider, shorter containers
You can prevent sinkholes in your candles by using containers that are wider and shorter in size. I am sure seasoned craftsmen would agree with me on this.
This probably has to do with wax touching the inner surface of the container.
Use the proper wax
Single pour pillar and container wax types won’t have any sinkholes if you use the proper wax for the chosen container.
Logically, your candles are prone to sinkholes if you use the wrong type of wax. Votive waxes always seem to need a second pour. This just comes down to the nature of the wax you’re using.
Note that you need to leave at least 1/16th of the container empty to let the wax cool naturally. If you fail to do this, you’ll definitely see a sinkhole.
How to fix Sinkhole in Candle?
It is easy to fix sinkholes in a candle using the ‘second pour’ technique. One can also fix sinkholes in candles by using a heat gun.
The first method involves filling the sinkhole while the latter is about leveling the surface of the candle using heat.
How to fix Candle Sinkholes with a heat gun?
You can use a heat gun to smooth out the sinkhole in your candle. A heat gun can also be used to even out an oblique surface.
It is pretty easy to get rid of sinkholes using a heat gun. You can also poke a hole in the sinkhole/middle of the candle as you heat the surface.
This helps fill any invisible voids in the candle. I’ve tried this and it works wonderfully.
How to fix Candle Sinkholes without a Heat Gun?
Not everyone has a heat gun. If you don’t have a heat gun handy, you can always use a hairdryer. Poke holes near the sinkholes to prevent voids in the candle.
One can also use the low-temperature oven to fix sinkholes in candles. Make sure to use the upper heat option in the oven.
If you’re using the oven to fix the holes, monitor the candle constantly to prevent over-melting.
Fixing Candle Sinkholes with a Second pour
This method as the title says involves pouring molten wax the second time. Obviously, you need to set some aside for this second pouring.
Do remember that you need to give the first pour some time to settle well. You should pour it the second time only when the candle is completely solid.
I wait for 2-3 hours before pouring the wax a second time. If you do it too early, cosmetic problems might arise and could lead to a second hole too!
Poke holes around the wick to let it solidify properly. By doing this you’ll get rid of any voids in the candle. Don’t do this when the wax is cool.
These holes are called relief holes and they help prevent sinkholes that appear after lighting the candle.
How to prevent Sinkholes in Soy Candles?
Sinkholes are a common sight when working with Soy candles. Below are a few ways to prevent sinkholes in Soy candles.
- Heat the glass container for a while before pouring in the molten wax. This helps prevent the sinkhole that forms around the wick.
- When pouring the molten wax make sure that the wax is just warm. Don’t pour wax at high temperatures. Pouring wax at high temperatures causes sinkholes.
- Use shorter, wider containers for your candles. This helps prevent sinkholes in your Soy candle.
Happy Molding 🙂