Why Did My Candle Sink in the Middle

Why Did My Candle Sink in the Middle?

Candles are a popular and beloved way to add ambiance and warmth to our homes. However, it can be quite frustrating when you light a candle only to find that it has sunk in the middle, leaving a hollow and uneven surface. If you’ve experienced this issue, you may be wondering why it happens and how to prevent it. Let’s explore some common reasons and solutions for a sinking candle.

1. Inferior Quality Wax: One of the most common causes of a sinking candle is using low-quality wax. Cheaper waxes tend to have a lower melting point, causing them to melt unevenly and sink in the middle. To avoid this, always opt for high-quality candles made from natural or soy wax.

2. Incorrect Wick Size: Using the wrong size wick can also lead to a sinking candle. If the wick is too small for the diameter of the candle, it will not be able to adequately melt and disperse the wax, resulting in a hollow center. Ensure you are using the appropriate wick size for your candle.

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3. Drafty Environment: Drafts can disrupt the even burning of a candle, causing it to burn unevenly and sink in the middle. Avoid placing candles near open windows, fans, or vents, which can create air currents that affect the flame. Find a draft-free area to enjoy your candle’s full potential.

4. Poor Candle Maintenance: Neglecting proper candle maintenance can also lead to sinking. Always trim the wick to ¼ inch before lighting to ensure a clean, even burn. Additionally, allow the candle to burn long enough for the entire top layer to melt, preventing a hollow center from forming.

5. Overly Thick Candle: Thick candles are more prone to sinking as the outer layer solidifies before the middle can fully melt. If you enjoy larger candles, consider purchasing multiple wicks or opt for pillar candles with pre-drilled holes to enhance heat distribution.

6. High Ambient Temperature: Excessive heat in the environment can cause the wax to soften and melt unevenly, resulting in a sunken center. Keep your candles away from direct sunlight and hot areas, such as fireplaces or radiators, to maintain their shape and integrity.

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7. Candle Size vs. Burn Time: Burning a candle for too short a period can contribute to sinking. It’s important to allow the candle to burn long enough for the wax to melt evenly across the entire surface. For each inch in diameter, candles generally require one hour of burn time to avoid a hollow center.


1. Can I fix a sinking candle?
Yes, you can fix a sinking candle by melting the surface with a heat gun or hairdryer, then pouring in more melted wax to level it out.

2. What type of wax is least likely to sink?
Soy wax and beeswax are known for their ability to burn evenly, making them less likely to sink in the middle.

3. Can I prevent sinking by adding something to the wax?
Some candle makers use additives like stearin or vybar to improve the candle’s structure and reduce the likelihood of sinking.

4. Can I use a candle to the very end without it sinking?
It’s difficult to prevent some sinking towards the end of a candle’s life. However, proper wick trimming and burning the candle long enough can minimize the issue.

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5. Can I fix a sinking candle without melting wax?
If the sinkhole is not too deep, you can carefully pour hot wax into the center of the candle while it’s lit, allowing it to fill the hollow area.

6. Is a sinking candle still safe to burn?
A sinking candle is generally safe to burn as long as the wick is not obstructed. However, it may burn faster and less efficiently.

7. Can I prevent sinking by pouring a small amount of water in the candle?
Adding water to a candle is not recommended as it disrupts the wax’s integrity and may cause splattering or dangerous reactions.

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