Whether you own a candle store or often find yourself dabbling in DIY candle-making, you must know about sinkholes. These cavities are like the Voldemort to your Candle Potter. Your candle's nemesis. Sometimes hidden, these evil laddies usually appear around your candle's wick as the wax naturally cools down.
Today, we'll be explaining why this phenomenon occurs and the steps you can take to prevent your candle from sinking in the middle. These prevention's are especially important if you run a candle store. Trust us, the last thing you need is a customer finding out that their otherwise pretty candle is boasting a dreaded hole as soon as they light it. Ouch.
Why Does Candle Wax Sink in the Middle?
Let's break down the two possible explanations as to why candles develop sinkholes:
Physics is the Culprit
Don't worry, we won't get too science-y on you here. You see, the physics of any matter dictate that when it is cooled down, it contracts. The same is true for wax. When you pour hot wax into your candle, it starts rapidly cooling down and shrinking.
As it stretches inward to contract, the wax leaves behind some openings. Theoretically, these openings would have been filled out by the wax beyond. However, the wax around these openings quickly cools down and hardens. The result appears in the form of some despicable air bubbles all around your candle, usually in the middle.
The Wax's Stickiness
Let's also not forget that wax is extremely sticky in nature. So, when poured in, it starts sticking to your candle's sides. The wax in the centre, however, doesn't have access to these sides. So, this wax starts to stick to the wick.
With time, this wax in the middle starts to sink down and completely encircles the wick right to the bottom. And, before new wax fills in these retreating cavities, the candle cools down. The result is, once again, a sinkhole in the middle of your candle.
How Do You Prevent Sinkholes in Candles?
As we previously said, a candle with sinkholes is not exactly a turn-on. So, to prevent these from happening, here are two amazing tips:
Heat the Glass
Half of our problems would be eliminated if the stupid wax doesn't cling to the candle's sides, right? Well, you can prevent this by heating the glass before pouring in the wax. This heated glass will not only slow the entire cooling process but also prevent your wax from sticking to the sides. Pretty neat, if you ask us.
Poke the Wax
This next tip will require two additional things. You need a toothpick and a heat gun. If you don't have the latter, don't worry, you can also use a blow-dryer. So, what you need to do now is wait for your candle to cool and settle down a bit. Not completely, though.
Next, heat up the candle using your heat gun or blow dryer. As the wax gets a little liquid-ey on the surface, poke it near the wick with the toothpick. This will burst the air bubble and create a cavity through which the now liquid wax will start to pour in. Mission accomplished.