How To Fix Common Candle Making Problems

fixing common candle making problems

A good alternative to buying those expensive candles is to make them at home. Candle making is a fun and interesting craft that offers you great pleasure and control of how your candles smell, how they look etc. But candle-making is all fun and games until you encounter annoying candle-making problems.

If your candles are failing one by one and you’re not getting desired results, this article is for you. Here, we will discuss the most common candle problems and how to fix them. We’ll also share some tips to prevent candle-making mistakes and make beautiful and flawless candles. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive into the world of candles!

Wet Spots

Let’s begin with the ugliest candle making problem – wet spots!

Wet spots aren’t really wet spots but these are the gaps that are caused by air bubbles and shrinkage. They occur when the wax cools inside the glass or any beautiful container, resulting in an ugly-looking spotty candle.

Because this problem messes with the look of the candle, it becomes very annoying to the perfectionist candle makers!

Generally, this issue is more common with paraffin wax than others. While this doesn’t affect the burnability of a candle, it makes it look less appealing.

How To Fix Wet Spots When Candle Making

  • Clean the glass container with soap and water and dry it completely before pouring wax.
  • Work in a room that isn’t too cold. The temperature should be around 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A good idea is to preheat your glass container before pouring the wax. This will let the wax cool down slowly and escape the air bubbles.
  • Pour the wax slowly and tap the glass to remove air bubbles.
  • Use glass with uniform thickness.
  • While cooling your candles, don’t put the jars too close to each other. Keep them at distance to avoid heat transfer.
  • Use a softer wax
  • Cool the candles on a wire rack instead of leaving them on the countertop.

Candle Tops Not Smooth

Cracked, clumpy and uneven surfaces are some other common issues while candle making. These issues occur when air escapes from the top surface of a candle. An uneven surface can also occur when water is mixed with the wax. But the good thing is, you can easily prevent this from happening. Before moving to the “quick fix” of this problem, let’s first discuss a few ways to prevent this from happening.

How To Make Candle Tops Smooth

  • Pour the wax at a slightly higher temperature or preheat the glass before pouring.
  • Instead of using a double boiler method, use a tall pitcher or container to melt your wax. This will prevent water from mixing with wax.
  • Too much stirring can result in air-bubbles, so don’t stir for more than two minutes.

Now, how can you smooth the uneven candle tops? Using a heat gun!

Use a good quality heat gun and set it to the lowest setting. Now, use it on the flaw area for a second and move it back and forth to even out the surface.

Fragrance Oil Settling Down In The Bottom

Making perfect scented candles is a bit tricky and fragrance oil settling down in the glass is among the most common issues while doing so. There are mainly two reasons behind this problem: either you’ve added a lot of fragrance oil or you’re using the wrong wax. Apart from these issues, if you’re not heating the wax at the right temperatures, the fragrance oil may not get mixed properly.

The only way to prevent this from happening is to use a porous wax and heat it at optimum temperature. Further, stir the oil for about two minutes so that it gets incorporated evenly throughout the height of the candle.

Fixing A Sinkhole In A Candle

Nothing is more frustrating than making a beautiful candle with a flawless finish just to see it burning with an ugly sinkhole around the wick.

Sinkholes usually occur as a result of uneven cooling of the wax. When this happens, a hole or dip is formed in the middle of a candle’s surface. So, how to fix this issue?

The answer is, using a small heat gun. Use this handheld gun to apply the lowest possible heat to the surface of your candle, and fix the sinkhole carefully.

But what if you don’t have a heat gun? Well, don’t worry, we have a solution for this as well!

How To Fix Sinkholes In Candles

  • Preheat the container before pouring the wax
  • Save some wax and use it to fill the sinkhole.
  • Use a hot water bath to fix the dips and sinkholes.

Flickering Candle

Candle wicks are perhaps the last things we look at while making candles. They are given the least importance when it comes to quality. And this is the root cause of flickering issues. No matter how nicely you work on your wax, how much scent you add, if the wick is of poor quality, your candle will flicker and splutter.

The main reason behind flickering is an extra long wick. When the wick is too long, it produces a long flame and also produces a lot of smoke. So, trim your wick and make sure it is neither too long nor too short.

Wax Jump Lines On The Side of The Container

If there are visible lines on your candle or the glass container, then know that you’re dealing with wax jump lines. Unfortunately, you can’t fix this problem.

However, you can definitely prevent this from occurring. Here is how to do that :

How To Fix Wax Jump Lines On The Sides Of Containers

  • Use a heat gun to warm up your container before pouring wax in.
  • Make sure the wax is slightly warm at the time of pouring.
  • Don’t add too many additives like petals, shimmer, etc.

No Hot throw

Hot throw signifies the fragrance emitted by a candle when it burns. Everyone wants their candles to burn with a beautiful aroma, that’s the whole point of making scented candles. However, sometimes a candle doesn’t smell at all or smell very less at the time of burning, which is undesirable.

If you want a good hot throw, then select your wax and wick nicely. Make sure that the size of the wick is neither too long nor too short. Further, there shouldn’t be any melt pool on the surface. If it’s there, add more wax or use a heat gun to even out the surface and use a slightly thick wick. This will help the candle burn steadily which in turn will allow the fragrance to evaporate and get mixed in the surrounding air.

However, don’t use a wick that is too thick, it may produce soot.

No Cold Throw

A cold throw signifies the aroma or smell of a candle before burning. This is the first thing we look for while buying a scented candle. If you’re into a candle making business, having a good cold throw becomes very important. If your candle doesn’t smell good, the customer will not purchase it.

If you’re dealing with this issue, the quality of wax is to blame. If the wax is too hard or tight, the cold throw will be weak, and if it is too soft, the fragrance will escape easily through the melt pools. So, find a wax that’s well balanced. It should have a balanced melting point.

Candle Wick Drowning

 Another annoying problem that a candle maker has to deal with. In this situation, the wick is very short and when burnt, results in the creation of a tunnel which then drowns the wick.

You can easily prevent this issue by using a wick of the right size. If this happens with your existing candles, then fix tunnelling by filling the dip with wax and evening out the surface.

Candle Sweating From Too Much Fragrance Oil

The most common reason behind the sweating of candles is adding too much scented oil to them. Another reason behind sweating is the natural oil content of some waxes like coconut and soy. While this problem doesn’t affect the burning ability of a candle, it sometimes looks unappealing. It mostly happens when the temperatures are fluctuating.

You can easily fix this issue by blotting the candle using a dry tissue or paper towel. Further, avoid exposing your candles to sunlight and high heat.

Candle Tunneling

Tunneling is perhaps the biggest problem while candle making. This usually happens when a candle burns from the center and leaves wax residuals along the sides of the container. This issue is more common with pillar candles. If you don’t fix this problem on time, your candle will stop burning due to the lack of air and the wick will drown in the tunnel.

The biggest reason behind this problem is a shorter burn time. Know that the first burn time of a candle is very important as it evens out the surface and results in uniform burning. So, make sure to burn your candles for at least 2 hours for the first time. Another way to fix tunneling is by filling the deep hole with wax. Just scrape out the wax from the sides of a candle or use extra to fill the tunnel. If you’re using a glass container then, wrap it with aluminum foil and burn it for 2-3 hours for the first time.

Candle Stuck in The Mold

Sometimes candles get stuck in the mold and when you try to take them out, they get damaged. This problem can be very frustrating especially when a whole batch of candles gets ruined. Thankfully, this issue can be fixed easily.

The very first thing to keep in mind is, never to fill the molds up to the brim and don’t pour the wax when it’s too hot. Further, make sure that you’re the right kind of wax, it shouldn’t be too soft or too hard.

If you’re reading this while having candles stuck in the mold, throw them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours so the wax shrinks a bit. Then, remove them from the fridge and tap the bottom lightly to take them out.

Removing Candle Wax From Glass

Let’s face it. We can’t simply throw the containers after the candles get over. But the problem is, sometimes it becomes hard to remove the leftover wax from the glass. If that’s your problem, here are the two ways to deal with it.

1.Place It In The Freezer

This is the simplest way to remove candle wax from glass containers. Just throw them in the freezer for a few hours and let the wax shrink and get hard. You can even leave them in the freezer overnight.

In the morning, when you take out the container, you’ll find that the wax has already come out. Use a butter knife to scrap it and take it out. Now, you can clean the container with a mild soap and warm water and it is ready to be used again.

2. Place The Glass Containers In Microwave

If you have so many glass containers with leftover wax, then this method is great for you. First of all, scrape as much wax and wick from the containers using a butter knife. Now, take a baking dish and line it with two layers of parchment paper. Place all the containers in it and throw it in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, at 180 degrees. This will melt down the wax completely and you can remove and store it into another container for later use. You can use a small metal jar or a tin to store the leftover wax. Avoid storing the wax in a plastic container.

Once all of your containers are empty, you can clean them using warm water and mild soap. If the wax residues are still there, clean them with a cotton ball dipped in vinegar.


In conclusion, candles can come with a variety of problems and a variety of ways to fix those problems.

We have discussed a few candle-making problems and ways to fix them. The best way to deal with the problems is to avoid them in the first place. So, keep the above-mentioned tips in mind and make beautiful and flawless candles.

Carl Adamson

Hi, I'm Carl Adamson, one of the founders here at Candleers. A few years ago I got really into the art and craft of candle making, initially with soy wax container candles. My friends started asking me to make candles for them and pretty soon it turned into a nice side-business. I started this website as a way to document what I've learned over the past few years and hopefully help others in the process. I still love candle making but I'm learning that what I enjoy even more is the business side of things - and for this reason I've started consulting others on how to start and grow their own candle-making businesses and side-hustles.

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