Candle wicks are an essential component of any candle, responsible for carrying the flame and ensuring a consistent and even burn. A great wick that is perfect for a candle will mean it'll last longer, smell great and importantly, be safe. A poor wick could leave a lot of wax residue left over, burn too much where you have an uneven and dangerous flame or burn too quickly. So, let's get down to it - how to find the best wicks for candles (including soy, paraffin and beeswax).
What are candle wicks made of?
They are typically made from a variety of materials, with some options better suited for specific candle types and purposes.
One of the most commonly used materials for candle wicks is 100 per cent organic cotton. Cotton wicks are known for their clean burn and even fragrance dispersion, making them a popular choice among candle makers and buyers alike. The natural properties of cotton allow for a steady and controlled flame, resulting in a longer burn time and minimal soot or smoke.
Another material used for candle wicks is wood. Wooden wicks provide a unique aesthetic and can create a crackling sound reminiscent of a cosy fireplace. However, they may require a larger melt pool and are not suitable for all candle sizes or types of wax.
When selecting a wick for your candle, it is important to consider the type and size of the container or candle you are using, as well as the type of wax being used. Different wick types and sizes can influence factors such as burn time, fragrance throw, and overall safety. It is recommended to choose a wick that is specifically designed for your candle type and wax to ensure optimal performance.
Generally, it'll be trial and error to find the right candle wick. Testing your candles is vital to ensure they're safe, but it'll help eliminate the wrong size and type of wick. So you may end up making 100 scented candles before you know for sure, but it'll be worth it!
What are the different types of candle wicks?
There are various types of candle wicks available in the market, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some commonly used types:
1. Cotton Wicks: Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, these wicks are known for their clean burn and even fragrance dispersion for scented candles. Cotton braided wicks produce minimal soot and smoke, making them a popular choice. They provide a steady and controlled flame, resulting in a longer burn time. They can be used with soy and paraffin waxes and are commonly used for most wax types.
2. Wooden Wicks: Wooden wicks offer a unique aesthetic and create a crackling sound reminiscent of a cosy fireplace. However, they may produce more soot compared to cotton wicks. Wooden wicks are not suitable for all candle sizes or types of wax, as they may require a larger melt pool.
3. Cored Wicks: Cored wicks are made up of a cotton or paper core surrounded by a braided cotton sheath. These wicks provide a consistent flame and are ideal for container candles. However, they may produce more soot than other types of wicks.
When choosing a wick for your candle, consider the type and size of your container, as well as the type of wax being used. It is recommended to select a wick specifically designed for your candle type and wax to ensure optimal performance.
For example, at buff we use a cotton core wick to provide a clean burn and even fragrance dispersion. These candles are known for their long burn time and minimal soot or smoke, creating a luxurious candle experience.
Relax with our Lavender & Fresh Laundry soy candle after a long day.
How to choose the correct wick for your candle
Choosing the correct wick for your candle is a crucial step in the candle-making process. It requires patience and dedication to ensure that your candle burns beautifully and efficiently.
To begin, it is important to understand that this process may take weeks or even months of testing different brands and sizes of wicks in various vessel sizes. Each candle is unique, and finding the perfect wick for your specific candle is key to achieving the desired burn.
Start by considering the size and type of your candle. The larger the vessel or the wider the diameter of the candle, the larger the wick you will need. Additionally, different types of wax require different wick sizes for optimal performance.
Begin your testing by choosing a few different wick options that are suitable for your candle size and wax type - from paraffin waxes to eco-friendly soy candles. Select a variety of cotton wicks, wooden wicks, or cored wicks and use them individually in separate test candles. Pay attention to factors such as burn time, flame height, and soot production. For example, a larger candle will need a bigger single wick, or even more than one.
Burn each test candle for a few hours and observe its performance. Make notes on how the wick performs, and adjust the type or size wick as necessary. Remember, it is essential to only make one change at a time to accurately assess the impact of each adjustment.
Through this process of testing and observation, you will gradually discover the perfect wick for your luxury candles. It may require some trial and error, but with patience and dedication, you will achieve a beautiful and efficient burn in your homemade candles and know the best type of candle wick you need.
- MORE: What are vegan candles?
Signs you've chosen the correct wick for your candle
When it comes to choosing the right wick for your soy candle - or other waxes, like natural waxes, beeswax candles etc - there are several signs that indicate you have made the correct choice:
1. Absence of flickering: A properly selected wick will burn steadily without flickering excessively. This ensures a consistent flame throughout the life of the candle, promoting an even burn. A larger wick that's too big for the container will be flickering too much and produce a large flame. Choosing the right size of wick will help reduce this.
2. Full melt pool: The ideal wick will create a full melt pool that extends to the edges of the container. A melt pool that measures no deeper than ¼ inch indicates that the wick is correctly sized for your candle. This helps prevent tunnelling and ensures that all of the wax is used, maximising burn time.
3. Clean burning wick: A well-chosen wick will generate minimal soot while burning. If the wick is producing excessive smoke or blackening the container, it may be too large or unsuited to your wax type. It's also important to consider paraffin wax does produce more soot than other natural waxes. But no candle should have a black rim or soot around the glass regardless.
4. Absence of mushrooming: Mushrooming refers to the accumulation of carbon deposits or "mushroom" on the tip of the wick while burning. A proper wick selection will minimise or eliminate this issue, resulting in a cleaner burn and less maintenance.
5. Pleasant aroma: Lastly, a correctly chosen wick will allow the fragrance oil or essential oil to disperse evenly, creating a pleasant aroma without any chemical or "hot" burning smell. It's the greatest tip for the best scented candles.
Try something different with our Goji Berry & Blood Orange soy candle. The frosted glass adds chic and elegance to any home decor.
What size should my wick be?
When making soy candles, choosing the correct wick size is essential for a successful burn. One important factor to consider is the diameter of the container. For smaller-diameter jars, narrower wicks are typically more appropriate, while larger-diameter jars may require thicker wicks.
To determine the right size of wick, start by measuring the diameter of your container. Many wick manufacturers provide charts or recommendations based on container size. These guidelines can help you select the appropriate wick for your candle.
In addition to single-wicked candles, you may also choose to make double or triple-wicked candles for larger or wider containers. In these cases, smaller wicks may be more suitable for each individual wick in the multi-wick candle, rather than using one larger wick.
Choosing the correct wick size ensures that your candle burns evenly and efficiently. It helps prevent issues like tunnelling or excessive soot and allows for a longer burn time. Remember to refer to wick manufacturer recommendations and take into account the diameter of your container when selecting the right wick size for your soy candles.
Start with the recommendations and move on from there. Do your test candles have an uneven flame or burn down too quickly? Or is there tunnelling and leftover wax residue? The wrong wicks will give off these tell-tale signs, and you may need thinner wicks or braided cotton wicks instead. It all comes down to the test results as well as your personal preference. Common types include cotton and wood wicks.
How do I tell if a candle is properly wicked?
When it comes to determining whether a candle is properly wicked, there are several key indicators to consider.
First and foremost, flame height is an important factor to consider. A properly wicked candle should have a flame that is not too high or too low. A flame that is too high may result in excessive flickering, uneven burning, and potential safety hazards. On the other hand, a flame that is too low may struggle to create a clean and consistent burn.
Smooth burning is another indicator of a properly wicked candle. A well-wicked candle should burn evenly and without any sudden flare-ups or sputtering. This ensures a consistent and long-lasting burn throughout the candle's lifespan.
A complete wax melt pool is also a sign of a properly wicked candle. This means that the top layer of wax has completely melted, reaching the edges of the container. A complete melt pool helps maximise the scent throw of the candle, providing a stronger and more enjoyable fragrance experience.
Additionally, the appropriate melt depth is important. The wax should melt evenly and reach an appropriate depth, allowing for optimal fragrance release and a clean burn.
Other factors to consider include the temperature at which the candle burns, the absence of soot or smoke, and the absence of any wax hang-ups on the sides of the container. These factors contribute to a safe and pleasant candle-burning experience.
By paying attention to flame height, smooth burning, complete wax melt pool, and appropriate melt depth, you can easily tell if a candle is properly wicked. Keeping these indicators in mind will help you select the right wick size and ensure a consistent and enjoyable burn every time.
Choose a wick that is best suited to your selected wax
When choosing a wick for your soy candles, it's important to consider how the wick and wax work together to achieve a clean and efficient burn. Different waxes have different melt points, which can affect the size and type of wick needed.
Soy wax, for example, has a lower melt point than paraffin wax. This means that soy candles require a wick that can create a larger burn pool to maximize fragrance and achieve a complete melt pool. For soy wax, cotton wicks are often recommended. They provide a consistent burn, clean flame, and good scent throw.
Other vegetable waxes, such as coconut wax or beeswax, may have different burn characteristics and may require wicks specifically designed for those waxes. These wicks are often labelled as suitable for vegetable waxes and can help achieve an optimal burn.
It's essential to refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for the specific wax you are using to determine the recommended wick size. These guidelines will take into account factors like container size, fragrance load, and desired burn time.
Looking for something fruity? Our Watermelon Mojito soy candle will transport you to a sunny beach with a mocktail in hand.
3 DIY Candle wicks to make at home
If you're feeling crafty and want to make your own DIY candle wicks at home, you're in luck! Here are three different types of candle wicks that you can easily create using common supplies:
Cotton String Wick:
Materials Needed: Cotton string, scissors, candle wax.
Steps to Create:
1. Cut a length of cotton string to your desired wick size. A quarter-inch diameter is a good starting point.
2. Dip the cotton string into melted wax, fully saturating it.
3. Remove the string from the wax and place it on a drying rack to cool and harden.
4. Once the wax has fully dried, your DIY cotton string wick is ready to be used in your homemade candle. You can then place it in a wick sustainer, usually from metal, so it's easy to secure to the bottom of the candle container.
Materials Needed: Wooden dowel, scissors, candle wax.
Steps to Create:
1. Cut a length of wooden dowel to your desired wick size. Make sure the dowel is untreated and free from any coating.
2. Dip the wooden dowel into melted wax, coating it evenly and fully.
3. Remove the dowel from the wax and place it on a drying rack to allow the wax to harden.
4. Once the wax has completely dried, your DIY wooden wick is ready for use.
Twisted Cotton Wick:
Materials Needed: Cotton string, scissors, candle wax.
Steps to Create:
1. Cut a length of cotton string and fold it in half.
2. Twist the folded cotton string tightly until it forms a twisted shape.
3. Dip the twisted cotton string into melted wax, ensuring it is fully coated.
4. Remove the string from the wax and place it on a drying rack to cool and solidify the wax.
5. Once the wax has dried completely, your homemade twisted cotton wick is ready to be used in your candle.
By creating your own DIY candle wicks, you can customise the size and thickness to suit your specific candle-making needs. Just remember to use caution when handling hot wax and always follow proper safety procedures. Enjoy your homemade candles with these personalised wicks after placing them in the candle container!
Try our range of soy wax candles, fitted with eco-friendly cotton wicks.