Candle Wicks FAQ
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about candle wicks.
Q: Why isn’t my candle getting a full melt pool to the outer edges of the candle container?
A: Most likely the cause of your candle not getting a good melt pool is the size wick you are using. Whether you are using a single wick or double-wicking your candles you need to make sure you are using an appropriately sized wick for the diameter of your container. For guidance, you can go to our Guide to Wicking to assist you in your selections. Other causes could be too much fragrance or dye.
Q: After burning, my wick has a “ball of black” on it which crumbles down. What is this?
A: This “ball of black” is called mushrooming. All wicks will produce carbon when they are burning; some more than others. Zinc wicks usually produce more of this than some of the “cleaner-burning” wicks such as our ECO and CD series of wicks. This mushrooming effect will be reduced if you make sure to trim your wick down each time it is burned.
Q: Are wooden wicks easy to use?
A: Wooden wicks can be more challenging than a regular cotton wick but not impossible to use. Like any new element you might add to your candle, we recommend doing a series of tests before mass producing anything. The wooden wicks can be difficult to size, depending on what wax you are using. For soy wax, we don't recommend using anything smaller than the large or x-large sizes as soy wax requires more heat to burn evenly. You can refer to our sizing chart in the Candle Making University for size recommendations for paraffin. (We do not recommend using wooden wicks in palm wax as they do not burn hot enough). It is also important to note that these wooden wicks have a "sweet spot" that you'll need to trim them down to. We recommend trimming just above a quarter of an inch for best results and we do not recommend trimming the wick between burns.
Q: How do I know which wick to choose?
A: The wick material you choose will be based on your personal preference as well as the type of wax you are using. You can learn about the different materials in our Candle Making University in the Guide to Wicking. The wick size you choose will be based on the diameter of the candle you are making.
Q: Can the same wicks be used in soy and paraffin?
A: Many of our wicks can be used in both soy and paraffin waxes. The only wick that we carry that will not work as well in soy is the Zinc Core Wicking. The ECO series wick is specifically designed for soy, and it is even coated with vegetable-based wax. These wicks burn a bit hotter due to the paper filament woven into the braid and are not recommended for paraffin waxes.
Q: Why are my wicks smoking?
A: Many factors can contribute to a wick smoking. The wax you are using, adding too much fragrance, adding too much dye, not trimming the wick, using a wick that is too large for the container it is in, or having the candle burning in a drafty place may cause it. Smoking can also tend to increase when the candle is starting to burn close to the bottom of a container because it is harder for oxygen to reach the flame.
Q: How do I center a wick in the container?
A: The easiest way to ensure your wick is centered is to use the EZ Wick Setter or Multi EZ Wick Setter. If you do not have one of these, you will have to estimate where the center of the jar is when you are putting in your wick. It helps if you adhere the wick tab to the bottom of the container so that it doesn't move around when the wax is poured. We have Glue Dots and Wick Stickers to assist with this, or you may prefer to use a hot glue gun. Once the wick is in place in the bottom of the container, it also helps to secure the wick at the top of the container with a wick bar or something that won't allow the wick to lean to one side as the candle cools.
Q: When is it suitable to use 2 wicks per container?
A: When a container is 4" in diameter or larger, you may find it necessary to use more than one wick per container. If you choose to use multiple wicks, you will need to make sure that you drop down in wick size so the container doesn't get too hot when it is burning. You can learn more about using multiple wicks in a container in the Candle Making University.
Q: The neck on the wick tab is so long. Do you have wicks with a shorter neck on the tab?
A: The longer neck on the wicktab is a safety feature, and it is meant to be in keeping with our caution labels. When the candle reaches the neck of the wicktab, it will extinguish itself. This helps to prevent the candle from burning all the way to the bottom of the container and possibly breaking the glass, which can be a fire hazard.
Q: Why is it important to do a test burn?
A: Because everything you put into a candle will have an effect on the way it burns, it is always important to do a test burn. You may think you have added everything in the proper proportions, but discover a problem when you test burn. This gives you the opportunity to correct the problem before you distribute your products.