All candles need a wick!
But which wick will you choose?
Each wick series performs differently is different waxes. This is because waxes have their own properties.
Types of wicks
Fiber or thread: Wicks are made from particular materials such as cotton, wood, fiberglass, or natural fibers.
Braid design: Different wicks are woven into different pattern or they have varying densities.
Wax coating: Some wicks are pre-coated with paraffin, which provides structure to the wick. Other wicks are available uncoated.
We sell two brands of reputable wicks:
These wicks are recommended for soy. HTP wicks are cotton and feature braided paper fibres for enhanced rigidity. They come pre-tabbed and pre-coated. HTP wicks will curl slightly as they burn and are self trimming.
These wicks are recommended for paraffin wax and soy wax. CDN Wicks are a flat braid style with a paper filament and enhanced rigidity. These wicks are coreless and non directional. They come pre-tabbed and pre-coated. They require trimming to avoid mushrooming after each burn.
Wick Chart & Wick Selection
Both of these wick series are ready to use. They have been primed or pre-waxed, cut to the specified length, and tabs have been crimped on. We offer a variety of sizes. It is then up to you to experiment in order to judge the correct size and wick series for your candle.
We also offer wick sampler kits.
Please see our wick chart here. Match your container diameter to the burn diameter listed in the chart. Diameter refers to the distance of one end in a circle to the other end. Please note that this chart does not replace your own testing, since chosen wax, fragrance, colour and container will all influence the result. Every time you change one of these variables, you will need to retest. The guidance we offer for wick selection is a recommendation, not a guarantee.
What Type of Wicks Should I Purchase?
We only sell lead-free wicks. Studies show that wicks with lead cores emit potentially dangerous levels of lead into the air - benzene, acetone, mercury and toluene. These emissions can damage the cardiovascular, neurological and immune systems. It is illegal to sell candles with lead core wicks in Australia.
The rest is a matter of preference, whether you prefer HTP, or CDN will emerge with experimentation. However, the following will guide you along with the process.
First, select the wax you’re going to use. This is necessary because different wax types require different wicks.
The next step is to ascertain what the diameter of your selected container is. The height of the candle is of no consequence to wick size. What is critical here is the diameter.
You can also refer to our wick guide as a launching point to narrow it down. It is important that you do your own testing however, as we may have used a specific wax for example. The colour and fragrance you select will also influence your wick size choice.
Time to test burn your candles and make notes. This information will enable you to make adjustments. Our wick sample packs are ideal for test burns.
What Is A Test Burn For?
Every aspect of a candle will influence the way it burns eg: chosen wax, fragrance, dye, wick, container.
A test burn enables you to test each aspect separately, and find an issue before you sell the candles. There may be an issue with melt pool, for example, which is solved with the correct wick. It is a good idea to make 3 candles at the same time, using exactly the same properties (the same wax, fragrance, container, dye) but different wick sizes. This process may be tedious, but it will help you narrow down the safest wick selection. Our Candle Makers Journal is ideal for use during the testing process.
What Is The Calculation For Multi-Wicking?
A very rough starting point is to divide the diameter of your chosen vessel by the number of wicks you would like to use. For example, if you a making a candle using a 7 cm diameter vessel, and you would like to use 2 wicks, the equation is 7 divided by 2 = 3.5. Then 3.5 becomes your effective diameter. Consult the wick chart and find a wick that is suited to your effective diameter and wax type. Then select one wick size up, and one wick size down, and test all 3 wicks at the same time with the same wax, fragrance and dye.
Why Is It So Important To Keep CDN Stabilo Wicks Trimmed?
Soy candles do not produce the toxic soot that paraffin candles do, but when wicks are not properly trimmed prior to relighting, this can cause excessive flickering or smoke.
Simply cut or trim by breaking off the top of the wick with your fingers (the curled part) carefully before lighting. Natural wicks are fragile, so please be careful when trimming. The wick should be kept 1⁄4 inch. Maintaining too large a wick length for your candle will mean your candle will burn far too quickly (with too large a flame) and this will decrease the burn time. Ensure you do not leave wick debris in the wax when you trim. Trimming also prevents your wick from curling back into the wax. Be sure to keep your wick straight so the wax on either side melts evenly.
The candle Isn’t Developing A Full Melt Pool (i.e. it doesn’t extend to the edges of the container within the first two hours of burning.) Why Is This Happening?
The issue could be the size of the wick you have selected. It could be too small for the diameter of the container and you might need to wick up.
You could have also added too much fragrance or too much dye. Please see the wick guide for help with selecting the most appropriate wick for your container.
If your candle has tunnelled (burned down the centre, leaving wax on the sides of the container), this would indicate that the wick you used was perhaps not large enough for your wax, dye, fragrance and container combination. If you used a size 14 wick, you might like to experiment with a size 16 wick next time. (This is known as wicking up).
The Wick Has A Crumbly Ball On The End After I Blow It Out. What is happening?
This effect is known as ‘mushrooming’.
All wicks produce carbon when burning - some to a lesser degree. When the wick mushrooms, the flame has consumed more wax than it can burn. Trim your wick before you burn it each time to reduce this effect. This can also be an indicator that your chosen wick size is too large for the candle. If the mushrooming is combined with soot along the sides of the container, then reducing your wick size may help. However, it is also the case that some wick series are more prone to mushrooming than other wick series.
How Do I Use Wooden Wicks?
Wooden wicks differ from using cotton wicks. For soy wax candles, it’s better not to use anything smaller than a large or x-large sized wooden wick, because soy wax needs more heat to burn evenly. It is also necessary to trim the wooden wicks for best results before the first burn. However, they do not need to be trimmed for subsequent burns.
What Makes Wicks Smoke?
Various factors may contribute, including: the wax you have selected, too much fragrance or dye, neglecting to trim the wick, using a wick that is too large, burning in a drafty area. As the candle gets towards the base of the container, smoking may increase because there is less oxygen reaching the flame.
What Is The best Way To Centre A Wick?
You could use a wick centring tool, or you could just estimate the centre by eye. Using a glue gun, glue dots or stickums will secure the wick to avoid it moving around. Then you can secure the wick at the top with a wick bar as the candle sets.
How Do I know Whether To Use One Wick Or Two Wicks In A Container?
When a container’s diameter is 10cm or larger, a second wick may be required. When using multiple wicks, it is important to drop in wick size (also known as wicking down).
Why Is The Size Of The Wick Tab So Large?
This is a safety feature, which encourages the candle to self - extinguish once reached. When glass gets too hot, it can crack or even explode. On warning labels, it’s important to note that the candle should not be burned all the way to the bottom.
How do I test wicks?
It is crucial to conduct regular test burns for safety reasons, and to ensure that the candle is performing as it should. The burn test should go for 4 hours at a time before extinguishing. Allow to cool back to room temperature, then re-light for another 4 hours. It lasts from lighting the candle until the wax is finished or the candle self extinguishes as a result of a fail. Please refer to our blog post on test burns. The Candle Makers Journal is ideal for use during test burns. It includes a notes area and stickers designed for test burns.