Believe it or not, getting the correct wick size is the key to every successful candle! If you haven't already, you will most likely find out that selecting the right size wick is very frustrating and time consuming. This is where the testing, testing, and more testing, comes in to play. It will help you tremendously if you keep a journal you can look back on for future formulas.
There are many factors that affect the size wick required to properly burn any candle but two that make the biggest difference. First is the type of wax (and brand) you are using. Second is the container (i.e. the size, depth, and style of the jars).
Below is a helpful guide to be used as a starting place.
Wick charts differ from each wick manufacturer. It's really just a guessing game until you test in your own formulas. Below are some basic guidelines you can find anywhere for a starting point. These are for a starting reference only and in no way work for everyone. Remember to keep notes of your own trials and formulations for future reference.
Here are a list of the wicks we currently sell on the scentednest.com.
When beginning to make candles, try to envision the type of candle you may want to have in your house; strong scent, nice colors, no smoke or soot and an overall safe clean burning candle.
Now try to envision the work needed to make this perfect candle. Some may say that all you need is some string, some wax, some scent and some color, mix it all together and pour it into a container and let it sit then light it up. As you may or may not realize yet, it is not that simple. Below we will offer some basic tips to remember when making your candles.
All Soy Wax is Not Created Equal
There are many different type of waxes ranging from 100% Paraffin to 100% soy. If a wax is paraffin derived it most likely to contain several different waxes ranging in melt point and consistency. Each time another ingredient is added to a blend it will modify the way your candle will burn .
If a wax is derived from soy, palm or other natural ingredients these too will most likely be blended with a variety of different natural ingredients to help modify its overall function. Try to know as much as possible about the wax that you are using; this will help the process of creating your candle.
Fragrance vs. Essential Oils
There is a distinct difference between synthetically made fragrances an essential oil. A well-made candle fragrance will go into your melted wax easily. If you see any separation after you pour and gently mix your fragrance this may be an indication that the fragrance is not compatible with wax.
An essential oil is a fragrance derived directly from its original source. These oils generally do not have any additional chemicals added. These oils can be very difficult to work with in candles due to their natural reactive properties. Try to know as much as possible about the fragrances that you are using. Test small samples thoroughly before making any large purchases .
Dyes and colors
Dyes come in several forms: powder, liquid, flakes and chips. Some dyes are comprised of both oil soluble dyes and pigments .
Oil soluble dyes, for the most part, go easily into waxes. Pigments however may not be as soluble. Pigment will add depth and richness to a color but may not be fully dissolved as it is generally suspend not dissolved. Colorants that are not fully dissolved in your wax will cause problems such as; bleeding, speckles, fading and wick clogging. Try to know as much as possible about the dyes that you are using. What you know will help in the way you handles these colors. Many customers tell us they have found that mixing the dye with the fragrance considerably increases the solubility of the powder or liquid.
The wicks ability to perform depends on the quality of ingredients in the candle. It can only work well if it is fed with quality fuel. Most wicks have a difficult time overcoming certain ingredients that are supplied to it via the wax, fragrance and color. A wick is much like a straw - if something is blocking the straw you cannot get the liquid up.
There are many different types of wicks available. Each wick was originally created to serve a certain purpose. Flat braided wicks for pillars, cotton and paper type wicks for high fragranced candles and so on.
Each wick can serve multiple purposes from its original concept. When trying to find the right wick, try not to rule out something that did not work previously during your development. If you have truly come up with your perfect looking and smelling candle, there is a wick available that can make it burn perfectly too. Just take that time to test each wick available to you and remember the "golden rule" for candle making - test, test, test!
Whether you are making paraffin candles or natural candles each can be made to burn properly and cleanly if you just take the time. Know your ingredients, take the time necessary, run several rounds of testing, lighting and relighting multiple times. Remember, it is recommended that you test burn your candles 3-4 hours per burn and repeate this 5-6 times or to the completion of the candle before determining that you have chosen the correct wick.
The candles used in these burn tests were made without the use of dyes (color) and 1.5 ounce per pound (or 9%) of fragrance oil. If you are using dye in your soy candles or using more than 1.5 ounce per pound of fragrance, there is a good chance you will need to move up a wick size or two. You will always need to do your own test burns to determine the appropriate wick for your combination. The challenge of selecting the right wick takes time and patience! The best way to find the right wick is to test each wick in the final candle formula chosen.
Once you have decided on the best formulation for your candle it is time to test for the appropriate wick type and size. Certain wicks may not burn as well as others depending on the final make-up of the candle. Be sure to test every candle for appropriate and correct burn. Several different wick types for each size candle should be tested.