The wicks are one of the most important parts of a candle. If it's too small, it smells horrible, and if it's too big, it keeps multiplying, evaporating all the aromatic oils from the wax.
Choosing the right wick for a candle requires a great deal of care and sometimes some testing is required as well. Let's take a look at how to make your own candle wicks.
How do you make a candle wick?Cut wicking material to desired length, soak wicking material in salt and boric acid solution for 24 hours, dry well, dip in melted wax, allow to dry, dip in melted wax again, place your wicks in wicking tabs, then clamp with pliers.
Candle wicks can be made from a variety of cotton yarns, twine, and braids. You can also use other materials like wood and hemp.
Getting started with wick making
Identify the type of wick you need
Let's take a look at how to determine what type of wick you need.
Which candle wick do I need?Wicks are made from a variety of materials and consist of a variety of different components that serve specific purposes. Some of these types of rovings include cotton, wood, paper core, and braided rovings.
Types of commonly used candle wicks
Wick with core –For candles that require free-standing wicks. It needs to be pre-waxed to improve rigidity and is usually made of zinc (the hardest), paper or cotton. Examples of candles that support this type of wick are pillars, votives, and containers.
Flat Braid Me -It consists of 3 bundles of twisted yarns lying flat. It flexes slightly as it burns, allowing for an even burn with less fungus or char residue on the tip. It is used in particular in cast independent sails such as sails and pillars.
Square Braided Mech -This is thicker than the flattened wick and specially designed for beeswax candles. It also curls up when burned.
Mecha LX –This is a coreless, strong, flat-braided roving made from stabilizing yarns, specifically pure ring-twisted cotton yarn. It adapts perfectly to paraffin candles and is designed to improve the combustion of containers, columns and scented and/or colored candles, reducing soot and smoke production.
Wedo ECO Docht –This one is mainly made for paraffin candles and vegetable wax. Eco is a pure cotton, coreless flat wick with paper-thin threads that are woven together to give stability when burning. It is also ideal for heavily scented and colored waxes.
Identify the wick size needed
What size candle wick do I need?A large wick will not produce tunnels or excess carbon. There is no cutter size as this depends heavily on the candle and container dimensions. The size of the wick is determined by the diameter of the candle.
Problems that occur with incorrect wick size
Tunneling:If the wick is too small, the flame will not reach the outer wax and the molten puddle will form in a smaller radius, causing the candle to burn in the center and all the wax splattering around.
Excess carbon and multiplication:If the wick is too big, it will produce too much carbon, which will eventually accumulate in the wick and melt, causing the candle to burn faster over time while also losing its scent. Much of the wick is also wasted as you have to trim it each time it grows.
Material for making candle wicks
What can be used as a candle wick?
- Cotton:The most common material used for basically any type of sail.
- Papier:It is regularly used for decorative candles. It burns hotter than most materials and can create larger melt pools.
- Madeira:Using wood as the wick core is a fairly recent trend, although its use is mainly limited to medium and large sized container candles as they are very easy to snuff out with a puff. It also produces a gentle crackle which makes it attractive.
Prepare candle wicks
Why do candle wicks contain wax?The wicks are usually coated with a very thin layer of wax, which allows them to burn out without burning too quickly. Meanwhile, the wax gives the wick the rigidity it needs for easier lighting and more consistent fuel consumption.
However, too much wax blocks the oxygen needed to burn it. Wax can build up on the wick due to mold growth.
Should you dip a candle wick in wax?You need to dip the wicks in candle wax to prepare them. When preparing a wick, coat it with wax from top to bottom. This is important for candle wicks as the wax feeds the flame, the wick only transfers the wax. Without the wax, the flame will burn the wick.
By preparing the candle wick, fuel is immediately available to the flame when you light the candle.
How do you dip candle wicks in wax?Prepare and melt the high temperature wax of your choice, then dip the candle wicks in it for a few seconds to allow them to absorb as much wax as possible. Then remove the strands, let them dry and you can add false eyelashes.
Making a candle wick - step by step
We will analyze each step of the process and see in detail how to make a wick.
Things you need to make a candle wick
- cotton yarn
- two spoons of salt
- Four tablespoons of boric acid
- 1.5 cups of warm water
- melted wax
- false eyelashes
1. Select wick material
First you need to choose the material for your wick. Cotton and hemp are great options. Some wicks are made from wood, but the vast majority of homemade wicks are made from 100% cotton cord or yarn.See my selection here.
2. Wick size
You will need to adjust the thickness of the wick based on the size and type of candle you are making. A single strand can be big enough for a small candle, but as the candle grows larger, you'll need to add more cotton strands. You do this by braiding them together.
Now that you have twisted the strands together you need to cut them to the length you will need for your candle. Maybe make sure to make it a little longer than necessary to reach the wick holder rod, you can trim off the excess after the candle is done.See my selection here.
4. Moisten the wick
Combine two tablespoons of salt, four tablespoons of boric acid, and 1.5 cups of warm water and mix well. Then soak the wick for at least 24 hours. This strengthens the wick and helps it burn continuously. If you don't dip the wick in this solution, it will burn too quickly and have an uneven flame that can cause wax holes and tunnels.
5. Dry the wick
Align the wick and dry well.
6. Cover the wick with wax
Cover the wick with hot melted wax and allow it to absorb as much wax as possible. Dip straight into the tip and hold for a few seconds to fully absorb.See my selection here.
7. Dry the wick
Let the wick stand upright while it dries completely.
8. Coat the wick again with wax
Quickly dip the wick back into the hot melted wax and remove. This increases the size of the wax coating around the wick, increasing its rigidity and helping it stay upright as you pour the candle.
9. Put the wick in a flap
Place the wick tab on your table and push the wick inward, once the wick is crimped, clamp the vertical tube with needle nose pliers. Make sure the wick is firmly seated in the tube and is not pushed out when crimping.
Your wick is finished and ready to be attached to the candlestick with a wick sticker or hot glue, whichever you prefer.
Making candle wicks out of wood – step by step
We will now look at the step-by-step process of making a wooden candle wick. These wicks can be made from a variety of woods, but the most common type is balsa wood.
How to make a wooden candle wick
- thin strips of wood
- olive oil
- Wooden wick tabs
- melted wax
1. Choose the wood for the wick
The first step in making oneWooden candle wickis the choice of the type of wood to be used. As I said before, the most common type of wood is balsa, but you can use a variety of woods for this. Some people choose to use thin strips of wood from craft stores, and some even use recycled popsicle sticks.See my selection here.
As long as you feel it's thick enough for the candle you're making and that it doesn't contain any chemicals or dyes, it's fine.
2. Trim the wick
You'll want to trim the wooden wick to fit your container if you want to leave more to stabilize the wick with a wick rod, which is up to you. However, I have found that most wooden wicks are stable enough without adding anything.See my selection here.
3. Dip in olive oil
Pour about 3/8 inch olive oil into a shallow bowl. Olive oil does not have to be an expensive brand, everything is possible. Push the wooden wicks into the oil so they can absorb it on both sides.See my selection here.
Leave them on for about 20 minutes and then remove and clean with a paper towel to stop dripping oil.
4. Cover the wick with wax
Dip the wooden wicks in melted wax and coat them as best you can. Leave them in the wax for a few seconds to ensure the best coating.
Some people say this step isn't necessary, and maybe it isn't. However, it is part of my routine and I will not change it now.
5. Place on wooden wick flap
Push the wooden wick into the wooden wick tab. Your homemade wooden wick is now ready to be used in a candle.See my selection here.
Using a glue wick or hot glue gun, attach the tab to the container you plan to use and you're good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let's take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about making homemade wicks and wooden wicks.
What can be used as a candle wick?
Cotton yarn, wool, butcher yarn, and hemp yarn can all be used as candle wicks, to name a few.
Can I use hemp yarn for a candle wick?
Yes, you can use hemp yarn as a candle wick. In fact, hemp burns a little longer than a cotton wick and has a higher stiffness.
Can I use coconut oil or avocado oil for wood stains?
You can useCoconut beerand avocado oil instead of olive oil. Both will work just fine!
How long should I cut my candle wick?
A candle wick should be cut to about 1/4 inch.
How long should I trim the wick of my wood candle?
The wick of a wood candle should be trimmed to 1/8 to 3/16 inch. The wooden wicks should be slightly closer to the candle surface than normal wicks, as the wax rises more difficult on a wooden wick than on a cotton wick.
Conclusion: There are many options when it comes to DIYCandle wicks and you can choosefrom a variety of materials. However, this is more for the amateur than for themBusinessOwner.
There are many variables when it comes to wicking and proper sizing that can really hurt youSale of candles. Making your own rovings and experimenting with materials and types of wood is fun and interesting, but not cost-effective.way to run your business.
Even if you've spent a lot of time perfecting your wicking formula, that time could have been better spent on other aspects of the business.
Personally, if I were to start making all my own candle wicks that I would sell commercially, I would choose large candles with hemp rope candles or wood wick candles.
How do you make a 3 wick candle burn evenly? ›
Trim your wicks every time for proper flame control and to help the wax burn evenly. If you only want to use one wick at a time in your 3-wick candle, then use each wick consecutively and let each burn until the wax is at the same level.How do I find the perfect wick? ›
The correct wick size should not have much flickering, the melt pool should reach to the edge of the container and should be 1/4" - 1/2" deep. The wick should burn cleanly without much carbon buildup, mushrooming, or soot being given off.How do you stop one wick candle from tunneling? ›
To prevent tunneling, all you need to do is burn your candle long enough each time so that the entire top surface of wax is melted. This is especially important the first time you burn your candle!Are you supposed to light all 3 wicks? ›
#1- The most important thing you need to know for any candle made with 2, 3 or more wicks is that each wick needs to be lit, every single burn. Igniting one wick at a time will not prolong the life of the candle but rather can lead to wick drowning or uneven melt pools.What happens if wick is too thick for candle? ›
For example, when the candle wick is too thick, it draws in too much wax and causes the flame to burn hotter and higher than it's supposed to.How do you make a candle set evenly? ›
If you notice your candle is burning unevenly, you need to forcibly melt the entire surface of the wax in order to "reset" it's memory. Then allow the melted wax to settle back into a smooth, even surface.How can I make my candle wick better? ›
The first step to fix a wick that's too short is to soften up the surrounding wax by melting it. To do this, you'll need either a heat gun or blow dryer. If you don't have either of these, a long wand candle lighter will also work — it'll just take some more time.Can you use spaghetti as a wick? ›
All you have to do is use a match or lighter to light the end of the spaghetti and then use it like you would a long match to light the wick of your candle, and then toss the pasta. Now your candle is lit, your fingers are in good shape, and you still have close to a whole box of pasta left!Can I use any string to make a candle wick? ›
You should only ever use un-dyed 100% cotton string or yarn for your DIY candle wick, as burning dyed string or synthetic yarns such as acrylic can give off nasty chemicals.Can I use a popsicle stick as a candle wick? ›
Wicks (popsicle sticks and olive oil or paperclips and cotton thread are cheap alternatives to prepared wicks)
What wicks burn the hottest? ›
Coreless, all cotton braided wicks which are designed to bend at the tip when burning, forcing the tip of the wick into the outermost portion of the flame where it burns hottest.What candle wick is best? ›
Ultra Core Wicks work well in essentially any wax. Eco Wicks work best in soy, but can also be used successfully in paraffin waxes that have a lower melt point. CD Wicks are ideal for high-viscosity waxes such as paraffin or soy blends. Zinc wicks generally burn the coolest of all wicks.Which wicks burn slower? ›
Braided vs Twisted wicks
High-quality wicks are made from braided, plaited or knitted fibres as it encourages a slow and consistent burn. Twisted wicks are of lower quality as they burn faster due to their loose construction which allows the fuel to quickly reach the flame.
You can fix a tunneled candle by wrapping a piece of aluminum foil around the edges and simply letting it burn. Make sure the foil hangs over the built-up wax areas, but leave an opening in the center so the wick can still burn properly. After a couple of hours, the wax should melt and even out the surface.What does wrapping foil around a candle do? ›
The aluminum foil allows the flame to stay even and continuously radiate heat, and the foil also helps to retain heat to help melt the leftover wax.Why are my candles sinking near the wick? ›
As a candle burns and melts, it releases wax onto the sides of its container to create a pool of liquid wax. If this happens at a rate faster than the wax can evaporate and escape through the wick, you'll end up with an unburned pool of wax on the side of your candle—which can cause it to sink in the middle.What happens if you don't Trim candle wicks? ›
Keeping the candle wick trimmed helps control your flame height. Too big of a flame will cause the candle to burn to hot which isn't safe for you, your space or your candle. It will also cause and create black soot, not cute.Should you trim candle wick before first? ›
Before you light a candle, always trim the wick to ¼ inch and remove any debris left in the wax pool such as wick trimmings or matches. Any debris will add more fuel to the candle than it's designed to handle. Too much fuel can cause the flame to unexpectedly flare up or even start a small fire near the candle flame.How far apart should wicks be in a candle? ›
Be sure they are centered, spaced out about 1" apart from each other, and not too close to the side of the glass if using containers. Placing the wicks close to the sides can cause the glass to get too hot.Is there a way to extend the wick on a candle? ›
Light the wick, then pour off the wax once it melts.
Try to let your new wick burn long enough for the wax to melt all the way across the surface of the candle. Then, pour the melted wax into the same container you used to melt your wax earlier. Keep doing that until the old wick is long enough to use again!
Are thicker wicks better? ›
Thicker wicks allow more fuel to be drawn into the flame and will create more heat. These wicks are better for wider candles or candles made with harder waxes like beeswax or other pillar waxes. Thinner wicks won't burn as hot because they don't deliver as much fuel to the flame.How do you make a candle wick burn brighter? ›
Trim the wick before you light up your candle. Tapered candle wicks should be kept slightly longer. This keeps the flame in control and will give you a brighter and cleaner burn. ¼” is the general recommendation for this.How do you make the perfect candle? ›
- Step 1: Measure the wax. Before you begin the candle-making process, make sure you have a clean, flat surface to work on. ...
- Step 2: Melt the wax.
- Step 3: Add fragrance oils.
- Step 4: Attach the wick.
- Step 5: Pour the wax.
- Step 6: Secure the wick.
- Step 7: Add more wax.
- Step 8: Cut the wick.
Add too much fragrance: Using more fragrance oil does not always guarantee a stronger scent throw. Each wax has a recommended fragrance oil load and going beyond that limit can cause the fragrance oil to separate from the wax which could be a potential fire hazard (not to mention the ugly "gooey" spots it can create).Why can't I smell the fragrance in my candle? ›
Length of time of burning – after around 10 minutes or so we experience what we call 'sensory overload' or 'olfactory fatigue'. This means our brains have had enough of that one particular smell and switch the brain off so we no longer smell it.Why is my wick drowning? ›
This article anwers your question of "Why are my candle wicks drowning?" A wick drowns, when it's too small for the candle. It keeps falling over, and soon the flame's extinguishing itself, in the liquid wax of the candle.Can you use a shoe lace for a candle wick? ›
I used shoe strings. Cut off the plastic at the end, and stick one end into the cup so it just touches the bottom, and tape the top to a ruler or something across the top of the cup. Pour in the wax and wait.What should a wick be made from? ›
The most common core materials for wicks are cotton, paper, zinc or tin. Cored wicks can be found in jar candles, pillars, votives and devotional lights.Can you use a birthday candle as a wick? ›
DONE! Yes, it was THAT easy. Using the birthday cake candles gives you the wick you need, but the ease of not having to make it yourself. And once the birthday candle burns down to the level of your shortening, it begins to use THAT to burn and you start seeing the long life of your new Shortening Candle.Can I use a toothpick as a wick? ›
You can use a toothpick as a candle wick for a candle that has no wick – or a wick that won't ignite – and when making a candle from scratch. However, you must first dip the toothpick in melted wax to ensure that the toothpick has a coating that allows the molten wax to facilitate continuous burning.
Can I use floss as candle wick? ›
If you're into crafts, waxed dental floss makes a great wick for homemade candles. You can tie things with it. Maybe not Christmas presents, but it's perfect for when you break a shoelace or you need to tie up your pant legs for a hike or bike ride.How do you braid wicks? ›
Work a basic three-strand braid so the wick is sturdy: Starting on the left side, take the green string and cross it over the white string. Cross the pink string over the green string. Cross the white string over the pink string. Cross the green string over the white string.What household item can I use as a wick? ›
How to Make a Homemade Wick. For homemade wicks, you can use tightly rolled-up newspapers, twisted toilet paper or paper towels, cardboard, twine, 100% cotton string or embroidery floss, cotton balls, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, or any cotton fabric like strips from an old t-shirt or strings from an old cotton mop.Can you put real candy canes in candles? ›
Today I'm going to show you how to make these cute Candy Cane Candles using peppermint essential oil, soy wax, and real candy canes. These homemade candles make the best handmade gifts and they are perfect for the Holiday Season!What do you stick wicks with? ›
You can use a wick stickum which is a double-sided, spongey sticker that can be used to secure a wick to a container. The preferred option of most candle makers is to use a hot melt glue gun.What wick does Yankee Candle use? ›
Yankee Candle Company never uses lead wicks, and most wicks are made from 100 percent cotton for a clean and even burning experience.What wicks do Bath and Body Works use? ›
All Bath & Body Works candle wicks are lead-free. The wicks are either cotton, cotton/paper or rayon. For each fragrance, the best wick choice varies; we determine which wick is used to ensure the best burn quality and safety.Do thicker wicks burn faster? ›
Wider or thicker wicks will burn much faster than thin ones, and the material the wick is made with can also make an impact. Different types of candle wax burn at different temperatures. Generally speaking, the harder the wax, the longer the burn time.Are wooden wicks better? ›
simply add a bit of life to your candle by simply choosing a wood wick. wider fragrance throw: In a burn test between a wooden wick vs cotton wick candle, results showed that the wooden wicks diffuse heat more rapidly into the wax, and can push up to 35% more fragrance throw into a room, compared to cotton wicks.What happens if wick is too small? ›
The candle on the left is under wicked meaning the wick size is too small for the candle. An under wicked candle will not burn out to the edge of the container but will instead burn down the middle, or 'tunnel'. Often the flame will extinguish itself before all the wax is burned.
Do candles with more wicks burn faster? ›
In Part 1 of this series, we talked about how using more wicks released more scent. You can see that the 3-wick candle has more wax that was melted, so there would be a greater hot throw. In Part 2 of this series, we learned that candles with more wicks burn faster.What is the longest lasting candle wick? ›
In this case, natural is better. Natural materials such as beeswax, soy wax, and coconut wax all have much longer burn times than petroleum-based candles made from materials like paraffin wax.How can you tell if a candle is good quality? ›
You can tell your candle is high quality if it burns cleanly, evenly, and creates a pool of liquid wax all the way across the surface of the candle within 2 to 4 hours.
A wick that is too large for a container will have a very large flame, flickers a lot, and gives off a large amount of smoke and soot. The wick may also mushroom, when this occurs the burning wick will actually start to look like a mushroom, this mushrooming is caused by a build up of excess carbon.How do you adjust a candle wick? ›
Melt the wax around the wick using a heat gun or candle lighter. Once the wax is thoroughly melted, use tweezers to carefully lift the wick up out of the wax. Be careful not to break the wick as it might be fragile. Let the wax harden around the wick.How do you center 3 wick candles? ›
For round shape candles, a triangle placement works best for 3 wick candles. Place three wicks evenly apart at each point of a triangle, centered in the candle container. In terms of double wick candles in a round container, place them evenly apart centered in the container.What happens if a candle wick is not centered? ›
If you notice that your wick is off-center or your candle is burning unevenly, put the candle out immediately. Use long tweezers to re-center the wick. Dip tweezers about 1/4-1/2" into the liquid wax. Gently guide the wick towards center.How far apart should wicks be? ›
Be sure they are centered, spaced out about 1" apart from each other, and not too close to the side of the glass if using containers. Placing the wicks close to the sides can cause the glass to get too hot.Can you put too many wicks in a candle? ›
We recommend using no more than 3 wicks in a jar that is 4 inches wide otherwise you risk crowding the jar and creating too much heat for your candles.How do you anchor a wick? ›
To glue down the wick, draw up some warm wax into a disposable plastic dropper. Use this hot wax as your glue to place and hold your wick. You can eyeball the wick into the center of your container without too much trouble. Work quickly.
How do you poke a candle wick hole? ›
Our preferred method is to poke relief holes as the candle cools. We poke several holes around the wick using a chopstick or your thermometer probe and then finish the candle with a heat gun or top pour by saving a bit of the wax and fragrance from your pitcher (you may need to reheat it slightly).How do you even out a multi wick candle? ›
You can fix a tunneled candle by wrapping a piece of aluminum foil around the edges and simply letting it burn. Make sure the foil hangs over the built-up wax areas, but leave an opening in the center so the wick can still burn properly. After a couple of hours, the wax should melt and even out the surface.How can I stop my candle tunneling? ›
Use Aluminum Foil
Take some aluminum foil and wrap it around the outside edge of the candle. The trick here is to make sure the foil reaches over the tunneled wax. You'll also want to keep an open center so the flame can continue to burn as usual.