Candle Making: How to Pick the Right Wick Size

You can’t have a candle without a wick to ignite and sustain the flame that burns it. Choosing the right style, material, and size of wick will help your candle burn evenly and strongly. This allows you to get the most out of your candle and create a cozy ambiance in your space. As you’re buying candle making supplies, take some time to research what wick will work best for you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wick Size

Common types of wicks include flat-braided, cored, wooden, and square wicks. Your wick size determines how much wax is melted, how fast it melts, and how evenly it melts. Because it affects all of these outcomes, it’s worth taking some time to choose the right wick for your handmade candles.

Wax Type

Each wax has its own melting point, density, and burn rate. These properties influence the amount of heat needed to burn the candle when it’s lit. Paraffin wax has a higher melting point and density than soy wax, meaning that paraffin wax requires more heat to melt and burn evenly. If you’re using paraffin wax, you may need a larger wick size for a successful burn. 

By reviewing different wax properties when buying candle making supplies, you can be sure to pick a wick that will work for you. Some suppliers suggest specific wick sizes and types for certain types of wax. Check with your supplier or refer to their website for guidance when shopping.

Candle Diameter 

As the wick burns, it draws wax up the wick and into the flame, burning wax and releasing a scent. The diameter of the candle determines how much wax needs to be drawn up the wick to create a stable flame. Using a wick that’s too small for your candle can cause an incomplete burn. Choosing one that’s too large for your candle can make the candle burn too fast and create a flame that is too large and potentially hazardous. 

Measure your candle’s diameter, and consult a wick size chart before making your purchase. Wick size charts provide a range of recommended wick sizes based on a candle’s diameter. Candles with wide diameters require wide wicks or several smaller ones to burn efficiently. This is one reason why three-wick candles are so popular. They are wide candles that provide an even, balanced burn and strong scents between the three small wicks.

Fragrance Oils 

Consider the impact of fragrance oils on your candle if you want them to be scented. Fragrance can affect the viscosity of the wax. This can also affect how much wax is drawn up the wick.

Fragrance oils can also increase a candle’s burn rate, causing an oversized flame. Experiment with different wick sizes to find the most suitable one for your chosen scent. Select a wick size that falls in the recommended range for your candle diameter and work your way up or down. Use oil-based fragrances specifically made for candle making to avoid overly large flames.

How Do You Know You’re Using the Right Wick Size?

Here are some indicators you’ve found the right wick size for your candles:

  • Flame size: The right wick size will produce a stable flame that’s not too small or too large for your candle diameter.
  • Melting pool: Your candle wax should melt evenly and create a deep and even melting pool. If the wick is too large or too small, it can create a melting pool that is too shallow or even too deep, appearing like a cave.
  • Soot production: The right wick size should produce minimal to no soot when burning.
  • Burn rate: Your candle should burn at a rate consistent with the expected burn time. A candle melting faster than your supplier’s recommended time frame may indicate the wick is too large or the candle diameter is too small.
  • Fragrance throw: The right wick size should produce an even strong fragrance throw if you use scents in your candles.

Finding a proper wick size may take some trial and error, so be patient. Conduct burn tests and adjust the wick size until you find your desired burn performance. 

Invest In High-quality Candle Making Supplies 

Candle wicks should be at the top of the list when shopping for candle making supplies. The wick is what makes the candle produce light and scents and a candle with the wrong size wick might struggle to do these things well. Find the right wick size to create a beautiful and long-lasting candle. If you’re new to candle making, consider asking your supplier for suggestions. This can help you find an appropriate wick size more quickly.

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