How to make your own homemade candle wick : Do you know how to choose a wick? Do you know how to properly place it in your candle? Otherwise, we’ll tell you everything! We choose a wick according to its diameter and this choice will depend on the diameter of the candle you want to make. We take for example that a # 1 wick will be used for the tea lights , while # 7 will be used for the pillar molds . If the wick is not wide enough, only the center of the candle will melt.
Take into account that if you use beeswax, you will need to take a wick one size larger than that indicated because beeswax is harder than vegetable wax.
How to make your Own Candle Wick
The usefulness of plinths
The metal bases are used to hold the wick at the bottom of the candle.
How to reward the candle
The wick can be difficult to handle: you have to pass it through the hole in the base and also keep it straight when you pour the wax. It can quickly become complicated and generate some small damage. To no longer fight with the wick, it suffices to “prime the wick”.
1. In a double boiler, melt the wax you are going to use for your candle.
2. Once melted, immerse your wick in it, making sure that it is completely submerged.
3. Place it on a sheet of aluminum foil, shaping it so that it is straight.
4. Let it cool then place in the freezer for a few minutes.
5. Take it out of the freezer and pass it through the hole in the plinth.
6. Pinch the base with pliers to hold the bit.
7. You now have your wick! Pour your candle wax and place the wick in the center of your container, holding it with two sushi chopsticks or popsicle sticks. Let it freeze.
Choosing the right candle wick:
When you want to make a candle , if there is one important criterion to take into account before starting, it is the choice of the wick.
Indeed, the wick is the essential element for the proper functioning of a candle and is not limited to a simple piece of string that we light …
We will therefore try to understand why it is necessary to choose carefully its candle wick before moving on to the manufacturing stage.
The role of the wick
How to make your own homemade candle wick : The wick of the candle could roughly be compared to a kind of pipe for supplying the flame with combustible material.
As soon as the wick is lit, the flame melts the wax located in its nearest periphery, then by capillary action, (that is to say because of the very small space between each fiber of the wick), the wax Liquid fondue is pumped through the wick.
When it gets as close as possible to the flame and under the effect of heat, the wax then turns into gas, releasing hydrogen.
By mixing with the oxygen of the ambient air: the wax ignites.
As the wax takes on its gaseous form, tiny particles of soot form and burn, blackening the wick and releasing a yellow light very clearly visible in the heart of the flame.
The candle wick therefore plays a double role: that of conveying the wax towards the flame and that of a support for combustion.
Combustion is maintained by adding fuel (wax) and oxidizer (in the ambient air).
- If the contribution of these elements is balanced, the combustion process will be stable, the soot produced will be almost completely burned.
- If the wax supply is insufficient (in the case of a wick that is too small), the combustion will be regular but insufficient and the quantity of molten wax that is too large will manage to drown the flame until the candle is completely extinguished.
- If the addition of wax is too important (in the case of a too large wick), combustion will be:
– either regular with a high flame in the form of a triangle and a release of fumes with a more or less important production of soot (creation of a mushroom at the end of the wick).
– or irregular resulting in the very characteristic phenomenon of an unstable or flickering flame.
The flame, by consuming all the wax at its disposal faster than the wick can provide it, will decrease in intensity, then resume greater combustion with the arrival of new wax.This phenomenon could also be maintained or accentuated by the temperature variations due to the differences in flame intensity.
The different types of wicks
How to make your own homemade candle wick: There are two main families of wicks: braided (or woven) wicks and wrapped wicks.
Braided locks are the most common. They are made up of a multitude of threads braided together, more or less thick and more or less stretched during weaving.
We find wicks braided in cotton thread, in linen thread or in hemp.
This type of wick is available in 3 distinct braids:Flat braidingFlat braiding wicks (or flat wicks) are the most widely used. They are suitable for most paraffin wax, paraffin / stearin mixture candles and refined waxes which have a low melting point.
Very economical, flat wicks are recommended for communities and for making large series of candles.
Flat wicks should not be confused with kerosene lamp wicks.Round braidingRound braided wicks (or round wicks) are recommended for beeswax candles, and candles containing more than 60% stearin.
They are also recommended for certain waxes which have a high melting point, for waxes which lack purity and for certain vegetable waxes.Square braidingSquare braiding wicks (or square wicks) are intended for making thick candles or outdoor candles. Not widely used, square bits are mainly used with large diameters (<8 mm).
The waxed wicks are wrapped in wax, that is to say immersed in a bath of liquid wax.
This “treatment” allows faster priming and almost immediate ignition.
The core of waxed wicks is usually made of paper or a cotton braid.
Waxed wicks are mainly used for making small paraffin wax candles and for gel candles.
Some waxed wicks are made around a zinc wire which offers better rigidity and excellent stability when waxing.
We are now going to try to see more clearly about the choice of the most suitable bit according to the following 3 main criteria:
– The composition of the candle
– The size of the candle
– Any additives
What wax (s) make up my candle?
This is the determining element in the choice of the wick: what is the composition of the candle, what is it made of and in what proportions?
In theory, a candle is made from one main element plus an additive. More rarely a candle will be able to include several additives but we will stay on a simple diagram.
This main element should therefore be taken into account when choosing your wick.
As we have seen, we reserve the flat wick for non-vegetable waxes (paraffin, paraffin / stearin mixture, waxes, microcrystalline waxes, cracking waxes) and the round wick for beeswax, vegetable waxes and candles in stearin.
For practical reasons it is sometimes necessary to add certain “ingredients” to a vegetable wax to modify its density or color. Nevertheless, even if the proportion of this additive is equal to 50%, it is advisable not to change the type of wick.
For example, a paraffin wax candle with the addition of 50% vegetable stearin will prefer a flat wick to a round wick.
What is the size of my candle?
By size, we mean the average diameter of the candle. If one considers the manufacture of a conical candle , the reference measurement will be defined by the average diameter of the candle, taken for example at mid-height.
For more complex shapes, a caliper or a flexible meter is frequently used to measure the candle (or its mold) in its average diameter.
Depending on the average diameter of a candle, here are the recommended average values:
Paraffin / stearin candles, microcrystalline waxes, crackle waxes:
|Candle diameter||Recommended bit||Bit size|
|<20 mm||Flat bit||F1|
|Up to 40 mm||Flat bit||F2|
|Up to 60 mm||Flat bit||F3|
|Up to 80 mm||Flat bit||F4|
|Up to 100 mm||Flat bit||F5|
Stearin, beeswax or vegetable candles (rapeseed, soya, palm, etc.):
|Candle diameter||Recommended bit||Bit size|
|<15 mm||Round wick||R0|
|Up to 25 mm||Round wick||R1|
|Up to 45 mm||Round wick||R2|
|Up to 60 mm||Round wick||R3|
|Up to 90 mm||Round wick||R4|
Gel candles, votive candles, tealight:
|Candle diameter||Recommended bit||Bit size|
|Up to 50 mm||Waxed wick (cotton or paper), reinforced or not: 1 to 3 mm|
Our advices :
- For candles with very large diameters, we recommend the use of several wicks
- Reserve large diameter candles for outdoor use (wicks greater than R3 or F4)
- Respect the direction of the fibers if you use a round wick : the strand from the coil unwinds towards the top of the candle
Will I add coloring or perfume?
Usually we recommend to increase the diameter of the wick by one size if we want to add coloring or perfume in the candle, for a fairly simple reason; this addition will “degrade” the combustion of the wax.
By increasing the wick by one size, more wax will be added to the flame, thus restoring the loss of intensity.
Other types of wax or candles
It is difficult to compile an exhaustive list of all the waxes on the market, and you may have to experiment with the best combinations yourself for the best results.
We advise you to carefully write down each wax / wick combination so that you can refer to it later.
We’ve come to the end of “How to make your own homemade candle wick” article, hope this was useful. If you want to know can you use a toothpick as a candle wick and other FAQs check out comment section.