Lighthaus : Why Wick Is The Most Essential Element In A Candle?

When people buy candles, a wick is one among the most overlooked elements in a candle but consumers usually give more preference to a candle’s shape, color, design or fragrance. However, a candle’s wick plays the most critical role in the entire burning process.

The sole purpose of a wick is to deliver wax (fuel) to the flame, the wick acts as a fuel pump as it draws the liquefied wax up into the flame for burning. The size of a wick must be according to the size of a candle since the amount of fuel (wax) that reaches into the flame depends upon the size of a wick. If the wick pumps too much fuel (wax) the flame of the candle will start producing soot or flare, whereas if a little amount of fuel (wax) is drawn, the flame will sputter out. 

Ever Wondered About The Purpose Of A Wick?

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 So, apparently a candle’s wick works like miniature pipes that pull melted wax up into the candle flame, so when wax meets the contact point of the flame where oxygen is present, it vaporizes and combustion process takes place while releasing the fragrance in the atmosphere, which is intangible, you can’t touch or see it but just feel the presence, along with heat and light, which we see as a physical representation of the flame.

 Problems Candle Lovers Face While Burning Candles and the Reasons Behind Them

Issue

Potential Reason Behind It

Candle creates excessive soot

Wick size may be too large or wick maybe untrimmed.

Candle Flame too big

Wick size is too big or it needs to be trimmed.

Small flame

Wick is too thin and small.

Uneven burning of the candle

Wick may not be placed in the center of the candle.

The candle doesn’t stay lit for longer durations

Wick may be clogged or not primed (coated with wax)

Tunneling in the candle

Wick size is too small.

Mushrooming of the wick

Wick size is too large for the candle.

 

Types of Wicks

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Most premium quality wicks are made from knitted plaited or braided fibers that encourage a consistent burning in any candle. Generally twisted wicks come with a lower quality as compared to knitted or braided wicks. Twisted wicks burn faster, this is because of their loose construction as it pumps more fuel to quickly reach the flame. They’re only useful for certain applications like birthday candles.

  1. Flat Braid Wick - These flat braid or knitted wicks are made from three bundles of fiber, they are very consistent in burning and they curl back inside the flame for a self-trimming effect.
  2. Square Braid Wick - Square braid wicks are bleached cotton wicks, they slightly curl while burning. These wicks are more round and robust as compared to flat wicks.
  3. Cored Wicks – These wicks are either knitted or braided and come with a core material that keeps the wick straight while burning. The wicks have a round section that can have different core materials including metal, paper or cotton.
  4. Specialty Wicks - These types of wicks are exclusively designed for meeting the burning characteristics of a specific candle and their applications.
  5. Wood Wicks - Wooden wicks are new to the candle market, there are two types of wooden wicks – soft and hardwood. They help in producing a unique burning experience that gives a unique “sizzle” or “crackle” sound while the candle burns.

How the Right Wick is selected for a Candle?

Selecting a wick is one of the most crucial parts in the candle making process. Too small, your candle will suffer from poor scent throw, tunneling and shorter burn time, too big and your candle will experience flaring, smoking and overheating.

The Factors That Need To Be Considered While Deciding the Size of the Wick

  • The Diameter of the Candle – This is the first most important factor determining the size of the wick, the larger the diameter of the container, the larger the wick should be.

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  • The Type of Wax - There are various wax types used in candle making including soy, paraffin, gel, palm, and beeswax. They have different properties including the density of wax and melting point, the denser the wax type and the higher will be the melting point and thicker and larger wick will be required.

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  • The Amount of Fragrance Oil and Coloring – The more fragrance oil and coloring used while crafting the candle, the larger the wick required.

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  • The Intended Burn Time of Candle – If the candle is to be burned for short intervals of time i.e. (1.5 hr – 2 hr), then you might require a larger wick size. That’s because the wax in candle has to burn outwards melting wax all the way across till the edges to form a wax melt pool before it starts burning downwards. If the candle is supposed to be burned for shorter durations, then it may not burn for long enough for the formation of full wax melt pool. Therefore, a larger wick size will be needed for allowing the burn pool to develop faster.

How We Select Our Wicks?

Here at Lighthaus with an experience of 25 years of crafting the finest candles across the globe, we ensure that we select the perfect wick type for each specific fragrance, container and wax type to ensure the very best quality burn. We only use lead-free European cotton wicks that are made from 100% natural fibers, making our candles safe to breathe for the entire family, while filling your home with a feeling of glee and bliss.

     Conclusion

Just in case if you thought that candle making is as easy as just pouring wax, fragrance oils and a wick together, you could not be further away from the truth.  At Lighthaus, we believe that candle making is an art and hence, we strive to create every candle with utmost precision and perfection.  

 

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