aromatherapy recipes

Why is my homemade candle burning straight through the wick?

by Kayla Renee

Q: I made homemade soy candles, used the wicks with the metal tabs on the end. Completed the process, cooled successfully. However! When I lit the candle, it burned straight down and not slow or evenly across the wax! Why?!!

A: It could be that the wicks you used are too thin for the diameter of the candle you made.

Choosing the right wick is one of the trickiest parts candle making. The wick you choose depends on your candle's shape, size, wax, color and type of fragrance (candle fragrance oils or essential oils).

You generally use the metal tabbed wicks for making votive and container candles. You use spooled raw wicking for pillar candles.

For example, a tea light is about an inch wide. For that you would use the typical tea light tabbed wick, which is a 15mm size. For a votive candle, which is about 2.5 inches in diameter, you would use a 20mm wick size. The wider the diameter of the candle, the wider the wick needs to be to form the melt pool.

Candlewic says "the wick is the pipeline that feeds the melted wax to the flame". When you light a candle, the heat of the flame melts the wax at the top of the candle, but once the melt pool is formed the wax is pulled towards the flame by the capillary action of the wick.

If your wick isn't right, that process doesn't function, and neither does your candle.

Check out candlewic's wick guide to learn more about choosing the right size and type of wick. If you're still not sure, ask chandler, their candle making guru.

Btw, your non-working candles don't have to go to waste. You can re-melt them, fish out the old wicks and any yucky bits and then re-pour them into new candles with fatter wicks.

I hope that helps, and your next batch is more of a success :) Good luck!

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