The Ol’ Candle Wick Just Ain’t What It Used to Be - Rustic Country Soaps & More

The Ol’ Candle Wick Just Ain’t What It Used to Be

Thankfully, back in 2003, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the manufacture and sale of wicks with lead cores and candles with these wicks.  We all are very aware of the dangers associated with lead. Today, most candles are made using either a Cotton Wick, or a Wood Wick. These two are the most environmentally safe and sustainable choices.  There are some candle manufacturers who use metal in their wicks, such as Tin or Zinc.  These too are considered safe, and mostly used in Votive and Container Candle applications.

Whatever wick is in your candle of choice, remember it is important to allow your first burn to be long enough to achieve a full melt pool.  In other words, the wax at the top of your candle needs to be melted all the way across. This will take approximately 2-3 hours with a candle in a vessel 3” or larger. Odd to think something as simple as a candle can develop a memory, but it can surely happen! (If your situation doesn’t allow for a burn this long, you should consider purchasing candles with a small diameter)

Let’s stick with the Cotton Wicks and the Wood Wicks. Believe it or not, a candle wick needs a little bit of maintenance for you to get the most bang for your candle buck, and in some cases, for it to stay lit.

Think of it this way…the wax and the wick work closely together to provide you a lasting flame. The flame atop the wick draws the wax up into the wick, providing you with the scent (if you have scented candles) you are wanting to enjoy.  If the wick isn’t maintained, kept clean and trimmed, the wax can’t make it to the flame and with a Wood Wick, the flame won’t stay lit.

Cotton Wicks, whether your candle has one, two, or even 6 wicks, need to be kept trimmed to about 1/8 – 1/4 of an inch. This should be done after the candle has cooled, and before the next time it is lit. Doing this allows for your candle to perform at its best each time you choose to enjoy it.

It is not uncommon for Cotton Wicks to form a mushroom or ball at the top after burning. Try to avoid simply reaching in there and pulling it off, as this could create some issues with the wick. Using cutters, properly trim the wick. Wick Trimmers are inexpensive and can be found online.

Now, let’s visit the Wood Wick. There is something to be said about the ambience a wood candle wick can bring.  The crackling sound might even remind some of a warm campfire.  There are many types of Wood Wicks on the market.  From flat, to double or booster, round, crisscross, swirl and more! For the sake of simplicity, we’ll discuss the flat ones. It is very important to keep any Wood Wick trimmed before lighting the candle.  Of course, any new candle should be trimmed properly. Prior to relighting, remove any burnt wood and make sure the wick is right around 1/8 of an inch. Scissors can split the wood. Nail Clippers seem to work very well. If this isn’t done, chances of the candle staying lit are quite slim.

Admittedly, we made the mistake of not including this information in a customer’s order, and he was rightfully unimpressed with our product. It wasn’t the fault of the candle; it was 100% on us. Albeit we took care of our customer, it was something that could have easily been avoided.

We want you to enjoy your candles to the fullest. Whether you purchase from us, or another Artisan Candle Maker, consider the wax, the wick, and the scent. Essential Oils and Phthalate free Scents are key to safe and enjoyable candles.

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