In recent years, the world of candle-making has witnessed a surge in popularity, accompanied by an array of candle wick options. In this guide, we'll delve into the various types of candle wicks available and their ideal applications, and why SMG Home Fragrances uses wooden wicks for our candles..
What Are the Different Types of Candle Wicks?
The humble wick plays a crucial role in any candle's performance, determining factors such as flame size, burn rate, and overall quality. Several common wick types include cotton, hemp, and wood. While many other types of wicks have become available during the years, these three tend to be the most common types used currently. Cotton wicks tend to dominate the scene due to their affordability and ease of handling. While hemp is a little less common, it provides a good replacement for cotton as it provides similar benefits but is more natural. Wooden wicks differ as they are used in more specific types of wax and are considered more luxurious.
Which Candle Wicks Are Best for Burning?
Selecting the right wick largely depends on the type of wax used in your candle. At SMG Home Fragrance, we use a unique coconut blend wax that's clean-burning, biodegradable, renewable, vegan, and non-toxic. Our blend is made with FDA-approved waxes, and we've meticulously sized our wicks to ensure even burning, eliminating the issue of candle tunneling.
Understanding Candle Tunneling
Candle tunneling occurs when wicks are improperly sized or candles are burned for short durations. It results in a leftover wax rim along the candle's sides after burning. Some candles employ two or more wicks to prevent tunneling. In cheaper or untested candles, improper wick sizing can cause tunneling to occur. To prevent tunneling and achieve an even burn, be sure to burn your candle until a uniform pool of melted wax forms that reaches to the edge of the jar. This practice applies to even the highest-quality candles.
Sometimes candles can appear to be tunneling but it is not true tunneling but “wax hang up”. This will resolve itself and catch up as the candle burns further down the vessel. Always burning your candle for 1-2 hours or more per session will prevent true tunneling from happening.
Why Does SMG Home Fragrance Use Wooden Wicks?
We like wooden wicks at SMG Home Fragrance because they produce minimal carbon, soot, and debris buildup. Simply trim the wick to about ⅛ inch, removing most of the charred wood from previous burns, and your flame will radiate a clean, bright glow. Wooden wicks also contribute to the visual appeal, offering a gentle crackling sound reminiscent of a cozy fireplace when lit.
Proper Wick Care
Regardless of the wick type, it's essential to trim your wick between uses.A wick trimmer is a handy tool designed for this purpose. We recommend trimming our wooden wicks to about ⅛ inch, removing most of the charred black portion. Other wick materials like cotton or hemp should be trimmed a little longer at about ¼ inch. For optimum wick longevity, trim your candle every time you burn it. Your SMG Home Fragrance candle may need to be trimmed a bit before the first burn. Proper wick care ensures an extended candle life.
What About Candle Melting?
The trend of using wax melters or candle warmers has gained momentum, thanks to platforms like TikTok and Instagram. These offer a candle's luxury without the hassle of burning and trimming. However, if you decide to employ one of these devices, refrain from lighting the candle afterward, as it could disrupt the wick's placement, potentially leading to safety issues. Be sure to use a smaller candle for this or the wax may not fully melt on your warmer.
Candle wicks and their maintenance are more intricate than one might assume. We hope this guide has provided valuable insights into the types of wicks and burning methods best suited to your preferences.