If you do a web search for “Wooden Wicks”, you are certain to find a great deal of misleading and confusing wooden wick myths. Because of that, we’re glad you’re here.
We are here to set the record straight… That might not be entirely possible in one blog post, but we are going to address the most commonly held misconceptions about wooden wicks regarding the manufacturing process and the performance of the finished product.
WOOD WICK MYTH #1
WOODEN WICKS MUST BE SOAKED IN OIL OR A BURNING AGENT BEFORE USE.
FALSE: This is the most common wooden wick myth. Wooden wicks are meant to be used just as they are, no oil soaking, no dipping in wax. Some information circulating on the web suggests that treating them prior to pouring your candles will make them burn better, and that if you don’t, then they won’t stay lit.
If the wicks are not staying lit, there are other problems at hand, such as incorrect wick size or the wick being too high above the wax (wicks should be trimmed to 3/16” above the wax). Improper burn testing that may be to blame.
Wood wicks should not come treated in any way. Part of the allure of using wooden wicks is that they are a natural product.
If you do encounter a burn issue, it is because the correct size wick is not being used for the diameter of the vessel and the blend of wax, fragrance, dye and any other additives. Refer to our Wick Selection Guide for the best wicks to use for your container or reach out to our team of candle making experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do not use wicks that come “treated” as you do not know what they are treated with, there is no need for them to be treated, and the product is not coming from a licensed distributor.
WOOD WICK MYTH #2
WOODEN WICKS ARE HARDER TO USE.
FALSE: Wooden wicks are actually easier to use than cotton wicks. Anyone who has ever made their own candle before, knows that the process is just as much a science as it is an art. Finding the right wick will require some testing, but before you start, be sure to check our Wick Selection Guide for our best suggestions.
Since wooden wicks have a wide base, unlike traditional cotton wicks, they are able to create wider melt pools resulting in a clean, even burn.
To keep it simple, if your wick does not create a full melt pool, increase the width of your wick by one size and retest. Continue this process until your wick melts the wax to the edges of your container in around two hours.
If your wick creates a full melt pool too quickly and is smoking, size down the width of your wick by one size and continue this process until your wick is no longer smoking and creates a melt pool to the edges of your container in around two hours.
Wooden wicks are also rigid, meaning that they need no wick bars or straightening like traditional wicks. This helps to save time during your candle making process and results in less crooked, or off center wicks.
For extra security, be sure to use a wick sticker to keep the wick and clip in place while you pour your wax.
WOOD WICK MYTH #3
WOODEN WICKS NEED TO BE LONGER FOR A BIGGER FLAME.
FALSE: Wooden wicks need to be trimmed to between to approximately 3/16” height above the wax for best burn results.
If a wooden wick is kept at the proper length and it is correctly sized for the candle and wax blend, you will have a beautiful flame.
If the wick is too high above the surface, the wax will not be able to capillary all the way up and sustain a flame. This can lead to the wick having a low flame or self-extinguishing.
WOOD WICK MYTH #4
WOODEN WICKS DON’T STAY LIT.
FALSE: If you are thinking about making candles with wooden wicks, but are hesitant because you read somewhere that wooden wicks don’t stay lit, it is a user error.
If a candle won’t stay lit, whether it has a cotton wick or a wooden wick, it is because the candle was not made properly.
Wooden wicks, just like cotton wicks, need to be the correct size for the diameter of the candle and wax blend, including fragrance and dye load as well as any other additives. If the correct size wooden wick is used in the candle and trimmed to the proper length, then the candle will stay lit.
WOOD WICK MYTH #5
WOODEN WICKS DON’T WORK WITH SOY WAX.
FALSE: Soy wax does tend to burn at a slower rate (as does beeswax). However, if you use the proper sized wick (we are talking about thickness as well as width), then wooden wicks are an excellent choice for soy wax.
Many of our customers use our wooden wicks in their 100% soy wax candles. Our Original Booster Wicks are a great choice for soy and other 100% vegetable blends.
If you are using 100% soy wax made by Golden Brands, Eco-Soya, or Nature Wax, we have found the Original Booster Wick .040 to be the best wick choice.
WOOD WICK MYTH #6
WOODEN WICKS DON’T BURN AS WELL AS COTTON WICKS.
NOT TRUE: If you use the proper size wick for your candle diameter and wax blend (are you sensing a theme here?), not only will wooden wicks burn as well as cotton wicks, they will burn better.
Do cotton wicks give you that lovely soft crackle or the horizontal flickering flame? Didn’t think so 🙂
WOOD WICK MYTH #7
WOODEN WICKS CAN BE MADE FROM ANY TYPE OF WOOD AT HOME.
DANGER: Not if you want your candle to burn properly and safely. We have read many articles about using balsa wood, dowels, and even wood craft sticks. We highly advise against attempting to do this if you want a candle that burns well.
At The Wooden Wick Co. we have over a decade of extensive research and testing, scrutinizing the results to create and offer a selection of wicks that when used properly will perform beautifully and safely.
Most importantly, The Wooden Wick Co. is the exclusive manufacturer of wooden wicks – which are a patented product. When you purchase your wicks from one of our licensed distributors, through from our website, or from The Wooden Wick Co’s Amazon and Etsyshops for smaller quantity purchases, you are receiving a patent protected product.
Skip the trip to Home Depot on this project and remember not all woods are created equal!
WOOD WICK MYTH #8
WOODEN WICKS CANNOT HANDLE A HIGH FRAGRANCE LOAD.
FALSE: A wooden wick can handle any fragrance load that a cotton wick can.
It is all about using the correct size wick for the vessel diameter, wax blend and fragrance load. You might also notice that different fragrances require adjustments in wick size (same with a cotton wick).
Also, as one of our fragrance experts (with over 20+ years experience as a perfumer) says “over 12% fragrance load doesn’t do anything to increase fragrance throw, either hot or cold, could pose a safety hazard, and is frankly just throwing away money.”
We suggest using 8-12% fragrance for a moderate to high fragrance load.
WOOD WICK MYTH #9
WOODEN WICKS ARE HARMFUL TOWARDS THE ENVIRONMENT.
WE’RE PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: When you purchase wicks from Wooden Wick Co., or any of our distributors around the globe, you can be sure that ALL of our wicks are from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-Certified mills and are 100% American-made, being sourced and manufactured in the USA.
FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
But that is not all! Here at The Wooden Wick Co., we have partnered with trees.org, an organization that is saving lives and communities around the globe by providing income, empowerment, unity, leadership and education.
Be sure to check out our blog You are Planting Trees and Saving Lives.
On the other hand, cotton is a very pesticide-intensive crop that contributes to polluting rivers and groundwater. Cotton requires large amounts of water, causing degradation of soil fertility, and in some cases the drying up of some of the world’s largest inland water sources.
Because of the large amounts of carbon dioxide released from the industrial fertilizers, cotton also contributes to climate change. Heavy stuff, but definitely worth considering!
WOODEN WICK MYTH #10
WOODEN WICKS DON’T CRACKLE.
WHAT?: Wooden wicks do crackle if used properly, which means the correct size wick for the candle diameter and wax blend. We have read many comments on the web stating, “You need to buy wood wicks that have been treated with a crackling agent”.