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How to choose a wick?

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We often get asked the best wick for a particular wax and oil by customers.  This is never an easy question to answer, as every combination of wax and oil will be different.  The key to getting it right is testing, so this guide aims to provide a method for wick selection that should help get you started...

SLAB TESTING (HOW TO CHOOSE A WICK...)

The below process is a very quick way of finding suitable wicks for your candles. We recommend you conduct a slab test for every different blend of wax and oil that you intent to use, before making any candles :)

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1. Mix the wax and your chosen oil at the required loading (typically 7-10% fragrance)

2. Pour the mixture into a large baking tray and allow to cool fully

3. Remelt the surface so that it is flat and allow to settle for at least 24 hours

4. Poke holes at ~10cm intervals using a skewer, screwdriver or similar

5. Insert various wicks that you think may be suitable (we recommend trying as many as possible)

6. Trim and light wicks in a draft free room

7. Allow to burn for 3-4 hours, observing for clubbing, excessive smoke or flame height and wick posture

8. Extinguish wicks, allow to cool and record diameter of melt pools for each wick, along with any observations on posture/clubbing/flame height

9. Remove wicks and any residue from wax, then remelt surface and repeat steps 4-8 as required (you may need pliers to remove the wicks)

10. Once complete, the wax can be used to make candles of various sizes and conduct confirmatory container tests.

If done correctly, a slab test will provide you with a long list of wick options that will allow you to wick almost any size of container.

CONTAINER SPECIFIC BURN TESTING

Slab testing will help you to identify candidate wicks for your candles, but you will still need to conduct tests in the actual container you intend on using. We call this container-specific burn testing.

We recommend that container specific burn testing be conducted in accordance with the following standards before putting candles up for sale...

  • EN 15493:2007 – 'Candles – specification for fire safety'
  • EN 15426:2007 – 'Candles – Specification for sooting behaviour'

You may also wish to apply safety labels as outlined in the following standard...

  • EN 15494:2007 – 'Candles – product safety labels'

These standards are available for purchase from The British Standards Institute and other bodies within Europe.