Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Determining Wick Size

Phew! I just got back from a full day of Otion Location Scouting in Seattle. There are lots of options for us to open a second store and I'm excited to go scouting again next week.

The post on Wick Size got a few comments wondering how to determine appropriate wick size. If a few souls were brave enough to ask, I'm thinking that there might be others out there curious as well.

Here is a brief overview of how to pick out wick sizing:

Wicks size can be tricky. Picking a wick depends on your candle size and how big you want your wax pool. The wax pool is the area of melted, liquid wax around the wick.

If the wax pool is to big on a pillar candle then it may smoke and wick up fuel (wax) too quickly. When the candle burns too fast, the wax will drip down the sides of your candle. Too small of a wick in any candle will get you the problem I had in the original picture (suffocating your wick!). We have a chart on our Bramble Berry site here that will help you in choosing the correct size.

For pillar candles you want to make sure that that you have a nice buffer zone of unmelted wax around the edges of your candles, to keep the melted wax from dripping down the sides of the candle (and onto your tablecloth and finery). Using the table referenced above, for a candle that is 2.5 inches across, I would go with the CD-12 wick. This gives you an area of melted wax that is 1.93," leaving you a nice buffer zone of still-hard wax to save all available counters.

For container candles, the "too big of a wax pool" is not as big of a concern because any melted wax just stays safely in your container. The main concern is that the wick is not too small. The chart, again, works wonderfully for this. If you have say, a 3 inch container candle, using the chart, it is clear that you can use either the CD-12 or the CD-16. Both will work, one just gives you a slightly larger wax pool. You can decide which one you think looks and burns best.

Remember, wicks that are too large in container candles will smoke and provide excess soot on walls and ceilings so while a fully melted wax pool is something to strive for - too much of a good thing can be, well... sooty.

I hope this helps! Feel free to post any follow-up questions below and I will do my best to answer.