Wood Wicks: Nature's Delicate Dance with Fire
As the cozier months approach, it's time to revisit how to optimize your wood wick candle experience. Wood wick candles offer a unique and visually captivating experience. Their aesthetically beautiful, flickering flames create an ambiance that's both visually appealing and acoustically soothing, thanks to the comforting crackling sound they produce. However, as with many natural elements, wood wicks can be a bit inconsistent and finicky. Their charm lies in their organic nature, but this also means that they require a bit of care and attention to ensure an optimal burning experience.
In this guide, we'll explore the beauty and intricacies of wood wick candles, offering insights into how to make the most of these delightful additions to your cozy space.
First Burn: Trim and Ignite
Before lighting your candle for the first time, follow these steps for optimal performance:
- Ensure Proper Wick Length: Before the initial burn, check that the wick is no taller than 1/4 inch, approximately the size of a USB cable's metal part. If needed, trim it using a Wick Trimmer for a clean, even cut. Avoid using nail clippers or wire cutters to prevent jagged edges. A well-trimmed wick ensures a steady flame. When you first light the candle, the flame may flicker as the wick absorbs the initial wax load, its 'fuel.' If it continues to dance or appears unstable after about five minutes, consider another trim.
- Lighting the Wick: Tilt the candle at a 45-degree angle and hold the ignition source until the flame dances across the width of the wick. A BBQ lighter or fireplace matches work well.
- Set Aside Time: Dedicate time for the first burn. Allowing a full melt pool to form, reaching (or almost reaching) the edge of the vessel, prevents tunneling and ensures optimal performance. It's normal to have a slight ridge of wax around the edge after around 3 hours. With coconut wax blends, the melt pool will catch up to the edges as the candle gets lower with subsequent burns.
- Burn Duration: Do not exceed 4 hours of burn time. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Allow it to cool completely before relighting.
Wick Maintenance For subsequent burns, follow these key steps:
- Wick Trimming: Once cooled, trim or pinch off and trim any charred wood from previous burns. Charred wood wick clog the wick. Leave 1/8 inch of wood above the wax.
- Clean the Melt Pool: Be sure to remove any charred bits of wood from the melt pool. Avoid allowing wick trimming debris to accumulate in the wax pool.
Optimal Wick, Optimal Burn
An optimally trimmed wick creates a more stable flame, resulting in an even, cleaner burn. This reduces tunneling and sooting, leading to a longer-lasting candle.
- If the flame seems high and unstable initially, wait a few minutes for it to settle down. The flame height should not exceed 1.5 inches.
- Excessive dancing or consistent puffs of black smoke may indicate a draft. If not, extinguish, trim, allow to cool, and relight. Soot on the vessel's side can be wiped off with a damp paper towel or soft cloth after extinguishing and cooling.
- In case of tunneling, allow the candle to burn until the melt pool reaches or is close to the edge. If the wick won't stay lit, safely extinguish and soak up excess wax with a paper towel.
- If the flame is too low, tap off excess ash or charred wood and relight.
Always refer to Candle Safety Guidelines located on the candle vessel for added safety. Enjoy the cozy ambiance of your wood wick candle!