ITSC Intention Candles - Wood Wick Candle Care

  • 6 min read

Keep Calm & Go To The Beach - Intention Candle

Wood wick candles are uniquely beautiful and produce a charming crackle. The wick creates a horizontal flame that produces more heat into the candle quicker. However they do but require a tiny bit more maintenance than cotton wick candles. Don't worry though! They're totally worth it! 

The wood wicks we use to make our Beach Inspired Intention Candles are patented and sourced from Makesy, a licensed manufacturer and distributor of wooden wicks developed by the creator of the original wooden wick, Lumetique Inc. Lumentique is a partner with Trees for the Future, an organization working to end hunger and poverty for small farmers through revitalizing degraded lands. When makers buy these wicks for their candles, they are helping to plant trees. Right up our alley!

If you are new to wood wick candles, we've got some tips to help you get the most from your Island Thyme Soap Co Beach Inspired Intention Candle.

Some basic candle terms

CANDLE THROW: Scientifically speaking, candle throw describes the rate at which fragrance molecules evaporate from the scented candle wax into the surrounding air. This evaporation process is constantly happening even when the candle is unlit, producing what is called "cold throw."

As the candle burns and the wax becomes hot, it produces a "melt pool" and the rate of evaporation of fragrance molecules into the air speeds up significantly. As the pool of melted wax gets wider, more molecules are released. A large amount of fragrance molecules produced from a full melt pool are quickly released into the air, producing what is called "hot throw."

A strong hot throw means that the fragrance travels farther and circulates throughout a larger space while a weak hot throw means that the fragrance can only be noticed up close. How you burn your candle affects hot throw.

MELT POOL: This is the term for the liquid pool of wax of a candle while burning. Optimally you should expect a full melt pool across the surface of the candle to be achieved within 2-3 hours of burn time. An ideal melt pool throws fragrance farther.

FIRST BURN: The initial burn time of your candle is the most important: Give your new candle enough burning time to develop a melt pool that reaches all the way or close to the edge of the vessel on the first use and approximately is no deeper than 1/2 inch. If you trimmed your wick correctly before lighting it, this will take approximately 3 hours.

WAX MEMORY: Vessel candles have a kind of “wax-memory,” and once a burning pattern has been established, it can be hard to change. If during the first burn, wax only melts across half the surface and is extinguished, then only that same area will easily melt on subsequent burns. The wax will form a depression or "tunnel" from a partial melt pool; one that didn't come close to reaching the sides of the vessel. The wax will continue to tunnel down on every burn after that. Not only does this shorten the life of your candle, without the wide melt pool it won't be able to throw its fragrance optimally. 

POWER BURN: This is the term used for burning a candle for longer than 4 hours. This is dangerous and we do not recommend it. Wood wick candles aren't made for "light it and forget it" uses. Power burning will cause your candle vessel to overheat and the wick will produce black smoke.  You'll see black soot build up on the side of the vessel. 

Now To Enjoy it! Light It Up!

SAFETY FIRST: Be mindful about where you place your candle to burn it. You'll want to ensure it's on a flat, heat safe surface and away from drafts, pets and children. 

  • TRIM YOUR WICK. 
  • BURN FOR THREE HOURS ON FIRST BURN
  • TRIM YOUR WICK
  • NEVER BURN FOR MORE THAN 4 HOURS
  • TRIM YOUR WICK

FIRST BURN: Before lighting your candle for the first time, trim your Word Wick. Trim 50% of the word "Calm." We recommend a Wick Trimmer. A nail clipper or wire cutter will also work but can produce a ragged edge.  A ragged trim will produce a less stable flame, so try to achieve a clean, straight cut.

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.

The time you set aside for the first burn is very important. It sets the stage for how well your candle will perform on subsequent uses. Allow your candle to create a full melt pool all the way to or close to the edge of the vessel so it doesn't begin to create a tunnel that will affect the candle's performance later on. At around 3 hours it's ok if there is a slight ridge of wax or "memory ring" around the edge. The melt pool will catch up to the sides later on as the flame gets deeper in the vessel. Don't burn longer than 4 hours. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Always allow your candle to completely cool before relighting.

Subsequent burns: VERY IMPORTANT: Trim your wick each time you light the candle. Remove any charred wood from the previous burn. An optimal wick height after the first burn will be 1/8 inch; about the size of the metal part of a USB cable. If the wick is too tall, the wax; the fuel, will not pull up into the wick and the wick will self-extinguish the flame. Remember, the wax is the fuel for the candle flame and if the wick is not short and clean, the fuel can't make it to the flame. Once cooled, clean out any charred bits of wood from the melt pool. Be sure you don't allow wick trimming debris to accumulate in the wax pool. 

An optimally trimmed wick produces a more stable flame. A more stable flame creates a more even, cleaner burn that is less prone to tunneling and sooting.  It means a longer lasting candle, where you can burn it almost all the way down to the bottom of the vessel. When burned properly, our candles are designed to self-extinguish when 3/8 inch wax remains at the bottom of the vessel. 

Troubleshooting:

When you initially light the candle, the flame may seem high and unstable. You may even see a puff or two of black smoke. Don't panic. Once the fuel reaches the top of the wick, it should settle down and become triangle shaped. This can take a few minutes. The height of the flame should never exceed 1.5 inches.

Once the flame is established, if you notice your flame is "dancing" excessively or you see consistent puffs of black smoke, make sure it's not in a drafty area. If it's not, extinguish your candle, trim your wick to a clean 1/8 inch, allow to cool and relight.

If the side of your vessel gets soot on it, extinguish the candle, allow to cool and simply dip a paper towel or soft cloth in warm water and wipe off. 

If your candle has already started tunneling because of shorter initial burn times, as long as your wick still has a flame, allow it to burn for a long period until all the melt pool reaches or is close the edge of the vessel. The flame height may vary but as long as there is still a flame, it should eventually correct itself. The throw won't be optimal which is why you want to avoid tunneling from the first burn. If the wick won't stay lit, it's because it's "drowning" in the melt pool. Safely extinguish the wick and try using a paper towel or napkin to soak up the excess wax. Allow the wax to harden and try relighting your candle  You may need to repeat this process a few times .

If you don't have a tunnel and notice the flame height getting too low, extinguish the flame and tap off any excess ash or charred wood along the top of the wick and relight. Once the wax is not blocked by the charred wood and is again able to reach the flame, it will then return to its proper optimal height.

Always follow all Candle Safety Guidelines. You'll find safety information on the bottom of your candle vessel.

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