Overlooked But Definitely
In candle making, there are many terms which end up being common terms: fragrance load, topping off, pre-wick assemblies, fragrance retention and many others. Ironically there is one term that never seems to be used but you could argue is ONE of the most important in terms of maximizing the performance of your candle. Even after identifying the term, further explanation is necessary to identify why it is important.
Center, is a very common term in sports, social and every walk of life and candle making is no exception. Seems like these days no article is complete without its Google reference therefore we include that if you "Google" the term "center", there are over 1 billion results and my guess is that you would have to look very long and hard to see any purposeful references to candles.
However, all these facts do not minimize how extremely important it is. No matter what type of candle you are making, the performance will hinge on the wick being centered and straight. You can go to painstaking lengths to ensure you have the proper wick for your application but if the wick is not centered and straight it will not perform optimally. Pretty tough to imagine that an item other than a raw material of the candle could have such an impact.
The good news is the candle market has responded to this very important feature by having the tools when used properly can take this potential issue out of the process. With containers there are two (2) very important tools to assist with task. For centering on containers, it is important the wick is secure and centered at the bottom of the container and the glue dots (http://www.candlewic.com/Store/Product.aspx?q=c27,p621 ) are perfect for ensuring this is accomplished. At roughly 2.1 cents a piece it is well worth the investment.
Equally important is to have the wick centered at the top of the container. The bow tie clip is the perfect choice for most glassware. The clip can adjust to many different glass openings. If you are using two wicks, it will help space the wicks equally apart from one another. When you slide the wick over into the smaller hole it will help keep the wick in place.
Hover securing on top can also be simply done by taking a popsicle stick and drilling a hole for the wick to slide into. It really does not matter which method you use just make sure the wick is centered.
Moving onto votives it is easy to keep the wick centered top to bottom with a votive pin. The votive pin can be dropped into the votive cup you pour your wax, top off and then remove the candle and pull the pin out. A pre-wick assembly can then be threaded up through the wick hole. Using the pins allows you to use almost any type of wicking material and still keep the wick straight in the candle.
With pillars made in the the round aluminum mold, the pillars pin are the clear choice to ensuring the wick is straight and centered. To use this item you slide the pin from the outside of the round pillar mold and then pour your pillar as normal. In addition to the pin helping with leaking it can also be guaranteed to keep the wick centered. The only drawback to the pins is they are only effective with the round aluminum molds.
While it may not seem like a big issue, it is imperative the wick is centered and straight to ensure the wick perform at its best. An off centered wick in a container can leave wax on a portion of the jar, can cause the glass to get hot at a small concentrated area and cause the candle to burn uneven causing it to smoke and soot. With a pillar an off-centered wick can cause the side of the pillar to have blow out and run down the sides of the pillar.
How do I get the wood wicks to perform optimally?
Without doubt the wood wicks continue to generate interest but for them to perform best it is important they are used properly. The first items is using the proper wax, while they will burn pretty much with any wax to get them to crackle and burn effectively the entire candle a soft paraffin soy blend is best. Most Customers find CBL-130 performs best.
The wick also needs to be sized properly to the container size. The chart below can serve as a starting point. But testing is necessary to ensure they work best with your color/fragrance combination.
Small wood wicks
Small Containers ( Up to 3" )
Medium wood wicks
Medium Containers ( 3" - 3.75" )
Large wood wicks
Medium & Large Containers ( 3.5" - 4.25" )
Extra large wood wicks
Large Containers (4" - 4.75")