I can feel the eye rolls already, but am going to write this anyway. Maybe someone else will have an ah-ha moment.
I don’t wick for full melt pool. There, I said it.
I keep reading how the only way to get great throw is by wicking for a wide, deep melt pool. I sincerely disagree, especially since I have bought so many of these magical candles and have been terribly underwhelmed by the burn and performance. Those wicked for early melt pool always smell like burning wax, not pure beautiful fragrance. Seems people have been convinced to wick like the candle is a melt, then wonder why the second burn onward just don’t smell.
here’s a pic of the melt pool from a candle I’ve been burning for 8+ hours a day for the past week+. It is a 3.5” wide jar that tapers slightly to the bottom with my own wax blend. The melt pool never exceeds 2” wide and maybe 1/8” deep. I never trim the wick - just light and walk away. The candle starts smelling within minutes of lighting. The rim of the jar is totally clean. Not a speck of soot. The scent (5%) fills the room and wafts to the next and down the hall pleasantly.
the wall cleans up slowly and steadily releasing fresh fragrance with every drip. It does not drown the flame This candle will finish completely clean with no wax left over aside from the 1/8” or so as designed by the wick tab neck’s built in safety zone. I could leave it burning from top to bottom without ever worrying about a catastrophic failure.
This leads me to the ah-ha, and how it created that above ah-ha candle. So, to solve a wicking issue for a client I had to really dig in. While most any old wick would generate admirable hot throw, I didn’t like how unclean they burned. Knowing I could do better (can’t we all?), I try to engineer candles to ideally not require wick trims, because, let’s face it not many people reliably trim wicks. I lean toward self-trimming wicks to keep things simple. There will be some hang up, but that is a feature, not a flaw.
take HTP wicks, for instance. Look at the melt pool size for the largest in the series.
not even the largest, hottest wick is designed to create a melt pool more than 2.5”. Yet, I know many manufacturers use HTP single wicked in containers much larger and have fantastic candles. When studying other wick charts you will see a trend.
if you allow a candle to gently weep wax into the melt pool for the life of the candle you can really produce an above par product. Balancing the flame height, heat of the flame and consumption you can find that sweet spot where everything makes total sense.
Here’s the rub. we’ve all been brainwashed into hard waxes, notably soy wax. Everyone seems to want a wax that holds massive amounts of fragrance and no wet spots. So the supply side of the market responded in kind. But now it is a bugger to wick. Out come giant wide ribbon wicks and thick wood wicks. And around and around we go. I took a big step back recently after buying a $3.99 candle from Aldi made in India. That wick was tiny, and did not burn beyond the diameter of a tea light before dying. I stuck an htp 93 in there and loved that candle more than any $100+ ever made. It burned the same from top to bottom over more than 100 hours. I was sad when it finally burned the last drops of that wax.
another rub... not every container works with every wax. Often we pick a container we love, and shoe horn our wax into it hoping to make a go of it. Working the other way around is so much easier. “Play to the strengths” it is called in other circles.
So began my quest for the qualities that mimicked that el-cheapo Aldi candle. it can be done. Start digging into patents and blazing a path away from the norm. You May surprise yourself with how many rules are totally bunk.