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Cottonwood Wick Issues?


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Hi all!!!

 

New to this site/forum and candle making. I've seen a small handful of comments or threads about the Cottonwood wicks from Northwood, but wanted to see if I could get any further info/advice.

 

I've got 4 candles so far that I've tested. For reference, the candles are in 9oz straight sided jars (2.88" D and 3.5" H), using the coconut apricot wax from Lab and Co (Woodenwick). Out of the 4 candles I've tested so far, 2 have been with wood wicks, 1 with a Cottonwood CW-40, and 1 with a Small Ribbon Wick. The wood wicks seem to be burning great - I've never burned one before so this is just based off of research. The Ribbon Wick seems to also be doing well.

 

My issue is with the Cottonwood. I really want to like them - the flame is beautiful and so unique when lit. However, a little before hour 3 of my burns, the flame starts getting really tall and sooting like crazy. I did see someone on here say that they should be self trimming if taken care of properly, but I am trimming them pretty short before lighting.. Is there something even more specific that I should be doing to prevent the sooting and large flame? I also read that there were a few others out there with the same issue. Someone suggested sizing down, but the wick already seems kind of slow burning compared to the Ribbon and Wood wick, so I'm unsure on that. The scent throw isn't really that great in comparison either. Is the real issue that I need to size down, and the ribbon and wood wick are actually too large for the vessel?

 

Any and all advice on the wicks would be GREATLY appreciated - not just on the Cottonwood wicks, but on anything! I'm not making these candles to sell, but I want them to be well made since I'm considering making some for gifts.

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I haven't used the Lab and Co yet but I have used  coconut 83 and IFI 6046 waxes and from that I can tell you that the coconut wax creates the high flame. One thing I have done and others on here have done is add a little beeswax to harden up the wax to tame the flame or you can add more Soy to it.  I wouldn't add more than 5%  of the beeswax because it tends to cause cracking in the wax. Try different mixes and keep testing is all I can say.

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Cw40 is a pretty huge wick for that size jar, regardless of the wax.  Coconut 83 gets hot and will flare with that for sure.

 

of course some depends on the actual lot of wax and FO you’re using, but I would dial it down to a cw20 or 30.  I was not comfortable enough with cw to consider them for sale.

 

wooden wicks in coconut also have their issues once you burn down a bit. 

 

In both cases, more soy wax can help tame things.

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Coconut 83 is so bad I am about to throw it out the window. Every single wick I own mushroomed. Maybe its the beeswax I had to add to it, who knows.  On a good note, I am finding that the 6046 wicks pretty easy, im guessing because of the paraffin.  TallTayl did you have better luck with wood wicks in the coco 83 instead of the regular wicks?

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I think the coco83 problems are lot specific.  Of the couple dozen cases I have and have gone through they are remarkably different in composition and performance. 

 

First cases burned dirtier than the last 10. The first cases were greasy, like Vaseline. The last 10 white and smooth more like soy.

 

having enough to test gave me a runway to “fix” the issues, but what an unneeded pain and expense just to make a silly candle. 

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16 hours ago, TallTayl said:

Cw40 is a pretty huge wick for that size jar, regardless of the wax.  Coconut 83 gets hot and will flare with that for sure.

 

of course some depends on the actual lot of wax and FO you’re using, but I would dial it down to a cw20 or 30.  I was not comfortable enough with cw to consider them for sale.

 

wooden wicks in coconut also have their issues once you burn down a bit. 

 

In both cases, more soy wax can help tame things.

 

17 hours ago, CaptnKush said:

I haven't used the Lab and Co yet but I have used  coconut 83 and IFI 6046 waxes and from that I can tell you that the coconut wax creates the high flame. One thing I have done and others on here have done is add a little beeswax to harden up the wax to tame the flame or you can add more Soy to it.  I wouldn't add more than 5%  of the beeswax because it tends to cause cracking in the wax. Try different mixes and keep testing is all I can say.

 

I just purchased 2lbs of 464 and C-3 each from Flaming Candle to test the mixing, and will wick down to the CW-20 and CW-30 for more testing!

 

And as it turns out, I did start noticing some things about the wood wick an hour after I posted my original question. The wick seemed to have a little tunnel/crater around it, and air bubbles. Some of which actually started bubbling up to the surface at a rapid pace! The melt pool also doesn't come close to the edges of the jar, even after 4 hours. Hopefully this is all something that mixing some soy in can help with.

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All of that bubbling means that there’s a cavity down there. That is so common with wood wicks!

 

Another thing with woodwock is there’s a lot of air inside of the wick itself. I usually throw mine in a presto pot of wax and basically deep fry it until it stops bubbling. This keeps the wax draw consistent from first light to last burn.

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