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Ever really looked closely at wick charts?


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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. 
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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. 
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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. 

 

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I don't buy the "must have a fast, full MP" either.  But  I am curious, with your above example, what happens with burn times of 3 or 4 hrs each instead of letting it burn for 8 hrs?  Will shorter increments result in a wall of cling left at the end?

 

 

Edited by pughaus
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I have a theory on this. It all goes back to a soy candle I found that was a year old and had overpowering HT. As an experiment I put in in the oven until the wax melted and the next day when I burned it the HT was close to zero. So my theory is that melted wax loses its cure. Based on this your best HT comes from the wax that is melting for the first time. A wide, deep melt pool should make a great first impression, but the HT will be diminished after that. A candle like the one in your example should have good HT every time you burn it. A wise person once told me that the best wick is the smallest one that will burn all the wax in the end. That concept means you don’t need a FMP. Of course it’s just a theory.

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34 minutes ago, Forrest said:

I have a theory on this. It all goes back to a soy candle I found that was a year old and had overpowering HT. As an experiment I put in in the oven until the wax melted and the next day when I burned it the HT was close to zero. So my theory is that melted wax loses its cure. Based on this your best HT comes from the wax that is melting for the first time. A wide, deep melt pool should make a great first impression, but the HT will be diminished after that. A candle like the one in your example should have good HT every time you burn it. A wise person once told me that the best wick is the smallest one that will burn all the wax in the end. That concept means you don’t need a FMP. Of course it’s just a theory.

 

With soy the way that it crystallizes there is a lot to your theory. Personally I like a candle that smells the same on the first burn as it does on the last. I can’t do that by overwicking a candle.

 

The toughest part of it all was just making the break from soy. That limited me for so many years. It was like a bad relationship I just couldn’t get myself out of.

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28 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

 

The toughest part of it all was just making the break from soy. That limited me for so many years. It was like a bad relationship I just couldn’t get myself out of.

I know what you mean, my 6006 is very jealous of that block of 4627 I have. I try to be faithful, but that instant gratification is so hard to resist.  

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I am so glad you posted this.

 

I use 16oz square mason jars, and the majority of my candles do not reach a FMP until the bottom third of the jar, although they throw well from top to bottom.  According to the internet, my candles are failures.

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2 minutes ago, bfroberts said:

I am so glad you posted this.

 

I use 16oz square mason jars, and the majority of my candles do not reach a FMP until the bottom third of the jar, although they throw well from top to bottom.  According to the internet, my candles are failures.

Amen.

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@TallTayl Is that an HTP wick?  I've been testing them in glass flowerpot votive holders and get such a curl going.  One side stays pretty clean while the other has a thick build up.  Yes, in the bottom third it all cleans up but not attractive while burning.  I'm thinking customers will think there is something wrong with the candle.  

GoldieMN

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  • 4 years later...

This here is something that I’ve been playing in my head for quite some time. After years of testing (and not a single jar candle out just yet) I’ve also noted that a deep FMP is a sucker and liquid wax does not smell, but warm wax does. If that makes sense.

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On 5/29/2024 at 2:56 PM, Ini said:

This here is something that I’ve been playing in my head for quite some time. After years of testing (and not a single jar candle out just yet) I’ve also noted that a deep FMP is a sucker and liquid wax does not smell, but warm wax does. If that makes sense.

The throw comes from it being launched into the air efficiently, so I agree a deep melt pool in many waxes is often not hot enough to get the job done (unless overwicked which is a different set of challenges). 

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On 1/22/2020 at 8:01 PM, bfroberts said:

According to the internet, my candles are failures.

Oh, if the internet says so then it must be true, right? LOL! There is a lot of garbage information out there in the waste land of the internet.😄

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On 1/22/2020 at 4:09 PM, Forrest said:

I know what you mean, my 6006 is very jealous of that block of 4627 I have. I try to be faithful, but that instant gratification is so hard to resist.  

Do you like the 4627 over 6006?

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