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Wick Guides - How Important Are They?


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Hello!  I have a couple of questions that I hope some of you experienced candle-makers can answer for me:

 

(1)  Do wicks from different supply companies vary in size, even when they're in the same series?  For example, is it possible that a Premier 740 from Aztec could burn stronger/hotter than a Premier 740 from Flaming Candle?  Or do all wicks in a series (no matter where they're from) burn the same?

 

(2)  I am trying to wick 9 oz straight-sided jars (2.75 in diameter) using Problend 600 wax with 10% fragrance load using Premier wicks.  I have found that Premier 740 works the best for me from Aztec.  I get a full melt pool in 2.5 - 3 hours with a steady flame that is not too high with minimum mushrooming even after a 4 hour burn.  The HT is good enough and fills a medium-sized room.  BUT, I  looked at Flaming Candle's wick guide and found that "technically," a Premier 740 is supposed to be too low of a wick for my jars.  Their guide recommends a Premier 750 or 755 for the size jar I am using.  I did test a 750 and 755, but they both were overwicked to me when the candle had burned 1/3rd down the jar.  Big flames, huge mushrooms, deep pools, and wisps of smoke.  But still, I want the perfect candles, and I am not confident enough yet to really go against wick guides.  Should I not pay too much attention to them, though, or should I consider wicking up like the guide suggests?  Has anyone else found that they end up wicking WAAAAAAY off from what a wick guide suggests?

 

Hope somebody can help me!  :)

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(1)  Size of each wick should be same which ever supplier you get these wicks.  However, wicks from different suppliers can perform differently due to following 2 differences.

a) After wick manufacturers braids these wicks, it will need to go thru chemical treatment to make it fire retardant.  Yes, they actually have to make it fire retardant so it won't burn out easily.

b) Wax coating

Chemical treatment can be done by different places with different methods.  And, they use different types of waxes for coating.  So, same wicks will be different supplier to supplier.  It will depend on which wick assembler was the final producer.

 

(2)  Most wick suggestions by suppliers & manufacturers are just to be used as basic guidelines.  It gives us good starting point, but it can be off dramatically.  Sometimes, it could be totally different wick & size that will work best.  You should not ignore them, but you should not rely on them totally either.  Don't blame them.  There is no way that anyone can cover all the waxes & 30,000 available FOs combination with different % of FO usage.  

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I had wondered that same thing.  I have been keeping track and saving my packing lists for the wick sample packs I have been receiving from the different suppliers so I know where to re-order from if I find something that works.  I currently have 10 different wick types from 6 different suppliers. 

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Hi Katie,

For that wax your wick choice is good. You may have to go up or down from there depending on the fragrance. You can’t depend totally on the guides as they don’t know all you waxes and additives or what fragrance oils you use.

most of the guides I found are not that helpful but haha Craftserver is the best wick guide out there compiled by people who have made a million candles. Just use the guides as a starting point then test.

 

i have found htp wicks from Fillmore and Flaming candle to be different. Fillmore’s are floppier. I like Flamings, Candle Science.

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For sure those guides are just a starting point.  I've found some that created underwicked and some overwicked candles.  I think you're already on the right track but like everyone said it may differ from scent to scent.  In my wax I found that heavy vanilla and some citrus scents required a size up.

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On 6/27/2020 at 7:06 PM, BusyBee said:

(1)  Size of each wick should be same which ever supplier you get these wicks.  However, wicks from different suppliers can perform differently due to following 2 differences.

a) After wick manufacturers braids these wicks, it will need to go thru chemical treatment to make it fire retardant.  Yes, they actually have to make it fire retardant so it won't burn out easily.

b) Wax coating

Chemical treatment can be done by different places with different methods.  And, they use different types of waxes for coating.  So, same wicks will be different supplier to supplier.  It will depend on which wick assembler was the final producer.

 

Are these differences in wick performance pretty notable, enough so that I should stick to one supplier for all wick orders? And it also makes me wonder if there would possibly even be variations from batch to batch when ordering from the same supplier? 

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23 hours ago, fruit.tart said:

 

Are these differences in wick performance pretty notable, enough so that I should stick to one supplier for all wick orders? And it also makes me wonder if there would possibly even be variations from batch to batch when ordering from the same supplier? 

It would be a nice business practice to stick with one supplier (You will get discounts & other favors.) as much as possible and have 2 back up suppliers (in case of supply interruption) on everything.  On top of that reason, when we know waxes, FOs, & wicks can be vary from batch to batch or from different supply sources, that kind of business practice would give us little bit more better protection from unexpected surprises.

 

The differences of wicks from different assembler would be very minimal that we might notice them at all.    

 

1) Chemical treatment is to make the wick fire retardant.  So, this is just matter of wick burning off little faster or slower where we would not notice much difference.  

2) What is purpose of wax coating?  Wicks are coated with higher melt point waxes(usually they have melt point from 165F to 177F) to help the wick stand straight up in the melt pool.  So, there isn't much to worry about with these different  types of waxes used in wax coating unless you are in one of EU countries.  But, then there is this WHAT IF?

 

I am always suspecting that these wicks are designed for big brand companies, and it is not designed for our usage.  Most major brand companies' candles are burning so hot even the containers get really hot (temperature of their containers will go up close to 170F) , and many of them create deep melt pool (1/2" or more).  Major brand candle would not have to worry about this high melt point wax used on wicks at all (and maybe they are the one who ask supplier to come up with higher melt point waxed wicks), and they would not know the difference. 

 

On the other hand, our candles burn a lot cooler (my container temperature is below 130F) and have shallow melt pool (1/4" or less).  It's so shallow that we would not even need high melt point wax coating at all to make our wick stay stand up in the melt pool.  Now, here comes my biggest mystery question.  Does my candle's melt pool has enough heat power to  melt away high melt point wick wax coating?  If my candle cannot melt away this wax coating, then my wax and FO will not be able to travel thru the wick to get to the end of flame.  I am not 100% sure about this, but my candle might not have problem with 165F coating but it might not work at all with 177F one.  I don't have the exact answer to this question, since I don't have capability to measure the temperature of wick right below the melt pool.

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