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Wick Testing 444 (mushrooming)


Bill123
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Hi all,

 

So I've been testing wicks for a while now and can't seem to get it just right. I'm hoping maybe someone can shed some light on what I may be doing wrong. 

 

Details of my testing:

444 wax

Candle science 8 ounce tins (2.95" diameter)

7.5% fragrance oil

Room temp: 70

Wicks: CD 18, CD 20

Heat to 185, stir in FO, pour at 135

 

The Candle science wick guide recommends CD 20 for my wax and container, but I've seen many people say they recommend sizes a bit large usually so I tried the next size down too. With the CD 18, the mushrooming isn't too bad but the melt pool doesn't quite reach the edges (it's close though). Maybe leaving 1/8". Even burning for 4 hours at a time all the way down to the bottom there's still a bit of hang up.

 

With the CD 20, I do achieve the full melt pool in 3-4 hours, but it seems to be at the cost of large mushrooms (2-3 large carbon balls). I have eco 14s on the way to try next. Any suggestions? At this point I'd take a little bit of wax on the sides over the large mushrooms but I'm curious what you all think and if there's anything I can improve on in my process.

 

 

Edited by Bill123
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Hi and welcome to the super frustrating game of testing. 
 

first question (not sure how many will pop into my head as I type 😅), how long did you cure before you test burned? 444, and all soy and soy blends burn different when fresh versus after at least a 2 week cure. 


I had terrible inconsistencies with 444 wax.  One lot would burn like a dream and the next would not burn no matter how big of a wick I used. I have up on it, especially in tins where the air convection and metal heat transfer properties just would not play well with the wax. 

 

444 is a super hard wax loaded with  “soy additive” to hold lots of fragrance for people who like to use 12%+ 😬. I found “diluting” those additives with a wax without the additives, like 415 or midwest soy, could help quite a bit.  Likewise adding another wax, like a softer, lower melt point paraffin or coconut blend can help. The last commercial blend I relied on for tins was C1. Lot runs I received would often be a bit too hard to work with and burn, so I used 20% “naked soy” (midwest soy) and 5% coconut83 to solve the issues. Cd wicks nearly always did the trick for successful burns.

 

if you want to stick with plain old 444 you may need to try double wicking.  I hate doing that in small containers, but it sometimes is the only choice with difficult waxes. Two smaller wicks throw more heat than one larger wick, and consume less fuel. When you play with the different wick series you’ll find some that drown when slightly too small and some that thrive.  ECO is a pretty hot, robust series that should handle the 444.
 

Spacing the wicks closer or further away from each other changes the candle in dramatic ways. 
 

wide, flat wicks like cotton wood have promise too. The goal is to just widen the flame to get the melt going well in a wide, shallow container. 
 

wicks recommendations by CandleScience rarely made sense to me. I would test what  they said and always have very different outcomes. They list what they sold, omitting many other potential successful wicks. the frustration was the tuition cost of the candle education 🤗
 

 

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Thanks so much for the detailed reply TallTayl! I should have mentioned I let these candles cure for 3 weeks although I've done testing after 3 days and had similar results.

 

444 is the first and only wax I've tried so far. I realize now it's a really hard wax like you said and originally chose it because I knew I wanted an "eco-friendly" wax that would hopefully fare better than the popular 464 in the summer months. Blending other waxes didn't come to mind yet only because I'm new to this and trying to keep things as simple as possible. Maybe I should try C1? 

 

As far as double wicking, I would have to try a different container because with these candle science tins the metal is raised in a circle around the bottom center to help with placing a single wick so I think this would be in the way of double wicks. I'm trying to use a more squatty container because it seems they set nicer than tall, narrower containers where I'd have to be poking relief holes and using a heat gun on each candle or pouring at really low temperatures.

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You have discovered the many things wax throws at us 🤗

 

you can probably make 444 work. Just know that the next batch of wax you get may perform very differently.

 

likewise, each FO will need to be tested.  All aromachemicals burn differently. 
 

You may want to try Helix wicks, cottonwood wicks and similar to single wick. 
 

when doublewicking closely I overlap the tabs and stick those to the container bottom.  I know what you mean about the raised bottom.  Doubling up wick stickers sometimes help bridge the gap. 

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Thank you. These sound like excellent suggestions. The bit about testing each fragrance is a good point. Each one I have is from candle science but I'm sure they will all perform different. I'm curious to give the double wicking a try too. Do you think two ECO 1s or ECO 2s would be a good starting point?

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Fragrance is made of combos of hundreds of different aroma chemicals. The retailer you buy from makes no difference as far as wick testing. They all may (and usually do) burn very differently. 
 

that eco 1 or 2 is a good starting point. I would get the sample packs of different wick series since the burn sometimes jumps a lot between sizes. Eco are beefy enough to handle hard thick waxes like 444. They tend to burn out then down which is convenient for tins. 

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I see. I've also noticed that I have to stay away from vanilla based fragrance oils as they seem to react with these tins making them look rusty. My favorites are the bakery scents which tend to have vanillin so that's a bummer about the tins.

 

I will be experimenting with those eco wicks. Thanks again for the help.

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