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Self trimming wicks...


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Guest highflier

I have been testing some HTP wicks that self trim very well. My questions is does the CD wicks trim themselves. And is there any other wick that can be used in containers that fully trim themselves.

After I asked 10 of my customers the other day if they trim there wicks and only 2 of them said that they did, I figured I better use a self trimming wick. Just need to know the ones that work really well.

Thanks so much for everyones help,

Mike

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Sorry to tell you this Mike...but I have yet to find a wick that is truly self-trimming...including the ones you've mentioned...they curl and that's just about it...and I believe I have tried just about every wick known to mankind. It's all deceptive advertising if you ask me.

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I use the CD wicks and I prefer them over any other for my container candles. They do curl, but it is better than the mushroom on top...I hate that. I give a burn times and tips sheet with every order and I stress to people how important it is to trim the wick. I will agree with Fern I have never seen a self trimming wick. If one is developed someday I would be glad to try it. HTH.

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SatinDucky: The LX wicks don't curl in pillars...the smaller ones used in containers curl, I'm assuming because the wax is softer and it burns hotter...but in pillars they burn straight and even; however, you do have to wick up. Just my experience with them, thought I'd share.

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My experience with LXs have the been the opposite of Fern's. They bend, but I wouldn't say curl. The nice thing is the flames are still pretty straight compared to things like HTPs and CDs (both flat braids with paper) so you don't usually have a very off-centered melt pool - assuming you are trimming properly as you should with any wick. Here are a couple picks of LX wicks from some paraffin pillars (1218) I posted on another thread. They were just lit, but you can see the bend in the pink one in particular.

http://www.candletech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4295&page=3#27

LXs will bend like this in soys and paraffins (at least the ones I've tried), but in palm wax they will burn stiff as a board, so it depends upon the types of waxes they are used in. I don't use them in soy/paraffin blends.

They will mushroom very little (depending upon FO), for me usually on the first burn only (because of the trim). Like Fern says, no wick is truely self-trimming that I have found.

HTH

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This is one of the best pages I have found on wicks. It gives all the manufacturers. If you click on the different manufacturers, it will give you information.

www.wicksunlimited.com/candle_wicks.php

Like Fern, I've tried almost all of the wicks and found that the I liked the LX wicks in containers. In pillars, I usually like the flat ply, but recently have changed to HTP when the fragrance load is high or strong. They don't seem to wimp out on me during the second and third burn. Kept having to trim and wick up on other wicks or ended up with real flame throwers.

Really wish it was true that a wick actually "self rimmed". As Henryk says it depends on your wax. The truth is you have to take suggesions and then keep testing to find out what works for you . Wicking is a PITA evertime I decide to do something new.

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Guest highflier

Thanks so much for eveyones reply. I am worried about those that tell me that don't trim the wicks. I can tell them to trim the wicks and put it on the labels but most people don't trim wicks.

Will I be at fault if someone burns there house down because the container busted because they didn't trim the wicks. I have gotten all my candles working very well with double zinc wicks (1/2" deep mp in 4-6 hours burns). They burn perfect everytime as long as you keep the wicks trimmed to a 1/4"before you light them. But if you don't trim the wicks they burn way to hot, get deep melt pools 3/4"-7/8", and the 4"apothercary jars I'm using gets very hot. Who's right and who's wrong if a jar breaks and something bad happens?

Can someone answer this for me?

Thanks,

Mike

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Doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, you'll still have to spend money defending yourself if it ever came to a suit ;)

I try to wick so that if a customer abuses a candle, it's not going to react horribly. Hard to do cuz you also want it to burn if a customer treats it right. Usually they are on opposite sides of the spectrum!

To get anything close to a self trimming wick, the wick end is going to have to be in the hottest part of the flame. Which means it's going to have to bend. Even in pillars, a "crooked" melt pool usually rights itself after the 2nd or third burn, at least in my tests it does. Just have to make sure you don't wick too hot so the first crooked burn spills. Containers it's much easier, since walls will come down from the extra heat in the middle of the jar.

I use LX in votives and jars - they're my favorite. They still need to be trimmed, but degrade nicely if they aren't.

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The other nice thing about the LX in containers is you won't have one wall get really hot because of the extreme bend, nor should they leave a pile of wax on side even on the first or second burn (assuming the wick size is correct).

Small test photo of CD LX and RRDS:

http://www.candletech.com/cgi-local/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=veggiewax;action=display;num=1102308269#12 in 100% soy. I just trim them between burns - nothing special. Mushrooms aren't bad at all (this pic was 100% soy, added BW, 6% pine FO and liquid dye - so I was just asking for it here, FO type plays a MAJOR part in mushroomin in any wick IMO).

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I use zinc and can get by with single wicking the 4 inch apoth jars. What size zinc are you using? I wouldnt worry about a full melt pool in the first few burns anyway, it all comes around when you get half way down the jar. I am ok with a melt pool that takes 7 or 8 hours to get to the edge since that slow of a burn could help prevent the jar from breaking when you get to the last of the wax. I can get buy with either a 51 or a 60z but like the 51 better because of the lower flame and less heat in the jar.

Bruce

So, how does that bad boy cougar work?

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Bruce, I love the fact that you can use one wick in your 4" apoths. and that even though it may not get a FMP on the first couple of burns, that it all eventually catches up, but how do you tell your customers to burn these so that they understand how to get it to burn correctly? Did that make sense?

I mean, usually you would tell or give instructions about making sure they burn it at least 3 hours (or whatever) so that they get a FMP, b/c a candle has a memory and you don't want it to tunnel, but if it's not getting a FMP until say maybe the 3rd or 4th burn, what instructions do you give them?

thanks,

Michelle

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Bruce, I love the fact that you can use one wick in your 4" apoths. and that even though it may not get a FMP on the first couple of burns, that it all eventually catches up, but how do you tell your customers to burn these so that they understand how to get it to burn correctly? Did that make sense?

I mean, usually you would tell or give instructions about making sure they burn it at least 3 hours (or whatever) so that they get a FMP, b/c a candle has a memory and you don't want it to tunnel, but if it's not getting a FMP until say maybe the 3rd or 4th burn, what instructions do you give them?

thanks,

Michelle

I tell them any jar candle can tunnel if you burn them for a short amount of time. I have never had any returned or had anyone say they had a problem, so I guess I have smart customers! :) I know pillars have a memory, but don't remember hearing anything about jar candles since the jars heat up more as the wax and flame gets lower and the heat gets stuck more in the jar which will help melt down the sides.

Bruce

Alan talked about the same thing on the old board, might check there also?

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Guest highflier

Well I gave the LX wicks a try yesterday and today and they have been working wonderful. Nice even melt pools for long burn times. So far today I tested 3 candles:

Baby Powder LX 20 1/4"mp 1 hr, 1/4"3 hrs., 5/16"5 hrs., 1/4"7hrs

Fudge Brownie LX 18 3/8"mp 1 hr, 7/16" 2-7hours.

Banana Nut Bread LX 20 3/8"mp 1 hr, 7/16"2-6 hrs. 11/16" 7-8 hours. (Flames started getting big because wicks were not trimming down. I even let it burn an extra hour to see if the wicks would burn down but they didn't).

Gingerbread Single HTP 1312, 3 1/2" dia. MP in 1 hour 3 3/4" dia MP in 3-4 hours. This worked very well for a single wick, but didn't have quite as good of a scent throw.

All test burns were with 2 wicks except for the gingerbread. None of the jars were over 125 degrees after 7 hours, except when the Banana Nut Bread flames started to get big in the last 2 hours of the burn. Jar temp got to 160. I have been told the ASTM will make a ruling where they will consider the max temp. to be, (160 degrees) and still have a safe candle.

If the customers keep the wicks trimmed to 1/4" before they burn the candles and don't burn them over 5 hours these candles are burning very safe. I will have on the front of my labels " Do not burn candle if wicks are over 1/4" long". Also will have "Never leave burning candle unattended" on the front label as well. I have my attorney looking into if this will protect me from customers who don't follow the instructions. Will also have the usual label on the bottom of the candle as well.

Bruce the coogar machine is awesome. The accuracy of the machine is unbelivable. It will pour 312 grams of wax +/- .5 gram. And the scent will pour 27.30 grams +/- .05 gram. I hope by mid week I will have a base line for all my wicks. Then I will pour 3 candles for each scent ,+ one size, - one size,,and the wick I think it will take. Then burn everyone from beginning to end in 4 to 7 hour burn times to find which wick is the right one. I guess that would be the best way of doing it for my final test.

You was right it has been a very challenging job to get that many scents tested. I had to remake and test several fragrants that either smelt bad or didn't have a good scent throw. Only fragrant I have not found that is a good one is pumpkin pie. I have made 4 different ones and have not found the right one yet. Also oatmeal cookie and blueberry muffin. Those are the only 3 I have left. Will start out with the 35 I have now and will add those in the next few weeks. Everyone thing else has been tested and they all have a great throw and smell great. Once they are all figured out the Coogar machine will produce them very quickly.

I have some very good burning candles if the customer will keep the wicks trimmed. I will have the importance of this posted on my website and will probably have a very small burn sheet attached to each candle with how important this is to do.

Thanks for everyones help and will have some pictures soon!!!

Sincerely,

Mike

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What??? :confused: Pillars have a memory??? Can someone please explain this to me.....

Hopefully I can explain so this makes sense, at least the way I understand it. A pillar "remembers" how it was burned the first time. That's the reason it's recommended to burn them 3-4 hrs the first burn. If it doesn't reach full melt pool, it will have a harder time getting there on subsequents burns. If it burns too long and starts to get a large bulge, you will likely have a blowout before it's over(the melt pool will keep trying to reach the same size). On the same token, if it gets a nice full MP and you give it a hug when you blow it out, it will usually continue to curl in some and consume itself.

Keep in mind this is a tendency, not a law ;)

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Guest highflier

If anyone has not tried the LX wicks they should consider giving them a try. They burn much better then the HTP wicks and do a pretty good job of trimming themselves. Will start pouring some more test candles this week.

Thanks for everyones help,

Mike

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