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Testing wicks

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When you are testing the wick, you are looking for problems such as (but not limited to...):

• mushrooming

• drowning

• flame too large (see wicking chart for YOUR wick & size)

• flame too small

• sputtering flame

• deposits on wick

• poor hot scent throw

• blowout (the melt pool makes a hole and leaks out the side of the candle)

• soot

• smoke

• clogging

• cracking

Weigh the candle before you begin testing. When testing, you should burn the candle approximately 1 hour per inch of container or candle diameter. At the end of this time, measure the height of the flame, then extinguish the candle and note the width and depth of the melt pool. Weigh the candle again to see how much wax the wick has consumed. Allow the candle to cool before trimming the wick to 1/4" and relighting. Testing should continue in this manner until the candle is consumed - all the way to the bottom!

Keep notes on your tests. Watch for hidden defects such as air pockets large enough to drain the melt pool (which will cause the flame to flare up suddenly). Because there are so many variables, one must test every wick/container/mold/FO and dye combination - what works for one FO may not work well for another, etc.

Ideally, the full melt pool should form and the wick's flame should keep it at a steady level or rate of consumption. The wick should use the liquified wax at about the same rate as it melts it after full melt pool is achieved - too fast (hot) or too slow (cold) will cause the candle to burn improperly.

A good burn is a candle which burns efficiently, consuming nearly all the wax before the candle gets to the end. If the candle is scented, it should have a strong scent while burning with a full melt pool. It should not smoke or leave soot.

Some criteria are subjective; others are not. Please read, read, read on the forums and you will learn more about the specifics of each aspect of burning a candle. HTH:)

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