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wicking up and wicking down

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I've done a search, but haven't really found what I'm looking for.

When to wick up is my specific question, but I'd like to know when to wick down also.

Right now I'd have to say that 98% of my candles are wicked with an LX 20. I have a couple of fo's that didn't throw like I expected and so I put them on the back burner to be tested when I have time.

I had planned on wicking up and seeing if that made any difference. I don't have a clear understanding of what to look or smell for that would tell me I need to wick up or down or if it's an fo that's a waste of time.

I would appreciate any explantions given as this wicking up or down thing has always been very confusing for me.


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What you are trying to do is balance the hot throw and the rate of consumption. Whether one wicks up or down depends on that balance.

For example:

a container that has more hangup than desired and little hot throw = wick up

a container with good rate of consumption but poor hot throw = try both

a container with too fast of a rate of consumption and poor hot throw = wick down

This is something you simply have to "feel" your way through. Sometimes one thinks, wick up and that doesn't work, so try the wick down. This is the essence of testing because the exact same thing doesn't work in all cases and with all combos of wax/additives/wicks/FOs.

What you don't want to do is have a dozen different types of wicks and sizes and try wicking up and down with different types and sizes all over the place... this can cause you to end up in a straight jacket. *faint*

If LX wicks give you the best results, then STICK with them as you fine tune.

If you are NOT satisfied with the wicks you use, or simply want to try a different kind, then start fresh and test only that kind of wick in different sizes until you reach that balanced point you are looking for.

The wick size recommendations at Wickit and Wicks Unlimited are helpful to give you a range of starting sizes and also to compare different types to one another. The only exception is CDs & CDNs - they do NOT burn the same (CDNs tend to burn slightly more efficiently), so keep that in mind. The rest, I don't know about 'cause I don't use 'em. HTH :)

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When I am testing I wick up when I get no full melt pool, lots of hang-up, tunneling or my wick keeps drowning out.

When testing, I wick down when I get a melt pool across the jar too fast for the diameter or it is too deep, the wick is a torch, and/or the jar is way too hot. Also the presence of soot can be an indication to wick down. It can also be a sign to cut back on the FO. If you are testing a fragrance you know has a great throw, but you are experience no throw, and all or some of the indicators I mentioned are present, it could be the wick is too big and is burning off the scent.

When testing, I try to pour a few candles of the scent with different size wicks and sometimes with more than one type of wick just to compare.

Sometimes, it is not a matter of wicking up or down, but a matter of changing to a different wick all together. Some types of wicks work better with certain FOs and/or jars. For example, I have one type of jar that I typically use HTPs but in another jar I pour in, I prefer ECOs since they give me the best burn and throw. Funny because I did not use to like the ECOs. I don't think it is that uncommon to find chandlers that may have a few FOs that they use an entirely different wick from their norm.

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Thanks Stella and Meridith for answering... both replies had information that I was looking for. I feel I have a much better comprehension of wicking up and down.

There comes a point where if I think about something long enough... it just becomes even more muddled and confusing. Then I start second guessing every candle I've poured.

I'm finding the more I test, the more I see the differences from fo to fo...my problem was I didn't know what to do with the information I was seeing. Both of you helped clear up what I was seeing and what direction I need to go in when I see it.

Thanks bunches!


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