Wicking Container Candles

In a properly wicked container candle:

  • The flame is approximately 1" tall, not flickering excessively
  • Wax melts across top of the container from edge to edge
  • The melt pool is 1/4 - 3/4" deep
  • Wax burns cleanly at the flame without smoke or soot
  • After candle has burned from top to bottom, wax is completely consumed leaving the sides clean.

How to choose the right wick:

On our homepage, click Wick Guide under the Candle Wick sidebar. Follow the prompts:

Step 1 - Select your wax
Step 2 - Select the diameter of your container

You will see 3 wick series for your wax and container size. Our first recommendation is labeled "Best" but it's a good idea to purchase the wick sample kit of the series you want to use so you can test different sizes without purchasing a large bag of one wick size.

Note: Wick up one or two sizes if you're using more than 1 oz. of fragrance oil per pound of wax, if you're using a dense fragrance, and/or a lot of dye or dark colors. Wick down a size or two if using less than 1 oz. of fragrance oil, a thin fragrance, or no dye.

Wick Series

When testing for wick size, we used CandleScience waxes, 1 oz. of medium density fragrance oil per pound of wax, and a medium shade of dye. Burn tests were also conducted using different container diameters, and our results are listed in the Wick Guide recommendations. We list the best series first, then second best and acceptable. You can test any or all of our recommendations, although our first choice produced the best lab results.

All of our wicks are made primarily with all-natural cotton threads. Some have additional fibers (or treatments) that produce unique qualities. A full description of the components of a wick series is proprietary information and not published by the manufacturer.

CSN Wick Series

CSN Wick are constructed from reinforced ring spun cotton that creates a rigidity that we have found to be superior to ECO wicks. A rigid wick allows for easier pours and keeps the wick upright in a deep wax melt pool. This all cotton wick also burns with a tighter curl compared to ECO wicks for a consistent flame perfect for containers and pillars.

Recommended for:

  • Soy Wax

ECO Wick Series

An excellent choice for soy candles, ECO series wick is a flat cotton wick braided with thin paper threads that gives the wick a rigid structure without the need for a core. This wick has a good burn stability that works well in votives, containers and pillars. ECO wicks also work well with wax blends and low melt point paraffin waxes.

Recommended for:

  • Soy Wax
  • Paraffin: IGI 6006 (Para Soy blend) and 4627, as well as Astorlite J50 and J223.

HTP Wick Series

The HTP series wick is a cotton wick braided with paper fibers for increased rigidity. This produces a well balanced wick with good structural strength that works well with paraffin and soy waxes.

Recommended for:

  • Paraffin: IGI 4630.

LX Wick Series

LX Wick is a flat braided cotton wick with a rigid structure for easy pouring. Compared to other wicks, this wick burns with a tighter controlled flame that makes it the best wick for paraffin waxes. Great for paraffin containers, pillars and votives, the consistent flame ensures glass containers don't overheat on one side and that pillars don't 'tunnel' or leak out the side of the candle.

Recommended for:

  • Soy: EcoSoya CB-135, CB-Advanced and Pillar Blend (PB)
  • Paraffin: IGI 4625, 1343, 4786 and 4794.

TL Wick Series

TL wick is a flat braided all-cotton wick designed for tealights and small candles. This wick is designed to produce a controlled flame for increased safety in metal and plastic tealight cups

Recommended for:

  • All wax types

Testing Candles

Prepare the test candles:

  • Make 2-3 candles using the same size containers, wax and fragrance/dye combination.
  • Put a different size wick of the same series in each candle.
  • Label jars with wick size.
  • Wait at least 24 hours before starting the burn test.

Burn Test

Check out our article How to Conduct a Burn Test for specific burn testing directions and our Tutorial Video: Choosing the Right Wick Size. Test all candles simultaneously to save time and make comparison easier. If you find that you need to test another size, the most productive method is to wick up or down within the same series before trying a different one. Jumping from series to series can produce confusing results.

Trouble-shooting for wicking container candles

While trying these tips may not solve the problem, they rule out common mistakes before deciding to test a different size wick.
If flame is too small, leave the wick longer before lighting (about 5/8"). If the wick is trimmed too short, it won't create the correct flame height and enough heat to melt wax. Flame should be approximately 1" tall.

If flame is too tall and/or flickering, trim the wick shorter before lighting.

If the melt pool doesn't go to the edge of the container, (1) allow the candle to burn for 3-4 hrs. at one lighting. Burning the candle for a shorter period might not allow time for the wax to melt. (2) Be sure you have a 1" flame.

If there's wax left on the sides of the jar after the first one or two burn cycles, continue the burn test if it's 1/8" thick or less. During the first cycles most of the heat from the flame goes out the top of the candle and may not create an ideal melt pool. As the wax is consumed and the flame gets down inside the container, more heat is retained inside the jar and may melt off the wax left from the first cycles.

If the wick is sooting, there are three factors that could cause this:

  • poor quality wax
  • poor quality or too much fragrance oil
  • the wrong size or type of wick.

Sooting is a result of too much fuel (wax plus fragrance plus dye) being pulled up through the wick to burn off cleanly at the flame.