We have recently received some feed back from our clients saying wooden wick is very tricky to burn. Yes indeed, we completely agree to that. However we just can not get over the pop and crackle sound that it produces when it burns. Beside, the shape of the flame is wonderful to look at when it burns well.
Wooden Wick Vs Cotton Wick
We only make wooden wick candles in Second Home, we simply love how it burns with a triangular flame and the crackling sound it produces when burning, it’s very gratifying.
Functionally, wooden wick gives a better scent, this is due to the form of the wick causes it to burn lower and smolders. In additional to that, wooden wick creates a horizontal flame which increase the surface area of the heat source, this facilitate melting the wax around it instead of burning off the fragrance oil. Candle using wooden wick can heat up the fragrances more evenly with a lower flame which could prolong the life of the candle and widely disperse the lovely scent in your room in less time.
With all the good things being said, it has some serious draw backs. Candle using wooden wick is less stable if you compare candle with cotton wick, they are difficult to handle and very tricky to light up properly, it can take up to 20 seconds with a fire source and repeating attempts to fully light up without self-extinguishing.
Cotton wick candles are more common than wooden wick candles and there is a good reason behind it. Cotton wick candles are easier to manufacture, they can also be mass produced using machines that could dramatically lower the production cost to maximise profit for candle companies. Moreover, there is less after service needed for candle companies to their customers since they are relatively low maintenance and hardly anything could go wrong.
Wooden Booster Wick (Double Wooden Wick)
Wooden Booster Wick is a type of wooden wick that consisted of two pieces of single-ply wooden wicks glue together as a single piece, one wider than the other. Wooden booster wick best use for candles with vegetable wax blends (Soy Wax), Bee Wax or candles blended with a heavy fragrance or dye load where sometimes single-ply wooden wick simply do not provide enough wick material to feed the flame. Wooden booster wick overcome the downside of single ply wooden wick as our choice to use in our container candles in-spite they are more expensive, but we surely think they are well worth the price.
The width length and thickness of wicks
There are however only some generic guidelines from different candle wick companies to give a rough estimation when choosing a suitable width on both wooden or cotton wick as a reference with no definitive answer. It is more of a trial and error process since there are too many variables that could affect the burning performance such as the type of wax used in a candle, room temperature, humidity, the material quality of the wood used in the wooden wick etc…There is no guideline available to suggest a suitable thickness when choosing wooden wick, however, it is generally accept that the thicker the wooden wick, the more heat it would produced (Not necessarily means a bigger flame).
That is the reason why Second Home have spent a tremendous amount of time testing out the best width of wooden booster wicks we use on our candles. Trying to achieve a perfect balance between burn time and functionality without compromising one factor than the other.
Tunnelling is the worst nightmare that no candle brand including us want to see/hear from our customers. Tunnelling can cause all sort of difficult situations to our candles. Burning problem such as self-extinguishing, candle wick drowning, weak candle flame, you name it, all potential problems somehow correlated to tunnelling one way or another.
Image above is a candle with sufficient time to burn where the top layer of wax is all melted.
Image above is a candle without sufficient time to burn that might cause tunnelling.
There are a few reasons of how tunnelling could happen.
Short burning time
Give your candle sufficient time to burn so that the wax on the surface of the candle is all melted, edge to edge. This is especially important for the first burn.
It is imperative that a suitable wick is used especially If the container candle has a large surface area. Some companies simply increase the width or thickness of the wick or they take a different approach by increasing the number of wicks thus making sure the heat source or sources generate enough heat to melt the top layer of the wax when given enough time.
There is no such thing as which type of wick is better than the others, it really depends on what you are looking for and your personal preference. Having said that, it is important to choose a candle with the right size of wick and get the basic burning technique right to ensure a good candle experience.