Wooden wicks provide a unique experience when used in candles. Just like with cotton wicks, they need maintenance in order to perform at their best. The care for a wooden wick, however, is somewhat different from that of a cotton wick.
It's important to always keep your wooden wick trimmed to around 1/8", which is shorter than you might think. You'll want to knock off any ash from the tip of your wick before relighting, and ensure you have a full melt pool before blowing out your candle.
Here are some other tips.
Make Your First Burn Count
The first burn of your wood wick is the most important in determining how well the wick will perform for the rest of the candle's life. Give your candle enough time to create an even wax pool across the breadth of the candle before blowing it out. This will take between one-to-two hours.
Candle wax has a memory. If you don’t allow a full melt pool to form, it can tunnel. And when you burn it again, it may continue to tunnel even when allowed to burn for a long time. Burning the candle until you have an even wax pool every time, but especially the first time, is the key to a long-lasting candle that is relatively problem-free.
Keep Your Wick Trimmed
Just like a cotton wick, wooden wicks need to be trimmed in order to perform at their best. Keep the wick trimmed between 1/8” and 3/16” so the wax can be drawn up the wick properly. If the wick is too long, it may not be able to draw the wax and the result will be a poor flame.
Knock Ash Off Your Wood Wick
As your wood wick burns, a small amount of ash will build up on the top of the wick. This needs to be knocked off after the candle is cool for the best burn. If your flame is burning low or not burning well, ash build-up may be the problem. It's also important to keep debris out of the candle itself. Make sure to remove ash from the candle before relighting.
Be Patient with Lighting
Wooden wicks can take longer to catch than other candles. Hold the match or lighter to the wick for several seconds to help it catch.
Leave Some Wax on the Bottom
It's normal for there to be a small amount of wax left in the bottom of the candle. Your candle is finished when the wick clip is visible beneath the wax. It’s normal to have up to ½” of wax leftover.
Wooden candle wicks have a lot to offer to candle lovers. The soft crackling sounds provide a pleasant auditory accompaniment to the soft glow of the candle. They are also clean-burning and environmentally friendly. If you have never tried a wooden wick candle or are concerned about some of their flaws, following these pointers will make your next experience a good one.