October 17, 2018
In our continuing blog series about what to look for when buying beeswax candles, I’ll talk about the heart of any candle and that is the wick. As a candle buyer, you won’t have any idea what wick the candle maker used in your candle, but experienced candle makers will take weeks to months searching for the perfect wick for a particular candle. Considering that there are hundreds of wicks to choose from, it is a big task for a candle maker and it’s even more important than where they purchased their wax. You can have the purest, most beautiful smelling beeswax but if you use the wrong wick in the candle, you can ruin or waste that precious wax.
So what can you do as a consumer?
If you find a new candle company that you haven’t bought from before, start by buying a smaller quantity for your first purchase to test them out (gasp! did I just say that?) Yes, we are a candle company and we would LOVE to have you buy huge quantities of candles from us, but as candle junkies ourselves, we know better. Buy the type of candle you normally love and test it out.
Is the wick constantly needing attention? ALL wicks need attention but usually only after an hour or two of burning. If the candle wick keeps creating tall, pointy flames that jump up and down and emit puffs of smoke when there is no air movement around it, that wick is not the best choice for that candle. That candle should not have been sold to you. Now even a great wick will behave like that after several hours of burning and not being trimmed (or if there’s a lot of air movement nearby), so we’re just talking about wicks that misbehave right from the start and continue to misbehave even after trimming. If you are spending more time trimming that wick than enjoying the candle, you may have bought a candle from an inexperienced candle maker, or one that doesn’t do frequent wick testing. Also watch for a weak flame that seems to struggle and not melt the candle out towards the edges.
“Beeswax can be a challenging wax to work with and isn’t generally recommended for first-time candle makers. Finding a wick to work with is difficult.”
Because beeswax is naturally sweet-smelling and doesn’t need artificial fragrances added or other chemicals, many new candle makers think it will be the easiest wax to work with and will start pouring candles. They quickly find out though that since beeswax is not made in a factory with a formula that keeps the wax consistent, that each batch of beeswax will require new wick testing. Always. It’s something that new beeswax candle makers may not understand how important that requirement is to a quality candle. Each batch of beeswax is different and will always burn differently, so a wick that worked for your last batch of wax may not work for the new batch.
As a candle-maker, whenever I see beeswax candles in fun, decorative shapes, my first thought is, “How did they wick this candle?”
If you buy a large heart-shaped candle or any beeswax candle that has significant differences in proportion from one part of the candle to another, there is going to be an issue when burning it. All wicks are made to burn out to a certain radius and the candle-maker must decide which part of the candle they will be selecting a wick for. Hopefully, the candle-maker chooses a wick for the safest part of the candle shape so as not to burn too far out and melt through the sides. Because the wick should only burn far enough to the narrowest part of a candle, a lot of beeswax will go unused when that candle is burned. If you enjoy buying fun candle shapes, just know the limitations of how that candle can burn and expect to have leftover wax. The best performing beeswax candles are always going to be the ones with a uniform, cylindrical shape due to the way wicks work.
There are a lot of beautiful beeswax candles out there just waiting for you to light them up and enjoy, just keep an eye out on the flame (which is fun to do anyway!) and you will discover which types and brands you prefer.
Hope you found something helpful in this blog post to guide you in your future beeswax candle purchases.
Thanks for stopping by!
March 30, 2019
September 28, 2018
September 25, 2018