When you test burn your candle if you discover that your candle flame is too small you should make the wick longer before you light the candle (about 5/8″). You will find that if you have cut your wick too short that it will not give you the correct flame height and as a result you will also not get enough heat to melt the wax. A candle flame should be around 1” high.
However if you find that the flame begins to flicker or that it is too tall you should make the wick shorter before you light the candle. The melt pool is also important when wicking a candle. If you find that your melt pool does not extend to the edge of your candle container you should try burning the candle for up to three to four hours. It may be that you are not giving the candle enough time for the wax to melt properly which is why you should try burning it for longer. It is important to check that you have a 1″ flame.
After your first two test burns if you discover that there is wax left on the sides of your container you should keep testing until it is 1/8″ thick or less. What you will usually find is that during the first test burn a lot of the heat from the candle flame will go straight out of the top of the candle. This will result in not enough heat being generated to make a good melt pool. As the candle burns down allowing the flame to get deeper into the container, you will find that more of the heat stays within the container and as a result can melt off some of the wax on the container sides from your previous test burns.
Sometimes when carrying out a test burn you may discover that your wick is sooting. This can happen because you are using an inferior wax, and/or using the incorrect type or size of candle wick. Sooting can also be caused if you use too much fragrance oil or a poor quality oil to your wax. Sooting is caused if too much dye, fragrance and wax is added to a candle. The wick then pulls up this excessive fuel and fails to burn it cleanly at the flame resulting in sooting.
A candle is properly wicked if:
- The candle flame is about 1″ tall and it does not flicker very much
- The candle wax burns cleanly and does not create soot or smoke
- The candle melt pool is 1/4 – 3/4″ deep
- The candle wax melts evenly across each edge of the container
- When your candle has burnt completely from the top to the bottom and you have clean sides with no wax left on them
Scents Soaps and Candles recommend what wick to use with each candle wax and also have a wick chart to match up against your container size to help you choose the correct wick. We strongly advise you to purchase a sample wick kit first to determine which wick works best for you before you make a lot of candles. Remember to wick up one or two wick sizes if you are using a lot of fragrance oil and dye. If you are not using any dye and are not adding a lot of fragrance oil you should try wicking down a size or two.