In this article, you will learn how to correctly choose the size and type of wick depending on the packaging you choose, as well as the type of wax depending on whether you are making a natural, scented, colored or massage candle. All procedures are only thoroughly tested recommendations - you can of course pair wicks and waxes in other ways, especially if you already have experience with candle making! :) If you're new to making homemade candles, we recommend following this guide on matching and combining waxes, wicks, and wrappers.
You can find other articles and instructions that will certainly help you in making candles and which we advise you to read here:
You can find lots of tips and examples of burning candles on our social networks - especially Instagram, take a look there too. :)
For the sake of completeness, we will add that in this guide we are talking about container candles made from natural waxes.
PACKAGING: materials and tips - correct and safe burning
Candles are burning. This means that the wax, the wick and the packaging will heat up significantly. The packaging must therefore be heat-resistant. Glass, ceramic or aluminum containers work perfectly. Do not use plastic packaging when making candles, and consider wooden or clay (for example, terracotta) containers, which are highly porous and therefore not quite ideal for candles.
Glass containers with thicker walls and bottoms are great, they hold heat well - this will make the candle burn beautifully evenly, but also cool down and solidify during production.
For making candles, we recommend these beautiful dark glass containers in various sizes. We use these throughout the article, and if you're looking for a proven path to successful candle making, we recommend using them as well.
- For smaller candles: 120 ml jar - brown glass with a black lid
- For larger candles: 180 ml jar - brown glass with a black lid
If you are attracted by a material other than glass, you can also try the elegant aluminum packaging for the production of 100 ml candles.
- In gold version: Golden bowl with transparent lid, 100 ml
- In silver version: Silver aluminum bowl with full lid, 100 ml
- In pink-gold variant: Pink aluminum bowl with full lid, 100 ml
PACKAGING: shapes and sizes - essential for choosing a wick
Candles in asymmetrically shaped packages look beautiful, but the same cannot be said about their burning. When choosing packaging, we recommend sticking to regular, symmetrical packaging, preferably with a circular bottom. Slightly conical ones (conically tapering) are perfectly fine and the candles burn very nicely in them, however, if you choose a container whose diameter varies from smaller to larger, you have to count on the fact that the candle will not burn evenly and it is very likely that the wax will not burn all of it = deposits of wasp and the like will remain on the walls of the container.
Indeed, the most important property of the packaging that you must be interested in when choosing a wick is its diameter.
YOU CHOOSE THE SIZE OF THE WICK ACCORDING TO THE DIAMETER OF THE PACKAGING.
The above packages have this diameter:
- The smaller, 120 ml brown glass container has a diameter of approx. 59 mm
- The larger, 180 ml brown glass container has a diameter of approx. 65 mm
- All 100ml aluminum containers have a diameter of approx. 64 mm
In order to show you the production of larger candles, we also reached for a glass cover, the diameter of which is approx. 80 mm (in the photos, it is the only transparent glass).
So in this guide we work with these package sizes. Of course, you can also use other sizes and shapes of containers. But it is necessary to know or measure the diameter of the packaging.
WICKS: types of materials
We have selected the cover, its diameter has been well measured, now it's time to choose the wick.
The first choice we have to make is whether we want to use a cotton wick or a wooden wick. This article will surely help you with this: Which wick to choose when making or buying natural candles? Wood vs. Cotton - Ekokoza.cz.
For beginners or lovers of tradition, we would like to recommend cotton wicks, which do not require so much patience and care when lighting and burning. A poorly chosen wooden wick can cause a lot of pain and even discourage a person from further production. And that would be a shame. Cotton wicks are generally less demanding and somehow more user-friendly.
COTTON WICKS: types and sizes
There are also many cotton wicks. Some burn better in unscented or massage candles, others can handle strongly scented candles and still others intensely colored ones. So now it's time to decide what type of candle I want to make. Based on that, we can best determine the type of wick. (Also here, this is only our recommendation based on testing, you can certainly successfully make a colored scented candle with a wick, which we recommend for rather unscented candles.) :)
STABILO WICKS: for soy candles; delicately perfumed; candles of small and large dimensions
Stabilo wicks are among the best wicks for scented candles. They are widely used by professional manufacturers throughout Europe and the USA. Their huge advantage is the availability in an abundance of sizes - you can fit the Stabilo wick on any package or container size.
Stabilo wicks are coreless, non-directional, flat braided wicks with a special paper fiber woven around them.
It burns excellently in soy wax and mixtures, or even in strongly scented paraffin. We recommend them for the production of unscented or lightly perfumed and lightly colored candles.
Stabilo larger size wicks are unmatched for making large soy candles. So if you want to make a larger soy candle with a cotton wick, then we recommend Stabilo.
Here you will find a breakdown of wick sizes depending on the diameter of the candle:
- Version 2 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 36 mm
- Version 4 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 39-40 mm
- Version 6 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 45-46 mm
- Version 8 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 49-50 mm, approx. 50 ml
- Version 10 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 52 mm
- Version 16 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 59 mm
- Version 18 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 63 mm, approx. 150 ml
- Version 20 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 68 mm
- Version 26 is suitable for soy wax, candle diameter 80-90 mm
All wicks are 100 mm long and reinforced with a thin layer of wax for stability.
Combining in practice:
- 120 ml brown glass packaging + wick Stabilo version 16 + soy wax
- 180 ml brown glass container + wick Stabilo version 18/20 + soy wax
- 100 ml aluminum packaging + wick Stabilo version 18 + soy wax
- Large glass cover (diameter 8-9 cm) + Stabilo 26 wick + soy wax
"V" WICKS: for heavily colored (and scented) candles; colored candles of large and small sizes
Colored scented candles are a pain for many wicks because they do not "tighten" the mixture. The "V" wick was created just for these cases - for strongly colored scented candles based on vegetable or paraffin waxes. The secret lies in the metallized threads woven into the coreless fiber construction. The plated threads act as a catalyst and help break down molecules during the combustion process.
So if you're making a colored and highly scented candle, go for the "V" wick. The "V" wick gets along well with rapeseed wax, which is also ideal for hard dyed and strongly scented candles (up to 12 scent concentration in the wax).
You can find the "V" wick in two sizes:
- Version "V5" wick for smaller candles, diameter approx. 25-35 mm
- Version "V10" wick for larger candles, diameter approx. 55-70 mm
Both versions of wicks are 100 mm long.
Combining in practice:
- 100 ml aluminum (or glass) packaging + V10 wick + rapeseed wax + candle color + scent up to 12%
- The "V10" wick can also handle both of the above-mentioned glass containers (120ml brown glass, 180 ml brown glass)
- Choose "V5" wick in small colored candles
- Scents directly intended for making candles here: Scents for candles - Supplies for making Ekokoza.cz
TB WICKS: for natural scented candles, especially from soy wax mixtures
With perfumed candles, it often happens that the candle burns out too soon or that the wick melts (due to tunnels, etc.) due to the large amount of fragrance that accelerates combustion. When creating scented candles, it is therefore always advisable to choose a wick designed for this type of candle. This can be, for example, a TB wick (or the aforementioned "V" wick). TB wick is made of unbleached cotton and is woven with paper thread.
TB wicks are especially suitable for the production of scented candles from vegetable waxes with a lower melting point - this is, for example, a mixture of coconut and soy wax, which holds scents excellently (8-10%). With a TB wick and a mixture of coconut and soy wax, you can create beautifully velvety cream candles with a very natural look.
You can find the TB wick on Ekokoze currently in version 10:
- TB wick version 10, recommended candle diameter approx. 50-52 mm
(But it didn't work for us and we tried the TB wick in version 10 even in 120ml brown glass containers. And as you can see in the photo, it works. The candle burns evenly, no tunnels are formed, it smells wonderful. However, we cannot recommend this wick for larger diameters. )
Combining in practice:
- 120 ml brown glass + TB wick + coconut-soy wax + fragrance (up to 10%)
COTTON WICKS: for massage and all-natural candles
If you want a completely natural wick, without paraffin or interweaving with paper or metal, reach for untreated traditional cotton wicks. This is 3 meters of wick, which you can cut to the desired length yourself according to your desire, cover it with plastic, prepare it and then use it for container and floor candles. These wicks are especially suitable for the production of natural and/or massage candles - read about them in this article, in which you will also learn how to "prepare" a wick: Valentine's aphrodisiac massage candles - Ekokoza.cz.
WOODEN WICKS: types and sizes
Soft crackling, unique flickering of the flame, magical smell. Candles with a wooden wick can create an incredibly warm atmosphere. However, wooden wicks are much more delicate and demanding than cotton ones. Even with wooden wicks, they behave differently in natural, scented or colored wax. Different amounts of scents or colors, or an inappropriately chosen package size, will affect wooden wicks even more than cotton ones - in short, a wooden wick doesn't burn if it doesn't like something. So be careful when choosing and you will be rewarded with a beautifully burning candle with a wooden wick.
CLASSIC WOODEN WICK: for candles made of vegetable waxes, lightly perfumed; candles with a diameter of approx. 65 mm
Classic wooden wicks with a top are our great love. They are suitable for vegetable waxes, especially soy waxes, they crack gently, they handle a delicate perfume and they are excellent to work with thanks to the plastic.
If you want to make a candle with a wooden wick using soy or coconut-soy wax with no or mild fragrance, go for the classic wooden wick.
You can find this wooden wick in the traditional version with a cover on Ekokoze:
- Wooden wick (thickness 1.016 mm, width 9.525 mm, height 128 mm) suitable for candles with a diameter of approx. 65 mm
Traditional wooden wicks fit perfectly into the 180ml brown glass, in which it burns beautifully.
This wooden wick burns well even in smaller 120ml brown glass and 100ml aluminum.
If you make candles with a diameter larger than about 78 mm, you will probably need to use two wicks (standing next to each other).
TUBULAR WOODEN WICK: for colored candles, strongly scented, various sizes; with a crackling sound effect
Tubular wooden wicks are a great miracle. They combine the best of the world of cotton wicks and the world of wooden wicks. From the world of wooden wicks they take a beautiful natural look and a very audible crackling (the loudest of all wooden wicks), from the world of cotton wicks they take the possibility of being used in different packaging sizes and the possibility of adding a large amount of fragrance and color.
The tubular wooden wick is (mostly) used in combination with a cotton wick with a wick, which is inserted into the wooden tube. Thanks to this combination, an even, stable and constant round flame is created, which burns every time you light it (which does not have to happen with a classic wooden wick).
The tube itself is only available in one size. The correct diameter of the candle (and thus the strength of the perfume and the color) will determine the size of the cotton wick that you slide into the wooden tube. Thanks to the tubular wick, you can create a huge range of sizes and types of candles with a wooden wick (in which a cotton wick is inserted). And that is very unique!
Reach for the tubular wick if you want to create strongly scented, colorful candles of various diameters with a beautiful round flame and sound effect.
Surely you already understand that the tubular wick can handle all the packages we mentioned above. Choose a cotton wick according to their diameter and the type of candle being produced.
* Eco-friendly recommendations for SCENTED or COLORED CANDLES WITH WOODEN WICK = TUBULAR WICK with suitably selected cotton wick + ROPE-COCONUT WAX (or other vegetable) + CANDLE COLOR + FRAGRANCE (up to 10%) + PACKAGING OF DIFFERENT SIZES *
WOODEN CROSS WICK: for large candles, natural and paraffin waxes, richly colored and heavily perfumed
The wooden cross wick is a real powerhouse. It consists of two wooden wicks folded into a cross, thanks to which a strong, round, stable flame is created, which can handle even strongly scented wax or colored wax.
For wooden cross wicks you will find two versions:
- Wooden cross wick 10 x 60 mm (10 mm wide, 60 mm long) for candles with a diameter of approx. 55 mm - 75 mm
- Wooden cross wick 13 x 100 mm (13 mm wide, 100 mm long) for candles with a diameter of approx. 85 mm - 95 mm
According to the legend, you already guess correctly that the cross wick in the 10 x 60 mm version will fit a 100 ml aluminum container or a 120 ml brown glass (180 ml brown glass cannot be filled to the brim with this wick).
Since burning two wicks at once creates a lot of heat, the larger version will be great for majestic large scented or colored candles.
And how do I know that the candle is burning correctly?
You've made a candle, it looks great, but how do you actually know that it's burning well = that you've chosen the right combination of packaging, wick and wax? Like this!
1) Before you light the candle for the first time, cut the wick to about 0.5 cm - wooden wicks can be cut to an even shorter length (I personally cut them to 3 mm, for example), cotton wicks, on the other hand, to a length slightly longer than half a centimeter (0.75 mm ). But half a centimeter is generally recommended for all wicks.
2) Place the candle on a flat, non-flammable surface; make sure that there is no draft in the room at room temperature (it can change the direction of burning, affect the intensity of burning, etc.); light the candle and set the timer for 2 hours.
3) After 2 hours (which is the ideal time to create a sufficient wax pool), examine the candle: look to see if the wax is melted from edge to edge of the wrapper; see what the flame looks like; make sure the candle is not smoking; smell if the smell is intense enough and so on.
What is it supposed to look like? Ideally, after two hours, there is a pool of wax that stretches from edge to edge of the container and is not too deep. So the candle does not form any crater. The candle flame is stable, does not flicker and does not smoke. This is how it should look! :)
When the wick is too SMALL for the container: There is still a lot of unmelted wax around the edges of the candle because the flame is too weak, so it doesn't generate much heat (which is often the reason for the wrong wick trim, not the size per se). Small wicks therefore often form craters.
When the wick is too LARGE for the container: The flame is larger than approx. 2.5 cm (this varies for different candle sizes - for smaller candles the flame length is around a centimeter or so, for large candles the flame length can reach up to 3 cm) or visibly disproportionate to the size of the candle. This causes the wick to smoke, the candle to be hot to the touch, and the wax to wane too quickly.
What to do if it doesn't look ideal? Based on your observations, determine whether you need a larger or smaller wick. Then heat the candle in a water bath to melt the wax, pull out the bad wick and pour the wax into a container of the same size with a larger/smaller wick. Allow to solidify and repeat the burn test.