How to choose the right wicks for your candles

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CD wicks, LX wicks, RRD wicks, Cotton Core, Coreless....what's the difference?  What wick do you need?

Trying to figure out what wick to buy for your candles?  It depends on several factors, mainly, the size of the jar and the type of wax.  If you are using 100% Paraffin wax you probably want to use one of the following types of wicks; zinc core wicks, Heinz coreless wicks (aka. CD wicks), or German Coreless (aka LX wicks).  For natural waxes, gel and crystals you want to look at Wedo (RRD) wicks, Zinc wicks, German Coreless (LX) wicks.  Each of these types of wicks have varying sizes based on the diameter of your candle.

Heinz Coreless wicks (CD wicks); these wick are called coreless because they do not contain a metal core.  A lot of candle supplies will say lead free, but you aren't allowed to sell lead wicks in the U.S. so it isn't really necessary to say.  The type of metal core that you can find in wicks is zinc, which is safe to burn, but some chandlers prefer not to use them because they burn hotter and may cause more black smoke.  These wicks have a flat braid that is rigid enough to be used in pillars as well as containers.  The tip of the wicks bends while burning and practically becomes self-trimming.  They are designed to reduced mushrooming (carbon build up), smoke and soot.  This wick is good for both paraffin and vegetable waxes.  CD3 tealights,CD4 small votives, CD5 votives, CD6 2"-2.5" diameter candles 3.5" length, CD8 2.5" - 3" diameter 4"long, CD10 3"-3.5" diameter 5"long, CD12/CD14/CD16 3.5" - 4" diameter candles, CD18/CD20 4+" diameter candles.  This type of wicks can be purchase pre-tabbed & primed (pre-waxed) and they come in the length I stated above or this type of wicking can be purchased in raw form and you add the tab yourself and cut to desired length.  We carry these pre-tabbed in Our store

German Coreless Wicks (LX wicks); flat braided cotton wick is also called coreless because there is not metal (zinc) core.  It burns hot like a zinc wick and is great for gel wax and crystal wax.  They are designed to reduced mushrooming (carbon build up), smoke and soot.  These wicks also come in a variety of sizes depending on the diameter of your candle.  I don't work with gel or crystal wax so I don't use these or carry these in our store.

Wedo (RRD) wicks; from the makers of the LX wicks they are cotton core braided wicks that burn well in natural waxes, I've been told they also burn well in gel but I've never tested this myself.  The way these wicks are braided it allows the tension in the wick to remain strong and standing in container candles with a slight bend at the top while burning allowing it to practically become self-trimming.  This type of wicks also comes in raw form or primed and pretabbed.  Check Our store for tabbed RRD wicks and wick samplers, which allow you to try several sizes.  RRD34 is for 2" - 2.5" diameter candle including 15hr votives, RRD37 is for 2.25" - 3" diameter candles, RRD40 is for 3" - 3.5" diameter, RRD47 is for 3.5" - 4+" diameter candles.

Zinc core wicks; this is a standard type of wick that works well in just about all container waxes, except palm wax and crystal.  28-24 is for tealight/floater wicks, 44-24-18 is for votive and 1" - 2." diameter candles, 51-32-18 is for 2.5" - 3.5" diameter candles, 60-44-18 is for 3" - 4" diameter candles, and 62-52-18 is for 4"+ diameter candles.

Please note:  there are many other type of wicks; hemp core wicks, htp wicks, square braided wicks, etc. but I am not familiar with those type of wicks.

After choosing what type of wicking you want to use you still have to figure out the size to use for your container or pillar.  The suggestions above are just a reference for you to begin with because the only way to know for sure is to do test burns.

  1. Always test burn your candles to know you are using the proper wick.
  2. If your candle is leaving wax behind in your container you probably need a hotter or larger wick.
  3. If your wick extinguishes itself or the wax pool isn't big enough then you need a hotter or larger wick.
  4. If your wax pool is too deep, your candle is burning too hot (you'll know because you'll have mushrooming and you'll be trimming  your wick frequently) you need to get a cooler burning or smaller wick.
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