Wooden Candle Wicks For Beginners | Candleers Candle Co (2022)

Wooden Candle Wicks For Beginners | Candleers Candle Co (1)

For candle makers, choosing the right candle wicks can make or break your candle-making business. Working with wooden candle wicks may appear to be a difficult thing to do but they are not that difficult, once you understand them.

Making candles with wood wicks is not that different than normal candles. While making any candle, the wax needs to be melted and molded with a wick in it, the difference lies in the type of wick. Choosing a wick, again, is not so easy, but using wooden wicks in the candles follows the same process as in conventional candles.

People use wooden wicks as they look very neat and have crackling properties, i.e. the flame burns with a crackling noise and effect. Candlemakers who use wooden candle wicks in their candles differentiate these candles using an alluring and trendy design as compared to traditional candles made with cotton wicks. You can tell the difference between a wooden wick candle just by looking at the beautiful design of the candle.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about wood wicks, types of wooden wicks, and how wooden wick candles are sized and made. Let’s get started.

Table Of Contents
Overview of Wooden WicksWooden Wick Types And UsesHow To Size Wooden WicksPros And Cons Of Using Wooden WicksWooden Wicks Vs Cotton WicksWhy Are Wooden Wicks Popular?
Frequently Asked QuestionsConclusion

Overview of Wooden Wicks

There is not a difference between wooden wicks and cotton wicks when it comes to how candles work. Besides the fact that one wick is cotton and one wick is wooden. However, wood wicks have gained a lot of popularity in the last decade or so, as more and more candle makers have started making wooden wick candles.

These wicks may come from various trees and sources which may be oak, cherry, maple, birch, rosewood, balsa, or a combination of such woods. The wood used are described in the patent description and have to be used accordingly to make wood wicks. Wood wicks are however of many types. We will discuss the various types of wood wicks in the next section.

Wooden Wick Types and Uses

Based on the type and the amount of the wood that is used to make the wick, wood wicks can be one of the following types:

Types Of Wooden Candle Wicks

  • Single-Ply Wick
  • Whisper
  • Spiral
  • Booster

Let’s take a closer look at these wick types.

Single-Ply Wick

When you think of a candle with a wick made of any other material than cotton, the thinnest version of the material comes to mind. The same goes true for wood wicks. In this type of wood wick, the thinnest strip of wood or ply is used to form the wood wick. A single strip or single-wick is supposed to have the following characteristics:

Characteristics Of A Single-ply Wooden Wick:

  • Crackle
  • Thickness
  • Width

Crackle Type

These wicks would either be of the quiet crackle type when burnt or the loud crackle type. With quiet or loud we refer to the noise that the candle wicks make when burnt. A single-ply wood wick may burn quietly or with a crackle.

(Video) Making Soy Wax Candles with Crackling Wooden Wicks


The single-strip wood wick as mentioned earlier would be of the thinnest dimension. The thickness of the wooden strip usually ranges between 0.02″ and 0.04″.


The width of the single strip is good enough and ranges from 0.375″ and 0.75″.

You may opt for many other custom sizes that may be on the offing.

Single-ply wicks are used for making candles that are made from non-natural waxes such as parasoy, paraffin, or candles made from a blend of coconut and palm wax. Most of the natural waxes do not work well without using a booster strip.

Booster Wick

These wicks are more or less the same as single-ply except for the fact that there is an additional strip of wood running through the middle of the wick. The booster wicks provide a little more of the crackle and the strength that is required for the candle to handle the load of the booster wick. The booster wick is similar to that of the single-ply wick with the difference that there is an extra strip towards the middle of the candle.

Booster wicks are made to make candles made from paraffin and parasoy wax. They are also best for making candles with natural waxes as the booster strip provides the required strength needed for consistent performance.

Spiral Wick

A spiral wooden wick is made by rolling a wooden strip with a hollow core or the center. This is a core-less wick made from wood. These wicks are made and shipped inside tubes that help them retain their spiral shapes.

Spiral wicks are essentially just thin wood sheets that are wrapped up to form a spiral. The only difference between spiral and other wicks is the thickness of the spiral wicks.

When the thickness of the wick is more they burn hotter and brighter and as such these wicks are used in applications where a bright and hot flame is needed.

Now that you know the various types of wicks let us now see how these wicks are sized or can be sized commercially.

Wooden Candle Wicks For Beginners | Candleers Candle Co (2)

How to Size Wooden Wicks

Selecting the right kind of wick for the candle can be done using the following steps:

How To Size Wooden Wicks

(Video) CANDLE MAKING FOR BEGINNERS Pt. 3 | Everything About Wicks + How I Wicked My Candle Jars!

  1. Select three wicks
  2. Testing

Let us look at these steps one by one.

Step 1: Select three wicks

Select the manufacturer suggested wick size and then the wick that is one notch smaller and the wick that is one notch larger. Then make a candle with each one of these wicks in the testing phase.

When it comes to selecting the right size of the wick you will have to first take 3 wicks as per the size guide and requirements of standard wicks. Wooden wick sizing is similar to the cotton wick sizing process.

For a given piece of candle or wax mold, the length will be similar to that of the standard wick made of cotton. The only difference would be on the width and the material. In this case, it would be wood strips with the least thickness in case of single-ply wicks and thick wooden wicks in case of spiral wicks. Once you have determined the right wick size have a few wicks of the size you want as you will be needing it for testing.

Step 2: Testing the Wick.

Testing the wooden wicks in candles is similar to the normal wicks with just one subtle difference. In testing the wick needs to be trimmed about 1/4;” every time it is tested. This is not something that is an absolute requirement or something that is technically required as per ASTM 2417. However, leaving wooden wicks longer would mean a flame too bright.

The best practice is to ensure you keep your flame at a good reasonable height which is around �” which gives the required flame and brightness.

Now that we have seen the sizing of wooden wicks let us point some pros and some cons of wooden wicks.

Pros and Cons of Using Wooden Wicks

Listed below are some of the pros and cons of using wooden wicks which can be as follows:

Pros Of Wooden Wicks

  • Wood wicks make stronger candles.
  • They produce brighter flames and better lighting.
  • Wood wicks can create a good crackle effect.
  • They can be made to burn quietly.
  • Wooden weeks create horizontal flames.
  • They throw heat into the candle thereby throwing the candle fragrances better while burning.
  • Wooden wicks burn your candle slower thereby wooden wick candles last very long.

Cons Of Wooden Wicks

(Video) Wood Wicks for Candle Making | All About Wood Wicks | How to Use Wood Wicks

  • It may be a little difficult to relight the wooden wick candle.
  • Wooden wicks produce a hotter flame.
  • Wooden wicks can extinguish quickly when taken outdoors.
  • Candles with wooden wicks need more maintenance.
  • Wood wicks are rigid and hence are not too versatile.

Having listed the pros and cons, now let us look at the differences between the wooden wicks and the cotton wicks in the next section.

Wooden wicks vs Cotton wicks

Often when talking about candles, it is always a topic of discussion whether the traditional cotton wick candles are the best or wooden wick candles are better than the cotton wicks. The differences and comparisons between the two can be drawn over the following points:

Differences Between Wooden Wicks And Cotton Wicks:

  1. Lighting and Re-lighting
  2. Lighters or Matchsticks
  3. Scent Throw
  4. Maintenance
  5. Length Of Burn

1. Lighting and Re-lighting.

Both the wooden and the cotton wick candles light up easily upon lighting the first time. However, wooden wick candles take two to three tries to re-light a wooden wick candle.

2. Lighters or Matchsticks.

The wooden wick candles are almost impossible to light using matchsticks. That is because they need a little more time to take flame and a matchstick does not have a length good enough to last that long. It is therefore recommended to light up a candle using a stick lighter.

Cotton wicks on the other hand can be lit even with the tiniest of matches. As such they are easier to light with matchsticks as well as lighters.

3. Scent Throw

Wooden wick candles are better when it comes to scented candles. This is due to the fact that the wooden wick warms the area around it better and as such the scent is thrown well in the room without burning the candle quickly. Cotton wicks on the other hand have taller flames that burn the perfume and fragrances quickly from the wax.

4. Maintenance

Wooden wicks need more maintenance than that of their cotton counterparts. It is because of the fact that the flames of a wooden wick may get extinguished as soon as it is lit many times. The wooden wick candle needs some time to settle in before the flame gets stable with a good amount of melted wax all around the container and at its base. Cotton wicks, on the other hand, do not need too much maintenance – you can simply light it and forget it.

5. Which One Burns Longer?

The wooden wick candles are good in terms of the flame as they produce a low smoldering flame, which in turn consumes the candle at a very slow rate and thereby burns really longer. Cotton wick candles on the other hand burn quickly with tall flames.

Why Wooden Wicks are Popular

We have seen in the last two sections that a wooden wick candle is better than a traditional cotton wick candle in many ways. But here are the reasons why wooden wicks are popular than cotton wicks:

Why Wooden Wicks Are Popular

  1. Ambiance
  2. Sustainability
  3. Usability


The wooden wick candles make a delightful crackling noise while burning. It actually gives you the feel of a mini wood fire with a beautiful flickery flame that pierces through all the darkness of a cold winter evening.

(Video) How To Make A Wooden Wick Candle | Luxury Candle Making


The wooden wicks are sourced from a more eco-friendly resource – trees. Obtaining 1 kg of copper needs about 20000 liters of water and a lot of pesticides and hence the wooden wicks are more sustainable than the cotton variants.


The wooden wicks are extremely easy-going once lit. They stand erect and nice through the whole burning process. And the burning itself is slow, even, and steady with an amazing scent throw.

All the above reasons make wooden wicks extremely popular.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to soak wood wicks?

Wood wicks should be soaked in oil before using them in candles. Olive oil is a safe and natural option for soaking your wooden candle wicks. However, some manufacturers sell pre-soaked wooden candle wicks and you do not need to soak those wicks for a second time.

What kind of wood is used for candle wicks?

Balsa wood is the most common wood used for wooden candle wicks. However, other types of wood can be used as well. It is suggested to purchase your wooden wicks from a reputable supplier to make sure you get the best product possible. Take care, lot’s of cheap and unreliable alternatives are available online.

Can I use a toothpick as a candle wick?

You can use a toothpick as a candle wick. Soak the toothpick in olive oil for a short time and then press the toothpick into your candle as close to the wick as you can without damaging it. Trim the toothpick to about 3/8 of an inch and light it and you can use it to help you recover your lost wick.

Can I use a Popsicle stick as a wick?

You can use Popsicle sticks as candle wicks. Soak the Popsicle stick in oil and then use it when making your candle. However, you must size the candle to the Popsicle stick because you cannot size Popsicle sticks to your candle. This means that you may be doing a lot of trial and error to find a combination that burns properly.

Why Do Wooden Wicks Crackle?

(Video) Introduction to Wood Wicks - Candle Making

Wooden candle wicks crackle when they burn because of expanding gases and breaking down cellulose makes pockets of gas that burst open as the wick burns. This is similar to the crackle you get from wood burning in a fireplace or at a campfire, however, it is just on a smaller scale.


In conclusion, if you are a beginner who wants to learn and work with wooden wicks, wooden wicks indeed are a great and more sustainable way of making or lighting your candles. Wooden wicks are better in terms of ambiance, usability, and many other things than cotton wicks.

There may be minor drawbacks or inconsistencies of wood with certain types of wax. Having said that, they work just fine almost all the time. Whether you need them for smaller projects like a romantic evening at your homes or a huge project like a candle-lit restaurant, wooden wicks are always the best.

Wooden Candle Wicks For Beginners | Candleers Candle Co (3)


Do wood wicks need to be soaked in oil? ›

Wooden wicks do not need to be soaked with oil or wax before being used with candles.

How many wicks do you need for a wooden candle? ›

So now you're asking yourself "Okay, but how do I know how many wicks to use?" Well, that's really up to you but we can give you a few guidelines. Typically, you will add 1 wick for every inch after a 3-inch wide container. So, for a 4-inch jar, 2 wicks.

What is the best wax to use with wooden wicks? ›

Soy wax is actually the best type of candle wax to use with wood wicks! It is often recommended to use soy wax with wood wicks by candle suppliers too. And to create the best amount crackle you'll want to choose a fragrance load between 6 and 8 percent.

How long should my wooden wick be? ›

For optimal burn, keep your wood wick trimmed to about ⅛” - this is shorter than you might think the wick should be - around the width of the metal part of a USB drive. You'll also want to clean off any charred bits.

What size wick do I need? ›

Divide your diameter by the number of wicks you intend to use. For example, if you want to wick a 3″ candle with 2 wicks, the answer would be 1.5″ (3″ ÷ 2). Use this number (1.5″ in the example above) as your effective diameter.

How high should a flame be on a wooden wick? ›

Maintain the wick and a length of between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. If the height of the flame exceeds 1 ½ inches or if the candle starts to smoke, blow out the candle, let the wax and wick cooldown. Then, softly run your fingers across the top of the wick to trim it.

Do you need to prep wooden wicks? ›

Remember it is the wax that fuels the flame, the wood or cotton is simply the carrier. We recommend all wicks to be primed.

Should you dip wood wicks in wax? ›

Melt a small amount of wax (we suggest melting the full wax needed for making the candle and pre-waxing the wick prior to adding any of your additives i.e. fragrance oil). Once the wax has melted, dip the wooden wick into the molten wax ensuring that both sides are fully covered.

Do wooden wicks need to be waxed? ›

Wooden wicks should be waxed before use

False. They need to be used as you get them because waxing will not improve their burning. If they burn poorly, you need to look for other reasons: the wick may not be the right size or it may be undercut.

Does it matter how many wicks in a candle? ›

There is no set rule for when a double wick should be used. However, a general guideline is that candles with a diameter of 4" or larger may need a double wick (or triple if preferred).

Are you supposed to burn all 3 wicks at once? ›

For 3-wick candles, you should burn all three wicks the first time, even if you only plan on using one at a time in the future. You want the wax to create an even surface the first time for later burns to follow.

Should you light all 3 wicks at once? ›

#1- The most important thing you need to know for any candle made with 2, 3 or more wicks is that each wick needs to be lit, every single burn. Igniting one wick at a time will not prolong the life of the candle but rather can lead to wick drowning or uneven melt pools.

What oil do you soak wooden wicks in? ›

You can use any type of oil if you are going to use the candles right away. But if you are going to sell them or give them as gifts, choose an oil that will not go rancid quickly. I use fractionated coconut oil because it's liquid and I've never had coconut oil go rancid. Let wicks soak for about 30 minutes.

Do wood wicks burn faster or slower? ›

the life of your candle is another fantastic reason to buy wooden wick candles- they burn slower than regular cotton wicks. simply add a bit of life to your candle by simply choosing a wood wick.

What is the point of wooden wicks? ›

Wooden wicks heat your wax evenly, allowing you to get the most out of your candle. Our wood candle wicks flame equally on all sides, giving you a clean and even burn that is soot-free. All you need to do is trim off the charred part of the wick, and you'll have a bright and clean burn every time.

How long should you burn a Woodwick candle for the first time? ›

Your first burn should last 60 plus minutes so the wax can melt evenly. An uneven wax pool can drown the wick & cause problems lighting it. To preserve longevity of the scent in the candle, do not burn longer than 4 hours at a time.

Why is my wood wick not crackling? ›

If your wooden wick isn't crackling, it's probably not legit! Kind of like a campfire, they have cellulose trapped in the structure of the wick. While it's burning, cellulose transforms into a gas and tries to escape the wood pores.

Can you soak wood wicks in olive oil? ›

When they lit straight away, then stayed lit for hours, and then re-lit after burning with no issue at all, we couldn't believe we'd cracked the proverbial code on "making wood wicks." That's right, a little olive oil soak turned out to be the secret "natural burning agent" treatment that worked for us.

What happens if wick is too long? ›

Wicks that are left long or crooked can cause uneven burning, dripping, flaring and sooting. Trimming wicks will help prolong the life of your candle. Your candles will burn up to 25% longer if you trim the wick every couple of hours.

Why is my wood wick candle flame so high? ›

The most common reason for a tall flame is when the length of your candle wick is too long. You can fix this issue by using a wick trimmer to cut your wick down to 1/4 inch above the solid wax before every burn and once every 4 hours if you like to keep it burning.

How do I know if my wick is too big? ›

It's easy to tell because the flame is too tall and flickers continually. The melt pool is deeper than 1/2 inch, and the wick is producing excess carbon that causes the 'mushrooming' you see on the end of the wick. Wisps of soot can be seen leaving the flame periodically.

What wick is best for candles? ›

Zinc Core Wicks

These are the most commonly used wick type for many types of candles. They may be used for votives, pillars, and in gel candles.

What is the best wick for scented candles? ›

Wood wicks are best for all types of candles: soy, palm, coconut, beeswax, and blends. You can choose from 4 different sizes of wood wicks to meet all your candle making needs here.

What happens if your wick is too short? ›

THE Problem: Why Your Candle Wick Got Too Short

If your candle wick is drowning, that means the size of the wick might be too small for the candle container or the quality of the wick is low. This causes the wick to burn too quickly and “drown” in its own wax pool.

What is the difference between a wood wick and a candle wick? ›

Wooden wicks typically burn lower and smolders over time. This helps warm the wax and release the aroma evenly, as where a cotton wick soaks up the wax and uses it as fuel to burn constantly.

How do you make wood wick candles last longer? ›

To ensure your candles burn clean and last longer, keep the wick trimmed to its original height of 3/16" or 1/4" before each lighting. Wood wicks produce an ashy top and if the ashy top becomes too long, the wick will not light or stay lit. Typically, it's best to remove the ashy top every 1-2 burns.

What happens if you don't trim your wicks? ›

Leaving a wick long means that you'll have a larger flame, which will melt more wax and give the candle more fuel. This larger amount of fuel can lead to incomplete combustion, which in turn creates more soot, making your candle container black and dirty.

Do all wood wicks candles crackle? ›

WoodWick candle wicks are made of wood as opposed to cotton string often used in other types of candles. As a result, the candle emits a crackling sound similar in nature to a fireplace with wood logs, which creates a pleasant and appealing effect.

Do 2 wicks burn faster? ›

After all, with two flames being lit instead of one, 2-wick candles will burn hotter and cause the wax to melt at a faster rate. This results in a slightly shorter burn time compared to single-wick candles.

Do 3 wick candles burn faster? ›

So the bigger the candle, the longer the burn time. But what you probably didn't know—and honestly, it seems counterintuitive—is that a three wick candle in the same exact vessel as a one wick candle will burn slower—not faster.

Are 3 wick candles stronger? ›

Multi-wick candles burn more efficiently than single-wick candles. Aside from the practical benefits, having multiple wicks also yields a brighter flame and stronger scent. This can be beneficial if you're using the candle for light as well as fragrance. Larger candles contain more wax and thus more fragrance.

Should I trim my wick on first burn? ›

So, back to WICKS...the first thing you should do when you buy our candles or any other, is trim the wick before first burn. Trim it about 1/8" above the surface of the wax. Then burn your candle. We burn our candles 2-4 hours each time.

Why should you only burn a candle for 4 hours? ›

If you burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time, carbon will collect on the wick, and your wick will begin to "mushroom." This can cause the wick to become unstable, the flame to get too large, your candle to smoke, and soot to be released into the air and around your candle container.

Do you trim the wick on the first burn? ›

'The first burn is the most important,' say the experts at Yankee Candle. 'Always trim the wick to 3mm (1/8 inches) before lighting and keep it trimmed while burning, this will help to prevent smoking. ' To do this, simply trim the wick every few hours of burn time.

What is the point of 3 wick candles? ›

3 wick candles are large candles that help you ride the stress wave faster. They are normally made up of wax and have three wicks of the same height. They are wider and contain more amount of wax than single wick candles.

Are wooden candle wicks better? ›

The type of wick you use comes down to personal preference. Both wood wicks and cotton wicks do a great job at burning candle wax, keeping your flame aglow, and giving off a good scent throw. If you're a fan of the sound of a fireplace crackling in the background, a wooden wick may be your best option.

How tall should my wood wick be? ›

Make sure your wick is trimmed to 3/16”-1/4” before lighting. If the wick is too long, the wax will not pull up the wick and the wick will extinguish. Like a traditional cotton wicks, wood wicks do require a little attention before each burn.

Do people prefer wooden or cotton wicks? ›

It's the truth; studies show that 94% of people love the sleek concept and timeless look of wood. With 34% of those customers still preferring cotton wicks, they still seemed to be open to testing out the smooth crackling sound from our crackling wooden wicks.

Do wood wick candles burn better? ›

Wood wicks burn slower and longer than cotton wick soy candles, by up to 25%, giving you more bang for your buck.

Why do people like wood wick candles? ›

Wooden wicks heat your wax evenly, allowing you to get the most out of your candle. Our wood candle wicks flame equally on all sides, giving you a clean and even burn that is soot-free. All you need to do is trim off the charred part of the wick, and you'll have a bright and clean burn every time.

Do you need to wax wooden wicks? ›


How low should you cut wooden wicks? ›

keep your wick trimmed. Trim the wooden wick before your first burn to 1/4 inch. Before your next burn, we suggest using candle wick trimmers to trim the wood wick to 1/4 inch again before re-lighting. If the wick is too long, it cannot absorb the wax and burn properly.

What happens when wick is too big? ›

In general, choosing too large a wick will result in excessive flame size and hence a deep burn pool, causing too large a portion of the candle to liquefy, and, in the case of pillar candles, collapse the walls.

How thick should a wooden wick be? ›

Thickness – the thinnest dimension. Ranges from 0.02″ to 0.04″ usually. Width – the flat side of the wick. Ranges from 0.375″ to 0.75″ usually.

What is the advantage of a wooden wick? ›

Wooden wicks are more sustainable than cotton wicks, as thousands of wicks can be found in a single tree. They give off a crackle similar to a fireplace and burn more evenly and cleanly than cotton wicks. Wood wick candles make less soot than conventional wicks.

What is special about WoodWick candles? ›

WoodWick candles have a reputation for burning cleaner than many other candles. They produce a natural smell and do not introduce additional smoke into your living space, that is, if they are used properly. When they are burned correctly, they can last for a very long time and burn without wasting wax.

How long can you burn a wood wick candle? ›

Optimally, WoodWick candles can last for the following number of hours: WoodWick mini candle jar - Approximately 20 hours. WoodWick Hearthwick - Approximately 50 hours. WoodWick medium candle jar - Approximately 60 hours.


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