Wooden Candle Wicks – A Crackling Choice

If you are a lover of all things candle related, you will know that wooden wicks have recently increased in popularity. They are still a fairly new trend and for this reason, can be harder to source online. However, that search is so worth its time once you have the little delights burning away in front of you.

Today we explore wooden candle wicks in all their finer glory. We talk about the crackling sounds they make, to the reason they make your scented candles more scented. Cotton wicks still very much have their place in the candle world. However, wooden wicks give candles a unique and modern feel to them. A bit pricier indeed, but for very good reasons.

Many people purchase wooden wick candles for their unique and mesmerizing crackling experience. Combined with the horizontal flame, you get quite the treat opting for these modern and eco-friendly candles. You are less likely to have unused wax and they burn cleaner and longer than other types.

Are Wooden Candle Wicks Better?

First things first then, what makes people opt for wooden candle wicks over other types? Many candle lovers love the sustainability of wood wicks. They do not have a knock-on effect on the environment in the same way cotton wicks do. One tree can provide thousands of wicks and it isn’t at the detriment of water sources. Cotton plants are having a huge impact on rivers and wetland areas.

They also burn slower which means you get to enjoy your candle for longer.  They also produce a more even burn meaning the wax stays level. You do not get as much debris left behind and less smoke is produced too.

One of the main reasons these wicks are sought after is the crackling sound they make when lit. Imagine being indoors on a chilly evening, wrapped up in a blanket with your favorite candle. Now imagine that candle sounds like a fireplace. It is this uniqueness that people want when they purchase wooden wick candles.

The frame produced is broader thanks to the shape of the wick too. This gives it a modern vibe which you don’t achieve with other wicks. When you envisage a broad flame lighting up your room along with the fireplace sounds, it is easy to fall in love with them.

What is the Point of a Wood Wick Candle?

To put it succinctly, anyone motivated in being eco-friendly should research wood-wick candles. They take much fewer resources to make and do not have a knock-on effect on important water sources. They also burn cleaner, with less smoke being poured out, meaning you get a toxin-free experience. If you suffer from asthma or other respiratory disorders then you will benefit from making the switch.

We also need to discuss scented candles here. We all love scented candles, right? Sometimes though, it can feel like you don’t get the full strength you expected from yours. Or, it seems to become less and less prominent with every burn. When you choose a scented candle with a wood wick, you instantly smell the benefits.

There are several reasons why the scent is more prevalent when using wood wicks. Firstly, with a proper trim, they do not pour out excess smoke so you only smell the candle scent. With cotton wick candles, you often get that mushroom effect on the tip which can make smoke override the scent. Also, you get an extremely even burn using wood. This means it burns for longer with no wax going to waste.

Do Wooden Wicks need to be Soaked?

If you are looking for a natural burn, then again, wood is your friend. Wooden wicks do not need to be soaked before use. When you buy cotton wicks, they are often pre-soaked in oil, ready to burn. This means they aren’t a 100% clean burn in the same way the wood is. This can cause problems with larger, pillar-type candles. Wooden wicks are far safer to use on larger candles due to the even burn effect.

We also need to discuss the horizontal flame you get from a wood wick. It is so unique compared to other types. Not only do you enjoy the flame burning cleanly thanks to no prior soaking, but you also get the unique style of flame. These all-natural wicks provide you with a flame not dissimilar to a campfire, but without the smoke!

When individuals talk about wood wicks being cleaner, this isn’t just about how they burn. Yes, they do offer a clean burn. By this, we mean you aren’t breathing in any unnecessary fumes. However, even before you get to the point of lighting your candle, the wick is clean. You buy these wicks untreated from the offset. From the process of harvesting the wood to burning them in your candle, it is a clean and pesticide-free journey.

What are the Best Wood Wicks to use for Candles?

Should you be slightly perplexed by the notion of wood wicks and which to choose, hang in there. It isn’t as mind-blowing as it seems, we promise! Cotton wicks have been around for a very long time and wood wicks have only gained in popularity over recent years. Many people don’t know enough about them to make an educated purchase. This is understandable as there are many varieties online.

We aim to provide information on the best wood wicks to use for candles in an easy-to-read guide. Below, we include the types you will come across online and a little about each variety. From this list, you should be able to choose the type that suits your needs best.

  • Flat Wicks (single ply): This is the one that comes to most people’s minds when we talk about a wooden wick. It is a single piece of wood with differing width measurements. You can get a quiet crackle or a loud crackle flat wick. These wicks are best suited to candles that use non-natural waxes such as paraffin and palm wax.
  • Booster Wicks: These are similar to the single-ply in the way they work but they have a double strip of wood. These tend to be used when you are using them in candles that are natural as they perform at a stronger level.
  • Spiral Wicks: This wick is made from wood and then folded into a spiral shape. These are particularly useful in larger candles and their containers. This helps to achieve that even burn you expect from your wood wick. Due to them being quite inconsistent in design, you may not always achieve the perfect burning candle.

Wooden wicks come from a variety of trees, including:

  • Cherry
  • Oak
  • Balsa
  • Rosewood
  • Maple
  • Birch

Should you Dip Wood Wicks in Wax?

When making your wooden wick candle, you will want to dip it in the wax before using the candle. This extra step helps to achieve the perfect burn once your candle is ready. It is an easy process to follow and allows you to get the most out of your candle. Should you be aiming for a completely natural candle, then choose your wax accordingly.

Follow our steps below to dip your wood wick in wax:

  1. Put everything you need on a table so it is all to hand when required. This includes candle containers, wax, and wooden wicks. You will also need something such as a jar to lay the wicks over once you have dipped them.
  2. You can then melt your wax, ready for your candles.
  3. When the wax has fully melted, you can then dip the wood in them.
  4. Pop them on top of the jar so that the wax can cool.
  5. You can then carry on with the rest of the candle-making.
  6. Don’t forget to trim your wick before its first burn.

How Long do Wood Wicks Last?

Wooden wick candles do have a longer burn time than the more traditional cotton variety. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you get the optimal burn time possible for your candle type. Taking shortcuts or failing to read the instructions will reduce the length of time your candle will burn. It can also mean you end up with wasted wax.

All candles come with instructions for use and they are there for a very good reason. Experienced people have made these candles yet the purchaser may not understand the techniques involved. This is to be expected – after all, how many of us have received a candle as a gift and simply lit it straight away? However, those instructions will ensure you take good care of the candle which, in turn, increases its lifespan.

There is a certain length of time you should burn your wood wick when it is first used. This is to allow the wax to melt to the edges of the container to ensure none is wasted. This means you will get the full potential of the burn time. Blowing it out before the recommended time will mean you don’t achieve that even burn. Most candles suggest burning for 3 to 4 hours each time.

You should also take good care of the wooden wick itself. This involves trimming it before the first burn and after each burn thereafter. You should aim to trim your wick to ⅛ of an inch each time it is cut. Once you have trimmed the end off, do not leave it sitting on the wax.

By carrying out all the above, your candles will burn for longer. Small candles can burn for a maximum of 20 hours and the very big ones have the potential to burn for a staggering 130 hours. This goes to show why they are worth paying those extra few dollars for.

Why won’t my Wood Wick Stay Lit?

So, you’ve lit your candle, grabbed your book, and before you’ve finished page 1 the candle has gone out again. What’s going on, why won’t it stay lit? First of all, check the location of your candle. If it is near a draught or breeze, you may wish to move it somewhere else.

You should next check the length of the wick if it is too long it will not burn properly. Trim it down and try again. Also, check the end of the wick for any signs of charred wood as this can also cause the flame to go out.

It can also be down to how the wax has melted. As we now understand, that first burn is very important. It sets the precedence for all future burns. Cutting that first burn short can affect the rest of the candle’s life. If your wax has tunneled down, leaving unused wax around the sides then your wick will have trouble staying lit.

Why do Wood Wick Candles Crackle?

One of the biggest pulls toward these wood wicks is the crackling sounds they give off while burning. It’s unique, modern, and mesmerizing to watch, and the sounds add to the overall experience. But, how do they crackle, and what causes it? Of course, we have the answer for you.

We need to get a little scientific to answer this question but don’t worry, it is intriguing nonetheless. A wooden wick comes from softer forms of wood. Before they are ready for purchase, they are dried out, getting rid of any excess moisture. However, with this leaves some small pools of water – these are tiny but important.

As well as the wood burning once the candle is lit, those tiny pools of water also boil. This causes steam, which causes the flames to make crackling sounds. How much of a crackle you achieve will depend on the type of wick you use. You can get loud crackles or quieter ones, depending on your preferences. Also, it comes down to the type of wax you are using.

The type of candle it is will also impact the crackling sounds. Any oils or scents in the wax have their own set of flashpoints which means they contribute to the authentic noises you hear. Also ensuring you have the correct size of wick for the candle will optimize its use.