Every time I burn a candle, I have a bit of wax left over.  If I saved the left over wax, I could soon have enough to make a new candle.  This got me to thinking about candlewicks.  So a quick internet search revealed that candlewicks are very available and inexpensive.  You can buy 300 or 400 hundred feet for well under twenty dollars.

There are many types of wicks on the market, so it gets a little confusing as to which to buy.  But consider the following.  Large diameter wicks typically result in a larger flame, a larger pool of melted wax, and the candle burning faster.  Small wicks burn slower, but give less light.  Candlewicks are normally made out of braided cotton, and may contain a stiff core.  Zinc is often used for this core, since lead has been banned. Other core stiffeners are paper and synthetic fibers.

Most candlewicks are impregnated or coated with wax to provide the initial fuel source when the candle is lit.  As the wick is consumed during the process of burning a candle, the real fuel for the flame is the melted wax.

Some wicks are braided flat, so that they curl back into the flame as they burn, thus making them self-consuming.  Many wicks require regular trimming with scissors (or a specialized wick trimmer), usually to about one-quarter inch this promotes slower, steady burning, and also prevents smoking.  Our ancestors had special scissors that were used to trim the excess wick without extinguishing the flame.  .

Candles can be made of paraffin, beeswax (this makes the finest candles), gel (a mixture of resin and mineral oil), some plant waxes (generally palm, carnauba, bayberry, or soybean wax), and tallow.  Tallow candles were one of the earliest types, but are very smoky and don’t burn clean.

The good thing about having stocked candlewick is that it can be used for many different types of homemade lights, from tallow candles to vegetable oil lamps.  I will write a post on how to make your own wicks, but as cheap as they are, I recommend you buy some now.


5 thoughts on “Candlewicks”

  1. Heya Howard,

    Can you share any specific sites you recommend for purchasing candle wicke?

    ~ Sandy Taylor

  2. Be sure that you don’t choose a wick that is so small that it “drowns itself out” in the melt pool. It’s better to go a bit larger than smaller.

  3. on pg. #162 of the Mann Lake summer 2015 catalog web or 800-880-7694, says <1" 4/0 wicking, 1-3" 2/0, 3-4" 60 ply wicking. 100ft 4/0 $3.95, 250ft 4/0 $6.95, 100 ft 2/0 $3.95, 500ft 2/0 $11.95, 100ft 60 ply $5.95, 500 ft 60ply $16.95. always use the correct size wick and keep it trimmed or it will burn too fast and smoke. one nice thing about beeswax candles , no petro chemicals. oh yes, they last longer than petro wax. i have done business with this company for many years with no problems. their wick is good quality. i haven't checked prices at other locations.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get our very best prepping advice delivered to your email box weekly