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Which wick should I pick?

With the temperatures in the area reaching record highs recently (117 degrees in Paso Robles yesterday), all outdoor activity has screeched to a halt, and I've been spending time in my studio testing wicks for new candle scents. Scent, color and different beeswax harvests can mean using different size wicks. If a wick is too small, the candle will tunnel, burning down through the center without the pool of melted wax fully reaching the sides; good for a pillar candle that stands alone, but not for a container candle. If the wick is too large, the flame will dance, possibly smoke, and burn too hot and fast; a potential hazzard.

So my wick test today involved making five candles with the same batch of beeswax and fragrance (lemongrass); the only variation: the wick. Five different wick sizes were used. After an hour, I eliminated two of them, the wicks being too large, and the flames burning too high for the tea light containers they were in. Over the next three hours, I periodically monitored the burn for the remaining three. One burned too weakly, and another mushroomed, leaving me with the one that was just right! Where was Goldilocks when I needed her? She could have saved me four hours of my day!



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