How to Make a Candle Wick

Wicks are an essential part of making candles and while there are commercial-made wicks available in the market, there’s nothing more satisfying than making your own. If you’re making candles at home, then your choice of wick is just as important as your wax, scent, dye, and other important materials.

Moreover, a DIY candle wick also gives you the flexibility to create custom wicks that match specialty candles you may be making, such as different size candles, different containers, and more.

How to Choose a Candle Wick

You can use a regular cotton twine for your candle wick, or you can also use wood. You can use cotton twine or cord on its own, or you can soak it in different materials such as oil, salt, or you can also make a Borax solution, which is the most recommended.

When choosing your candle wick, you should look for the following:

  • Consistent flame size
  • Minimal or no blooming of carbon deposits
  • Minimal or no dripping
  • Consistent moderate container temperature

Borax-treated candle wicks are the most conventional of all kinds of wicks to use for your candle, but of course, if you can’t make Borax solution on your own, you have the option of using other materials for your wick.

How to Make a Cotton Candle Wick

Before we proceed on making our Borax solution, here are simple ways you can use a cotton candle wick for your DIY candle:

Prepare the following:

  • 100% cotton string
  • Scissors
  • Vegetable oil and salt

Use 100% cotton string or twine and make sure they are free from any dye and other chemicals. You can also use other materials, such as linen, hemp, and jute. Do not use wool as this fiber is naturally fire-retardant.

Vegetable Oil

You can use any vegetable oil and soak your cotton string in it for 20 minutes to 1 hour. After, hang your oil-coated wick using a clothespin on a hanger, or anywhere where you can hang it to dry. Use your oil-coated wick after 24 hours. Oil-soaked cotton wicks will burn slower compared to regular cotton wicks that haven’t been coated.

Salt Solution

Place your cotton wick inside a pot and cover them with water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Remove the wick from the boiled water and dry overnight. Salt stiffens the cotton strings and makes for simple cotton wicks for candles.

Borax Solution for Your Candle Wick

As mentioned earlier, cotton wicks that have been soaked in borax are the most conventional kind of candle wicks. It also makes the candle burn longer and brighter, and it can reduce the amount of ash and smoke produced by the wick.

It must be noted that Borax powder can be toxic when inhaled or ingested so please keep it away from pets and children. Borax strengthens the cotton string and kelps keep it burning steadily, which are the most ideal characteristics of a candle wick.

Borax is also known as sodium tetraborate and it’s a common household item that you can find in any grocery store. If you’re unfamiliar with borax, it’s almost the same as baking soda but it’s mostly used as a cleaner. You can find borax powder in the laundry aisle of a supermarket.

Let’s get started with our Borax solution for cotton wicks:

  • 1.Heat Water

Heat 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Let it simmer but do not bring it to a boil.

  • 2.Dissolve Borax and Salt in the Water

Pour the hot water into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 3 tablespoons of Borax powder. Stir until completely dissolved.

  • 3.Soak Cotton String in the Solution

Soak your cotton strings in the solution for the last 24 hours.

  • 4.Dry the Cotton String

Using tweezers, remove the cotton string from the Borax solution. Hang it and let it dry for 2 to 3 days. To use the Borax-soaked candle wicks, they must be completely dry, and thus, the long drying period.

Adding Wax Coating

You can use your Borax-soaked candle wicks, or you can also add wax to coat the wicks for better performance. Candle wax can make the wick stiffer and easier to handle. They will also make it easier for the flame to catch on the end of the wick.

Here are the steps to making your wax-coated candle wick:

Step 1: Melt wax in a double boiler. You can melt anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup candle wax.

Step 2: Dip the Borax-soaked candle wick in the wax. Coat as much wax on the wick as possible.

Step 3: Dry the wick. Dip your wick into the wax at least two times to hold a thick coating. The wick should feel thick while still retaining flexibility.

Wooden Candle Wick

You can use balsa wood sticks as candle wicks. Balsa wood sticks can be purchased from any craft store. Here is how you can make your very own candle wooden wick:

1.Trim down the length of the stick and make sure it is at least 1″ taller than the container of your candle. Use balsa wooden sticks that are at least 1/2 to 1 `/2” wide.

2.Soak the wooden stick in live oil anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Olive oil will allow the fire to catch quicker and burn more easily. Olive oil also burns cleanly.

3.Dry your wooden wicks by placing them on a plate that is covered with paper towels. Make sure the wooden wick is dry when you use it on your candle.

4,Attach a wick tab to the base of the wick. Pry open a metal wick tab and push the end of the wood into the opening. The wick tab will hold the wood firmly in place as it sits in the melted wax.

If you want a unique candle, balsa wooden sticks add that woody scent to your candle as it burns. It also must be noted that when the wooden wick burns, it would occasionally make a cracking sound, which adds another unique quality to your candle.

Important Tips to Making Your Own Candle Wick at Home

  • If you have smaller candles, you can use thinner wicks, and if you have larger candles, you can use thicker wicks.
  • If the string is too thin, you can braid together 3 or 4 songs to make your cotton wick.
  • Making your own wicks can be like making your own candles, they require some trial and error, so be patient and take your time.
  • Thin candles such as taper candles, tea lights, and thin pillars can do with single-strand wicks.