When making gel candles, you may be wondering if wood wicks can be used. There are different types of wicks that can be used in candles, so choosing the right material for the wick to create an efficient candle is important. In this article, we will discuss gel candles and what wicks are best to use.
You can use wood wicks in gel candles however they are not the best type of wick to use as they burn too fast for a slow-burning gel candle. The best wicks to use in gel candles are zinc core wicks, as they can stand up straight in the hot gel during manufacturing and burning.
Gel-based candles require some care and specific materials when making the candles. Let’s explore the different aspects of gel candles and the different wick options that are available to use.e wick. Wood wicks are designed for natural waxes and not gel, and wood wicks burn too fast for a slow-burning gel candle.
Why Wood Wicks Are Not Good For Gel Candles
Let’s explore why wood wicks are not suitable for use in gel candles.
They Were Not Made For Gel Wax
Wood wicks were not made to be used in gel wax. Wood wicks were designed to be a natural wick option to be used in natural waxes such as soy. They were to be an eco-friendly product for those that wanted a fully natural candle.
Gel Wax Is Slow Burning
Gel wax is a slow-burning wax therefore, placing a fast-burning wood wick in it will not enable you to use the whole candle. The wood wick will burn up and stop you from using the candle further as there is nothing to light. Only long-lasting wicks will be suitable for gel wax candles.
Wicks used in gel wax need to be durable and long-lasting, so a wood wick will not meet that criteria.
Brands Using Wood Wicks In Gel Candles
There are a limited number of brands that use wood wicks in their gel candles because, ultimately, they are not suitable. However, there are some people who are doing this but they are amateur candle makers. Let’s explore a few of them.
- KarmaKandlez is a brand on Etsy that sells gel candles with wood wicks. However, there is a review for that product that says that the candle would not stay lit.
- IRAMA Soul is another brand on Etsy that creates a range of candles but the gel-based candles with wood wicks do not have any reviews.
- DayNa Decker is a candle brand that used to sell gel candles with wood wicks, but it seems they no longer exist.
By looking at the brands that have used gel wax and wood wicks together, we can see that they are not hugely popular. A reason for this could be because expert candle makers know that wood wicks are not compatible with gel wax.
Wicks To Use In Gel Candles
You can use wood wicks in gel candles but they were not designed for this type of candle, and are best used in natural waxes. Wood wicks burn fast, therefore are not suitable for a slow-burning gel candle.
The Best Wicks To Use In Gel Candles
The best wicks to use in gel candles are zinc core wicks. These wicks are also best for paraffin candles but should be avoided in natural waxes. Zinc core wicks are cooler burning and assist the gel candle in being long-lasting.
It is recommended that when making gel candles you do not buy pre-tabbed wicks. This is due to many pre-tabbed wicks having a coat of wax on them which can melt off during the pouring process and cause the gel to appear cloudy.
However, you can buy wicks that are impregnated with wax and not coated, which would be a better option, you will just need to add your own tab.
It is recommended to use a longer neck wick tab, such as a 6mm-10mm to avoid the flame getting too close to the candle vessel, especially if it is glass.
The wick you choose when making a candle is important, as it can affect the outcome of the candle. The type of wax used, the type of wick, the candle vessel, and the process of making the candle will determine how well the candle burns and how long it lasts.
Below is a table showing the recommended zinc wick size for the candle vessel size.
Zinc Wick Size Guide For Candle Vessel
|Wick Sizes (mm)||Vessel Diameter (Inches)|
|44 mm||3 ½ ″|
The size guide in this table can assist you in picking the right wick size for your candle vessel so the candle works efficiently, and so it is safe to use.
Gel candles are made out of polymer resin and mineral oil. They can create beautiful transparent-looking candles and can give off 40% more light compared to wax candles.
You can make your own gel or buy pre-made gel for your candles. Gel candles are great if you want to be creative and place decorative items in them. You can put in non-flammable items such as stones, seashells, ceramic or glass figures, and more!
When choosing a vessel for your gel candle, you want to ensure the opening is more than two inches wide and avoid any vessels that are or have wood and plastic on them.
Five Things To Look For In A Candle Wick
Here are five things you want out of a candle wick:
- A Long Burn Time
Having a candle that lasts a long time is preferable, so you don’t have to constantly buy new candles. Gel candles will burn twice as long as paraffin wax candles therefore, the right wick will need to support this.
- A Consistent Flame
You want a candle with a steady flame that doesn’t self-extinguish. It is important that you cut the wick regularly, so it is not too long, as this can cause the wick to smoke and curl over.
- A Small Flame
You want a candle that produces a small flame that is safe. You do not want a large, uncontrollable flame that could be dangerous in your candle. Ensure the wick is trimmed less than a quarter-inch above the gel surface to avoid large flickering flames.
- An Even Melt Pool
You want the candle to melt the gel or wax evenly throughout the whole candle. Since gel candles are long-lasting, they will need a larger wick to be placed in the center of the candle.
- A Moderate Temperature
You want the candle to be at a moderate temperature to avoid the candle vessel breaking or causing a hazardous situation.
From this list, we can see that zinc core wicks in a gel candle will provide an optimal and efficient candle.
Step-by-step Process Of Making a Gel Candle
If you want to know how to make your own gel candle at home, here is the general process:
- Mix and blend your ingredients into the gel at 203 – 221°F
- Pour the gel into your candle vessel which has the wick attached at 185-203 °F
- Allow the bubbles to reduce at 167-185°F
- Allow the gel to stiffen at 140-167°F
- Allow the candle to sit in direct sunlight or in the oven at 131-158°F to allow any bubbles to be reduced.
Simple Gel Candle Making Tips
- Do not use the microwave to melt gel, as it does not ensure that it melts evenly.
- Using a thermometer is ideal, so you know the accurate temperature.
- Pour the gel into the vessel on a flat, even surface.
- Use metal spoons when you need them and avoid using wooden spoons, as wooden objects can cause bubbles to form.
- If you notice bubbles forming on the surface of the candle, you can use a heat gun to remove them.
- Do not put wood, silk flowers, cinnamon sticks, sugar, or potpourri into your gel candle, as it is not safe to do so.
- If you are adding objects to your gel candle, first dip them into the gel and then take them out and allow them to cool. This can help prevent unwanted bubbles in the candle.
- If you are adding fragrance to your gel candle, make sure the oil has a flashpoint of 170° or higher to ensure it is safe to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Different Grades Of Gel Are There?
There are different grades or densities of gel – high grade, medium grade, and low grade. The higher the grade, the more stiff the gel is and it can handle more fragrance. The most popular grade to use is medium grade.
Can I Put Fragrance In My Gel Candle?
You can put fragrance in your gel candle but ensure you get a fragrance oil that is suitable and specially made for gel candles to ensure it is safe.
How Do I Get Rid Of Bubbles In My Gel Candle?
When making gel candles, it is common to have bubbles form in the gel. If you do not want to have bubbles in your gel, you want to ensure you heat or warm the glass vessel and pour the gel gently down the side of the vessel – just like pouring a beer!
To conclude, you can use wood wicks in gel candles, but it will not be as efficient as using a zinc core wick. Wood wicks are designed for natural waxes and not gel, and wood wicks burn too fast for a slow-burning gel candle.