The Differences in Candle Wicks

By Alia Nikolakopulos
The melt pool and heat from a candle depend on the wick used.

The differences between candle wicks can be in categories of braiding, core and size. Choosing the right wick will have a direct impact on the successful function of a candle. Size variations in wicks are considered based on the diameter of the candle: the larger the diameter of the candle, the larger the wick should be. A proper sized wick promotes even burning of the candle.

Zinc Core Wicks

Zinc cores are the most commonly used candle wick due to the versatility rendered by the inner metal wire. The wick is able to stand up straight while the candle mold is being poured and melts gel and wax mediums consistently. The zinc core wick comes in several sizes making them an option for any size candle.

Square Braid Wicks

Square braided wicks have open construction, allowing more heat to radiate freely from the wick. This type of braid construction is often used in thick waxes that require more heat to melt such as beeswax, paraffin and soy. Square braid wicks often curl when burning so it is necessary to trim these wicks to maintain even melting of the candle.

Flat Braid Wicks

Flat braided wicks are used frequently in a pillar, taper or other free standing candle. This type of wick burns more evenly and reduces carbon buildup at the top of the candle. Smoke and soot should be reduced with a flat braid wick.

Wood Wicks

Wood wicks are the newest type of wick on the market. These wicks are made out of hard or soft wood and some are made using a combination of both types of wood. The soft wood produces wider flames and the hard wood maintains higher heat. The wicks may be treated with a solution to aid lighting properties. Wood wicks can be used in most waxes and candle sizes.

About the Author

With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.