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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi! Am new to making candles with beeswax. Have read quite a lot on it, but head knowledge and experience are obviously different!

I bought sample square braided wicks from "let it shine", and tried them

1) Tealights : #5/0 wick. Did work well and burned almost all the wax eventually.

2) 2.75" container : #2 wick. Noticed sooting after 30mins. Distinguished flame and trimmed wick to 1/4", sooting again after 30mins. Started tunnelling with wax pool of 1.25" (diameter) only.

3) 3" container : #2 wick. Exactly the same thing happened as with the 2.75" container.

Sooting means wick is too large, but tunnelling means wick is too small. I'm getting conflicting situations in 1 candle here! Pls help!

Thanks in advance!
 

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Beeswax needs to be REALLY REALLY clean in order to burn properly. Could sooting be an artifact of dirty wax? No matter how clean our wax looks, we filter it through 5 micron cloth before pouring into molds. Any little bits of dust and dirt can cause wick issues.
Might not be the situation in your case but it is the first thing that comes to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Beeswax needs to be REALLY REALLY clean in order to burn properly. Could sooting be an artifact of dirty wax? No matter how clean our wax looks, we filter it through 5 micron cloth before pouring into molds. Any little bits of dust and dirt can cause wick issues.
Might not be the situation in your case but it is the first thing that comes to mind.

i bought 100% pure beeswax pellets from NaturalApiary.com and Beeswaxfrombeekeepers.com . 1 tried 1 on each of the containers that i mentioned in my original post, and both had the same result.

Should I still filter those melted pellets through a cloth?
 

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Sounds to me like the wick is too small. I use 2/0 wicks in tealights and get a complete burn with no issues. I use 60 ply wicks in 3" pillars and they work excellent.

Usually the problem with wick sizing is that the info that's out there isn't for beeswax which normally takes a larger wick than other types of wax. The Mann Lake catalog has recommended wick sizes for beeswax for every size candle mold they sell and I've never had issues with their sizing. I have found that the same size and material wick from different suppliers won't burn the same.

Container candles are a special challenge with beeswax. It's hard to find a wick size that will give you a puddle as wide as the container without being too big and smoky. It's often easier to use two or even three smaller wicks instead of one large one. A lot of people add a little coconut oil to the beeswax. That makes it a lot more forgiving - but then the candles are no longer pure beeswax. It usually takes a lot of trial and error to find a combination that works well.
 

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Bee Culture had a very good article on wic sizes a few years back. It's worth a read: http://www.beeculture.com/the-right-size-wick/

Their chart of wick sizes really works for CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN wax. I'm lazy and don't get it that clean, so I have to go up a wick size or two to get the right burn rate. It creates a little extra soot, but it works for me. Rather than a 60 ply wick, I use a #4 (http://www.honeybee.com.au/Graphics/WickS.JPG) on a 3" pillar.

But keep in mind that not all wick sizes between companies are created equal. It depends largely on the materials. Flat braid, square braid, eco cotton, pure cotton, zinc core . . . they all burn differently. One manufacturer's #4 works great on my 3" pillar, while another manufacturer's 60 ply would be fine, and another's #5 would be ideal. It all depends. Trial and error.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds to me like the wick is too small. I use 2/0 wicks in tealights and get a complete burn with no issues. I use 60 ply wicks in 3" pillars and they work excellent.

Usually the problem with wick sizing is that the info that's out there isn't for beeswax which normally takes a larger wick than other types of wax. The Mann Lake catalog has recommended wick sizes for beeswax for every size candle mold they sell and I've never had issues with their sizing. I have found that the same size and material wick from different suppliers won't burn the same.

Container candles are a special challenge with beeswax. It's hard to find a wick size that will give you a puddle as wide as the container without being too big and smoky. It's often easier to use two or even three smaller wicks instead of one large one. A lot of people add a little coconut oil to the beeswax. That makes it a lot more forgiving - but then the candles are no longer pure beeswax. It usually takes a lot of trial and error to find a combination that works well.
Yea, i felt the wick might be too small, but if i go up 1 wick size, would that cause even more sooting within 30mins? That defeats the whole purpose of clean burning n purifying the air!

2 or 3 wicks sounds like a good idea. I just still can't figure why they smoke in 30mins though, even though the wick is still pretty short.

I saw Mann Lake's website, they only have 3 wick sizes? That might not work for my various sizes containers.. :/
I quite like their moulds but they are so expensive! Especially when i need to buy a few of each mould for business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bee Culture had a very good article on wic sizes a few years back. It's worth a read: http://www.beeculture.com/the-right-size-wick/

Their chart of wick sizes really works for CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN wax. I'm lazy and don't get it that clean, so I have to go up a wick size or two to get the right burn rate. It creates a little extra soot, but it works for me. Rather than a 60 ply wick, I use a #4 (http://www.honeybee.com.au/Graphics/WickS.JPG) on a 3" pillar.

But keep in mind that not all wick sizes between companies are created equal. It depends largely on the materials. Flat braid, square braid, eco cotton, pure cotton, zinc core . . . they all burn differently. One manufacturer's #4 works great on my 3" pillar, while another manufacturer's 60 ply would be fine, and another's #5 would be ideal. It all depends. Trial and error.

Thank u for the link! I had read that when i was scouring through this forum for wick answers too. But like u said, im not even 100% sure if my wicks are the same size as what they mentioned.

Where do you all buy your wicks?

Sooting is not good right?

Anyone has tried organic hemp wicks on beeswax?

Im not in the usa, so am now trying to consolidate wicks in 1 shipment to ship over and trial them.

Thank you everyone for your help!
 

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Yea, i felt the wick might be too small, but if i go up 1 wick size, would that cause even more sooting within 30mins? That defeats the whole purpose of clean burning n purifying the air!
I'd suggest moving up one wick size, cleaning the wax considerably through a small micron filter, and doing another sample burn.

The source of your wax determines alot of the sooting issues. No one on here likely uses the same wax, sourced from the same location as you. Who knows whats in your wax (either chemicals, wood fibers, propolis, pollen, honey, ect.).

I quite like their moulds but they are so expensive! Especially when i need to buy a few of each mould for business.
That's the barrier to entry in the candle business: cost of the molds, costs of repeated burn tests. It's a weighing.
 

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One issue I had with tunneling and was mostly corrected by not having the wick so pulled tight during the pour. I work the wick so the fibers are expanded and loose when it is in the mold. On tall molds, pull an excess amount of wick through the mold, loosen the strands on the wick and then pull the excess back through the mold and loosely tie the wick to center it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd suggest moving up one wick size, cleaning the wax considerably through a small micron filter, and doing another sample burn.

The source of your wax determines alot of the sooting issues. No one on here likely uses the same wax, sourced from the same location as you. Who knows whats in your wax (either chemicals, wood fibers, propolis, pollen, honey, ect.).



That's the barrier to entry in the candle business: cost of the molds, costs of repeated burn tests. It's a weighing.

i tried using coffee filter to filter the wax and just after like 10 seconds of slow filtering, the wax touching the filter started solidifying.. =/
i up the wick size to the next bigger one i had from the wick sample (from #2 to #5. hope it's not too big) just to see how it goes. have bought another fuller range of sample wicks from another company.

question: for the first burn, do we have to trim to 1/4" too? i see new beeswax candle cut to 1/2" wick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One issue I had with tunneling and was mostly corrected by not having the wick so pulled tight during the pour. I work the wick so the fibers are expanded and loose when it is in the mold. On tall molds, pull an excess amount of wick through the mold, loosen the strands on the wick and then pull the excess back through the mold and loosely tie the wick to center it.
i'll try that! i dipped the wick in the beeswax before putting it in, wouldn't think that being held tight would be an issue. thank u!
 
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