How to Make a Candle Wick

Candles

A candlewick can be made at home fairly easily. First start with a natural fiber string or cord. 100% cotton crochet thread works well, also any other natural string. Determine how long you want your wick to be making sure to add several inches to the height of your candle. Cut three pieces of string to this length.

Next, you may wish to soak the string in a mordant solution before braiding. The purpose of a mordant is to make the wick burn slower so it doesn’t burn itself out faster than the candle melts.

Apparently, mordanting has a long and peculiar history. Some of the chemicals used in the process I can’t even attempt to pronounce, much less try to find at the local drug store. And even if I could find them, do I really want to be burning phosphates of ammonia in my living room? Probably not.

However, I have run across a few different possibilities using materials that are easy to find just about anywhere.

  • Soak in turpentine about 15 minutes, remove and dry. (Turpentine is supposed to make the flame burn brighter) or
  • Soak in a solution of 2 tablespoons salt, 4 tablespoons borax, and 1 ½ cups warm water or
  • Soak in vinegar or
  • Don’t soak at all.
  • Allow the string to dry completely. Then braid your string.

    Wick with Weight

    wick in container

    How to Prime a Wick

    To prime the wick, melt some wax in a double boiler. Once the wax is liquefied, drop your wick into it. Hold the wick down long enough that it is fully saturated. Then remove it and, once it is cool enough to touch, stretch it out. Let dry. Once it’s dry, then dip it again. The more times you dip and let it dry, the stiffer it will become.

    Leftover wicks can be rolled in paper and kept in a cool place to avoid melting in warm weather.

    Mordant experiment

    Wick Results