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How do You Keep a Candle Wick from Drowning?

A wick drowns, when it's too small for the candle. It keeps falling over, and soon the flame's extinguishing itself, in the liquid wax of the candle. The candle provides too much fuel to the undersized wick - it can't keep up, falls over, stops burning, and finally gets buried under the excess wax of the oversized candle.

What's the cause of candle tunneling? Once again, it means the wick's too thin, so your candle "tunnels", burning down the middle, leaving the edges unburnt. Undersized cotton wicks - particularly those unsupported by zinc or paper cores - become bent over and submerged in these pools of melted wax.

You can retrieve a sunken wick, by digging it out of the candle with a heated needle. Gently hold it up, with a tweezer, until it's firm again. But the drowned wick is a candle making fault, and is best prevented, during the making of the candle. Choose the optimum wick sizes, matching the diameter of your candles, to get rid of the burning problems of the suffocated candle flame, and the tunneled candle, before they occur.


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Prevent your beeswax candles from going out, by using wicks at least one size larger, than you would ordinarily need for paraffin wax candles.

For best burning, ALWAYS prime your candle wicks. Unprimed cotton wicks invariably burn badly. Dip the strings into melted wax for a minute. Pull them taut, for another minute. Lay them down to dry on waxed paper.