Wick Priming

Prior to use, all wicks need priming. This is a process that saturates the wick with wax in advance of its being placed in the candle mold, or dipped. Priming is done to eliminate air that may have become trapped in the plies of the braid.

Priming the wick

Ordinarily, when you pour the wax over the wick, or dip the wick, the air is forced out naturally. However, as this can't be relied on, it's best to prime the wick before use. This is especially important for molded and novelty candles. To prime the wick, heat some wax to l60° Fahrenheit (using your thermometer to check the temperature). Then, dip the length of wick into the wax. Air bubbles will form as the air escapes. Continue to hold the wick in the wax until you don't see any more air bubbles (this usually takes about five minutes). Remove the wick from the pot of wax and stretch it out. Allow it to cool thoroughly. When completely dry, it will be stiff. At this point, it is ready to use.

Always trim the wick to within ½″ of the wax surface before lighting the candle. For larger candles, especially pillars, allow the candle to burn at least two hours before extinguishing to distribute the liquid wax evenly. Don't burn large diameter candles longer than three hours at a time.

To check your wicks, you can do a side-by-side burning comparison. Using the same wax formula and candle diameter with two or more different type wicks in two or more candles, set the finished experimental candles in muffin cups next to each other and light them. Keep notes.

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