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What types of wicks should I use in Gel Candles?


Question: What types of wicks should I use in Gel Candles?
Answer: For the most part, the rule of thumb with gel candles is "one size up." Since gel candles burn so much slower, you need to increase the size of your wick by about one size from what you would traditionally use in a wax candle. For example, if you used a 44-24-18 zinc core wick (many people prefer the zinc wicks for their rigidity in the gel *) in a votive-sized paraffin candle, in a gel candle, start with a 51-32-18. As with all candles, you must TEST TEST TEST! (Try my quick wick-testing method. It works for gel too.)

If you're just starting out, there are several candle making supliers that make wicks just for gel candles. At their core, pun intended, they are just the same as standard wicks, but they are coated (primed) with gel wax instead of paraffin wax. This can prevent a slight clouding that can occur when the little bit of paraffin wax melts into the gel. If you already have wicks on hand, it's not a big deal though, go ahead and use them.

* The zinc wicks do have good rigidity in the wax, but they tend to "mushroom" more than other wicks. I like the HTP line of wicks in gel...they seem to trim themselves pretty well...and don't mushroom. I've also used RRD and LX wicks in gel with good results. Like all candles, it just depends on the container, the fragrance, and the shape of the candle.

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