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Wick Slab Test...

This is a great way to determine the perfect wick for your candle!

Supplies Needed:
Pan (large disposable roasting pan works great)
8 lbs of container wax
11 wick pins (3"/votive size)
Wicking (the ones you want to test - it is best to test comparable sized wicks)
Paper and Pencil to record results/char

Using a large disposable roasting pan melt about 8 lbs. of container wax. Line up your votive wick pins about 5" apart in 3 rows in the pan (allows you to test 11 wicks at one time). Pour your container wax (I used cb soy) into the pan and let it set.

Make a chart representing each wick hole. On my chart I wrote the wick size and manufacturer. After my slab sat for 3 days, I removed the wick pins and inserted the wicks making sure they corresponded with what I wrote on my chart. I marked the top of my slab by scratching a "T" at the top and also wrote "top" on my paper so I wouldn't mix up the position. I then trimmed my wicks to 1/4" and then lit them all.

I burned them for 4 - 5 hours for two consecutive days. I observed smoking, mushrooming, dancing, and burn pool size. Just a note about mushrooming: it's common for a wick to develop a carbon head when the wick is burned for more than 4 hours without being snuffed and allowed to rest. It's worth noting at what interval of time you start to notice the mushroom develop. It could be from burning the candle too long, and not the wick type.

After I burned my slab for 2 days and the meltpools had hardened, I measured each wick pool with a metric ruler, noting their measurement by centimeters and recording them on the chart I made. This is only a starting point to help you eliminate some wicks for further testing. You can now narrow down your choices for further testing in your particular candle. It's important to conduct your slab test with the variables that will be used in your candle you're trying to wick. I.E. fragrance, dye, wax and additives that will be used in your final candle. After I finished my test, I trimmed the burnt wicks, wiped any soot smeared on the wax and chopped it up for re-melting. I can pull out my wick tabs as the wax melts. All this cost me was 11 wicks and the portion of wax used as fuel. All the remainder wax can be reused.

This test doesn't allow scent throw or slow consumption tests, but it will give you a great start for finding that perfect wick for your candle with relatively little expense.

Observation and Explanation:
I made some new discoveries which Kristy from Atkins & Pearce confirmed for me:

1) The same size wick burned different and vastly different sized meltpools from different manufacturers. In other words, my 60-44-18-C from Manufacturer (A) had a 6.2 cm meltpool while my 60-44-18-C from Manufacturer (B) had a 7.8 cm meltpool. That's quite a difference! Especially considering that my 60-44-18-C from one manufacture burned a considerably larger meltpool than the 62-52-18-C from another manufacturer. Kristy explained that this has a lot to do with the waxing of the wick during manufacturing and the meltpoint of the wax used to pre-wax the wicks, as well as the speed it's fed through the waxing machine. She suggested this experiment. Take the same wick and soak one in your wax for 5 min. You'll notice bubbles coming from the wick which is the air being forced out of the wick and being replaced with wax. This wick should burn dramatically different than the same wick soaked for only 5 seconds. This makes me wonder how your scent throw would be if you pre-soaked your wick in your scented wax. This would fill your wick with scented fuel. Just a thought. Maybe one of you can let us know your results if you try it before I do.

2) Most large wicks mushroomed. (I rated the mushrooming of each wick on my chart using 1 as the least and 3 as the most). There are some conditions with this test that will not be the same when your finished candle is burning and must be considered in this test. Since this slab is very open while it burns the airflow and oxygen are plentiful. More plentiful than they will be in a jar with a 3" opening. This may cause your wicks to burn larger meltpools than they will once they're placed in the jar. If this happens, you'll know why and know you need to go with a wick that burned a little larger pool.

So here is what my test revealed:
Largest to Smallest Meltpools with mushrooming results:
M1=no mushroom
M2=little mushroom
M3=large mushroom

7.9 cm - 62.52.18.P - M3
7.5 cm - 60.44.18.P - M3
7.4 cm - HTP1212 - M3
7.2 cm - RRD55 - M1
7.2 cm - FW3x28 - M1
7.1 cm - CD20 - M3
7.1 cm - PK-15 - M3
6.8 cm - 60.44.18.C - M3
6.6 cm - 62.52.18.C - M2
6.2 cm - Eco14 - M2
5.6 cm - WI655 - M1

**The 60.44.18.C meltpool was larger than the 62.52.18.C because these 2 wicks were from 2 different manufacturers.

I look forward to hearing how this slab test worked for you. Keep Sharing!
Mariah, Moon Glow Supplies

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