I have a love/hate relationship with wooden wicks. I love the aesthetic of them, I love that they are so much easier and quicker in the creation process. I hate how unreliable they are. You can make two identical candles, two identical processes and one wick will burn perfectly and the other won't stay lit. It is infuriating!
So here's what to do if your wooden wick candle won't stay lit.
First. You need to assess what may have caused it. If a wick isn't getting the proper airflow it won't have the oxygen available to stay lit. Here is where I say AGAIN, let your candle burn until the wax has melted ALL.THE.WAY.ACROSS the top. I tell every customer this and I send them off with their candle and a "candle care card" with proper burning instructions. If you light your candle and extinguish it before the entire top has melted it will have formed a memory of that incomplete burn and every burn after it will burn to that point and no further. It will continue to burn down and now out. Leaving you with a candle that has a tunnel in the center, which won't have proper airflow to keep your wick lit.
Now that we've gone over the most important aspect to burning a soy wax candle, how can you get your candle back on track?
Candle with tunneling
If your wick is too long, it actually caused problems. A wooden wick is supposed to be cut at a length of 1/8-3/16 in. Longer and it has a difficult time pulling the wax into the wick and it burns out. Too short and it gets drowned out by wax.
So what can you do to help your wooden wick along?
If your wick goes out too quickly, relight it and watch to see what happens. Is it burning out immediately? Your wick might be a tad too long. Take a wick trimmer or nail clippers and clip just a tiny sliver off. Light again.
If it looks like your wick is getting drown out by wax because it's too short, or if one of your kids blows it out behind your back(right?), you can fix it with a couple of simple steps. Extinguish your candle and take a napkin or paper towel to soak up some of the wax. Repeat the process until there is 3/16 in. of wick above the wax. Relight and let burn until it has a full melt pool.
If those steps don't work, you can take more drastic measures. I have had my kids blow my candles out before, and I didn't realize it until the wax hard hardened. So now I have a very very bad memory of my candle. You might relight your candle and hope for the best, but it will likely continue to tunnel. So here's what to do...ready?
Take a spoon and scoop/scrape some of that wax around the edges. Don't throw it away. Save it for later and use it in your wax warmer. Zero waste! Once you remove the excess wax caused by the tunneling you can relight and let it form a new wax pool and create a new memory.
I hope all these tips and tricks help with your wooden wick experience. There is nothing quite like the soft crackling of a wooden wick.