Can You Use a Toothpick as a Candle Wick? (And Clever Uses of Candle Wax)

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It’s one of the most common questions I receive – can I use a toothpick as a candle wick? And because we need to get our facts right, I decided to write a massive post to tackle this question and also to answer some that directly relates to the same problem. So if you are a candle lover, this post will help you a great deal.

Let’s dive in. 

Can Toothpick Be Used as a Candle Wick to Burn the Candle?

YES, a toothpick can be an excellent substitute for a candlewick. Now, a toothpick would come in handy if you have a short wick that burns so quickly. Fix the toothpick just beside the wick and let it be slightly above the original wick and your candle will burn just fine.

A wick is responsible for the transportation of liquid wax (usually from the top to the point where the wax will be vaporized). Ideally, the wick should not burn, but it does burn after the curls are exposed. 

Can a Candle Burn Without a Wick?

No, a candle WILL NOT burn without a wick because of the capillary action. The wick is always responsible for transporting melted wax to the flame, where it vaporizes, then burns. Now, it is essential to note that the flame will keep burning because of the vaporization of the wax. 

A candlewick dictates how a candle burns. So it would help if you paid much attention to your wick. The diameter, size, stiffness, tethering and resistance to fire will affect how your candle burns. It is, therefore, essential that you choose the best wick for your candle. 

Wicks with a larger diameter will always result in more massive flames, a more extensive melted wax and your candle will burn faster. 

Wicks in tealights are usually tethered to metal, preventing them from staying at the top of the wax. Also, it prevents wicks from burning before the wax has burned. If you need a wick that floats in water, go for one that has a bottom seal and also make sure to tether the wick. 

Sometimes, the wick is a stub, mostly in birthday ceremonies. This, in most cases, will affect how the candle burns. You can always make better wicks from wood, but this is a rare practice to many. However, there’s every reason to try it out and see whether it’s one of the wick ideas you will love. Finally, feel free to use tampon cotton to make oil lamp wicks.

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What Do You Do With Candle Wax After Wick is Gone?

I’m sure that you don’t love the idea that your candle will burn out at some point. However, most candle users will not let the wax leftovers unused because there is usually some fragrance left in that unburnt wax. 

And this is because your candle wick couldn’t just maximize it to make it burn entirely. So what do you do in this case? Should you dump the candle in a bin or should you launch a new candle? In this section, I’ll be walking you through how you can make good use of your candle wax after your wick is gone. 

1. Make a New Candle

This is one of the most intuitive among all the other tricks we are going to learn, I guess. And the good news is that it is relatively straightforward. You don’t need a ton of experience to do this. 

The first step you need to take is to gather all your candle jars and then buy rolls of candlewick from your local shop. The advantage of candle wicks is that they are quite affordable and can last longer. Once you have purchased the candlewick rolls, melt the wax using a stove burner. 

Once all the wax has melted, pour it into another container. Feel free to add different colors or other old remnants into the container. When your container is full, place it on a stove and let it melt a second time. Once your wax has melted, you can introduce your candle wick and then let it harden. And that’s it; you have your new candle. Easy peasy, right? 

2. Easy Tea lights

You can also use candle wax leftover in small tea lights. Always save your tea lights containers so you can reuse them. And just like we did in the previous section, melt your wax, then pour into another tea light container, then add a wick.

There is usually good wax at the bottom, which should help you make another tea light. The bottom line is always to keep your tea light containers if you want to reuse your old wax. 

3. Decorative Glasses

Many people love decorations, and I also do. The good news is that you can use your old wax to decorate your glass items, such as candle jars, glass vases, glass bottles, etc. Add a variety of colors that matches your decor and use those colors to decorate your glasses. It’s all about creativity here, so get creative and try things out. 

4. Wax Melts

Finally, you can use your old wax to make wax melts, which you can use in Scentsy warmers at home. There are numerous tutorials you can check out on how to make wax melts from old candles, but this is exceptional

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However, it is also essential that you never melt any other product apart from Scentsy bars in the warmer because this can alter your warranty. If you must use it, feel free to consult a Scentsy consultant to advise on what you can do. 

How Do You Get a Candle Wick to Stay in Place?

It’s not a new thing that your candle wick will stay out of position; it’s something that can happen anytime, and you need to know how to keep it in place. First, you need to make sure that the wick is at the top of the container that has the wick bar. This is essential because it guarantees the safety of your burning candle. 

Apart from that, there are several other ways you can make sure that your wick is in position. A wick pin can help you get the wick centered at all times. The advantage of using a wick pin over other items is that it gives you the options to use either round wicks, cotton, flat braided. 

Glue Dots can also come in handy to ensure that your wick is in position. To make sure that your wick is at the center, put the glue dots at the center of your bottom container. The wick staying in place is very critical because when it is not positioned well, there are chances that it could waiver, which makes the heat confined in just one area. 

Is It the Wax or the Wick That Burns on a Candle?

It is the wax that burns and not the wick. Upon heating a candle, it’s the wax vapor that burns and not the wick. More often, the wick absorbs the liquid wax upon subjecting it on heat, then pulls it upward. Therefore, to prove that it’s the wax vapor that burns, check out the experiments below: 

In practice…

Place one end of a metal or glass tube with a thickness of six-inch and 15 cm length onto a 45 degrees candle’s flame. Light the upper end of the metal or glass tube and observe the paraffin vapor flowing up the pipe, which is our fuel in the second following flame. 

Often, you’ll observe a stream of white flame leaving the wick upon blowing it up. This stream is the condensed paraffin vapor previously released in the first flame. This stream will continue to form as long as the wick remains hot to evaporate the paraffin. To confirm this, run a flame down the stream and watch it relight the wick. 

How Do You Make a Candle Wick Last Longer?

The ultimate way to make sure your candle wick lasts longer is by not leaving a burning candle unattended. After all, that’s basic life safety. While you can enhance your candle’s wick lifespan, it’s also worth noting that there are proper ways to burn a candle. Below are some of our best practices you should check out: 

1. Refrain from burning candles for shorter periods 

When burning a container candle, first allow it to develop a complete pool of melted wax around the container’s surface. This is because the wax will always recollect, and on the following lightings, the melted pool will struggle to go beyond the circumference of the initial burn.

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Your candle will tunnel down the wax and even go deeper into the candle, preventing your candle from burning on the sides. As a result, your candle’s lifespan will shorten.  

2. Keep wicks trimmed

Upon trimming your candle wick, rest assured of a bright flame. More often, a crooked or long wick will cause the candle to burn unevenly. The standard height of a wick should range anywhere from ¼ inch and not lower than that. Meanwhile, let the candle cool completely and turn it upside down for trimming. Use a tissue to remove the charred part for the best burning experience. 

3. Don’t put burning candles in fans, or path events 

Air currents will cause uneven burnings or soot production, leaving behind black stains on your container. Also, your candle will lose small amounts of unburned carbon particles when exposed to air currents. 

What Do You Do With Candles Without a Wick?

Again, let your candle develop a uniform pool of melted wax by allowing it to burn for at least four hours. This prevents excessive wax accumulation on the side, which will eventually dissolve on subsequent burnings and even flood the wick. 

Apart from longer burnings, there are tons of reasons that can make wicks too short. Maybe you accidentally trimmed it too far, or you bought it that way. Also, the wick might have broken while hot. Fortunately, you can fix your candle wick with the options below:

  • Let the wick burn for at least half an hour, while occasionally checking the flame height for any adjustments. 
  • If the flame appears to be weak, blow out the candle and drain the melted wax on a paper sheet. Allow it to cool then dispose of the wax in a trash can. Alternatively, use a cotton swab or a paper towel to soak up the leftover wax. Remember, this should be done once the wax has completely cooled for safety.  
  • Upon removing the excess wax, an indent will form, exposing most of the wick. Relight the candle and let it burn for about 20-30 minutes, checking for any improvements. If everything looks okay, let the candle burn throughout the edges before blowing it out. 
  • Consider melting a section of the wax using a heat gun if the wick is too short to light. Pour the melted wax on a paper sheet and let cool. Alternatively, scrape off the resin at room temperature using a butter knife to unveil the wick for lighting. 

What Else Can I Use as a Candle Wick?

You can use toilet paper, newspapers, paper towels, or any other cotton fabric that comes in handy for DIY homemade wicks . These items can be utilized to meet the needs of a wick perfectly. 

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.