Priming the wick has already been discussed in the introduction section. But here is a review plus a more step by step method of making primed wicks.
Every candle you make should use a primed wick. The good news is that you can make them in batches and store them until needed.
The process of priming wicks is both easy and quick. The purpose of priming your candle wicks is that primed wicks burn more evenly. In addition, a primed wick will light more easily and will burn more reliably. Furthermore, wicks are primed to prevent water or moisture from being absorbed by the wick… remember, wicks are made of cotton and cotton absorbs water.
Primed wicks are also stiffer than unprimed wicks. This helps them stand more rigidly. Since one reason why people use wire core wicks is because the wick is stiffer and more able to stand upright, using a primed wick helps add some of this quality to the wick without needing to use a wire core wick.
Priming the wick simply means you dip the wick in melted wax until it is completely coated. Then remove the wick from the wax and let wax harden. Once the wax has hardened, dip the wick back into the melted wax one more time. Then let the wax harden and then store the wick until you need it.
Priming your wicks is a good habit to get into. Unless otherwise noted, all candles are using primed wicks.
Items Needed for Priming
- A double boiler
- Tin foil or some form of grease proof paper
- Heat your wax in a double boiler. You only need a small amount of wax as you are only wanting to get the wicks coated in the wax.
- Using your thermometer, keep checking the heat of the melted wax until the temperature reaches about 70º C or 158º F.
- At this point, I like to tip my saucepan on an angle so the melted wax gathers in the bottom of the saucepan. This creates a deeper pool of wax.
- While holding onto the end of the wick, dip the wick into the melted wax and do not let go of the wick.
- Keep the wick in the melted wax until you see air bubbles rise to the surface. This generally takes about 30 seconds. When this happens, it means that the wick has absorbed a sufficient amount of wax.
- When you see the air bubbles, it means the wick can now be removed from the wax.
- Lay the wick on some wax paper and pull the wick taught. Let the wax harden. This takes a few minutes and once hard, the wick is ready to use.
- Once the wick has hardened, you will need to cut off the part of the wick that you were holding because it hasn’t been primed. Cut a few millimeters below the unprimed part of the wick. This ensures you have a completely primed wick.