A double wicked candle is simply a candle that has two wicks instead of one. You can also make candles with three wicks, known as a triple wicked candle. If you have an extremely wide container, you can make candles with even more wicks. This is common in dough bowl candles and other novelty candles. Double wicking a candle can seem confusing at first, but it’s really quite simple! Follow this easy guide to get started with double and triple wick candles.
Why make a double wicked candle?
Candles can be double or triple wicked for aesthetic purposes simply because people like the look of multiple wicks in a candle. However, most multi-wick candles are made out of necessity. It can be very difficult to wick containers that are wider than 3.5 inches in diameter. For large containers, it’s often necessary to use two or even three wicks to achieve a good burn and proper melt pool.
Many candle makers have a good understanding of making single-wick candles. However, double and triple wicked candles can be a bit more confusing. When making a multi-wick candle, you want to follow the same wicking principles you would for a traditional candle. We cover proper wicking in detail in this blog post, but here’s a quick recap.
A candle is properly wicked if:
- The flame is approximately 1” tall (ideal size may vary by wick).
- The flame burns smoothly without excessive flickering.
- The wax is able to melt across the entire surface of the container.*
- When fully melted, the melt pool is between ¼” and ¾” deep.
- The temperature of your container is not excessively hot (no more than 175°F for glass or 150°F for tins)
- The flame does not produce soot or smoke.
- As the candle burns, it does not leave excess wax clinging to the sides of the container.
* For coconut wax blends, you ideally do not want to achieve a full melt pool on the first burn. If your candle does this, it can be an indication that the wick will burn too hot on later burn sessions.
Choosing Wick Sizes for Multi-Wick Candles
In a single-wick candle, you need to choose a wick that is big enough to create an appropriate melt pool on its own. In multi-wick candles, the melt pools from each wick combine together when they get large enough.
If you use two or more wicks, you will almost always use smaller wicks than you would when making a single-wick candle in the same container.
To choose a wick size for multi-wick candles, divide the diameter of the jar by the number of wicks you want to use. Then refer to this new diameter for choosing wicks. Our Wick Size Chart is a very helpful tool for choosing a wick based on your container diameter.
For example, if my jar is 4” in diameter and I want to use 2 wicks, I will divide the diameter by 2. This gives me a new diameter of 2”. I will then use wicks that are appropriate for a 2” diameter container. If I wanted to make a triple-wick candle in a 4” diameter container, I will divide the diameter by 3 to get a measurement of 1.33”. I would then use wicks that are appropriate for a 1.33” container.
There are of course many factors that can determine your ideal wick size. It’s always a good idea to test 2-3 sizes so you can see what works best. Keep in mind that you will probably have to make separate test candles for each different fragrance you want to use. If you adjust the fragrance load, it’s also wise to make new tester candles to see how this affects your wicking.
Placing Wicks in a Multi-Wick Candle
Aside from choosing wicks that are the right size, it’s also important to position your wicks correctly in the container. In a multi-wick candle, the wicks will ideally be an equal distance from one another and from the walls of the container.
A common problem in multi-wick candles is positioning the wicks too far apart from one another, which in turn causes the wicks to be too close to the edge of the container. Having the wicks too close to the edge can cause the vessel to overheat.
If you are making double wick candles, bowtie wick bars are a great tool for centering your wicks and keeping them straight as you pour! These wick bars have two equally spaced notches for positioning two wicks in your jar.