What Is Wick Curling? Let's Find Out!

Updated on September 27, 2022

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What Is Wick Curling Or Wick Mushrooming?

Expecting a wick to stand upright while a lit wax votive burns are sensible. A beautiful upright wick will produce a uniform, homogenous burn and a smooth, glossy finish on the votive's surface. However, candles' wicks occasionally curve and curl over. Why does my votive's wick curl, you may ask yourself?

Candle wicks curl to uniformly disperse carbon throughout the wick and prevent the growth of carbon forms called "mushrooming." Additionally, some candle wicks are self-trimming and are made to curl as they burn in to prevent the development of an excessively tall flame.

Additionally, there are a few typical causes of candle wick curling. Some wicks are designed so that they naturally curve when lit.

Don't dismiss these wicks out of hands because they may have advantages and disadvantages. The wick's excessive length, curling under its weight, may also be the cause. Fortunately, this has a simple solution.

Types of wicks that curl

Wicks come in various shapes and sizes, but there are two main types: Those that are meant to be twisted (curly) and those that are meant to be curly because they're made from materials that naturally curl up when heated.

What types of candle wicks curl?

Flat braided wicks are the cheapest and easiest to use, but they don't have the wick's core, which makes them prone to curling up. The LX braid is one of the most widely used. You might be familiar with them if you create candles at home.

Another option is CD wicks. These are popular for creating candles because they are made of natural materials and are inexpensive. Compared to a traditional braid, no additional material is no extra material is added to these non-directed flat braids.

One that may lead to some confusion is the RRD. The best non-curl-able candles have a solid base. The RRD wick, however, features a soft cotton core. This rounder wick appears to be more trustworthy. It can, however, curl.

Advantages of wicks that curl

Ideally, these candles should be self-trimming so that the overhangs burn off and leave you with wicking that is the correct length for the candle size. If the wicks are not trimmed correctly, they may fall out of the candle when lit.

Some candle wick types, such as those made from beeswax, are especially durable and ideal for use when making naturally scented soy wax votives. The thicker braid wick types are less likely to be clogged because of a buildup of wax pigments or another component.

One benefit of selecting a curling wick is that your candles are more likely to contain gentler, natural materials. Metal cores are found in some of the more dependable straight wicks. Furthermore, even though most businesses no longer use lead, some clients are reluctant to burn their old metal cores.

Disadvantages of wicks that curl

Some people believe that candles should be lit only from one side. They say that if the uniform flame is allowed to touch the sides of the candle, it could cause the candle to explode. Others argue that the fire should be allowed to touch the sides because they feel the candle burns better. In any case, whether you choose to light your candle from the top or bottom, make sure that the wicks do not curl over.

Stop wicks from curling

Your choice between these two possibilities will depend on how much you want to alter the design of your candles or how you utilize them. How do I prevent the curling of my wicks?

To keep your candle burning properly, trim its wicks, so they're no longer than 1/4 inch long. The wick won't curl if clipped to the shortest length permitted. Additionally, if you want to avoid your candles curling, you can use a different kind of wick.

If there is no advantage to using the type of candle wick you already have, you can search for a product that employs something else.

You can use any number of non-curlable candle wicks instead of traditional ones.

If you decide to use candles, you can always cut them down if you don't see any other benefits. It's a little tedious, but you should make it a habit to do this each time the candle is lit. But it might be worthwhile.

Different kinds of wicks that won't curl

There are several ways to create candleholders without using curling wick materials. Some common wicks have cores built into them specifically to keep them upright. What kind of wicks on candles doesn't curl?

Wicking materials made from tin or zink prevent curling. Additionally, hemp-wicking materials don't usually curl as much as other types of wicking material. If you want to get the most out of your candle, keep in mind that the larger the wick, the smaller the chance it will burn down.

Due to their sturdy structure and ability to maintain upright positions for longer, some individuals choose the square braid wicks over flat braids. They are an excellent option for candles made of beeswax. They are not defenseless against wick curl, though.

So, you might want to use another type of wax if you're not using beeswax. To buy a candle without wick curls, you need to look for a pillar candle with an inner wax layer.

These cores ensure that the wood wicks are always nice and straight. As was already noted, several businesses use metal cores made of tin and zinc. Although lead has been phased out, it might still be present in some handcrafted products. For stiffness, some people employ cotton and paper cores.

Some individuals recommend utilizing hemp braid as a stiffer material because it is all-natural and organic. This might go well with a vegan candle. Some users, however, claim that hemp wicks mushrooms.

Utilizing a wooden type of wick is an additional choice. Due to variations in quality and burn rate, this is a different alternative that people either love or detest. A wooden wick should be kept straight when used for candle lighting.


Even if most kinds of wicks curl up as they're burning, this isn't necessarily bad. Some wicks have a curled pattern that allows them to self-trim and stop mushrooming.

The good news is that there are several ways to prevent curling wicks and fully avoid them by using or manufacturing candles with alternative types of wicks if that is something you do not like.

Use the right burning techniques and maintain the wick properly, no matter what wick you choose.

Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of NeoCandle.com where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay - so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions :) (pun intended ;) )

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