Updated at: 10-05-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

The wick of a candle is something that most people don’t give much thought to. Candlewicks may appear to be simple, but there are a number of factors to keep in mind. As a result, we’re going to answer questions such, “What is the best material to use for candle wick?”


An oil lamp or candle’s flame is held steady by a braided cotton wick. The “wicking” of a candle is powered by capillary action. As soon as the flame touches the melted wax, it begins to evaporate and begin to burn.

DIY Kit, Candle Making Kit with Wood Wicks & Amber Glass Jars

What To Use For Candle Wick?

Everyday household items can be used to make wicks. Here are a few popular alternatives to wick that you might want to consider. What kind of wick should I use for my candles?


Chopsticks, popsicle sticks and even toothpicks are all wood and can be used as wicks in an open flame. If you’re building a tall candle like a pillar or container, toothpicks will be inadequate. When your candle is submerged in wax, these function better as a wick replacement.

If you’re making a pillar or container candle, you’ll need something longer, such as chopsticks. In addition, you will need a metal base to hold your wooden candle in place. Last but not least, keep in mind that the candle’s container or mold must be taller than the wooden wick it uses.


What to use for candle wick? Paper, of course! A wick might be made from any sort of paper. It includes standard copy paper, notebook paper, construction paper, cardstock, a paper towel, or toilet paper. Before lighting the paper, soak it in borax and melted wax to harden it and allow it to dry.

Yarn, cotton string, or twine

If toughened with something like borax, yarn may be used as a wick. Additionally, the yarn should be devoid of dyes and bleaches. This means that any colored yarn would be out of the question.

The packaging should be checked to see if any colours or bleach are included. For example, a cotton string would be better than yarn in this case. It should be wax-coated before use and stiffened with borax before use.

Strips of cotton

How could you use an old shirt or pair of socks to make your own wicks for a candle? You can use old shirt sleeve cotton as a “emergency” wick to make a candle. In any event, the fact that you’re using cotton means it could work.

An old mop’s strand

Basically, it’s a braided cotton thread, so you could utilize a mop’s old cotton thread. A wick can be made from cotton string, rope, or any other material that can be shaped into a wick. Cotton, not polyester, is the only acceptable material.

You Can Make Your Own Wicks!

I’ll show you how to make wicks in two different ways. I’m going to start with a borax solution as my first go-around. In the second option, you can use old candles’ wick trimmings to make a new candle of your own design.

Start with the borax procedure and then utilize your old wick trimmings. A borax solution is the most typical DIY method for creating wicks at home. Because it takes so long, this method isn’t the fastest.

What if you need to make a candle quickly but don’t have any wicks? Your wick for your candle project will take some time to develop and finish. To have the best wicking effect, use 100% cotton twine, but a braided thread would work just as well.

You will coat the rope or twine with the wax. Slowly but consistently, the candle should burn. As a result, it’s critical to use the right wick material.

In addition, the borax solution helps to reduce the pace of burn. You’ll use molten wax to wrap the string before lighting it to help speed up the burning process. Our wick solution or borax will be made of water, salt, and boric acid.

Make a solution by combining equal amounts of water, salt, and borax in a large bowl. For the next 24 hours, the twine should be submerged in the borax solution. You’ll need a location to hang the string the next day.

Outside or in an area without couches or beds, hang it. Up to 48 hours of drying time is required for the string. To capture the drippings as they dry, you’ll need something beneath the rope.

Afterward, the thread is dipped in molten wax to seal it. After that, let it recover for a few minutes. If you want a thick layer of wax, you can do this process numerous times, but one application should be sufficient.

The candle will burn more efficiently if it has a thicker layer of wax covering the wick. It’s based on the priming strategy that was discussed earlier. Wax-dipped string should always be solid and erect no matter how many times it is submerged in wax.

It helps the candle to be lit properly. If the wick burns too quickly, the candle may go out before it has a chance to build up a full pool of wax. A wickless candle is the consequence when the candle burns or melts unevenly.

Don’t get caught in the dark. Try one of these easy DIY candle hacks.

Don’t get caught in the dark when the power goes out. Try one of these six simple candle hacks with video instructions.

With power outages, we don’t always know when they’ll happen. In the event of a power outage, we may not be prepared even if we have received a warning of an impending storm. You should be prepared for icy winter storms now that we’re in the midst of the season, so you’ll know what to do when you can’t find your flashlight or candle or when you just need some extra heat on a cold night. On a camping trip, several of the following items could be useful, as well

The following are six easy-to-make emergency candles that you can make with things you probably already have in your pantry, along with step-by-step instructions and videos. At the very least, you’re likely to have one of these items in your home. Using just a wick and some fat or wax, these candles can be made.

Always keep an eye on candles that are burning and never leave them alone in any place.


Use a fire-resistant surface (such as glass or metal) as a base for the candle in each of these possibilities.

How to Make a Homemade Wick

In order to make your own wicks, you can use anything that is made of cotton, such as strips from an old shirt or toilet paper coiled into a ball. In an emergency, even tampons will do. The object itself serves as a wick for the following candles. Matches and lighters should be readily available at all times.

How to Make an Emergency Candle

Go Orange

Using an orange with a small amount of cooking oil like canola or olive oil is an emergency candle hack you may have seen before. By slicing the orange and removing the pith and only the top portion of the peel, a candle is created that only requires a small amount of oil to be poured in. While a larger orange will produce a longer-burning candle, a clementine will be easier to peel and will perform just as well, albeit with a shorter candle life. Adding extra oil while it’s in use will increase its burning time, making it more like a tea light.

Make a Simple Butter Candle

Candles couldn’t be easier to use. To make a candle, simply cut a rectangle or half a stick of butter in half, insert a wick, and ignite the wick. Keep the butter on a glass or metal surface and you should get around an hour of light per tablespoon. Wicks can be made from a quarter of a square of toilet paper, which can be twisted into a little rope and folded over on itself to form a fishhook-like shape. Add some butter to the mix and insert your paper fishhook. It’s important that the wick is about 1/4″ above the butter.

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For Vaseline, use a fire-resistant container (not the plastic one it’s generally supplied in) and follow the same procedure.

Use a Tuna Can

Check your cabinet for canned tuna, salmon, anchovies, or any other seafood packaged in oil if you’re running out on fresh oranges or butter. It is best to use a screwdriver to puncture the can and insert a wick so that it can be lit and savored.

Create a Crayon Candle

Although they’re not really the first thing that comes to mind, crayons are a self-contained candle: All you need do is light it. An external wick is provided by the paper wrapper, while the wax works as a fuel source. A fire-safe surface, such as an Altoids tin or a glass plate, should be used for the crayon to adhere to.

In order to get a stick of wax in a paper wrapper, cut the wax crayon at the top of the wrapper. Wait for the paper to catch the flame of the candle. A 15-minute burn time is expected. Foil can be used to build a larger candle or an effective fire starter by wrapping multiple crayons together.

Use Cheese Wax

Cheese wax can be a pain when slicing cheese for consumption, but it’s also an excellent material for producing an emergency candle in case of a power outage. You can use any waxed cheese as long as you can remove the wax, shape it into a cylinder, and place a wick into it. However, even the tiniest Babybel cheeses can be used to make a long-lasting and larger candle. A handful of them can be sliced open and used to make a number of smaller candles or a single larger one. To reiterate, ensure sure your candle is resting on a flame-resistant base.

Use Cooking Oil for Lamp Oil

An emergency candle can be made from fresh or old cooking oil and a flame-resistant container if you don’t have any of the items listed above. Aluminum cans, mason jars, and even a cup made of aluminum foil, perhaps housed within a metal muffin tray, perform well for this task. A paper clip can be used to hold the wick in place if you don’t have a lid to thread it through.


Lip balm tins, shoe polish cans, and vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, can all be used as emergency candles. The only thing you need to do is insert a wick and light it. A taper candle can be placed in the center of a Mason jar filled with Crisco. To avoid air bubbles, maintain the shortening approximately an inch below the taper’s height. This candle can burn for up to 100 hours once it’s been lighted.

Can You Use a Toothpick as a Candle Wick?


Are you a fan of DIY? Is candle-making your favorite pastime?

What kind of materials are suitable for use as wicks, you could ask?

Wicks play a critical function in ensuring that the candle burns cleanly and efficiently.

The longer and brighter the candle burns, the better the wick is.

Your local candle retailer may have sold candles with wood wicks in the past. Everything clicked into place at once.

What if you could use a toothpick to make a candlewick?

There’s nothing wrong with that, since toothpicks are often made of wood. It’s a no-brainer!

How Do You Make a Candle Wick Out of a Toothpick?

You shouldn’t throw away a candle that has a wick that is too short for the size of the candle.

Fix it with a toothpick if you’ve got the DIY skills.

Using toothpicks for candles is simple: all you need are some pliers, some candles, and some toothpicks for the wick.

The wick of the candle should be measured. 5 mm more than the candlewick’s length should be the length of the toothpick.

Push the toothpick into the wax with the help of the pair of pliers, right next to the wick. The pointed end should be pushed inside the body.

Once the toothpick is inserted into the wax, light it. It’s easy to put out because it’s made of combustible material. That’s fine, thank you.

The shorter wick doesn’t produce a brilliant flame, therefore inserting a toothpick allows the candle to burn more efficiently.

It burns brighter and more evenly as the wax melts around the toothpick.

You’re a hero now for resolving the problem of a shortened wick!

With many wick candles, the same trick can be used to level things out.

As before, place the toothpicks just next to the wicks. The results are amazing!

Problems of Using a Toothpick as a Candle Wick

For the sake of clarity, we’ll go through the basics of how candles burn and why using a toothpick as wick can be problematic.

Wicks are often constructed of cotton strands that have been weaved or braided together. To provide a more uniform burn, paper filaments are sometimes weaved with cotton threads.

In order to get the wax to the top, they need to be porous. At the bottom, molten wax is collected and carried to the top by the wick. The wax is vaporized by the heat of the flame, and the candle burns out.

The main issue with using a toothpick as a candle wick is that it’s not porous. It is not possible to use a toothpick as a candle wick on its own.

What’s unclear is how the molten wax would be transferred to the top of the toothpick.

When a toothpick is burned, a ring of soot forms around it. The toothpick’s ash layer is porous enough to allow the wax to be carried by the ashes.

However, this isn’t a viable option because the soot could get into the wax and damage the entire candle.

Because the soot is so thin, the flame will not survive as long.

Alternatively, you can dip the toothpick in molten wax to extend its burn time.

When compared to typical wicks, even the wax-coated toothpick would last a lesser time.

When utilizing toothpicks as a candle wick, numerous toothpicks must be used together to maintain a steady flame for prolonged periods of time.

Using more than one toothpick increases the risk of a fire because they are flammable. The candle’s flame may be larger than usual.

To avoid any potential fire hazards, you must maintain a close eye on the flame at all times.

What Else Can be Used as a Candle Wick?

Barbecue Skewers, Popsicle Sticks, Chopsticks

With their wood construction, barbeque skewers, popsicle sticks, and chopsticks make excellent candlewick materials.

Using toothpicks to decorate tall candles like pillar candles and tapered candles is not recommended because of their length.

These include skewers for barbecuing, popsicles, and chopsticks.

Paper, Twine, Yarn

Cotton candle wicks can be replaced with paper, twine, and yarn.

However, they must first be dipped in borax in order to harden them up.

Following a thorough drying process, they are ready to be inserted into the wax.

Threads of a Cotton Shirt

This looks like a decent choice because traditional candle wicks are composed of cotton.

However, we have our doubts.

An old tee’s cotton strands are not intertwined like the wick of a flame.

This might work if you braid a few threads together.

Old Mop Strings

A candlewick made from an old piece of mop string works wonderfully.

Since a candlewick is likewise braided or woven from cotton, mop threads are the closest substitute.


Despite the fact that Q-tips are not ideal for producing DIY candle wicks, they can be used in a survival crisis.

Survival manuals and Reddit users frequently suggest Q-tips as a means of constructing candles or other types of light sources using an elastic and a lit wick.

If the wick is stuck in the wax and you don’t want to waste the candle, use Q-tips to remove the wax.

When burning Q-tips, you must be careful since they might produce larger flames.

Be aware of the Q-tips’ substance.

In general, if they’re made of plastic, don’t use them at all.

Cotton, paper, and wood are among the materials used in some of these items.

It is possible to utilize them to make a DIY candlewick using them.

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What can I use to make a wick for a candle?

Candle wicks can be made from butcher’s twine or almost any other thick cotton rope. As an alternative to the embroidery floss, you might use a clean shoelace with the protective plastic cap removed. The best effects can be achieved by soaking the twine for a whole day.

Can you use spaghetti as a candle wick?

As long as the candle wick isn’t too low, you can still enjoy the aroma of your favorite scent. Light a strand of uncooked spaghetti instead of your fingers. Long enough to light the candles on Grandpa’s birthday cake using this candle!

Can I use yarn as a candle wick?

Any of these cotton yarns might work well for your homemade candle wick. Cotton yarn or twine is fine, but most wicks are braided together to create a stronger wick that burns more efficiently and lasts longer.

How do you use a candle when the wick is gone?

Use boiling water (or heat the water in a jar already filled with it) to melt your candles’ wax, then watch it bubble up to the top. Finally, you can simply apply pressure and see the wax burst out of the mold, which you can then utilize in any way that suits your needs.

Can a wick burn without wax?

Because of capillary action, a candle cannot burn without a wick. Once it has been heated, the wax is transported to the flame, where it is vaporized before burning. The flame will continue to burn as a result of the evaporation of the wax.

How do you light a candle with a toaster?

Room heaters, toasters, stoves, and ovens are all suitable appliances. To get the candle to light, simply switch on the device and wait for the element to become red hot before touching the wick to the hot component.

How do you light a candle in a microwave?

The first step is to melt your candle shavings in a big microwave-safe dish (I used a great old Anchor 4 cup measuring glass I found at the thrift store.). If you have a lot of shavings, heat them in the microwave for 2 to 4 minutes on high. Process should be completed in 3 minutes or less.

How do you make a candle wick out of a cotton string?

In order to get the best results, cut three lengths of cotton thread that are at least eight inches longer than the length of the candle jars. The braided string’s bottom should be fed via a wick tab. Pinch the wick tab’s top using pliers before tying the string in place. It’s time to light your candle now that your cotton wick is all ready to go.


What kind of wick should I use for my candles? These can come in handy in the event of an emergency or when undertaking a DIY project. If you want to enjoy your new candles while lying in bed reading a book, experiment with these wick alternatives.