Home Made Wicks

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    Found an old post I had saved for homemade wicks From the old American Preppers Network site:

    Homemade Wicks-Salt Them First!

    [img]http://smileys.newbeginningsnetwork.com/piwigo/galleries/EXPRESSIONS_AND_GREETINGS/salute/hats-off-salute-smiley-emoticon.gif [/img] Image Hat Tip: Muzik @ American Preppers Network

    If you’re making your own wick out of old cotton, you should salt the wick before using, to keep the amount of smoke down. Soak the wick in salt water, then put it on a tray and heavily coat both sides with salt. Let it dry and shake the excess off, then use.

    (Some sources say to mix some borax in with the salt water, and to use some borax with the salt when you’re drying the wick.)

    I made an oil lamp out of a medium-sized squat glass salsa jar (14 oz. Taco Bell). First, I cut the bottom off an aluminum can and poked a hole in the bottom. You’re going to use this to hold the wick while floating on top of the oil. The rounded part will be facing up.

    I then poured oil in the jar and let the salted wick soak in the oil for about half an hour. Next, I stuffed the wick through the hole in the can bottom. I left about one-quarter inch above the rounded part of the can (the longer the wick the brighter the flame, but also the greater chance of smoking) and set the assembly floating on top of the oil.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by ReadyMom.

    Here’s another: Muzik @ American Preppers Network

    A couple of other notes about making wicks:

    Don’t use TOO much string! When I first started making candles, I wanted to make my own wicks. I did the soaking in borax (boric acid), etc. Two problems there: the first was that I had cut off three strips of string three feet long, thinking to braid it now and cut off what I needed later. BIG mistake! The ends of the string kept getting tangled as the braiding progressed.

    The second was that the salt, etc. crystallized in the string. Whenever I ran my fingers over the string while braiding it “flaked” off onto the floor as well as my hands. One possible solution is to soak the string in the solution; then, when saturated, tie one end of the string to something strong and the other end to something heavy. This will stretch out the string and squeeze out the excess while it dries.

    Also, find something strong to tie the string to before braiding. You’ll want to keep the tension strong on the braid as you’re making it.

    For the end result, the string rated at 2lbs made wicks that were too thick for all but the pillar candles larger than 3.5 inches across. The string rated at 1lb was still a little thick, but that may be because I didn’t keep enough tension on it while braiding.


    I’ve made a couple candles before and made my own DIY wicks. I took plain cotton string and braided it with three strands to make it thicker. Make sure to make it longer than you think you will need because it does shrink a bit in the next step. I then soaked it in a salt and borax mixture for an hour and then hung it to dry. I used a paperclip to tie the wick to another hanging string. The string will dry, harden, and stiffen in the shape it is hung, so make sure it is hanging straight. Also put a piece of paper under your drying strings because the salt and borax mixture will drip.

    This method seemed to work well. On larger candles I used the braided string, and on smaller candles I used just a single string.
    I eventually just bought a pack of 100 prewaxed strings on Amazon. They were so cheap and took less time to work with.

    But making my own wicks was a fun experiment.

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