Are Wood Wicks Toxic?

Wooden wicks have become quite popular in recent years due to their aesthetic appeal, health benefits, and environmental impact. As you can tell, there are several benefits to using wooden wicks over the standard cotton ones, so we will break them down and explain why each one matters. However, if you are using a wood wick you are in good hands as they tend to be better for everyone involved.

So, are wood wicks toxic? 

Wood Wicks are not toxic as long as they are 100% wooden. The type of wood, hard or soft, does not matter either. While it may take longer to light than a traditional cotton wick, they are typically phthalate and toxin-free. This is especially useful to know if you are lighting candles indoors during the colder months when the candle fumes have nowhere to go. 

Cotton wicks are known to leave a sooty residue behind after being burnt and they regularly need to be trimmed to be kept in good working order. However, wood wicks also require less maintenance and upkeep as the wood will naturally burn down. 

They are even known to extend the life of your candle with their slow burn. The fire needs more time to break through any outer layers that have been previously charred. Let’s begin to look at the benefits of wooden wicks and why they have become so popular despite their higher price tag.

Types Of Wooden Wicks

The wood used for these wicks typically comes from rosewood, maple, balsa, oak, cherry, or birch trees. Whether they are on a distinct type of wood or a mixture of them depends upon personal preference and burning needs. They can be made into single-ply wicks also known as flat wicks, booster wicks, or spiral wicks. 

Single-ply wicks are pretty much what you would imagine them to be, a single piece of wood thinly sliced. They have three characteristics to consider that can affect their burn. These include the crackle type whether it will be a loud or quiet noise, how thick the piece will be, and how wide it will be. These wicks tend to perform well in paraffin or coconut wax.

Are Wood Wicks Toxic?

Booster wicks are very similar to the single-ply alternative with their only difference being that booster strips have an extra piece of wood down their center. This allows the wick to perform well and hold up when used with more natural waxes such as soy. Natural waxes tend to be heavier and denser requiring an extra level of support for the wick to remain sturdy.

Spiral wicks are less common, but they are used for some candles. They are hollow wooden tubes that tend to be quite thick. This enables them to be the ideal wick for larger candles with a wider diameter. However, it’s important to note that they are quite inconsistent with their burning patterns, so they are not the best option for candle producers. 

They tend to be used more at home when people are making their candles and do not mind having inconsistent burns and changes in flame. The type of wooden wick used depends upon the individual’s needs and wants for the type of wax used and durability wanted. 

Cost Associated With Using A Wooden Wick

While it may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of production, these wicks do tend to be around fifty cents each. This is five times the cost of their alternative, the cotton wick, which only costs around ten cents each. Many do justify the cost though as they look at the environmental, health, and candle benefits that the more expensive options offer. 

Also, a candle with a wooden wick is more marketable than a cotton one nowadays as people are more likely to buy and spend more on environmentally friendly products. Which helps to even out the cost of the wick when it comes to pricing and selling the final product. 

Clean Burning

Due to cotton wicks being braided strands that are dipped into the wax to protect their shape, they are of lower quality and lower cost. The extra layer of wax used to protect their braided shape is what enables them to give off the soot residue and harsh flames when burned. Wooden wicks offer a cleaner burn.

Their pure wood state allows them to be trimmed up when needed with minimal soot or carbon build-up appearing. Hence why some wood wicks may require a few extra seconds to become lit, but they will offer you a brighter and cleaner flame than their cotton counterparts. 

We also have to mention the ambiance that these wicks offer. Wood is known to crackle and creates a soft sound when it burns, think of the noises you may hear a bonfire make. It’s similar to that just on a smaller scale. Many prefer this sound and find it to be calming when they are trying to create a peaceful or even romantic ambiance. The combination of quiet crackling, brighter flames, and cleaner air works quite well together. 

Aesthetics Motivate Buyers 

In recent years aesthetics and looks have become everything for some when it comes to items such as home décor. They want everything to match a specific color scheme, whether that means using similar wooden elements throughout a space or mixing metals together. The idea is that everything flows together and creates a cohesive and appealing environment.

This has extended over into how people purchase their candles as well. They consider not only how it smells, but how it will look in their space, the canisters design, and what color is it. While it may seem absurd to some, people are willing to pay more for a candle that fits their space and aesthetic. Especially since wooden wicks are known to burn longer, meaning that the candle will be in your home longer. 

Better Fragrance Distribution

Are Wood Wicks Toxic?

A wooden wick is known to distribute heat more evenly into a candle allowing the wax to heat and diffuse at a more consistent rate. So, what does a more even distribution mean? It means that you can have a stronger and quicker fragrance presence from your candle. 

This allows you to become the home where someone can walk into a room and automatically notice that a candle is burning. Whether it’s through the aroma or the bright flames they should notice your candle burning. 

Wooden wicks are nontoxic as long as they are produced properly and made entirely of wood. The different types of wooden wicks you can make, or buy are spiral, booster, and single-ply. Each one has its benefits and uses cases. Overall, wooden wicks are better for the environment and your health.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are people willing to pay more for a candle that is more environmentally friendly?

People like to know that they are choosing the smarter and more eco-friendly option even if the difference is not too significant. This means that they are willing to pay extra for a candle that not only lasts longer but releases less harmful toxins and chemicals into their home and the air when burned. Candle lovers and enthusiasts are especially more likely to choose a wooden wick as they are consistently burning them and try to lower their impact when possible.

Will fewer toxins being released into the air from one candle make a real difference?
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One candle alone will not make a large impact on the environment. However, when high numbers of people are making the change and consistently choosing the more eco option a real difference can be seen. Several wooden wick suppliers are also known to partake in charities or organizations where they will plant a new tree for every specific amount they sell. Some plant a tree for every hundred dollars they make, others will donate a percentage of their proceeds to an environmental charity. It just depends, but differences are being made by using a wooden wick.

Do you need to trim a wooden wick as you would with a cotton one?

Yes, you can still trim a wooden one, although you may find yourself doing it less frequently or not needing to depend on how long the candle was burning. Cotton wicks require trimming before use to ensure that soot build-up is taken care of, and some toxins can avoid being put out into the air when it is burned. 

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