What’s the Difference Between Regular and Safety Length Wick Sustainers?


The candle development process includes many different considerations such as the general use of the candle, wax type, scent profile, wick type, color, container type, the overall size, and which metal wick sustainer tab is appropriate. End-customers purchase candles for different reasons: candle power, scent throw, melt pool, and how much wax remains at the candle’s end of life.  Candle manufacturers understand their customers’ preferences, two of them being the temperature of the candle’s base and the amount of wax remaining at the candle’s end of life. The candle combustion experts at Wicks Unlimited work with manufacturers to determine the appropriate metal wick sustainer for their specific candle system to meet their customers’ expectations. Let’s explore why Wicks Unlimited candle sustainers are preferred by leading candle manufacturers globally. 

Metal Wick Sustainers

As a division of Stimpson, the Power-Press-Wicks-Unlimitedleading global manufacturer of standard and special eyelets, Wicks Unlimited wick sustainers meet the latest international quality standards and management systems stipulated in ISO 9001:2015. Wicks Unlimited manufactures and supplies 24 different sustainers of varying base diameters, neck heights, and hole diameters. They are made from the highest quality tin-coated steel to inhibit corrosion often caused by fragrance and essential oils, featuring an industry-leading .010″ (0.254) metal thickness.

Safety vs. Regular Wick Sustainers | An Introduction

During the candle development or troubleshooting phase, Wicks Unlimited works with manufacturers to understand their combustion requirements and their customers’ expectations, especially how much wax remains on the bottom of the candle’s container. Wicks Unlimited offers 3.8 mm, 6.0mm, 10.0 mm, 13.0 mm, 13.2mm, 14.5mm, and custom wick sustainer lengths. The sustainer’s height determines the container’s base thermal profile, indicating an aggressive or a conservative system and the remaining amount of wax at the candle’s end of life. As a rule of thumb, sustainers above 10.0 mm can be considered safety sustainers, while sustainers below 10.0 mm are considered regular. It is important to note that the height of the neck determines how much wax remains on the container’s glass bottom at the candle’s end of life.

Creating a Better Candle Experience with the Appropriate Wick Sustainer

Take the guesswork out of selecting the appropriate wick sustainer by partnering with the combustion specialists at Wicks Unlimited. We work with candle manufacturers during the candle development or troubleshooting phase to ensure their candle system uses the appropriate metal wick sustainer for optimal combustion and to meet their customers’ expectations. In addition to regular and safety length wick sustainers, Wicks Unlimited offers an innovative self-centering sustainer that enables candle manufacturers to “drop and pour” , saving them both time and money. With over 450 different wicks stocked on-site including cored and flat braided wick, 26 different candle sustainers, and an assortment of wick clip assemblies, Wicks Unlimited is the ultimate destination for all of your combustion needs. Use the form below to contact Wicks Unlimited to discuss the different safety and regular candle wick sustainers available for your next production run.

Candle Wick Designations: What Do They Mean?

Even for the most experienced candle manufacturers, keeping up with the latest wick offerings and designations is a daunting task. Since each wick and candle has its own burn characteristics, the combustion experts at Wicks Unlimited compiled all of the wick designations inventoried to help manufacturers save time. Let’s explore the different candle wick designations available and their unique characteristics.

Cored Wicks

Paper Core Wick

Paper core wick remains one of the most popular wick options in the marketplace. Constructed of 100% natural fibers, the paper core wick features a cotton outer braid surrounding an inner paper filament. This wick type’s paper core enables the wick to remain rigid in the molten wax pool in various candle types, including in votives, pillars, and containers. Paper core wick’s burn characteristics make them ideal for slower-burning waxes, like soy that require additional heat for optimal combustion.


Zinc Core Wick

During pouring and burning, the Zinc core wick provides increased wick support since it is the most rigid of all cored wick. This wick type features a cotton outer braid of natural fibers surrounding a thin filament of zinc running up the wick’s center. Zinc core wick is known for its cool flame profile and its ability to remain upright in the molten wax pool. This wick is typically recommended for use in paraffin wax tealights, votive, pillar, and container candles.


Cotton Core Wick

Cotton core wick is made of braided cotton strands dipped in wax and then compressed to hold their shape. This wick type produces a reliable and robust flame with minimal carbon buildup. It is designed for use in votive, pillar, and container candle systems. Wicks Unlimited carries a variety of cotton core wick types.


HP-CNP is a cellulose-based wick with a rigid paper core for increased stability engineered to meet the demands of today’s complex wax formulations, especially those with high scent throws. This round-cored wick is known for its stable burn cycle characteristics and is designed explicitly for scented wax formulations.

Aroma-Lite™ Wick

Constructed of 100% natural fibers, the Aroma-Lite™ wick is designed explicitly for candles with high scent throws. By design, this cored wick is self-trimming and inhibits mushroom capping, often found in candles with high-levels of fragrance.

HP-N Wick

This self-trimming wick is often used in paraffin wax, palm, and soy candles. Since the HP-N is self-trimming this is an option for candles with heavily scented wax blends. Made of 100% cellulose fibers, the long strands of tightly braided cotton help reduce afterglow. 

RRD Wick

RRD wick is a directional round wick featuring a 100% braided cotton core enabling the wick to curl slightly during the burn cycle. This wick series performs well with viscous fuels such as vegetable wax without clogging or drowning during capillary action. They are known within the candle industry for their consistent burn pool and flame profile in pillar and container candle systems with high fragrance loads. 

Flat Braided Wicks

HTP Wick

HTP wick is a coreless, flat braided wick constructed from high-performance fibers and natural materials with a paper filament throughout. Engineered for those tough-to-burn applications, HTP wick features a paper filament throughout, providing a similar effect of paper core wick’s structural strength. This versatile wick offers a more predictable wick posture resulting in increased rigidity and the benefits of a self-trimming wick resulting in minimal mushrooming and soot. The burn characteristics of HTP wick make them appropriate for viscous wax types, including paraffin and vegetable formulations.

Ply Wick

Often referred to as flat, classic, or regular wick, Ply wick is a popular option for dipped, poured or extruded candles. This wick is constructed of 100% natural fibers and curls at the tip throughout the combustion cycle reducing carbon buildup during its lifespan for an even burn.

Stabillo/Stabillo KST Wick

Stabillo wick is a flat braided cotton wick series with paper filament thread woven into the braid for increased rigidity. The wick’s reinforced construction promotes a consistent capillary action in various waxes, including natural waxes and waxes with high scent throws. This wick series is ideal for candle systems such as tealight, votives, and pillars, where increased wick rigidity is essential.

ECO Wick

Made from ring-spun cotton interwoven with thin paper threads, the ECO wick series are known for their controlled curl during combustion and consistent burn profile. These self-trimming coreless wicks are appropriate for container candles and wax formulations with high scent throw. The design of this wick produces minimal afterglow and carbon deposit formation.

HP-NF Wick

HP-NF wick combines natural fiber’s burn characteristics and the hot throw characteristics of a cotton wick to create a high-performance flat wick. Constructed of tightly braided long strands of cotton and natural fibers, this versatile flat wick is used in paraffin, palm, soy, and heavily scented wax blends. Both HP-NF and HP-CNFW have their own rate charts but share burn characteristics. 


HP-CNFW wick is specifically geared towards citronella candle systems.This high–performance wick combines the natural fiber’s burn characteristics with the hot throw characteristics of a cotton wick to create a high-performance flat wick. Constructed of tightly braided long strands of cotton and natural fibers, this versatile flat wick is used in paraffin, palm, soy, and heavily scented wax blends including citronella.

HP-SP Wick

HP-SP wick is constructed from specially treated cotton and designed for pillar, taper, votive, and tealight candles. This wick is known for its superior scent throw and engineered to minimize soot and afterglow. Due to its slow-burning properties, it is excellent for a variety of waxes, including coconut wax. The all-natural cotton construction is lead and zinc-free.

LX Wick

LX wick features a specially flat braided coreless wick that curls throughout the burn cycle. This unique feature minimizes carbon buildup and reduces smoking since the curl moves to the flame’s highest heat concentration area. Added benefits of the curl are a tighter, more controlled flame profile and a self-trimming effect. Also, this wick series is lead and zinc-free.

TL Wick

Made from some of the thinnest high-grade ring-spun cotton threads available, TL wick is a specialty coreless flat wick. This wick series features stability threads braided throughout the wick for additional wick strength often required for in-line manufacturing. Due to the slow rate of wax consumption, along with a small flame profile, this wick is appropriate for tealights and votives.

FW “SU” Wick

The FW “SU” wick series is a flat braided coreless wick composed of natural fibers. This self-trimming wick is known for its consistent burn characteristics, minimal sooting, and low carbon buildup. Often found in taper and pillar candle systems, this wick works well in most paraffin wax formulations.

Square Braided Wick 

Square Braided™

Initially designed for beeswax, Square Braided wick ™ is constructed with 100% natural fibers and finished with chemical treatments to improve the candle’s overall burn qualities. Designed to curl while burning, Square Braided wick™ performs well in various candle applications, including tealights, votives, pillars, and containers.

During the candle development or troubleshooting process, having a working knowledge of the different wick designations will not only help you in selecting the appropriate wick for your candle type but also ensures the experienced candle combustion specialists at Wicks Unlimited are on the same page as you when communicating by Zoom, phone or email. With over 450 different wicks stocked on-site,  26 different candle sustainers,  and an assortment of wick clip assemblies,  Wicks Unlimited is the ultimate destination for all of your combustion needs. Use the form below to contact Wicks Unlimited to discuss the different wick designations available for each unique candle system since no two burn cycles are the same.

Candle Burn Troubleshooting for Manufacturers


Candle manufacturers sometimes focus on appearance, scent, and aesthetics during the development process rather than performance and functionality to meet customers’ initial demands at the point-of-purchase. It is only after several burn cycles that customers begin to encounter entirely avoidable combustion issues. More often than not, candle combustion issues are caused by the incorrect wick size or family used in a particular candle since each wick and candle type has unique burn characteristics. Let’s explore some observable candle combustion issues often encountered and remedied in Wicks Unlimited’s in-house combustion workshop during the development process.

Mushroom Capping


An oversized wick providing too much fuel (wax) to the flame or using an incorrect wick size/type for a particular candle system can cause mushroom capping. If the candle wick is too large, the flame starts to consume more wax (fuel), resulting in carbon buildup on the wick’s tip of partially reduced molecules unable to reach the flame. The buildup of partially combusted material then falls back onto the wick. It forms a mushroom shape on the wick’s end, known as mushroom capping.

Mushroom capping can be avoided with thorough testing of your candle to determine the perfect wick for your individual candle formulation.



Mushroom capping often causes wick afterglow, whereby the carbon mass on the tip of the wick continues to throw off a gentle glow for a considerable amount of time once extinguished. Not only is this unsafe, but it can also damage the candle brand’s reputation.

Like most combustion issues, afterglow is entirely avoidable. To prevent this phenomenon, candle manufacturers should partner with combustion specialists like Wicks Unlimited early in the development process. Once we understand your burn objectives, we will perform test burns to ensure that the appropriate wick size and type meet the particular candle system’s needs.

Excessive Flame Height 


An excessive flame causes “sooting” consisting of tiny particles of unburned fuel. This indicates not only incomplete combustion but also improper wick selection for this particular candle system. In other words, the candle wick is delivering more fuel to the flame than it can burn.

To prevent excessive flame, manufacturers should work with candle combustion specialists to complete burn tests and identify the appropriate wick size and type for their specific candle application to refine their manufacturing specs.

Excessive Flame Height


Excessive or long wick modifies the candle’s overall combustion process and causes mushrooming, sooting, and an uneven burn. The soot sticks to the candle jar, surrounding walls, and potentially the ceiling resulting in an unhappy customer and damage to the brand’s image and reputation.

For an optimized burn and to protect the brand’s reputation, working with experienced candle combustion specialists can prevent excessive wick through test burns.

Excessive Flame Height

An oversized wick generates a larger than the average flame size that causes a deep burn pool liquifying a large portion of the candle. This type of wick causes sub-optimal combustion causing the wick to mushroom. An oversized wick also increases the candle’s surface temperature resulting in fragrance destruction, which greatly reduces the intended scent profile of your candle. A properly sized wick creates an appropriate burn pool according to the candle’s width with the correct flame height. Wicks Unlimited combustion specialists can identify an oversized wick during controlled burn testing. Once complete, our combustion technicians make appropriate wick recommendations based on various criteria, including the container’s width and scent combinations.

Undersized Wick

An undersized wick is a wick that is too small for a particular candle system and does not generate enough combustion (heat) to melt the wax, causing tunneling. While tunneling is most common in a large container and votive candles, it can also happen with other candle types and sizes. It is indicated by the burn pool not forming edge-to-edge and forming a circular “tunnel” around the wick down to the core of the candle. Candle tunneling and an unhappy end user are entirely avoidable by selecting the appropriate wick size to generate optimal candle combustion.

Partnering with experienced candle combustion specialists like Wicks Unlimited during the development process can prevent combustion issues from happening in the first place. Even if the development phase has passed and a candle is experiencing combustion issues during real-world applications, our candle technicians can perform a complimentary troubleshooting burn analysis. Once completed, we confidentially report our findings and make product recommendations, including the appropriate wick size and sustainer type to produce an optimized burn. With over 450 different wicks stocked on-site, 26 candle sustainers, and an assortment of wick clip assemblies, Wicks Unlimited is the ultimate destination for all of your combustion needs. Use the form below to contact Wicks Unlimited and schedule your confidential candle combustion troubleshooting or optimization test since testing and observation are vital in the candle development process.