How to burn a candle without a wick?
As a candle lover, one of the best things you can own is a candle warmer. These can be extravagant and fancy, or simple and basic. I use a very basic one like this. Of course, this is a personal preference. All warmers have the same basic job: to melt the wax without having a flame. These are particularly useful where flames are not permitted i.e. nursing homes, college dorms, homes with animals.
Candles without wicks can be used with a warmer and smell amazing. Keep in mind that since all the wax melts at once on a warmer, the smell will NOT last as long as a flaming candle.
You can also melt the wax in a double boiler and pour it into another vessel.
A warm window may also help release fragrance into the air. Place your wickless candle in a window with direct sunlight and you will notice a subtle aroma.
There are a fair few reasons why a candle may not have a wick. They are made wickless, the candle has tunneled, or the wick was trimmed too short.
Wickless candles (also called flameless candles) are trending right now. They are just regular candles but made without a wick. They work by heating the wax in a way that does not include a flame. Ask your favorite candle maker and I’m sure they will be willing to provide you with a wickless candle. College students who love fragrance swear by wickless candles since they can use them in their dorms without the risk of fire.
Sometimes you’ll find a candle that tunnels. It happens. In case you don’t know already, this is tunneling. The wax just burns right down the middle (and will continue to do so if not corrected. I address this in my Candles 101 page, so take a peak there on how to fix it).
Tunneling happens when either a wick is too small or the candle hasn’t had a chance to reach its full melt pool before being blown out. Either way, candles that tunnel will eventually burn out and you can no longer light the wick. Enter the candle warmer. Stick that baby on your warmer and viola!! You still have a few more hours of fragrance to enjoy.
As for those who are here to learn about candle making, warmers are great for us, too. During testing, you will find not all wicks work with all waxes, or fragrances, or containers, or colors. You may not know that fragrance oils affect the way a wick burns. You will soon discover this is the worst part of being a chandler and realize how much money you are spending just to get things right. It’s ok. Just keep pushing. It’s worth it, I promise. Later on, I will post some hacks to help with testing so you don’t have so much waste.
When you find a candle that doesn’t perform the way you’d expect, you have a few options to be able to reuse your vessel and start over. You can use a warmer, a double boiler, your oven, or even your hairdryer (though the hairdryer takes significantly more time) to melt the wax and start over. These options heat your vessel and the wax inside. Be very careful and stay vigilant. Just know that at some point, you will get burned. And it will be at the most inopportune time. Isn’t it always????
Once the wax is melted, simply pour it out. Wipe your vessel well with paper towels and wash in hot water. DO NOT POUR WAX DOWN THE DRAIN! Don’t even put your dishwater down the drain. Wax will clump together and cause major issues.
Candles can be sans wick for a lot of reasons. I hope you learned a little bit about how to still enjoy them. As always, good luck with testing. I’m always here if you need help or even just to vent a little.
May the odds be ever in your favor.