Skip to content

Can you use a toothpick as a candle wick?

Yes, you can use a toothpick as your candlewick.

  • Yesterday I lit a scented tealight candle. The candle wick burned up to 1 mm above the wax, extinguished, and could not be burnt any further.
  • Throwing is out of the question. So I thought about how the candle could still be burnt. I took a wooden toothpick and placed it in the wax right next to the wick, then snapped off the toothpick so that I only left about 5 mm of the protrusion.
  • Measured the wick size & I then lit the toothpick after which it burned with the wick until all the wax was used up.

Can you use a toothpick as a candle wick?

Some modifications and alterations are needed or some or multiple toothpicks will be used.

The problems we face in the toothpick wick scenario

Let’s review what a standard woven candlewick does.

The wick is a porous transport for liquid wax.

The wick is not intended to burn, even though as it curls while its length is increased and exposed as the candle burns, the curled portion will burn.

The wick transports melted wax from the top of the candle to where the wax is then vaporized by the heat of the flame and then burned.

A toothpick is solid to the extent that little to no wax will be transported into the region of the flame where the wax burns.

That is not to say that the toothpick will not burn for a short time since it is combustible in itself, and may even transport a very limited amount of melted wax that will burn, but that cannot be sustained except for a very short time.

I suppose, once a column of ash from the burned toothpick is formed, that that ash column, now porous, will act as a wick, but I have not tried the same. I expect that the ash-column would be very fragile and subject to toppling into the pool of wax at the top of the candle, thus extinguishing the flame.

Sort of if you burn it first it works the same as a porous convectional wick a burnt match or sticks being bigger gives a bigger flame.

I used to do it all the time when I was young I noticed that if I dipped a burnt match into the wax and lit it flared up until the wax fumes were burnt.

I could dip it and repeat, so I made a candle with a burnt match as a wick a bit fragile but burnt slightly better as the wick did not burn away leaving more area for wax vaporization.

a Toothpick is not as effective as a candlewick. According to an experiment that I have performed in my honours chemistry class, the toothpick doesn’t burn as reliably as a piece of string, nor does it support combustion as well as a piece of string.

So the solutions is that you will have to replace the toothpick in the candle often


Cramming a few toothpicks around the wick will help keep the candle stay alive. When my power went out one time I did this on what was a useless candle. Be very careful too! I noticed the flame got wicked strong.

To produce a brightly burning, reliable candle you will require a well-made wick Use 100% cotton yarn or thread without any dye or bleach.

A glass or metal base or container is also ideal for supporting a candle and keeping you safe. For homemade wicks, you can use tightly rolled-up newspaper, toilet paper, paper towels, twine, or any cotton fabric like strips from an old t-shirt, though, with a couple of these, the item itself acts as a wick Also Know, can you use yarn as a candle wick? To produce a brightly burning, reliable candle you will require a well-made wick Use 100% cotton yarn or thread without any dye or bleach. Any thin cotton string, found in some craft or garden supply stores, will suffice. The reason for this is that a single wick will have a candle formed at each end.

What Can Be Used as a Candle Wick?

If you don’t have any old wick trimmings to save, it is possible to make your own wicks out of basic, household materials.

Here are some common wick substitutes you could use if needed.  However, be cautious with these, because these may not create a clean-burning candle, and it is generally recommended you only use these in emergency-type situations, such as a power outage.


  • Toothpicks, skewers, chopsticks, and popsicle sticks are all made of wood and would work as wicks when lit.
  • However, toothpicks are usually much too short if you are making a tall candle, such as a pillar or container.  These work better as more of a substitute for a wick, such as if your wick is buried in wax.
  • Therefore, you would need something longer such as a BBQ skewer, chopsticks, or popsicle sticks if you are making a pillar or container candle.
  • You will need a metal bottom to hold your make-shift wooden wick.
  • Keep in mind your container or mould for the candle you are making cannot be taller than the wooden wick you are using.  You don’t want the wooden wick to become buried, because then you have just created a new problem for yourself.

Yarn, Cotton String, or Twine

  • Yarn could work as a wick, but it would need a stiffener, such as borax.
  • Also, it would be best if the yarn did not contain any dye or bleach.  So, I’m guessing any type of coloured yarn would not work, but you will want to check the packaging of your yarn to see if it contains any dyes or bleach.
  • A cotton string would work better than yarn.
  • Butcher’s twine is another good substitute for a wick.  It will need a stiffener, such as borax, and should be coated in wax prior to use.


  • Any type of paper, such as regular copy paper, notebook paper, construction paper, card stock, a paper towel, or toilet paper could be used as a wick.
  • You will want to dip the paper into borax and melted wax to stiffen it and allow it to dry before you light it.

Cotton Strips

  • Could cotton strips from an old shirt or socks work as a candle wick?  I saw a blog post that suggested you could use cotton strips from an old shirt as an “emergency” wick to make your own candle.
  • Although it seems plausible that it would work, because you are essentially using cotton, I’m not sure how effective it would actually be, since cotton shirts are made differently than cotton wicks.
  • I would think a string from a sock might be a little more effective than a strip from a cotton shirt.
  • Good cotton wicks are braided, plaited, or knitted.

Old Mop Strand

  • I was surprised to discover that you could use an old cotton strand from a mop, but it makes sense; it is essentially braided cotton.
  • Basically, any type of cotton string, cord, or material that could be fashioned into wick-form would work.  It just needs to be cotton, not polyester.

How to Get 8 Hours of Sleep in 4 Hours


Can you use a toothpick as a candle wick Q & A

What can I make with a short candle wick?

If the wick is too short even to light, melt a bit of the wax with a heat gun and pour it onto a paper plate. You can also scrape out room-temperature wax using a butter knife to expose the wick so you can light it.

Can you use spaghetti as a wick?

But, if your candles are burning too low to reach the wick, there’s no reason to go without your favorite scent. Instead of burning your fingers, light a piece of uncooked spaghetti. It’ll reach into those deep candles and burn long enough to light the candles on grandpa’s birthday cake!

What can you do with candle wax without Wick?

When you can no longer light your candle, retrieve the wax at the bottom of the jar by pouring hot water into the jar. The heat will melt the wax, allowing it to collect at the top. Once it sets you can simply remove that nice layer of wax and use it in an oil burner to get the most out of your fancy candle.

Can I use aq tip as a wick?

Although it’s not ideal, you can use a q-tip as a DIY candle or wick in a survival situation. Bundle several q-tips together with a rubber band, bread tie, or even duct tape and stick them into the ground or into a container of sand to keep them upright.

Can wax burn without a wick?

So why does a candle need a wick? If you try to light a lump of wax you can melt the wax but that is just about all that happens. The wick does the important job of keeping the molten wax in the heat of the flame long enough to vaporize. Liquid wax does not burn.

Can you use a birthday candle as a wick?

If you love to burn scented expensive candles but aren’t fond of wasting what’s left when the wick is gone, you can “recycle” the candle wax to make a new candle utilizing a used child’s birthday cake candle as your new wick. … The wax will melt quickly and you MUST use caution when handling it because you can get burned.

Can you use old candles to make new ones?

The simple answer is yes. The best thing to do is melt down the remaining wax and pour it into a smaller votive—et voilà, you have yourself a new candle. Make sure you combine all the same type of wax (beeswax, paraffin, or soy).

How do you melt leftover candle wax on the stove?

Place your candle into a bowl or pot. Pour boiling water into the pot or bowl until it almost reaches the top of the candle. You can put the pot on the stove if you want and turn the temperature on low. The warm water bath will cause the wax to melt.

How many times can you reuse candle wax?

Some candles can be reused even more than three times, with the scent still intact. The go-to for most people is to keep melting the wax until the fragrance fades. Once the scent fades, don’t dispose of the wax.

Can you melt a candle in the microwave?

If the wax is not liquid, place it back in the microwave for 30 seconds increments until it’s liquid. Try not to overheat your wax. In most cases, the wax will be fine. But the hotter the wax, the longer it will take to cool and the longer it will take.

How do you make a candle wick last longer?

“Before each burns, trim the tip of the wick, just a little.” It also helps the candle to burn cleaner. Simply extinguish the flame, let the candle come to room temperature, and use a candle wick trimmer tool to cut down the wick before relighting. It’s recommended to do this every four hours of burn time.

How do you make a candle wick out of toilet paper?

Just cut a stick of butter in half, quarter a square of toilet paper, twist a quarter of the paper towel to make a wick, and use a toothpick to make room for the wick inside the butter. When you’re done, you have a candle that’ll actually burn for hours.

Can you fix a tunneled candle?

According to Bresler, there are three ways to fix tunnels and even out a candle: If the tunneling isn’t very bad, lay the candle on its side and use your lighter to melt the wax away from the wick and pour it into the trash. … Cut out the wax that is above the level of the wick with a butter knife.

Why does my homemade candle keep going out?

If your candle is still not staying lit, cut away some wax at the top of the candle around the wick. Keep doing this until the wick can support a flame. When it burns, drain the pool of wax around the wick, so that it will not put the flame out.

Where does the wax go when burned?

When you light a candle, the heat of the flame melts the wax near the wick. This liquid wax is then drawn up the wick by capillary action. The heat of the flame vaporizes the liquid wax (turns it into a hot gas), and starts to break down the hydrocarbons into molecules of hydrogen and carbon.

Why does salt make candles burn longer?

Adding salt serves the same purpose as putting the candle in the freezer—it slows down the rate at which the wax melts, giving you a longer, more economical burn. When you use salt in addition to the freezing method, you’re doing all that can be done to squeeze extra time out of a candle.

Do candlewicks need to be waxed?

Waxing the wick of the candle improves its performance hence facilitating better burn. You don’t need to wax the wick if they are pre-waxed. However, if you make your own wicks you need to wax the wick. Wicks are normally a braided thread that vaporizes the moment you lit it.

Why is my candle flame so small?

There are many potential reasons for this: – When the surface of the wax is almost entirely liquid, the flames sometimes shrink for 1 to 2 hours before the level of the candle evens out. – When there is only a few cm of wax left in your candle, less air can access the flame.

Can you melt wax in a glass jar?

Boil enough water to fill the candle jar, then pour into the container, leaving an inch of space at the top. The water will melt the candle wax, causing it to float to the surface of the container. Let cool completely before removing the wax.

Can you melt candle wax in a saucepan?

Fill a large saucepan about half full with water and place it on the stove to heat. Place your wax in a pouring pitcher, clean coffee can, or smaller saucepan. Put the smaller container in the larger saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the wax is completely melted.

Why should you not burn a candle for more than 4 hours?

If you burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time, carbon collects on the wick, and it begins to “mushroom.” This causes the wick to become unstable, the flame gets too large and your candle smokes too much, which releases that dangerous soot into the air and all collects all-around your candle container.

Are burning candles bad for your lungs?

Burning candles release volatile organic compounds and particulate matter into the air. Particulate matter is a mixture of extremely small liquid droplets and particles that can enter your lungs. There’s concern that extended exposure to particulate matter can lead to heart and lung problems.

What candle wax lasts the longest?

Soy wax, which is made from hydrogenated soybean oil, and beeswax are the two longest-lasting waxes. While beeswax typically lasts longer, it is more difficult to work with because it has an extremely high melting point.

Incoming and Related Keywords:

Pliers, Olive Oil, String To Size, Aluminium Foil, Process, Wicks with Borax, Paper Clip, Heloise, Fat Candle, Borax Solution, Excess Wax

Can you use a toothpick as a candle wick