Here at Firefly, we believe fiberglass wicks are always the way to go, whether you have a tiki torch or oil lamp. Cotton wicks work well in oil candles though. They don't burn up like cotton wicks, so they last far longer (indefinitely, if you treat them properly), and give you a more consistent flame. Sadly, there are times when your fabulous fiberglass wick can no longer do its job…
Tiki Torch Wicks: We love tiki torches because they bring primal fire to our backyards and patios, but the nature of the torch means it’s, well…outside. The great outdoors can be scary for your torch wick, who’s not a fan of getting wet. The best thing to do is always protect your wick with a snuffer when not in use. If your torch and wick do end up getting rained on, and the water absorbs into your wick and ends up in the fuel reservoir, the best thing to do is replace the wick, toss the spoiled fluid, and replace it with new tiki torch fuel.
Lamp and Candle Wicks: There are a lot of different fuel options for lamp and candle oil, but they don't mix well. When switching between different types of oil (colored, scented, etc.), it's always best to change the wick to match. Also, the quality and purity of paraffin oils on the market varies widely, and a lower-quality oil can cause the strands of your wick to gum together and no longer absorb the oil properly. You may think you're saving money by purchasing cheap liquid paraffin, but you'll quickly make up the difference in replacement wicks.
- Trim wicks regularly to ensure the best flame (an uneven wick will give you an uneven flame).
- A flat, horizontally-cut wick will give you the most fuel-efficient flame.
- If you're using high-quality paraffin lamp oil, and your lamp is smoking a lot, you probably have too much wick exposed (if you're using a low-quality paraffin oil, expect to regularly set off your smoke detector).
With Autumn upon us, it's a great time to enjoy the gorgeous weather outdoors with a tiki torch (for those of us in the South), or cozy up indoors with an oil candle or lantern (for you Northerners). Either way, a clean and happy wick will keep your fires burning all season long!