Replacing Tiki Torch Wicks is not a difficult task, but it is one that is required from time to time. If you accidentally forget to cap your wicks after a night on the patio, and it rains, your wicks may get water logged, and ruined. Or perhaps you are curious to try a different formulation for Tiki Torch Fuel (we love Eucalyptus!). If so, you should swap out your wicks when you change your fuel source. Or perhaps your wicks just got old and frayed over time and use.
This article focuses on how to change your Tiki Torch Wicks, and also looks at several replacement wicks available online.
Tiki Torches come in a variety of types, from the traditional kitschy bamboo styles everyone is familiar with to the new, modern Metal Tiki Torches like the one shown here. These torches bring ambiance to the garden or patio space, supply much needed light, and often help keep the bugs away! They can be extremely helpful, and it’s wise to give them occasional attention to ensure that they are burning properly for the rest of the season.
- 1 When to Replace Tiki Torch Wicks
- 2 How to Replace a Tiki Torch Wick
- 3 Product Reviews
- 4 Conclusion
When to Replace Tiki Torch Wicks
There are a few common circumstances that will require replacing Tiki Torch wicks. The major ones are outlined here.
- If existing fiberglass wicks get wet, they should be replaced with new wicks
- If existing wick is made of cotton, it will burn up over time, and will necessitate a new wick
- Should users decide to switch to a new fuel (especially a different brand), they should switch the wicks they are using
- If users burn a fiberglass wick that wasn’t properly soaked in fuel, it may need to be replaced
- Wick gets frayed over time from use
How to Replace a Tiki Torch Wick
1. Measure the Existing Wick
To replace your Tiki Torch wick, first ensure that the current wick is cool to the touch. Measure the size diameter of the wick, and measure the overall length of the receptacle in which the wick is housed.
For Tiki Brand Torches, typically the desired width of the wick is 0.5″ in diameter, and about 9″ in length. Other brands of torches will use different thicknesses, and different lengths, so it’s best to determine the ideal size for your needs.
2. Choose Your New Wick
The next step is to decide what kind of wick you want to get, and to ensure that it will work with your circumstances. There are two primary materials for wicks available: cotton, and fiberglass. The vast majority of Tiki Torch wicks are made of fiberglass, and most buyers will be looking for fiberglass wicks. In the following section, we look at the differences between these types of wicks.
Fiberglass Tiki Torch Wicks
Most Tiki Torch users will want to focus on fiberglass wicks. These wicks are designed to burn the fuel only, and not the wick itself, unlike cotton wicks mentioned below.
The fire pulls the fuel through the wick, and consumes the fuel essentially without consuming the wick. The fiberglass remains, as long as the wick was properly soaked in fuel prior to lighting.
They are usually available in 0.5″ diameter, but other diameters are available, depending on what is needed, and the use cases.
Touching Fiberglass Wicks
Typically we suggest users wear gloves when working with fiberglass wicks. The fiberglass material often has little sharp shards of glass that can come off onto users hands, when they are manipulating the wicks into the receptacles. It is best to be safe, and wear gloves when working with these wicks.
Cotton Tiki Torch Wicks
Typically cotton wicks are cheaper than fiberglass wicks, and are found in cheaper Tiki Torches, or on more traditional lanterns, hurricane lamps, etc. The main issue with these wicks is that they are typically consumed along with the fuel source, just like a traditional candle wick is consumed as it is burned.
This Round Braided Cotton Wick by Firefly is not meant for Tiki Torches per se, and is typically used for candles, oil lamps, mason jar lamps, etc.
For the most part, buyers won’t find many cotton wicks made specifically for Tiki Torches, but we want buyers to understand the difference between Fiberglass and Cotton, and why Tiki Torch Wick buyers want to purchase Fiberglass.
3. Remove the Wick Remnants
Pull out the remnants of the existing wick. If there is a metal ring around the wick, remove the wick from the ring and save the ring for later use with the new wick.
4. Cut the New Wick To Length, if Necessary
Using a sharp scissors, Xacto blade, or other sharp instrument, slice the new replacement wick at the desired length.
If Your Wick is Too Short
If your wick is too short for the application you need, say to reach the bottom of a wine bottle for a wine bottle lantern, you could consider filling the bottom of the wine bottle with fire glass, pebbles, marbles, etc. to create a new bottom much closer to the bottom of your wick. This way, you won’t have a significant problem with the wick falling down into the receptacle.
5. Insert the New Wick into the Receptacle
If there is a metal ring, first insert the wick into the metal ring and secure it, then add it to the receptacle. You want the wick to stick out about 1/4″ to 1/2″. Further than that is not recommended, and will cause excessessive fuel waste.
6. Allow New Wick to Soak in Fuel
You need to ensure that your new wick is soaked in the new fuel for several hours before using. Ensure that the fuel has fully permeated the wick. Otherwise, you’ll be burning down your wick when you light the flame, as opposed to burning the fuel. It will smell and smoke more than necessary, and waste your newly-purchased wicks.
Pre-soaking is very important and will help down the road.
7. Light Your Torch
At this point, you should be all set. Light your torch and have a magical evening! Note: be sure to cover the wick when done to ensure that the wick doesn’t get wet, as water can ruin fiberglass wicks.
In this section, we will look at a few of the popular Tiki Torch Replacement Wicks, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of these options.
The Tiki Brand Torch wicks set shown here are made of Fiberglass. These are ideal for use in standard Tiki brand Tiki Torches, should you seek to change your fuel source, or need to use a new wick. These wicks are stiff fiberglass, and will stand up straight on their own.
Dimensions (Per Wick)
- Diameter: 1/2″
- Length: 9″
This wick set is probably the best bet for most people who are looking for replacements for Tiki brand torches. Tiki also sells a 12 pack that allows for bulk savings, should you have a large number of Tiki Torches you wish to work on.
The Bottom Line
These are the standard wick, and if you like to stick to the brand name, these will serve you well. However, they are quite expensive per wick, and we would suggest looking elsewhere unless you feel the need to have the brand name.
If you’re looking for value for your dollar, this 12 pack of Fiberglass Tiki Torch wicks delivers! At about the same price point as two Tiki brand wicks, you can get this set of 12, which features essentially the same dimensions as the Tiki Brand wicks. These wicks are stiff in the same way Tiki Brand wicks are, and are woven fiberglass. They can be shortened, but they cannot be cut into strips.
Dimensions (Per Wick)
- Diameter: 1/2″
- Length: 9.85″
Unless you’re looking only for a couple of wicks, this set of 12 Tiki Torch wicks works great, and hits an excellent price point. These wicks burn well, create a pleasing flame, and are not excessively smokey. Be sure to keep them between 1/2″ and 1/4″ exposed, and you should get a perfect flame.
A few users have complained of receiving frayed wicks, or wicks that did not function properly. If this happens to you, be sure to contact the company promptly, as they do warranty their wicks, and will likely send you a fresh batch, or give you some tips if you’re struggling with the wicks.
The Bottom LineThese wicks are high quality, and are positioned at a great price point. If you’re one of those Tiki Torch owners who is curious about switching over to Eucalyptus Tiki Oil and needs a big batch of new wicks for your torches, a 12 pack of wicks at this price point makes that switch a little easier on the credit card!
The Oexeo Tiki Torch Kit is a little bit different from the other wicks on our list in that it includes the brass wick mount and 3 black rubber O-rings that enable the wicks to sit in wine bottles and other unconventional vessels. These are great for DIY projects, or if you lost the brass wick mounts for the torch you’re working with.
- Diameter 1/2″
- Length 9 3/4″
These wicks are essentially the same size as the other wicks on our list. They will work in most conventional Tiki torch receptacles, and are great for DIY craft projects as well. These Oexeo wicks are made of fiberglass, and are of similar quality to the other wicks on our list.
The Bottom LineIf the brass wick mount and O-rings are of value to you, then these are a good choice at their price point. Should you plan to make your own DIY torches, these are great, and they make for a fun project. If you don’t need the brass wick mount and O-ring setup, then you’re better off picking up a different set of wicks at a lower price point.
We love Firefly’s Tiki Torch Fuel, and they seem like a really great company in general. For those who have unusual sized wicks, these 3/8″ wicks will fit smaller Tiki Torches. All of the other wicks on our list are 1/2″, so these are certainly helpful for those with odd sized wicks.
These wicks come with an aluminum wick holder, and have a really nice look. They work great with DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torches due to their 12″ length.
- Diameter: 3/8″
- Length: 12″
Only one wick is included in a package, so these are not cheap wicks. That said, they do come with the aluminum wick holder, which is stylish and helpful to those who want to do some DIY stuff. And the 3/8″ diameter is more difficult to find than 1/2″, so if you are in need of new 3/8″ wicks, you may be stuck with these.
To use these as essentially a candle, you can set the wick just barely above the top of the aluminum holder, approximately 1/16″. To use these more as Tiki Torches, set the wick at about 1/2″ above the aluminum wick holder for a bright, clear flame. Going beyond 1/2″ will not be very helpful.
The Bottom LineFor those who need 3/8″ wicks, or who plan to make DIY wine bottle lanterns, these are a great option. If you don’t need a 3/8″ wick, we would suggest picking up one of the cheaper wick packages on our list.
Swapping out your Tiki Torch wicks is not terribly difficult, and we encourage users to swap out their wicks if necessary, rather than throwing out their torches and getting all new housings. Stick with fiberglass if at all possible, wear gloves when working with the wicks, and soak them well before you light them.
In general it’s best to buy in bulk if possible, and the EricX package is the best deal if you’re just looking for Tiki Torch wicks without any wick holders, O-rings, and the like.