How to Make Replacement Tiki Wick Cotton Rope

Things You'll Need

  • Spool of cotton string twine

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon boric acid

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • Mixing bowl

  • Mixing spoon

Handmade tiki torch wicks burn as well as store bought ones.
Image Credit: Julie Bazinet/iStock/Getty Images

Illuminate the dark and keep mosquitoes away using a tiki torch with a handmade tiki wick. Replacement tiki torch wicks can be costly and hard to find at the store during the off season, but constructing them at home is easy and inexpensive. Tiki torch wicks are made in several stages, and while the completed project takes a couple of days to finish, it only requires a minimum of effort. The longest step of the project is the drying time.

Step 1

Cut 18 pieces of 20-inch cotton string twine. Cut one 4-inch section of cotton string twine, and set it aside. Place the long pieces of cotton twine together so that the ends are perfectly aligned. Tie a knot into one end of the cotton twine. Divide the strings into three sections with six strings in each section. Braid the three sections together. Make sure your braid is tight. Tie the 4-inch section of cotton string twine around the loose end of the braided tiki torch wick. Secure it with a square knot. Cut the loose ends of the tie away from the wick.

Step 2

Make a soaking solution using a mixture of water, salt and boric acid. In a large mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of boric acid. Stir the ingredients until they are dissolved in the water. Place the tiki torch wick into the mixture and let it soak in the solution for at least 12 hours.

Step 3

Remove the soaked wick from the solution and hang it to dry it in a warm area, but away from any open flame. Allow the wick to dry for two or three days, or until it's completely dry. Before using it in your tiki torch, inspect the wick to make sure it is dry.


Soak the tiki torch wick in the torch oil before using it the first time.

Tiki torch wicks soak up the oil in the torch. Substitute vegetable oil and add essential oil fragrance for citronella oil to make perfumed tiki torches.

Your kids can help you make the tiki torch wicks, but make sure you supervise.


Keep the homemade tiki torch wick solution out of your eyes.

Always wash your hands after handling chemicals.