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Candle Making Frequently Asked Questions

Candlewic offers a complete line of candle making supplies including candle wax, candlewicks, candle molds, candle dyes, candle scents and candle making equipment. Here you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Candlewic and candle making.

Click on the questions below to learn more about candle making:

How can you identify problems with your candle making process?
Is there an easy way to make candles that look elaborate?
What is so essential about essential oils?
Why are essential oils so expensive?
What is the ideal pouring temperature for my candles?
What type of wax should I use for different types of candles?
Is there an easy way to make pillar candles?
Is there an easy way to make votive candles?
Do I need instructions on my candles?
How do I stop the candle from sweating but still get mottling?

How do I conduct my burning test?
What is a burn rate?

Can you use additives in blended waxes?
Can wax additives be used for natural waxes?

What are the requirements for using a Common Carrier for shipments?

Is Candlewic for the hobbyist or for the professional candle maker?
Does Candlewic manufacture candles for sale?
Sometimes I follow all recommendations and I still can't seem to get it right. Why is that?
What if I don't see something I am looking for?
Can Candlewic blend my wax recipe for me?

How can you identify problems with your candle making process?
New candle making products and technologies are introduced on a regular basis. Once in a while a candle maker will run into a challenge during a late night candle pouring session, or while I am off traveling the world on weekends looking for new and exciting products. These are the times when you need answers most, but there is nobody awake you can call. There is good news. Most times the answer is in your very own hands, and you do not even realize it. There are two factors to concentrate on - candle wax temperature and candle making variables.

It is amazing how pouring and heating temperatures can dramatically affect the appearance of your candle. Check all your candle making ingredients and make sure you are following the manufacturers suggestions on temperatures. Some additives need higher temperatures to fully incorporate, while others may have restrictions on how hot they can be heated.

The other things to note are the variables in candle making when adding ingredients. Try removing different candle making ingredients one at a time in order to see if the undesired aspect is affected. Let's take a basic candle with fragrance and color and suppose you are unhappy with a certain characteristic of that candle. The next step is to make the candle other ways but leaving out the ingredients one at a time. You would make one candle with just candle wax, one candle with just candle wax and fragrance, and one candle with just candle wax and color. After each candle has cooled, inspect the new candles and see which one loses or gains the undesirable characteristic. By doing this, you can narrow down which candle making ingredient is causing the problem and take the corrective action that is needed. Sometimes it is as simple as decreasing candle fragrance, using some additional additives, or changing your pour temperature.

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Is there an easy way to make candles that look elaborate?
One way to easily achieve this is to use polyurethane rubber candle molds. These easy to use candle molds help the candle maker create unique brand extensions of their existing line in order to help separate themselves from the competition.

  1. Use a few rubber bands around the candle mold to seal the sides together. Some people use hose clamps, but they can be cumbersome and difficult to gauge tightness. Rubber bands break down over time, so keep a few extra on hand.
  2. Leave extra wick at the bottom of the mold. This extra length can be used to tie beads or information cards to the candle, which sometimes are difficult to label. This extra wick can also be used as the wick for the next candle. By removing the candle and pulling the extra wick through, the candle is ready for the second pour without having to re-wick it.
  3. Keep your candle molds clean to avoid any discoloration of the candles when changing colors. If you leave a little red wax left in the candle mold, and then change to yellow, you may get orange spots in the yellow candles. Keep them clean!
  4. Have fun with color bleed. One example is the M-22 Rose Floater Candle Mold. By pouring a deep red a few times, then switching to a hot pour of uncolored white, will result in a really uniquely colored candle. The left over red candle wax in the mold gives a neat pink striped affect to the white candle wax.

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What is so essential about Essential Oils?
Now that Candlewic offers essential oils, many people ask me what are they, and why would somebody need to use them. Essential oils are oils that have been extracted from various species of flowers, fruits, herbs, and plants. Many people consider essential oil from plants, herbs and flowers as a very precious substance, because the oil is an easy to use way to get the essence of a particular plant without having to process the plant your self. Essential oils are used in infinite ways by many different cultures around the world. Depending on the type of oil, there are many medicinal, therapeutic, and homeopathic uses for oils.

Candlewic's line of essential oils is ideal for making truly natural soaps and candles. When using the essential oils in your candle making and soap making, be sure you communicate to your customers that essential oils were used so customers realize why they may be paying a premium for your product. Other uses for essential oils include aromatherapy diffusers, potpourris, a few drops added straight into bath water or Jacuzzi water, massage oils (mix roughly 10-20 drops of oil to 1 ounce of pure vegetable oil), and creating your own perfume (15-25 drops of an essential oil to 1 ounce of water in a mist spray bottle). The list is endless.

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Why are Essential Oils so expensive?
Essential oils are pure and natural – they are not synthetically made in a laboratory. Depending on the plant and extraction process, it takes a lot of plant matter to make a small amount of oil. For example, it takes roughly 200 pounds of lavender flowers to produce 1 pound of lavender oil. That is 200 pounds of lavender flowers that could be used for all sorts of other uses such as teas, pillows, and soap additives besides oil extraction. When you buy one pound of essential oil, you are actually purchasing 200 pounds of lavender – but without having to extract the oil yourself.

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What is the ideal pouring temperature for my candle making process?
The pouring temperature is going to vary greatly depending on what type of candle is being made, the desired finish and even the time of year. In general a Soy container candle wax should be poured anywhere from 120 degrees F up to 140 degrees F. Pillar candles made with paraffin candle wax will get best results when poured in excess of 180 degrees F, most one pour waxes 150-160 degrees F and container candles made with other paraffin candle waxes would be 170-180 degrees F. These are just general guidelines and you may find you like the results at different temperatures. It is advisable wherever and whenever possible to preheat your candle container and candle molds. Preheating can be accomplished in many different means including heat guns, heat lamps or any "dry" heat source. (Do not dip in hot water.)

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What type of candle wax should I use for different types of candles?
We have spent a lot of time around waxes and would like to offer general suggestions or comments on the various candle waxes that are available. These are just some general observations and are by no means intended to imply that other waxes are wrong for the application. One of the truly unique features of candle making is that every candle maker has his or her own propriety blend.

Containers
The J-50 blended candle wax continues to be the most popular choice. This "low shrinkage" candle wax is a blend that will produce containers with a creamy look and is capable of holding a large amount of scent. For a mottled container we would highly recommend the 2530H paraffin candle wax. For a straight paraffin the CF is the best with about ½ - 1% Vybar 260 candle wax additives.

Pillars/Votives
The The CBL-141 Pillar/Votive Candles candle wax is one of the best on the market. It is also worth considering the 6228 pillar candle wax. For mottled pillars nothing is better than the
4045H melt point candle wax.

Natural Wax Candles: Containers
Soy 125 candle wax is the most cost effective soy and is capable of holding about a 5% scent load.

Natural Wax Candles: Pillars
The PS natural candle wax will work best for pillars. It is important to note that no other Soy candle waxes should be blended with this product. The Yellow beeswax candle wax is also a very good choice.

Special Effect Candle Wax
The F natural candle wax is by far our favorite. Click here to read the November 2002 edition of the En-Light-ener for a project using this candle wax.

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Is there an easy way to make pillar candles?
One of the simplest tricks we can offer on making pillar candles when using aluminum candle molds or tin candle molds is to feed the wick through the bottom of the mold and secure on top with wick holder bar (M-321). Secure the bottom with a rubber plug rubber plug (M-114)…now the secret is to leave a lot of extra wick at the bottom of the candle mold. By doing this you can automatically "wick" the mold for your next pour when you pull the finished candle out of the mold. This procedure should work with all aluminum candle molds, tin molds and polyurethane (including taper molds). This little trick can save you time by making it unnecessary to feed the wick through the hole for each and every pour.

A second option would be to use pillar pins for the 2", 3" and 4" round aluminum molds. These pins are available for aluminum molds up to 6-1/2" in height. The pins slide up through the bottom of the pillar mold and the round mold can then rest on the pin. These pins have proven to be a true time saver when used.

If using aluminum molds and you wish to reduce or eliminate the air bubbles the mold should be preheated and the wax should be poured at around 180-185 degrees F.

For making pillars, the best wax we would recommend is the CBL-141 votive pillar blend candle wax. For mottling pillars we would recommend you use the 143 melt point wax 4045H.

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Is there an easy way to make votive candles?
One of the recent developments for making votives is the votive pin. This simple devise allows a votive to be made with the wick centered each and every time. The pin also allows cotton and other specialty wicks to be used since the rigidity is not a factor. You can simply place the pin in the cup, pour the wax and if necessary top off. When the candle hardens remove the pin and slide a Pre-Wick assembly in the preformed hole of the candle.

Another new development for making votives is the exciting new V wax. This wax is truly a 1 pour designed specifically for votives. The V wax is easy to use and can hold up to 6% fragrance. It should also be noted that pins are also presently available for 2" & 3" diameter pillars up to 6½ in height.

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Do I need instructions on my candles?
Our answer is always a resounding Yes!

I would even go as far to say that an instruction label should be put on the candle if you are only giving the candle to friends. While many consumers burn candles, there are still many who are not aware of some of the basic maintenance required of a candle. This maintenance includes trimming the wick and only burning the candle for four hours at a time. The bigger question is what should be included, given the limited space on the burning instructions. There are items that always must be included and some that should be on the instruction. I have seen some very clever things done to include even more instructions. Some use attractive tags that hang on the candle. Others refer the customer to their company’s web site for further information. Here is a list of information to include on your instructions:
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Keep burning candle away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Trim the wick 1/4" inch before each burn cycle
  • Candle holder must be heat resistant and suitable for the candle being used.
  • Do not leave wick trimmings, used matches and other debris in the candle.
  • If flame height gets to large extinguish immediately.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Do not move the candle when it is burning.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Read and follow all manufacturer instructions carefully.
  • Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and air currents.
  • Extinguish a candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high. Cool, trim wick, check for drafts, and re-light. Discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2" if in a container).

As you can see there are a lot of items that must be considered on the label and your instructions. Make sure you include as much information as possible so that your customer knows how to properly—and safely—burn the candle.

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How do I stop the candle from sweating but still get mottling?
Getting a candle to mottle consistently without getting the scent to "bleed out" is a balance between using the correct amount of scent, the proper wax and how it can be improved with a wax additive. Our best recommendation would be to use the 4045H wax, about 4-5% fragrance, and about 1% Vybar 343 candle wax additive as the wax additive. For those not familiar Vybar 343, it is a recently introduced product that has been designed to assist in holding in the fragrance while still letting the mottling occur. Standard Vybar 103 candle wax additive and 260 candle wax additive were designed to eliminate the mottling. This new product has been very successful in this application.

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How do I conduct my burning test?
The most effective way to conduct a burn test is in accordance with how your instructions are written. In general the instructions will be to burn the candle for four hours and then extinguish. Wait one hour, trim the wick and relight. This process should be done until the entire candle is consumed. By conducting the burn test in accordance with your instructions, you can help when problems arise with smoking and sooting. It is always best to start your testing with the smallest intended wick for the application and move up in size until you select the proper wick.

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What is a burn rate?
The burn rate is the amount of wax that is consumed per hour. However, without something to measure this against, the burn rate is not an effective measurement. Where the burn rate can be effective is if you want to change something (such as the type of wick) in the makeup of your candle. For example the 60-44-18 zinc wick has a burn rate of 6.6 grams per hour. If you wanted to switch from zinc to cotton wicks, you would know to start your test burning with something like a 44-32-18 cotton wick, which has a burn rate of 6.4 grams per hour.

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Can you use additives in blended waxes?
Yes, but that defeats the purpose of buying a blended candle . Once additives are used, they enter uncharted territory and makes it more difficult for diagnosing any issues down the road. Good side is your candles will be different than other people using same blended candle wax.

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Can wax additives be used for natural candle waxes?
Yes, but be careful if promoting a natural candle they only use natural additives. Vybar, Palm stearic, beeswax, petro?

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What are the requirements for using a Common Carrier for shipments?
Commercial address and a way to unload the truck. Driver only responsible to get load to tail of truck. Any additional services usually cost extra - lift gate, phone call from driver, residential address.

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Is Candlewic for the hobbyist or for the professional candle maker?
Candlewic has been assisting candle makers of all sizes for over 30 years. So if you are just beginning or have been making candles for years, Candlewic can be your one stop source for candle making supplies. Call our friendly Customer Care Representatives to see how we can assist you.

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Does Candlewic manufacture candles for sale?
NO We feel strongly that we do not want to compete with our customers. By only selling candle making supplies it allows us to spend time and efforts on offering quality products on everything from candle waxes to fragrances. Click here to buy candle making supplies.

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Sometimes I follow all recommendations and I still can't seem to get it right. Why is that?
Many variables. Sometimes it's as simple as the ambient temperature of the room, or heating of the candle container or candle mold. Candle making is an art, and the longer you do it the easier it becomes. Important part is to write down all you can regardless of success or failure.

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What if I don't see something I am looking for?
Call us or send email and let us know.

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Can Candlewic blend my wax recipe for me?
Yes, but quantities start at a ten thousand pound minimum. Contact Candlewic for further information.

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The Candlewic Company

Supplies the candle making industry with candle making kits, molds and accessories including candle wax, gel, and wicks.

3765 Old Easton Road
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901
800-368-3352 | Local: 215-230-3601
Fax: 215-230-3606

info@candlewic.com




Official Distributors of: Penreco Candle Gels
Members: IGCA, National Candle Association



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