June 01, 2002

Candle Making: Back to the Basics

"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's newsletter for the candle making community.

It is now officially summer and the time of year when some candle companies slow down for a few months. However, many other candle companies that do the craft shows, festivals and fairs are coming into the heart of the season.

We hope that everyone has safe and enjoyable summer. Our staff here at Candlewic is very busy finalizing some new products, glassware and fragrances to assist you in growing your business throughout the course of the year. We encourage you to visit our site often as we launch these new products. We will continue to put our 30 years of experience to work to assist you in all of your candle making needs.

Candle Making Back to Basics
As individuals begin making candles there is a series of basic questions and decisions that are made. They include (but are not limited to) what types of candles to make, which wax to use, fragrance selection and where to make the candles. One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of candle making is the actual "process" of making candles. While all of these decisions are made with the intent of producing consistent and quality candles, the process of making candles is often as important as any other aspect.

When people talk about real estate, the phrase "location, location and location" certainly is a reoccurring theme. In candle making the key phrase has to be "temperature, temperature and temperature." This refers to the temperature at which you pour the wax, the room temperature and the temperature of the mold and or container you are pouring the wax into.

The pouring temperatures for each of the waxes you may use are best determined by following the manufacturer's recommendations. No matter what type of candles you are making, paraffin, gel and/or natural waxes, the pouring temperature is very important. When using quality waxes, pouring hotter can produce better results, but this should only be done when first trying the manufacturer's recommended pouring temperatures. In some instances such as with the J-50, J-223 and the natural waxes, it is advisable to pour at lower temperatures to produce the best results.

While candles can be poured in most rooms year round, it is best to try to control the room temperature as much as possible. Rooms that are warm and humid require different pouring temperatures than rooms that are cold and damp. The only way to determine which is acceptable for your room is to pour several candles and analyze the results. It is not unusual to experience different results in your candles as the temperatures in the room change throughout the year. In many instances when the temperature begins to get cool it may be necessary to pour a little hotter than you would during the summer months. The more you can control the year-round temperature in the room, the easier it will be to get consistent results.

The preheating of the container or mold is directly related to both your pouring temperature and the room temperature. For best results consistently it is advisable to preheat the container or mold to take away any moisture or "chill" that may exist. If you are pouring hotter, you may be able to reduce the amount of preheating required. Some companies have developed procedures where they merely pour hotter and reduce the preheating required. The preheating of these molds or containers should be done with a dry heat (heat lamp or heat gun) and not by hot water. The hot water will actually introduce moisture and have a reverse effect, which can cause air pockets to develop.

In addition to temperatures, it is also important to develop consistent procedures for measuring the various items being placed into your formulation. Wherever possible it is advisable to measure all of your additives, scents and color by weight and not necessarily by teaspoons or tablespoons. Certain additives such as vybar are very effective, but being off of the formulation just a little can change the results of the finished candles.

If you are looking for consistent "looks" in your pillars, it is important to try to use the same type of mold in as many instances as possible. The type of mold, aluminum, tin and or polycarbonate can produce different finishes on your candles.

One nice thing about candle making is that there really is no wrong or right way to make candles if the end result is a safe burning and desirable looking candle. However, the key to make consistent candles is to try to develop consistent procedures taking into account many of the points identified in this article. Many candle companies have developed their most popular candles by mistake or experimenting.


May/June 2002

Making F Wax Candles
Of all the natural waxes, the one that seems to be getting the most attention is the F pillar wax offered by Candlewic.

This unique wax creates a candle that cannot be duplicated using any other wax and each and every candle is a creation itself. Best of all this wax is very easy to use.

Melt the desired amount of the F wax to between 140-160 degrees F and add your color and fragrance. This wax will hold between 4% and 6% fragrance. Preheat the desired mold to 140 degrees F. Aluminum molds seem to work best with this wax. Pour the wax into the mold and as the wax begins to solidify re-pour at about 20 degrees F above your initial pouring temperature. It may be necessary to poke a hole on the top surface prior to re-pouring to ensure there are no air pockets in the candle.

For best performance results during burning, it is recommended you use the RRD wicks, HTP wicks or the CD wicks. All of these wicks are available from Candlewic. (Please call for CD wicks.)

 

What's New At Candlewic?

Mottling, Mottling and more Mottling!

We are receiving nothing but praises on our newest mottling wax the 3035 H for votives and the 4045 H for pillars. These waxes will mottle very nicely batch after batch. Best of all, these waxes are on sale at great prices under our SUPER SALES area on Candlewic.com.

Candlewic is now pleased to announce that we offer the complete line of CD wicks. We will be manufacturing Pre-Wick Assemblies using these wicks so we will be offering the most competitive price available on the Internet. Guaranteed. At the present time wick assemblies must be ordered by calling 215-230-3601.

In Memory of
Elizabeth S. Binder

On behalf of Bill and Dave Binder we would like to thank many of you for the support and kind words we received regarding our mom. Mrs. Betty Binder, was our mom in addition to be being President and co-founder of Candlewic. Our Mom and Dad worked very hard to ensure Candlewic would be a growing and successful company. Our mom will be missed.

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