July 01, 2003

Sunscreen For Your Candles

Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's newsletter for the candle making community. As always, we thank everyone who has taken the time to read our En-Light-ener. We do have a complete list of the backissues on our website if you would like to review some of the topics covered in previous editions.


Sunscreen For Your Candles???
As the warm summer sun ushers in the fun days of outdoor activities and bright warm days, candle makers everywhere are out and about selling their candles. Unfortunately the same sun, which brings us the beautiful days of summer, also causes havoc on our candles. Candle makers everywhere are forced to hide their beautiful masterpieces in an effort to keep their candles from fading or melting in the warm heat. There are a few simple tips and additives that can help protect your candles from the damaging rays from the sun, resulting in an increased shelf life as well as raise your candle’s marketability as a premium product.

Ultra Violet Light Absorbers (UVLA’s) were designed to reduce the fading of candles that are displayed in natural or artificial light. Think of them as sunscreen for your candles. Ugly fading (photo degradation) can be caused by a variety of factors, but nearly always can be avoided by the addition of UVLA. Usage levels vary greatly depending upon application, but a general rule of thumb for large batch lots is to use about 45 grams per 100 pounds of wax. Smaller batches use 1/2 teaspoon to 10 lbs of wax. Some testing will be required for different colors to maximize effectiveness. Some candle makers view UVLA as an unnecessary increase in the cost of materials while others realize the value of UVLA as an extremely simple way to increase the shelf life of their candles. On average, UVLA only costs about 4 or 5 cents per gram, which equates to less than $2.25 per 100 pounds of wax (just over 2 cents per one pound candle). You can even announce the added value protection on your label and charge an extra 50 cents per candle. That is over 2000% mark-up on investment!

There are simple additives that can be used to increase the melt point of your candle for the warm summer months.
Soy Wax
Candle makers have been using Stearic Acid for well over 150 years as a way to increase the melting point of lower melt point waxes. With a melt point of 150 degrees F, it is a fatty acid that is available in two types. Regular Stearic Acid is great for paraffin candles, while its vegetable counterpart Palm Stearic is great for using in Soy Waxes. Another popular additive is Micro 180, which is a microcrystalline wax. Used anywhere form 2% to 10%, Micro 180 can help eliminate saggy candles in real hot weather. A word of caution: any additives you introduce to your candles may alter the appearance or burn properties and proper testing must be performed.

This last tip is 100% free and 100% effective. As the old adage states, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Quite simply, keep candles out of light whenever possible. Many of our Libby Branded Jars are shipped to you in a sturdy reusable box that makes a great protector for your finished candles. If you are selling your candles in an outdoor venue, purchase a shade tent to keep you and your candles out of the sun. On really sunny days, consider keeping fewer products out on the open table, and when a customer makes a purchase, you can give them a candle that was stored below in a box. For those of you who ship your candles to retail stores, a quick chat with the store owner to explain the importance of displaying the candles away from the windows will save you a lot of money in returns. Some dedicated shop keepers have even gone as far as having their windows lightly tinted to help ward off the damaging sun, not to mention the energy bill decrease by having less stress on the air conditioner.

CHANDLERS CORNER

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.
Many people ask me to use my magic wand and transport their wax for free, but even my powers have their limits. Although I may not be able to ship you wax with a tap of my wand, there are options available to reduce your shipping costs.

UPS has what is called a “hundred weight” service for shipments over 200 pounds. This service dramatically reduces the per pound weight of your wax shipment as well as decreases the quantity of orders being shipped to you, which saves you money and time. A good rule of thumb is that it will cost you roughly the same amount to ship 4 cases of wax as it does to ship 2 or 3 cases at regular rates. Many of our case rates decrease in price once you order 5 or more cases, so combine the shipping savings and the bulk purchase price savings to really save yourself some money.

The number one waste of money is shipping any item by using expedited service. Time is money. Most candle supplies have a long shelf life, and if you make candles you will need supplies – no surprises. It is not a good practice to order items at the last minute and have them shipped over night. Take advantage of bulk discounts and order supplies early. By doubling your quantities, you will decrease your shipments by half.

For larger shipments, you can rest assured that our transportation manager will get the best rate possible. If you live in a residential neighborhood, the trucking company may charge you a fee of $40. We have no control over this fee. If you do not have a way to unload the truck, do not depend on the driver to help you. They are not obligated to help with the unloading. If they should help, you may receive a bill after the fact. Many people form buying groups and purchase wax by the pallet for bulk savings and lower shipping rates. If none of the members have a loading dock, sometimes a local business will do it for you in exchange for candles, or a small fee in order to buy their employees lunch.






July 2003

PROJECT:
To Dip or
Not To Dip

For those of you who may not own a Dipping Tank or a vessel large enough to use a Dipping Wheel, there are plenty of ways to use dipping techniques to create fantastic candles. Before dipping anything into melted wax, be sure the item is suitable for such a purpose and will not be harmed or cause bodily harm by being dipped. Always keep all body parts safely away from melted wax and wear approved safety glasses.

The easiest item to make is a mini taper or birthday candle. Use pliers to grasp a piece of flat braided wick such as a 12 Ply or 15 Ply and dip the wick repeatedly in any pillar or freestanding candle wax with a melt point higher than 140 degrees F melt point. Let cool between dips. Keep dipping until desired diameter matches your wick size. Hand dipped birthday candles really show how much you care about a person.

Another dipping technique involves the use of Pigment Dye. Pigment dyes can only be used to color the outside of the candle and will clog the wick if you color the core. Make a small batch of wax using .5 to 2 percent pigment dye. By dipping any freestanding candle into the mixture, you can transform its color almost instantly. Some people dip Pre-Made White Candles to instantly match any color scheme for any occasion. For an added touch of elegance, take a blunt instrument and carve designs into the over-dip so the core color shows through. Don’t limit yourself to pillars and votives. Our Apple Mold dipped halfway in brown makes a candle almost worth biting into, or our Christmas Tree Mold dipped halfway in white looks just like wintertime.
 
Candlemaking Kits!
Pillar/Votive Candlemaking Kit
KIT-1 as low as $27.75


This exciting kit is a great introduction to make pillars, votives and floaters. The kit will provide you the opportunity to use many of the different types of molds available at Candlewic including aluminum, poly carbonate, votive and floater. What a great way to start your candlemaking business or hobby.

Order this kit by end of July and get a bonus 2 pounds of wax.


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