March 01, 2005

Demystifying Candle Waxes, Part III: Straight Paraffin Waxes

It is hard to believe that we are entering our fifth year of Publication of the En-Light-ener. Over the years we have covered a number of topics and issues and we truly appreciate those that have been with us since the beginning. Our En-Light-ener might only be going into the fifth year but since History is worth telling, I would encourage you to read Candlewic’s History at the bottom of this issue.

Demystifying Candle Waxes, Part III:
Straight Paraffin Waxes.

For those keeping score, this is the third and final chapter in our recent series in "de-mystifying" Candle waxes. In the first issue we covered the blends available on the market, the second issue identified the emerging natural wax market. This final article features the use of straight paraffin wax.

I was fortunate enough to recently attend a Vendor Conference for one of the leading candle manufacturers in the US and the discussion focused on how their manufacturing processes continually becomes more complex instead of easier. You must be thinking, how can that be with all of the new technology and automation available.

It really made me think and even reflect on our business. After thinking about it on the flight home I realized all I had to do was look at our business and it starts to become very clear how this is true in many of our operations.

When we were located in our first warehouse in New Britain (check out our history) we offered at the time about 6-7 straight paraffin waxes with 1-2 specialty waxes like beeswax and bayberry wax. With these 6-7 straight paraffin waxes, we were able to service most of the candle market and candle makers got what they needed in most instances.

We still offer these same straight paraffin waxes and many are still very popular. But in today’s marketplace these are not enough waxes to satisfy all candle makers. Thus the emergence of specialty blends and waxes developed for specific applications, such as carving.

I think for any candle operation a review should be made to determine if a straight paraffin wax is right for that application. It might be an appropriate time to identify what we mean by straight paraffin waxes. For this discussion a straight paraffin is a wax that contains no additives.

One of the advantages of these waxes is that you can make changes to your line to reflect the seasons, such as bright colors for the spring and dark rich colors for the fall. Using straight waxes does require testing and development to create that special look. In the end what you will have is a candle that has a unique look and one that was created by you. Like all the great chefs with their secret recipes, you will have your own special recipe that separates you from the competition.


Container Fill



2530H wax

To this day our most popular wax remains the Container Fill (CF). This straight paraffin is great for making container candles. The reason this wax is most popular is that it can be used in any type of container such as glassware, tin or crocks. If you add a little vybar or micro you can create a very smooth look. Hint: For even more vibrant colors try adding a little more vybar. If you wish to make a mottled candle in these same containers, 2530H is the most suitable wax for this application.

Another popular wax for general candle making is the 3134. This wax is excellent for making votives and for making smaller container candles. The best additive to use with this wax again is vybar but stearic acid is also very popular.


3134 wax



4144 wax

A good base wax for pillar candles or votives would be the 4144 wax. For making pillars you will want to use vybar in some percentage and then a micro or even stearic acid.

While the development of your candle line may take longer using a straight paraffin wax the rewards can be very gratifying and unique because you will have your own formulation. Some of the most unique lines of candles have been developed by trial and error. In fact, during the early phases of mottled candles, some candle makers said that it was a mistake and that someone forgot to put in the necessary additives.

While the choices for wax can be overwhelming, we at Candlewic are committed to assisting you in selecting the right wax for your application.

CHANDLER'S CORNER

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.
On behalf of the Candlewic Company I hope that this series highlighting waxes was of assistance. The number one question I hear from customers is what wax should I use to make my candles?

It is important that I point out that all of the waxes we offer are excellent for its specific application and my suggestion should not imply that you are using the wrong wax for the type of candle you wish to make. I would like to identify some of my favorites and ones, which are always a good starting point.

Straight Wax Blended Wax Low Shrinkage Blend Mottled Wax Natural Wax
Container Candles
CF CBL-129 CBL-130 2530H Soy-125
Votives
3134 CBL-141 5560 3035H CSP-1
Pillar Candles
4144 CBL-141 n/a 4045H Palm-3

 


March 2005

PROJECT:
Rose Candle

With spring right around the corner I can't think of a more appropriate project than a Rose Candle. This Rose, Daisy and Poinsettia is just what you need to kick off your spring.

This candle can be made very easily using the M-22 Rose floater. You start by sliding unwaxed wick material through the bottom of the mold. You will need a "long pointed" object to force the wick through the hole. Once the wick is passed through the bottom of the mold, secure it on top of the mold with a wick bar. If you don’t have a wick bar, a popsicle stick will work.

Helpful Hint: Leave extra lengths of wick at the bottom of the mold so when you remove your candle from the mold, it will be automatically wicked for your next pour.

You then secure the mold together with rubber bands. Take your paraffin wax, CBL-141, which can be scented and/or colored and pour at around 180-185 degrees F. Top off the candle. When the candle has properly solidified, remove it from the mold. This floating candle will add a very nice accent to any party.

Extra Touch
Pour a number of these roses in red. After about 4 or 5 pours, pour one in white. The dye, which can accumulate on the mold, will "bleed" into the white wax and create a lovely pink color. Other flowers available in polyurethane molds for floaters include Daisy and Poinsettia.

What's Hot?
Top Waxes
CF
4045EP
4045H
SOY 125
3134
CBL-129
J-223
CBL-125
CBL-130
CBL-141
3032
3035H
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Our History
The Candlewic Story is one that ownership is proud to share and shall always leave a lasting legacy for William R. Binder, II and Elizabeth Binder. It is the quintessential story of a business that started in Bill and Betty’s kitchen and by identifying a market being unfilled at the time is now an Industry leader in the “fragrance craft market”.

The business started out very innocently as Betty was in her normal course of being a devoted mother and serving as a “Den Mother” for her son’s local Cub Scout Troop. As any dedicated Den Mother does she sought out the best and most unique crafts for the troop to participate. Fortunately, for all of us she found the best craft of them all -- Candle Making. So intrigued by the properties of this newfound art, the entire family was making, selling and marketing candles and candle supplies by 1970.

“I expect that in another five years, making candles at home will be as commonplace as dyeing Easter Eggs.”

   William Binder, II
   December 26, 1972
   The Intelligencer
 

The Binder family vacations were always centered on the location of the next candle convention. The development and growth of Candlewic was always a family affair, which included a grade school science project on the burning characteristics of waxes, which, incidentally, did win an award.

Making and selling candles and supplies in a residential house was not enough for Bill and Betty Binder so in the mid 1970’s the entire operation was moved to New Britain. The business continued to grow to the point that the New Britain facility was too small. In 1994 the Binder Family purchased 8 acres in beautiful Upper Bucks County and built a new warehouse and manufacturing facility and the entire operation was run from that facility. As Candlewic continued to grow in 2001 it was necessary to open a second facility dedicated to distribution of the many products.

Over the last couple of years Candlewic continues to expand its product offering which now includes soap making supplies and entire line of specialty blends developed from 30 years of experience. In July of 2004 the company was successful in consolidating the entire operation in one facility in Central Bucks County.

The 2nd generation of Binder, brothers Dave and Bill now lead Candlewic. While the original prediction of “being as commonplace as dying as Easter Eggs” has not been achieved the candle crafting industry continues to grow and Candlewic will be at the forefront of this new era.

View All

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