July 01, 2008

Sunscreen For Your Candles?

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 of the sun, resulting in increased shelf life as well as raising your candle’s marketability as a premium product.

UVLAs

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 batches 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!

Additives

There are simple additives that can be used to increase the melt point of your candle for the warm summer months.

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.

The summer does not have to be a time for your candle business to take a vacation, use the upcoming weeks to prepare for the fall season.

Never Made A Candle?

Be sure to look at our crafter site and check out this really great hobby/starter kit. This unique kit includes a pouring pot, 1 pound of wax, wicks, thermometer, molds, color and fragrance. This kit is a great introduction into candle making.

Note: This is a beginner kit and fragrance is a solid fragrance if you want stronger smelling candles you may want to add some of the liquid fragrances to the order. This kit is also ½ off this site for a limited time.

 

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.

CHANDLER'S CORNER

My life has been dedicated to candle making and I always find myself assuming all of our readers are familiar with the terms I use.  In this issue, and upcoming issues, I will provide definitions for terms we use and are pretty much limited to candle making. If you are ever unfamiliar with a term feel free to drop us a quick email and we will be more then happy to provide you the definition.

Melt Pool - This term is used to describe the diameter of liquid wax that occurs during the burning of the wick. In a 4-inch diameter glass the ideal situation is to get a melt pool as close as possible to the side of the container.

Scent Load - This term especially applies to candle making. In general it is the percentage of fragrance placed in the wax. Scent load can run anywhere from 1% percent up to and in some instances exceeding 10%. This translates to 1 ounce of scent to 1 pound of wax is a 5% scent load.

Burn Rate - The amount of wax that is consumed in 1 hour of burning with the specific wick. However, without some type of base the burn rate is difficult to evaluate.

Pre-Wick Assembly - Refers to a wick that is cut to a specific length, has a wax coating and metal base. These parts have made candle making in many instances much easier.

 


July 2008

Project: Making Dipped Tapers

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1
Bend a metal coat hanger into a rectangle with hook centered at top, making sure that the width and height will fit to dip entirely into your large, metal pot.

Step 2
Tie lengths of wick vertically between the top and bottom of the frame. Make sure to space the wicks a few inches apart, so that your candles will not touch as they are dipped.

Step 3
Place wax in a deep pot, such as our melting pot. Place in a pan of water and place on the stove top. Melt the wax in this double boiler and keep the temperature of the wax a steady 160°F (71°C). If the wax is too hot, it will not adhere to your wicks. If the wax is too cool, the surface of your finished candle will be lumpy.

Step 4
If color is desired, add your color squares to the wax once it is completely melted. Make sure the color squares have been dissolved before starting to dip the candles.

Step 5
The dipped tapers are made easily by repeatedly dipping the wick in the wax. Start with dipping the frame all the way down into wax in a slow smooth motion. Slowly pull frame straight up and cool for 3 or 4 minutes. Continue to dip, holding candles in the wax for about 3 seconds and cooling for 3 or 4 minutes between each dip. It is important to move slowly, smoothly and to always dip to the same level. After 6 or 7 dips, you will have a candle about the size of a pencil.

Step 6
As you dip, your frame will also fill up with wax. Periodically push this build up down the sides of the frame into the pot to remelt.

Step 7
Continue dipping until you have the candle diameter you desire. Please note that the candle will automatically form into a rounded, taper shape when the candle is dipped fully each time.

Step 8
Using scissors, trim wick at the bottom of each candle. Suspend your frame and let candles hang until completely cool. Then cut wicks at the top of the frame and level the bottom of each candle in a warmed tin pan.

For more great projects like this one, please check out our Candle Basics Book (item BK-8) with over 50 great projects. You'll find it in the books section of Candlewic.com




Quick Facts

It is very common that jars are named by their fluid capacity in ounces. In most cases this is not equal to weight of wax. The “16 oz” jars will not always equal to a full pound of wax and the candle maker does not always fill the jar to the same level as the jar was rated.

As a rule of thumb, there are approximately 7 pounds of wax per fluid gallon depending on the type of wax. When doing your estimates, please allow for spillage and be sure to note at what level you fill your jars.

View All

Related News

 

The 12 Days of Business

December 01, 2008
2008 En-Light-Eners

Hard to believe we are almost to the end of 2008. We wish to thank all of our customers for their continued support in 2008. We look forward to the opportunity of working with you in 2009 as we start our 37th year in business we look forward to facing the challenges of the industry.

Read More
 

Think Outside the (Candle) Box

November 01, 2008
2008 En-Light-Eners

While doing some recent research, I came across a list of the most annoying “Business Cliches” used in today’s business environment. Number one on this list was "Think outside the Box". After reading enough business journals and speaking with various business people, I would have to agree with this conclusion. It would appear odd to start this article with such an overused/annoying phrase and I will avoid the temptation to do it, but the reference can be used.

Read More
 

HTH (Hope This Helps)

October 01, 2008
2008 En-Light-Eners

On behalf of the Candlewic Company, we wish to thank everyone that takes the time to read our newsletter on a regular basis. It is always fun sharing our passion of candle making with others that have this same enthusiasm. Candlewic has been in business for over 38 years and continues to learn from our customers on a regular basis so be sure to keep in touch with us and be sure to share with your candle community our newsletter and other resources we offer.

Read More