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.
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!
are simple additives that can be used to increase the melt point of your candle for the warm summer
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.
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.
Project: Making Dipped Tapers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.