August 01, 2013

Sunscreen For Your Candles

Sunscreen For Your Candles

While the summer may be coming to a close for many, those in the candle market are hoping it starts to heat up. The candle market is always the strongest during the fall and winter as candles make an excellent gift as well as adding ambiance to any room during the Holidays.

While many may stop using sun tan lotions in the upcoming weeks, those that make candles should resist this temptation and continue to use the UV's for their candles.

Unfortunately, the same sun which brings us the beautiful days of summer and fall, 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 if they do not use the proper UVLA's. 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!

It is important to note that if the color is fading rapidly in 1-2 weeks it is not generally due to fading but more or a reaction between the color and fragrance. To resolve this situation you should look to change you method of coloring your candles. If you are using liquid dyes try the color blocks or if you are using the color blocks try using the liquid dyes. The oil of the fragrance is reacting with the dye and by doing this you can help resolve this situation.

Additives

In addition to fading the fall is also prone to hot days as well. Nothing is more problematic then setting up for a show outside with extreme heat. In addition certain parts of the country always have the warm days and their formulas should adjust as well. There are simple additives that can be used to increase the melt point of your candle for these time periods and locations.

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.

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.

 


August 2013

Featured 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

 

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