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October 27, 2016

Fall is an exciting time for candle makers!

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October 2016
It seems time accelerates during the fall. I'm not sure if it's getting acclimated to the school year or adjusting to the temperature changes—whatever the reason, it seems like the holiday season is upon us before you know it.

It's very difficult these days to determine which holiday is next, some retailers have Halloween on full display, others are featuring Thanksgiving ideas and some even have Christmas displays in front of their store. 

No matter which fall winter holiday you are working toward, below are some last-minute things to consider as you ready yourself for the Candle Season.
Temperature
Without a doubt, temperature is the key variable with any type of wax. The fall can be a time when adjustments need to be made. As the cold weather sets in, sometimes the results of your finished candles change. Temperature is such an important part of the process that that we dedicated an entire issue to temperature. In candle making there are three temperatures that need to be managed - the pouring temperature of the wax, the room temperature and the mold or container's surface temperature.
  • The pouring temperature will vary depending on the type of wax being used. In general, paraffin wax has a better finish when poured hotter, within safety limits. On the other hand, with natural waxes sometimes pouring at a lower temperature can help hold fragrance in the candle and eliminate the candle from sweating. It is very common, and in most cases yields the best results, to pour soy in the 100-110°F range.
  • Many people do not have the ability to control room temperature. This is acceptable, but you must be able to overcome these changes when the climate changes. If your work area gets cold during the winter months, pouring your wax hotter may be necessary. Be sure to check the wax technical sheets to find the recommended pouring temperature.
  • It is advised with almost any wax that you preheat the container or mold to increase the mold/container temperature, especially during the winter months and months with high humidity. When preheating, the heat source needs to be a dry source like a heat gun or hot box. Hot water will introduce moisture to the process, which should be avoided.
Scent
We all know that scent is what sells most candles, but it can also be responsible for the candle not turning out correctly. If you are using a straight paraffin wax and your candle starts to sweat, it is generally a sign that there is too much fragrance. You can help correct it by adding a small percentage (1% or less) of Vybar 103 for pillars and Vybar 260. Remember you don’t want too much Vybar in the formulation because it will affect the scent throw, and in some instances cause the candle to wrinkle on top.

In soy, a common problem is trying to get enough scent in the candle to give it a good cold/hot scent throw. If your soy candle has crusting on top or the candle is sweating you may have too much fragrance in the wax.

There are a few solutions available:
  • Pour the wax a little cooler. Some soy waxes can actually be poured at around 100°F.
  • Add 5-10% palm stearic to your formulation.
  • Reduce the amount of fragrance in the candle (least desirable).
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Pillar Mold Obstacles
It seems any candle maker's career is not complete without having a pillar candle that gets stuck in a mold. As everyone begins experimenting with different types of waxes, colors and designs, inevitably one of these formulations will result in a candle getting stuck in the mold. To avoid this, it is best to spray the mold with a mold releasing agent and to pour slightly above the recommended pouring temperature. If the candle does get stuck, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes and then remove the candle.
Common Problem #1 –Fading Color
One of the more common problems is that several days/weeks after the candle is poured, the brilliant color has faded. With any candle, it is important that you use UV Light Stabilizers. These help the candle from fading because of ultraviolet (UV) lights. Both UV531 and UV5411 are necessary to prevent fading.
Common Problem #2 –Off-Centered Wick
Another common problem, that isn't always visible, is having the wick off centered somewhere in the candle. It is very important that the wick remains centered the entire length of the candle. Each type of candle requires a different method to a centered wick.
  • In votive candles, this can easily be achieved using the votive pins. The votive pin keeps the wick perfectly centered and allows you to use pretty much any type of wick. 
  • Round aluminum pillar molds (3"and 4"in diameter) have pins that can slide up through the bottom to ensure the wick is centered. These pins are a great way to eliminate the time-consuming task of wicking the mold and ensuring that the wax does not leak out.
  • With containers, the bow tie clip is an excellent way to keep the wick centered at the top and glue dot to secure your wick on the bottom of the container.
The Most Important Suggestion
The most important recommendation we can make is to monitor and record every step of your process. This will allow you to continue to repeat the same look and results every time.

The fall is definitely an exciting time for candle makers. It is important to make the most of it and to start building your name.
 
 
 
CHANDLER'S CORNER
How do I determine the burn time of my candle?
Hi. I'm Chandler.One of the important elements when marketing a candle (besides the candle itself) is the burn time. Each candle company has different burning rates, depending on the waxes used and the size of the wick.

In order to properly determine the burn time of a candle, the following procedure should be used:
  1. Light the candle and let it burn for four hours. At the end of this time, blow out the candle.
  2. Wait one hour. Then trim the wick and relight for four additional hours.
  3. Repeat this procedure until the candle is consumed.
  4. Record how many hours you burned the candle.
This will give you a standard burn time you can use to market the candle. Many times consumers let the candle burn continuously, but this doesn't allow the candle to get the maximum burn time.
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