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April 21, 2017

Take action on candle making resolutions!

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April 2017
It’s hard to believe that the first quarter is already over. Hopefully by now everyone has submitted their 2016 tax returns, and even better, received a refund. It seems every year the first quarter gets away from many of us and we don’t have the time to tackle our New Year’s resolutions. We hope our readers’ New Year’s resolutions included making candles in 2017 or growing your already existing candle business, and that by the time you finish this article you can take action.

Candle making on the surface appears to be any easy process—melt some wax, add fragrance/color place your wick, pour and magically you have the perfect candle. Those who have ventured into this world know this does not happen very often. Yes, the basic process can be that simple but making that perfect candle can take some time, practice and testing.

Landing on any site specializing in candle making can be a daunting task. You might be wonder: Which wax to use?  Which wick to use?  What type of jar? And the list goes on. For many beginners, a kit can be the best way to get started. There are a number of kits available at Candlewic.com. The type of kit you purchase will depend on your budget and what you want to accomplish. One of the most basic kits is the Pouring Pot Kit.
Essential Candle Making Kit
As pictured, this kit includes a pouring pot, wicks, metal votive cups, a thermometer and other essential items. The kit will allow you to make six votives and introduce you to the candle making process. This kit does not require handling of liquid fragrances or dye measurement.

This kit also makes a great gift or retail item, because it is uniquely packaged inside of the pot and looks great on a retail shelf.
If you wish to spend a bit more money and get better fragrance throw, you might be interested in our Container Candle Making Kit. This kit has the basic raw materials which includes 5 lbs. of container paraffin wax, three 10 oz. apothecary jars, three 9 oz. hexagon jars, 10 6" prewicks, five color chips and one fragrance combo pack. You will need to purchase a pouring pot and thermometer if you do not already have these tools.

This kit is great because the fragrance throw can be maximized, wicks are sized for the application and you can choose from five of the fragrance combo packs available. This particular kit is for a soy/paraffin blended wax and similar kits are available in pillars, soy and palm candles. This line of kits is great because of the robust fragrances available, being able to choose them and different style jars.
Soy Wax Kit with Seasonal Scents
The newest and best selling kits right now have everything you need to make a soy wax candle. The Soy Container Kit -- Spring/Summer is a kit that includes four 1oz. fragrances (Wildflower, Red Pineapple, Mango & Banana Leaf and Agave Nectar) four color chips, 12 burning instructions, 12 8oz. candle tins one 1lb. pouring pot, three bow tie clips, 14 prewicks, 41lbs. premium soy wax, one thermometer and 12 gluedots . You will see throughout the year addition kits introduced in this format that will include the seasonal fragrance and new fragrance collections.

Kits like the above take a great deal of the guess work out of the process as well as not having to over buy on some of the components. Items such as wicks are sold in 100 piece counts, jars in 12 piece counts and with paraffin waxes in many instances 10lbs. So trying to get the right mix without over buying or under buying is a challenge.
Your Candle Making Resource
However, if you wish to jump right to the next level of candle this can also be done very easily with the resources available at Candlewic.com. To get started, we recommend budgeting between $85 to $110, depending on how many fragrances you wish to try, the type of jar you are purchasing and type of wax. Learn how to get started by visiting the Education section on our site.

If you are already making candles in the kitchen and wish to take your hobby to the next level, we highly recommend water jacketed tanks. These start at 70lbs and go all the way up to 540lbs. so we have ever size to meet your needs.
Selecting a Melter
The first step is determining what size melter you will need. Think about things such as optimal batch sizes, the types of wax/soap used last year or that large account you could have given a bid to. If you are just starting out and making only a few candles of each scent, you can melt a large batch in the melter and simply stir your recipe into a pouring pot individually until your business grows large enough to fill the entire melter with just one scent per batch. We found that an enthusiast or hobbyist gets the best results with a 70-lb or a 100-lb melter. If you are in a business or want to start a business, a 150-lb melter (water jacket) is a great starting point.

If you already have a melter, you can purchase a larger melter to feed into your existing setup to increase melt times. For example, if you have a 100-lb melter, you can purchase a 200-lb, a 300-lb, a 500-lb, or a 1,000-lb melter to feed into it. This way, you pull 100lbs. off the large vat and can put fresh wax into the already melted wax to start melting while you pour the 100lbs.

The good thing about a wax melter is that no matter what size tank you purchase, you will always find a use for the unit. Generally, a company’s biggest concern is that they don't have enough capacity to take on large orders, but it’s unlikely that someone in the small or medium sized company complain that they have too much capacity.

One of the important things we always stress with candle and soap making, is that with almost any budget you can enjoy the process at multiple levels.
CHANDLER'S CORNER
Hi. I'm Chandler.I attend a number of fairs during the summer and it seems like my wax does not have a high enough melt point to withstand the heat. Is there anything I can do?
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 150⁰ F, stearic acid is a fatty acid that is available in two types. Regular stearic acid is great for use in paraffin candles, while its vegetable counterpart, palm stearic, is great for use with soy waxes. Another popular additive is Micro 180, which is a microcrystalline wax. Used in concentrations of anywhere from 2-10%, Micro 180 can help eliminate saggy candles even in very hot weather. A word of caution: Any additives that you introduce may alter the appearance or burn properties of your candles, so you will need to test the results of these additives to know how your finished candles will appear and/or perform.
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