January 05, 2003

Safety...Safety...Safety

"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's newsletter for the candle making community.

We are excited about the year 2003 as we have a lot of exciting subjects to cover in our newsletter. We also encourage participation within our community. One of our new features for 2003 is to solicit several projects from our candle making community. If you have a project that you would like to highlight, please email us at info@candlewic.com and we can outline the requirements. If we select your project you will receive a $50.00 gift certificate.

SAFETY...SAFETY...SAFETY

To many candle lovers the passion only requires them to light the candle with a match and watch the beauty of the candle light up and have the scent emanate through the room. If only it were that easy for those of us making the candles and providing the materials. The burning of a candle can be a magnificent event for the end user when the candle is made properly and performs to the end user’s satisfaction.

However, when you begin to pour candles, you quickly learn that this is not an easy goal to achieve. While the color, the design of the candle and the scent are very important factors and basically are what sell the candle, I think the overwhelming concern to the producer is that it burns safely for the end user. When making candles of any type, safety should always be the operative word both in terms of the manufacturing process and when the candle is burned.

In most instances the same "general safety" procedures can be followed for making paraffin and natural wax in pillar form, votives, containers or novelties. However, in some instances specific products do have additional safety needs such as in Penreco's Versagel and clear container or pillar base. It is always important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when using any product.

A wax heater can make the job much easier.

When making candles it is essential that the right equipment and materials are available. Melting the wax should always take place in a double boiler or in a melter specifically designed to melt wax. The double boiler should always be used when other wax melters are not available to ensure the wax or other product does not come in direct contact with the open flame.

When pouring wax or gels you should always try to wear gloves to minimize the "splattering" onto your hands and other exposed areas. A multiuse fire extinguisher should always be available. When pouring candles keep in mind that you will be dealing with molten products, and all precautions should be followed.

Once you have reviewed how you will safely produce this candle, it is essential to ensure that the candle you produce will also burn safely. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for wick sizing. When making any type of "burning candle," it is critical to select a wick that is appropriate for the application and your specific formula.

The only way to ensure your candles perform safely is to initiate your own set of testing requirements. Many companies will conduct tests in accordance with how their instructions read (burn 4 hours and extinguish) and also an "abuse" test. The abuse test can be how the consumer would burn the candle, possibly 10 hours continuously, maybe burning 1 hour at a time, and other usage patterns. This will assist in identifying possible flaws in the candle. When burn testing, be sure to include various color and scent combinations. If pouring into a container, it is essential that you include the container in the testing to ensure that it will withstand the heat. An additional precaution when pouring into containers is to slightly undersize your wick. While this may leave a little bit of wax on the sides of the container when the candle burns, it will help to keep the heat from glass.

The importance of burning safety of the candle cannot be overemphasized. We cannot cover all aspects of making a safe candle, so it is important that you research the safety recommendations for specific materials that you are using.

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to
make candles
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CHANDLER'S CORNER

I am often asked, “Do I need instructions on my candles?”

My answer is always a resounding “Yes!”

I would even go as far to say that an instruction label should be put on the candle if you are only giving the candle to friends. While many consumers burn candles, there are still many who are not aware of some of the basic maintenance required of a candle. This maintenance includes trimming the wick and only burning the candle for four hours at a time.

The bigger question is what should be included, given the limited space on the burning instructions. There are items that always must be included and some that should be on the instruction. I have seen some very clever things done to include even more instructions. Some use attractive tags that hang on the candle. Others refer the customer to their company’s website for further information.

Here is a list of information to include on your instructions:

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Keep burning candle away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Trim the wick 1/4" inch before each burn cycle
  • Candle holder must be heat resistant and suitable for the candle being used.
  • Do not leave wick trimmings, used matches and other debris in the candle.
  • If flame height gets to large extinguish immediately.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Do not move the candle when it is burning.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Read and follow all manufacturer instructions carefully.
  • Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents and air currents.
  • Extinguish a candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high. Cool, trim wick, check for drafts, and re-light. Discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2" if in a container).

As you can see there are a lot of items that must be considered on the label and your instructions. Make sure you include as much information as possible so that your customer knows how to properly—and safely—burn the candle.


 


January 2003

What To Do With
Extra Wax.

No matter what type of candle you make, there is always that little bit of extra wax that remains. Many companies have put this extra wax to good use. Here are some of the best ideas that we have heard for this extra wax.

Decorative Floaters
Candlewic offers an extensive line of floaters that include some exciting shapes such as hearts, fish, maple leaf, star and sun. The same could be as above where they can be made with a wick or even as a decorative piece. Hint: Many companies will use this as a unique shape to show potential customers how their fragrances will smell in the wax.

Tea Lights
One of the growing trends in candles is the scented tea lights. With the advent of the plastic tea light cup the tea light has become very popular to scent and color. Tea light cups are also available in metal. The first way to make a tea light would be to take the wax and carefully pour directly into the tea light cup, insert the wick and it should be ready to ship within minutes. The nice thing about pouring into the cup you can pour at any temperature. The other way to pour tea lights is to purchase the mini Tea Light Mat (M-58) which will make 15 tea lights at a time. You simply pour the wax onto the mat and the wax will fill into each of the cavities. Each cavity has a pin and when the candle is completely set up pull each of the pins and the candles should release from the mold. Simply insert a prewick assembly through the candle and slide it into the tea light cup. When using the plastic tea light cups, it is imperative that you test burn your wicks to ensure they are not too large. Only cotton core wicks should be used with plastic tea light cup.

 


Special Offer
Order the mini Tea Light Mat (M-58) between now and January 31 and get 100 wicks for free. In order to get this bonus you must enter Promo Code EN at checkout.