En-Light-ener" March 2001
Candle Making Newsletter
would like to thank all of the individuals who took the time
to submit a name for our "Name the Newsletter" contest. We were
very pleased that over 150 entries where submitted making it
very difficult to ultimately choose the winner. Our creative
audience did not let us down in terms of imagination. As you
may have noted on top of our newsletter we have settled in on "The
En-Light-ener." We chose "A Matter of Wax" as the runner up.
As stated at the outset, this newsletter is intended to cover topics of interest
to all of our readers. If there is a question or suggestion for improving this
newsletter we would appreciate your input. If you have a friend or business
partner who might be interested in receiving this newsletter please forward
this e-mail to them so they can use the instructions at the end to sign up
for their own copy.
Once again thank you for your entries and hope to hear from you soon.
FORMULA FOR WAX INSERTS
One of the most popular applications with the gel candles is to make wax inserts.
These wax inserts are very popular in that they burn in the natural course
of the burning cycle. Presently the biggest obstacle is that the wax will melt
when pouring the candle gel over the inserts. To overcome this problem, you
need to use a higher melt point wax when making your wax inserts. A suggested
wax formula for making these inserts would be:
--141 melt point wax (Candlewic 4144) at 90%
--Mico 180 (Candlewic A-7) at 7%
--A-2A (Candlewic A-2a) at 3%
Higher melt point waxes (156 F) could be used in place of the 4144 but as you
go higher in the melt point of the wax the price does go up.
For more information or to order these materials, go to
Blended Waxes vs. Non-Blended Waxes
Over the last several years, there is continued discussion among candle makers
on what is best for their operation in selecting the proper wax or waxes. In
each operation there are many factors for the candle maker to determine prior
to selecting the appropriate wax. While there are strong arguments for blended
waxes and straight waxes, it all boils down to what each individual candle
maker is comfortable using. The information below is provided in an effort
to help you make the determination.
Many people prefer to purchase blended waxes for several reasons:
1. The number of raw materials needed to be purchased can be minimized.
2. Both the time involved in preparing wax blends and the potential to error
are greatly reduced.
3. Continuity between lots should be much better since large batches are usually
prepared by the person who blends the wax.
Why some people prefer to avoid blended waxes:
1. There is generally an upcharge for blended waxes since another agency is
doing the blending.
2. The blended wax may not work in all applications the candle maker is attempting
3. Since the components of the blended wax are not known, the candle maker
may have difficultly troubleshooting when problems arise.
4. It is sometimes difficult to price shop blended waxes since each wax manufacturer
uses a different blend.
Candlewic offers the following blended waxes:
CBL-129 This blended wax is good for containers
CBL-141 This blended wax is good for votives and pillars.
J-50 A blended wax developed specifically for containers and is a low shrinkage
Conversely, some people prefer to prepare their own wax blends for the following
1. A skilled candle maker can adjust waxes and additives to give the exact
qualities required for each candle type.
2. By purchasing waxes and additives separately, the candle maker is usually
able to save money by not needing all of the additives that a blended wax may
3. Control and performance of the candle can be achieved by closely monitoring
all of the components used in the manufacturing process.
Why some people avoid straight paraffins (non-blended waxes):
1. Many companies are not set up for melting the additives.
2. Blended waxes can be easier to use for the candle maker just starting.
3. There is more room for error by an employee making the blended wax formulas.
For more information on our straight paraffins (non-blended waxes), or to place
an order, go to http://www.candlewic.com/waxes.htm
With so many different types of coloring methods to choose from, how do
I know which one is best for my application?
The three most common forms of coloring candles are blocks, liquid and powder.
Any of these types of coloring are suitable when making paraffin wax candles.
In general the blocks are good for mixing in smaller batches (less then 100
pounds). They are easy to work with and produce very nice results. As your
batches get larger, the cost of the blocks can become expensive in some instances.
If mixing in larger batches the liquid dyes are a little more cost effective
and should result in better consistency when measured properly. The liquid
dyes also blend very well with the wax. The powder dyes are generally the most
concentrated and therefore the most cost effective way to color a candle. However,
they are very difficult to measure in smaller quantities.
It is imperative if you are making solid burning candles that you do not use
pigment dyes. Pigment dyes should only be used in cut-n-carve operations and
What is the correct amount of fragrance to put into a candle?
The candle market is an ever changing market in terms of fragranced candles.
Not more then 5 years ago 2%-3% was considered a lot of fragrance. There are
now candle companies adding 8%-10% to their candles and calling them super
fragranced candles. In general, most candle companies are adding 4%-6% fragrance
to their containers and votives. In pillars it runs around 3%-5%.
However, we would also like to caution candle makers from relying totally on
percentages. Scent companies offer different levels of concentration on
the fragrances they sell. In instances where the concentration level of the
fragrance is higher, you will be able to use less and still achieve the same
smell from the candle.
Candlewic is pleased to offer 15 new fragrances to our line they are Banana
Nut Bread, Blueberry Muffin, Fruit Slices, Vanilla Hazlenut, Smoke Out, Blueberry
Cheesecake, Strawberry Shortcake, Tropical Paradise, Peaches and Cream, Banana
Blast, Pearberry, Plumeria, Azalea, Garden Path and Watermelon. We encourage
you to try some of these new fragrances.
Candlewic provided many of the supplies to NASA to conduct burning tests on
candles in space.