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March 01, 2001

Formula for Wax Inserts


"The En-Light-ener" March 2001
Candle Making Newsletter

We 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. 

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.

Blended Waxes
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 to achieve.
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 product.

Non-Blended Waxes
Conversely, some people prefer to prepare their own wax blends for the following reasons:

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 add.
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

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 over dips.

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.

Fast Facts: 
Candlewic provided many of the supplies to NASA to conduct burning tests on candles in space.


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