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April 01, 2003

From Tax Time to Wax Time


"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

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

We thank you for taking the time to read our En-Light-ener newsletter. With Tax Time behind us, it is now Wax Time. In this edition, we feature an overall summary of the many waxes available in the marketplace. We also would recommend you check past editions of the En-Light-ener, specifically our WAX 101 series in which we provided more details about waxes.

From Tax Time to Wax Time.
It seems that every year the number of waxes to choose from becomes more expansive. These days the candle maker has an infinite amount of choices to make when starting out or even looking at a new wax. During the selection process a basic decision has to be made between paraffin waxes, natural wax, “hybrid waxes” and even gels.

Within each of the above classifications there are many choices available. Over the past several years we have covered some of these waxes and topics in the En-Light-ener. But with the continued introduction of new products it may be time to explore this topic again.

The largest segment of the market right now is paraffin wax candles. Paraffin waxes are available as a straight wax or as a blended wax. A generic definition of straight paraffin would be a wax that has no additives as part of the product. For optimum results, most straight waxes will require some type of additives to be used. A blend, on the other hand, would generally be a wax that is ready to go for the candle maker--no other additives are needed except for the scent and color. A blend and straight paraffin will have their own strengths and weaknesses. For a more thorough review of blended wax vs. straight paraffin we encourage you to visit our March of 2001 edition of the En-light-ener. Straight waxes are generally available in melt point range of 120-160 degrees F.

There are a plethora of choices to make within the natural wax category also. These choices include beeswax (yellow and white), soy wax, vegetable base and even palm-based products. The yellow beeswax continues to be a popular choice among candle makers. This product is relatively easy to use and is a very consistent product. When doing containers a 100% soy product is the perennial choice. One of the drawbacks with all soy products has been their inability to retain large scent loads. Most soy waxes are capable of holding about 3 - 6% scent.

F Wax Candles

One of the most novel products within the natural waxes category has to be the new “Design” waxes, which include F Wax, G Wax and Q Wax. These waxes allow candles to be made where each candle has a unique design and texture.

One of the newest categories of waxes to “hit the market” is referred to by many as hybrids. These waxes, while they are not always promoted as such, are a combination of paraffin waxes and natural waxes. These waxes enjoy the benefits of the low shrinkage the soys offer combined with the positive scent retention and burning characteristics of paraffin waxes. Another new category is specialty waxes. Both categories of waxes typically are formulated to perform well for a specific application.

Votives made with
V Wax.

In most instances these complex formulations have been designed for specific application such as the V Wax. This new wax has been designed specifically as a one-pour wax for votives. The J-300 has been specifically designed to achieve “layering” in containers.

Containers made with J-300.

With all of the different kinds of waxes and uses, it can be overwhelming at times to select the best one for your application. The staff at Candlewic is committed to assisting you in selecting the best wax for your needs. If you should have any questions on a particular wax or application we encourage you to contact us to allow us to assist.


Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.

I have spent a lot of time around waxes and would like to offer my general suggestions or comments on the various waxes that are available. These are just some general observations and are by no means intended to imply that other waxes are wrong for the application. One of the truly unique features of candle making is that every candle maker has their own propriety blend.

Chandler's Choices

The J-50 continues to be the most popular choice. This “low shrinkage” wax is a blend that will produce containers with a creamy look and is capable of holding a large amount of scent. For a mottled container I would highly recommend the 2530H. For a straight paraffin the CF is the best with about ½ - 1% Vybar 260.

Pillars made with CBL-141.

The 6228. For mottled pillars nothing is better than the 4045H

Natural Wax Candles: Containers
Soy 125 is the most cost effective soy and is capable of holding about a 5% scent load.

Yellow Beeswax candles.

Natural Wax Candles: Pillars
The PS wax will work best for pillars. It is important to note that no other Soy waxes should be blended with this product. The Yellow beeswax is also a very good choice.

Special Effect Wax
The F wax is by far my favorite. See the January edition of the En-Light-ener for a project using this wax.


April 2003

Pouring A Pillar
With Pins

One of the newest developments in pouring pillars is the "Pillar Pin."
This new product has eliminated many of the previous problems with molds leaking at the wick hole and wicks bending in the candle. It is very easy to use a wick that has already been primed and using the pin should simplify the wicking process.

You can start with any of the standard 2", 3" or 4" round aluminum molds. Slide the pillar pin into the wick hole (from the outside). The base of the pin should sit flush with the mold. The next step is to take your pillar wax (for best results wax should be a 136 or above) and pour into the mold. Top off as normal and remove. You can then take a pre-waxed wick assembly and slide it into the preformed hole. Then the bottom can be smoothed on a hot plate and the wick base will embed itself in the candle.

Order any of the 2", 3" and 4" round aluminum moldsup to 6-1/2" in height and get the pillar pin for free. This expires at the end of April 2003.



Q: What does the scent load refer to?
A: This is the amount of fragrance that is placed into the candle maker’s formulation in relation to the entire "batch" size. In most instances this will range from 3% up to as high as 8% with the average being about 5%. In measuring this, a 5% scent load equals about 1 ounce of fragrance for each 1 pound of wax used (additives and everything included).


Q: How do I get rid of air bubbles in the gel?

A: When using the Penreco gel there is no way to totally eliminate the air bubbles, but to reduce them you can initiate some of the following steps: 1. Raise the pouring temperature of the gel. 2. Allow the gel to remain at the higher temperature for a little longer to allow the air bubbles to gravitate out of the candle. 3. Slowly warm the candle after it has set up.

You also may want to try the clear container base. This product can be poured and create candles that have no air bubbles. The clear container base is completely different than the Versagel, and you should consult the product sheets offered on our website. Note: The clear container base is not suitable for use with wax embeds.

Clear Container Base Candles


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