| Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's newsletter
for the candle making community. As always, we thank everyone who has taken
the time to read our En-Light-ener. We do have a complete list of the backissues
on our website if you would like to review some of the topics covered in
Sunscreen For Your Candles???
As the warm summer sun ushers in the fun days of outdoor activities and
bright warm days, candle makers everywhere are out and about selling their
candles. Unfortunately the same sun, which brings us the beautiful days
of summer, also causes havoc on our candles. Candle makers everywhere are
forced to hide their beautiful masterpieces in an effort to keep their
candles from fading or melting in the warm heat. There are a few simple
tips and additives that can help protect your candles from the damaging
rays from the sun, resulting in an increased shelf life as well as raise
your candle’s marketability as a premium product.
Violet Light Absorbers (UVLA’s) were designed to reduce
the fading of candles that are displayed in natural or artificial
light. Think of them as sunscreen for your candles. Ugly fading (photo
degradation) can be caused by a variety of factors, but nearly always
can be avoided by the addition of UVLA. Usage levels vary greatly
depending upon application, but a general rule of thumb for large
batch lots is to use about 45 grams per 100 pounds of wax. Smaller
batches use 1/2 teaspoon to 10 lbs of wax. Some testing will be required
for different colors to maximize effectiveness. Some candle makers
view UVLA as an unnecessary increase in the cost of materials while
others realize the value of UVLA as an extremely simple way to increase
the shelf life of their candles. On average, UVLA only costs about
4 or 5 cents per gram, which equates to less than $2.25 per 100 pounds
of wax (just over 2 cents per one pound candle). You can even announce
the added value protection on your label and charge an extra 50 cents
per candle. That is over 2000% mark-up on investment!
There are simple additives that can be used to increase the melt point
of your candle for the warm summer months.
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 150 degrees F, it is a
fatty acid that is available in two types. Regular Stearic
Acid is great for paraffin candles, while its vegetable counterpart Palm
Stearic is great for using in Soy
Waxes. Another popular additive is Micro
180, which is a microcrystalline wax. Used anywhere form 2% to 10%,
Micro 180 can help eliminate saggy candles in real hot weather. A word
of caution: any additives you introduce to your candles may alter the appearance
or burn properties and proper testing must be performed.
This last tip is 100% free and 100% effective. As the old adage states,
an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Quite simply,
keep candles out of light whenever possible. Many of our Libby
Branded Jars are shipped
to you in a sturdy reusable box that makes a great protector for your finished
candles. If you are selling your candles in an outdoor venue, purchase
a shade tent to keep you and your candles out of the sun. On really sunny
days, consider keeping fewer products out on the open table, and when a
customer makes a purchase, you can give them a candle that was stored below
in a box. For those of you who ship your candles to retail stores, a quick
chat with the store owner to explain the importance of displaying the candles
away from the windows will save you a lot of money in returns. Some dedicated
shop keepers have even gone as far as having their windows lightly tinted
to help ward off the damaging sun, not to mention the energy bill decrease
by having less stress on the air conditioner.
Many people ask me to use my magic wand and transport their wax for
free, but even my powers have their limits. Although I may not be
able to ship you wax with a tap of my wand, there are options available
to reduce your shipping costs.
UPS has what is called a “hundred weight” service for shipments
over 200 pounds. This service dramatically reduces the per pound weight
of your wax shipment as well as decreases the quantity of orders being
shipped to you, which saves you money and time. A good rule of thumb is
that it will cost you roughly the same amount to ship 4 cases of wax as
it does to ship 2 or 3 cases at regular rates. Many of our case rates decrease
in price once you order 5 or more cases, so combine the shipping savings
and the bulk purchase price savings to really save yourself some money.
The number one waste of money is shipping any item by using expedited service.
Time is money. Most candle supplies have a long shelf life, and if you
make candles you will need supplies – no surprises. It is not a good
practice to order items at the last minute and have them shipped over night.
Take advantage of bulk discounts and order supplies early. By doubling
your quantities, you will decrease your shipments by half.
For larger shipments, you can rest assured that our transportation manager
will get the best rate possible. If you live in a residential neighborhood,
the trucking company may charge you a fee of $40. We have no control over
this fee. If you do not have a way to unload the truck, do not depend on
the driver to help you. They are not obligated to help with the unloading.
If they should help, you may receive a bill after the fact. Many people
form buying groups and purchase wax by the pallet for bulk savings and
lower shipping rates. If none of the members have a loading dock, sometimes
a local business will do it for you in exchange for candles, or a small
fee in order to buy their employees lunch.
those of you who may not own a Dipping
Tank or a vessel large enough to use a Dipping
Wheel, there are plenty of ways to use dipping techniques
to create fantastic candles. Before dipping anything
into melted wax, be sure the item is suitable for such
a purpose and will not be harmed or cause bodily harm
by being dipped. Always keep all body parts safely away
from melted wax and wear approved safety glasses.
To Dip or
Not To Dip
The easiest item to make is a mini taper or birthday candle. Use
pliers to grasp a piece of flat braided wick such as a 12
Ply or 15 Ply and dip the wick repeatedly in any pillar or freestanding
candle wax with a melt point higher than 140 degrees F melt point.
Let cool between dips. Keep dipping until desired diameter matches
your wick size. Hand dipped birthday candles really show how much
you care about a person.
Another dipping technique involves the use of Pigment
Dye. Pigment dyes can only be used to color the outside of the
candle and will clog the wick if you color the core. Make a small
batch of wax using .5 to 2 percent pigment dye. By dipping any freestanding
candle into the mixture, you can transform its color almost instantly.
Some people dip Pre-Made
White Candles to instantly match any color scheme for any occasion.
For an added touch of elegance, take a blunt instrument and carve
designs into the over-dip so the core color shows through. Don’t
limit yourself to pillars and votives. Our Apple
Mold dipped halfway in brown makes a candle almost worth biting
into, or our Christmas
Tree Mold dipped halfway in white looks just like wintertime.
KIT-1 as low as $27.75
This exciting kit is a great introduction to make pillars, votives
and floaters. The kit will provide you the opportunity to use many
of the different types of molds available at Candlewic including
aluminum, poly carbonate, votive and floater. What a great way to
start your candlemaking business or hobby.
Order this kit by end of July and get a bonus 2 pounds of wax.