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January 05, 2005

New Year's Resolutions


New Year's Resolutions.
It seems at the beginning of every year we always make resolutions such as the desire to quit smoking, work out at the gym and follow up on projects. (My resolution this year is to begin my article weeks before the deadline.)

As candle and/or soap makers we always have some type of project that we desire to complete but just never seem to have the time. For candle makers using paraffin wax, it may be the desire to try soy candles, for gel candle makers it might be to try paraffin or if you are using a straight paraffin it may be the desire to use a blended wax.

Since many of these projects and ideas require starting with some type of base wax, we are going to try to reintroduce or demystify the wax selection process. Even if you are making a particular candle it can also be worth exploring the other options that are available to generate a new look or solve some existing problems you may be experiencing.

Candlewic offers a wide range of blended waxes.

In this first issue of the year we will focus on blended waxes. Some of you may ask what a blend is? Blends in the candle industry are considered waxes that only require scent, color and UVs to be added to make the perfect candle. Blends are always a good starting point for candle makers because it can take a lot of the guesswork out of selecting the right additives.

Even among blends and types of candles there are choices available to candle makers. Since container candles are always popular it is probably best to start with this application. The recent trend in candle making is to use waxes that are “one pours”. One pours are very nice but will be soft and the color of the wax will always take on a soft or flat look. It is also important to note that in most instances these waxes are not always a one pour even though they are called one pour waxes. If filling larger containers (18 ounces and larger) these waxes will require some level of topping off or backfilling.

One of the best waxes to use in this application is the CBL-125. This wax is an excellent choice for any low shrink wax application.


Closely related to this wax is its “sister”
wax--the CBL-130. This wax may represent the new trend as it is a one pour wax, but it also contains a high percentage of Soy wax. This gives you the benefit of a low shrinkage wax and the marketability of a soy component. The CBL-130 is also an excellent choice when making layered candles.

If vibrant colors and scent retention are important, then the ideal wax for containers is the CBL-129. This wax will require topping off but is capable of holding up to 8% fragrance load. It will create a spectacular looking candle.

For the mottled look the best wax is going to be the 2530H. This consistent wax will create a mottled look like no other wax on the market. Mottled waxes will always have a limited amount of scent that can be retained. In general mottling waxes will hold about a 5% fragrance load although with certain fragrances it could be as high as 6%.

For candle makers looking for their own distinctive look, we would highly recommend the CF or the 3032. Then begin testing these with various percentage of additives such as vybar 260, Stearic acid and even Soy wax.

Hopefully this gets you started on how to chose the right wax for making container candles. Fortunately as candle makers we have 8 months before we have to think about our “Holiday Season.” On the other hand, I have only one hour before my deadline. (So much for my resolution!) Let our experienced staff at Candlewic help you with your RESOLUTIONS and SOLUTIONS for candle making and soap making in 2005.

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Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.
I am trying to determine what is the best way to dye my candles. Should I start with liquid dyes or color blocks?

A lot of the decision making process will depend on what size batches you are mixing your formulation. If you are making larger batch sizes such as 100 pounds and bigger, you may want to think about the EVO liquid dyes. If your batch sizes are less than this the color blocks probably will be much easier to work with. I do want to stress that in either case--larger or smaller batches--either method of dying your wax is suitable for your candles.

Glassware Special

We have limited quantities of some great jars. This means we can offer you some incredible prices for a limited time!


Quick Fact:
Beeswax Color Cross Reference
General Color Requirement Substitute Colors
Green Hunter, Jade, Forest, Cayman, Herb
Natural / White White, Cream, Natural, Oatmeal
Yellow Yellow, Sunflower, Buttercup
Purple Purple, Periwinkle, Lilac
Blue Blue, Slate Blue, Navy (dark), Cobalt Blue, Blueberry (dark)
Red Cranberry, Red, Wild Berry, Raspberry
Pink Dusty Rose, Pink, Fuchsia, Desert Peach


January 2005

Layering Jar Candles

This month’s project offers a way to layer different colors of natural wax or paraffin blended wax in order to create new marketing opportunities. By layering different colors just think of the creative ideas that come to mind, Tropical Delight, three tantalizing fragrances like Tropical nector, Island Dreams and Rain Forrest Blossom all in the same candle. What better way to show how much you love your valentine then a candle with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in one candle, just think Rose, Brigtht Osmanthus and English Ivy. The possibilities are endless.

In addition this is a great way to create fundraisers, holiday themes, or specialty candles for specific wholesale customers without the increased cost of customized labels. Simply layer the colors of your holiday, team, organization, etc. and it creates an instant theme candle with little extra cost of materials.

Jars or Molds
Natural Wax



Step 1
Select, clean, wick, and prepare your jars or molds as you normally do. Take a moment and plan out where the fill lines are going to be. For example, a patriotic jar may use equal amounts of colored wax for uniform stripes of red, white, and blue, while an egg shaped mold seems to look best if you change color at its widest point.


Step 2
Be sure to select the appropriate wax for jars or freestanding candles. Prepare both colors of wax at the same time in order to be ready for “show time”.

Step 3
Heat jars or molds when necessary and pour your first layer. Note your ambient temperature (room-temp), your pour temperature, and start the timer.

Step 4
You have some flexibility for this step. The time and temperature of the second layer of wax changes the final result. Your individual taste will decide when and how hot to pour the second color. In general, you want to wait long enough for the first layer to set up enough so the second color does not mix with the first color, but not too long that the wax pulls from the sides. If the wax pulls from the sides, the second color slips between the first color and the mold, which creates what is considered by most to look undesirable. By adjusting the second color’s temperature and timing, you can create hard or soft color transition lines. Hard means a flat, distinct line of color change and soft means a softer faded color change. The ambient temperature and size of your candle affects the timing. Smaller candles will take less time (half hour) while larger candles make take as long as 2 hours between pours. Cooler ambient temperatures decrease time, while warmer temperatures increase times.

Step 5
Repeat the same time and temperature for the rest of the colors so all color seams are uniform. As you take notes and get more experience, the timing and temperature starts to become second nature. You can even learn to mix hard color changes and soft color changes on the same candle for a unique look that will sure to dazzle your customer.

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