All About Candle Additives
For many the summer will be winding down shortly and the kids will be heading back to school. As more time is spent inside, the need to put sun block on is greatly reduced but, did you know candles should always use some type of UV protection?
Unfortunately, the same sun which brings us the beautiful days, will cause 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 of the sun, resulting in increased shelf life as well as raising your candle’s marketability as a premium product.
Ultra 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 batches 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 and increase the burn time of your candles.
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 Libbey 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.
With the end of the summer now is the time to really focus on all aspects of your candle sales.
What is the difference between all the Vybars?
The vybar 103 and Vybar 260 might be the most effective of any of the additives in the candle market. The Vybar 103 and 260 will eliminate the mottling from any wax even at small usage levels.
Generally, the Vybar 103 is used for Pillars and votives and the melt point on the Vybar 103 is much higher (160 degrees F) which can also assist in hardening the wax formula and increasing the "vibrancy" of the color. The Vybar 260 has a melt point of 128 degrees F and does not raise the melt point as much, which is desirable in container blends. The Vybar 343 has been designed to be used in mottling waxes to help hold the fragrance and still allow the candle to mottle.
As you know candle making has been around for thousands of years, but some of the most fun candles were developed between 1965 and 1973. From our research, today’s project seems to have been within this time frame, although one of our readers might have an earlier reference.
All of the best projects all seem to come back and the ICE Candle is no exception. This candle is very easy to make and every candle will look different and unique. This project is also well suited for most shapes of candles although we have found the aluminum molds yield the best results.
Prepare your mold as if you were pouring a standard pillar mold. Where possible, use the wick pin because it will give the candle another avenue to release the water.
Fill the mold with ice. The amount of ice will vary depending on the effect you want to achieve. The more ice you add, the more cavities will exist, but can make the candle brittle.
Mix your color, fragrance and wax. For this project any color/scent combination will work. Pour your wax (for best results a 141 pillar wax) into the mold. For different effects, pour at various temperatures. In most instances pouring around 175 to 180 degrees will yield a very nice finish.
If using the pillar pin, remove and hold the candle upside down and let the water run out. Try to get as much water out as possible.
Take the candle out and insert your wick. Depending on how much ice you have added will determine how many cavities exist. One of the people assisting me commented, "if the candle was yellow it sure would look like Swiss cheese."
After you take the candle out, place it back in the mold upside down and pour a different color of wax to fill the cavities. Putting the candle in upside down will work best since many of the cavities form at the top of the candle.
To create a similar look, place two to three rods about 1/4" thick into the candle at different angles. As the candle hardens remove the rods. Then pour wax into the holes of the candle. Be sure to remove the water first.