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November 01, 2013

Choosing the Right Wax


Choosing the Right Wax

On behalf of the Candlewic Company we hope everyone enjoys this year's "Black Thanksgiving". The growing trend has been for more and more retailers to now open on Thanksgiving Day and begin their extraordinary offers. While opening Thanksgiving is not necessarily new the number of retailers doing this is definitely growing. No longer do they seem satisfied with opening up at Midnight, 5 AM and other odd hours on Black Friday they feel picking up the extra day might get them in the "black" faster. Should be an interesting trend to watch in the future now what is going to be interesting question is anyone ever going to open Christmas morning?

The established candle maker this time of year is more focused on how to make more candles as opposed to what time or day to open for Black Friday so selecting a new wax is the furthest thing in their mind. However, this is also the time of year many people are being introduced to candle making for the first time, so we feel it would be appropriate to "introduce" the various wax choices available and how to select the proper wax.

If you are well entrenched in candle production this article will still be a worthwhile reading in that you have probably seen the market place has undergone a tremendous change. There are many types of waxes in the market, and we will break this series into two parts. Today we will feature choosing a blend or straight paraffin for containers and pillars. In our January issue, we will highlight the ever growing Natural wax market.

When starting out making candles, the first question that has to be answered is if you wish to use a blend or a straight paraffin wax. Candle blends are definitely what most people are now using. The demand for candle blends has increased over the last number of years and will continue to increase. Blends are easy to use because all of the necessary additives, except the UV, scent and color are part of the blend.

In most instances you melt this wax, add the color, scent and UV, and you can pour your candles. If you are only making a couple of candles and wish to simplify the learning curve, a blend is the perfect wax for starting out.

By now you have to be asking, if it was that easy why would I want to use anything else? While blends are easy to use, if you have a unique application or are looking to achieve something different, then a blend may not fit your requirements. Using a "straight paraffin" allows you to create a unique and one-of-a-kind look by testing different additives in your formulation. You can change the look of your candle through the course of the year having vibrant colors for the spring and summer, and pastel and more neutral colors in the fall and winter.

As you grow and your wax consumption increases, there are more savings that can be achieved by using straight paraffins. Blends are developed for all levels of scent load, so in many instances, more additives are added to accommodate that variation in scent loads. In addition blends involve labor on the manufacturing side and you pay for that cost in the blend.

If you are going to use a blend and wish to make containers, the next step is choosing which blend to use. The first is the blend that is paraffin based and generally has good scent throw, both hot and cold, but will require topping off. In our family of waxes this is our best selling CBL-129.

The next type of container blend is the paraffin/petrolatum formulation this would encompass the CBL-125. These waxes have petrolatum in the formulation and function as low shrink waxes.

Another option is the CBL-130 which is a low shrink paraffin/ soy blend commonly called a Hybrid. This blend allows you to incorporate soy into your candle but still have enough paraffin to achieve good fragrance throw. This wax is great for making layered candles and the first step towards making Soy waxes.

For the pillars it is much easier in that low shrink waxes do not exist and in general you are choosing a wax that will create a nice smooth creamy look. This would include our CBL-141 and many others on the market.

Depending on who you talk to, a wax that mottles may be considered a straight paraffin or a blend. NOT all waxes will mottle, and a wax that has been designed for this application should be used to achieve best results. The best mottling waxes are the H series we offer.

If you elect to use a straight paraffin for containers a melt point wax between 121-129 is ideal. If you go much above a 129, it will be difficult to get a wick to burn the full diameter of the container. In our family of wax the Container Fill (CF) or the 3032 are the perfect starting base.

No matter what your level of candle making it is important that you always evaluate your wax options.

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


What are some holiday projects for groups to work on that are suitable for all ages?

As we approach the holidays, groups and organizations are actively engaged in crafting activities, and so I am asked this question quite often.

In general, there are several creative group projects ideal for any age group. I have listed them along with the links for previously featured projects.

It is always best to engage in projects that do not require the wax to be heated and ones which the participants can take the project home when completed. Some of my favorite include the following...

Beeswax Candle Sheets -- Fun, Easy, and Profitable - September 2003
Be sure to check out the video on how easy this project can be.

Candle Making Made Fun...Wax Art Crystals March 2003

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Fast Facts

Did you know that color selection can tell us a lot about personalities?

  • Yellow - Stable, Provides security, Dependable, Efficient
  • Red - Fun-loving, Lively, Spontaneous, Flexible, Carefree, Hands-on.
  • Green - Tough-minded, Powerful, Efficient, Usually right, Possesses deep knowledge
  • Blue - Warm, Compassionate, Romantic, Idealistic

November 2013

Featured Project:
Grubby Candles

Before beginning to describe this project, it may be best for us to describe what a grubby candle might be.

While you probably will not find an official definition for a grubby candle, many people refer to the look of the candle where it appears the surface of the candle is frosted or maybe wax may be missing a layer in sections.

Unlike mottling where the finish is actually "internal" on the candle, the finish on this candle will actually impact the surface of the candle.

This candle is always a favorite of candle makers since it is relatively easy to make. The level of the "grubbiness" can be controlled.

Any size aluminum mold can be used for this candle. The most popular is the 3 x 4½. (check out our super sales section for some great prices.)

You begin this project by chilling the mold for about 10-15 minutes.

You then take the 4144 wax wax and add about 10% stearic acid to the formulation.

Melt your wax to around 150-155 degrees Fahrenheit and pour it into the chilled mold as any standard pillar.

Top off where needed and remove from the mold when the candle has completely hardened.

Due to the peeling of the wax, the candle may have to be placed in the freezer for removal.



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