Join our email list and receive $10 off a $50 or more purchase

October 26, 2015

Candle Making Doesn't Have to Be Scary!

October 2015
Keep Scary to the Movies
On behalf of Candlewic we would like to take this time and wish everyone an early HAPPY HALLOWEEN. Like some of the scary movies people watch this time of year, they sometimes have the same experience when learning to make candles the first time. The terms used, how to choose the correct product and (if they get to it) how to sell their candles—it can be a scary process. It does not always need to be that way and hopefully after reading this issue it will help introduce you to some of the terms you may run across in your research.
Fragrance Throw
This sometimes is the most commonly talked about term in candle making language and is something every candle makers looks to achieve which is great fragrance throw. There are 2 basic fragrance throws referenced, cold fragrance throw is how well the candle smells before lighting the candle. The other is "hot fragrance" throw this is how the candle smells when burning the candle. While it is easy to discuss this subject to quantify or measure either is not really possible and is a very subjective topic and is something each candlemaker determines based on their own review.

The fragrance throw can vary from wax to wax, fragrance to fragrance and even process to process. Waxes themselves are a big contributing factor to fragrance throw. Soy is a great product and has many positive attributes it will not be able to achieve the same fragrance throw a paraffin candle can achieve. Certain fragrances can deliver better fragrance throw than others, for example cinnamon, berries and spices have a tendency to achieve better fragrance throw than florals even using the same percentage of fragrances. To maximize the fragrance throw it is important to follow some good procedures.
  • Be sure to add the fragrance right before pouring
  • When pouring the wax be sure to pour at the lowest possible temperature that will not cause defects in the candle (air bubbles, frost marks).
  • Only use quality fragrances.
  • Be sure the wick is sized properly and not to large or small for the application.
  • Since you have worked with the fragrances in the most concentrated form have someone else outside of where the candle was poured do the evaluation on the fragrance throw.
This is where after the wick has burned for some time a carbon build up occurs on top and needs to be trimmed between burns. The mushrooming is generally a sign the wick is too big for the application. When this occurs you should try using a smaller wick or a different wick series.
This is where the candle has a "white washed" jean look or clouds throughout the candle. For some companies this is a desired look at "brand recognition". If this is occurring and you do not wish to achieve this effect a very small percent (less than 1% of Vybar 260 or Vybar 103) will certainly correct the issue.
Melt Pool
This term is use to describe the diameter of liquid wax that occurs during the burning of the wick. In a 4-inch diameter glass the ideal situation is to get a melt pool as close as possible to the side of the container.
This occurs when the wick is not large enough for the application during the burning process wax is left on the sides of the container. To correct this situation you should move up to the next bigger wick size until you find a wick that can burn to the sides. It should be noted that in most instances when using a wick designed for containers the largest diameter that can be burned is about 4".  Depending on the wax, fragrance load, color, the diameter a single wick can burn will vary.
Fragrance Load
This is terms is used in 2 contexts. First many will measure the maximum fragrance a wax can handle. For example, many waxes identify a maximum fragrance load of 8-10% this is the amount of fragrance that the wax can hold in terms of percentage of the formula. The other will identify they us a 6% fragrance load to the candle. In simple terms if you are mixing in 100lbs and you want an 8% fragrance load you will add 8 pounds of wax to the batch. If mixing in 10lbs you would add 12.8 ounces. The most common usage is 5-6 % and for easy math many will add 1 ounce of fragrance per pound of wax.
Fully Refined Wax
This is a wax that has been through the maximum refined process. A fully refined wax generally has a melt point of 125 degrees F or better and has a lower oil content. The exact oil content will vary depending on the melt point of the wax. Fully refined waxes are generally used to make pillars, votives and most candles other than container candles.
Blended Wax
These are waxes that have the necessary additives in them and generally all you need to do is add the color and fragrance. For many these does make the process easier then measuring out all of the necessary additives.
Clam Shells
Might be one of the hottest trends in candle making. These are plastic packages that you pour your fragranced wax right onto, close and apply label and your customers have a product they can place in candle warmers and tart warmers.
Melt Point
The temperature at which wax turns from a solid into a liquid. Melt points of waxes generally dictate how they are used in candle making. A general rule most follow is below:
  • 120-130 Melt Point waxes are idea for containers. These relatively low melt points can pool to the sides nicely with single wicks up to 4". When you get over the 130 it can be difficult to get a wick to burn to the sides.
  • 130-135 Melt Point Are best used when making votives.
  • 135-145- Melt Point Are best for making pillars, freestanding candles and tapers.
  • 145+ Melt Point are best for Hurricanes.
Wax Pool
The diameter of liquid wax a wick can burn. They are usually measured in inches or cm.
Are any additives needed to make a wax mottle?
Hi. I'm Chandler.If the proper wax is used no other additives should be used to make a candle mottle and in fact most additives will impede the wax from mottling. Not all waxes will mottle and if it is "blended waxes" chances are that it has been designed to hold the fragrance and not mottle. The best waxes to use for mottled candles would be the 2530 for containers and the 3035H for votives and the 4045H for pillars
Join Us Online:
Candlewic Soap Expressions
Country Lane Candle Supplies Let's Make Candles
Candlewic Pinterest