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August 14, 2017

Back to Candle Making List

August 2017
Back to Candle Making List
With the start of school just weeks away for many, the "Back to School List" might be the most popular reading of the summer. How many times have you taken that list and gone to the store only to find out they don’t have the calculator model you need or the right color or size memory card and other important items the kids will need?

In this issue, we will be taking you right to the items you will need to get started.  Even if you are currently making candles, it might be worth reading this issue to see if you have missed anything. 
The most obvious starting point is a means to melt the wax. Most people start with the pouring pot, which generally holds 4 pounds of wax. This pot is placed in a pot with hot water to create a double boiler. When wax reaches the proper temperature, fragrance and color are added right into the pouring pot, then the wax is poured into the candle container, mold or vessel. There is a smaller pot, which holds 1 pound of wax and makes pouring smaller candles like votives and tarts easier, but it will not melt as much wax.
If you read our Newsletter, you will know we are sticklers for pouring temperatures. With pretty much any wax you use, the temperature at which you pour is extremely important. Thermometers can be as simple as your basic candle/candy thermometer or as sophisticated as ones used in scientific applications. Hand-held thermometers can be very useful to read surface temperatures when pouring container candles.
We do not carry them, but a scale that can weigh material as little as ½ ounce or less should be used. To achieve best results with your candles, everything should be weighed, including your fragrances. This can help make your process more repeatable. Sometimes being off by a couple of ounces (especially with fragrances and soy) can be the difference between making a quality candle and one that has flaws. Many people use an inexpensive food scale, but, as your candle making operation grows, you will want to get a more accurate scale.
There is not specific type of work-area cover for candle making, but the process can be messy, and you would not want to damage or stain your counter tops or kitchen table. Be sure you have something to adequately cover your work area that can resist wax spills or spills of fragrances or liquid dyes. (Single layers of newspaper etc. are not ideal to use for this application.) This is extremely important, especially if you plan on using the area for other things later in the day.
This is one of the items we highly recommend, because it can be used in most containers, tins and other vessels to ensure a wick is centered. These are fairly inexpensive and will last for many pours. The bow tie clip will help keep the wick centered from top to bottom in the jar when secured at the bottom as well.
These are used in conjunction with the bow tie clip to help ensure the wick base is secured at the bottom of the container. 
If your plan is to pour jars, containers or tins, you will need to find which ones best meet your needs. Libbey offers many different options that can help add sophistication to your candle line. Mason jars and hexagon jars are great for creating a country look or for a vessel to deliver a candle with great fragrance throw.
This is when the learning really gets fun. There are so many available that choosing can be overwhelming. We recommend that you start small by testing 1-ounce size packages, and, once you find what you like, move to 8-ounce and 1-pound quantities. If you are in the Doylestown, PA, vicinity, you are always welcome to visit our Showroom and smell our fragrances before you purchase them.
Choosing the proper wick for your application can be the most challenging part of candle making. We recommend that you consult some of our online resources designed to help you choose the right wick. You also can email us, and we can provide assistance to help you narrow down the options.
While it might be easier to choose your wax than it is to select your fragrances, you still should spend time evaluating which wax will be best for you.
You can choose either liquid dye or color blocks. Color blocks are easier to use and measure, but they’re not as concentrated as liquid dyes. Liquid dyes are very concentrated, but, when mixing them in smaller batches, measuring can be challenging.
If you plan on making pillar candles, there are some great aluminum and polycarbonate molds you can use. If you wish to make standard diameter round candles of 2", 3" or 4", aluminum molds are best. If you want other shapes and designs, we recommend using Polycarbonate molds.
If your budget allows, a wax melter will become invaluable as your business continues to grow. These are available in varying sizes, from a small that will melt 70 pounds of wax up to a standard size that can melt 540 pounds.
If you want to get up and running right away making candles, a kit is the perfect thing to meet your needs. Many candle making kits have everything you need to get started, so you can get to work quickly.
While we do not have one specific go-to book for learning to make candles, we have many great resources on our website, including "how to" videos and other information offering helpful tricks and techniques.
Through our website, you can get anything you may need to start your candle making project without ever leaving home! If you cannot find exactly what you might be looking for, you may always contact us.
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Why can't the pouring pot be placed directly on the heat source?
Hi. I'm Chandler. When making candles, no matter how neatly you try to pour, some amount of wax will run down the sides of the pouring pot. After this wax hardens and you place the pouring pot directly back onto the heat source, the wax on the outside of the pouring pot will run down the sides of the pot and into the flame or coils of the heater. Placing the pouring pot in a pot with hot water ensures that your wax can be melted safely.
Can any soy wax be used to make pillars, votives?
Unfortunately, right now, there is not a soy wax that can be used for making pillars. The new line of ECO Soya waxes will have a pillar blend, however. We are hoping to have this and other blends in stock by the end of August, and we will certainly include an announcement when they arrive.
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