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September 20, 2017

Things Are Heating Up

September 2017
Things are Really Heating Up
The month of September definitely is a time when the candle market starts to "heat up," and the weather outside starts to cool off. Some of you may be experiencing candle making for the first time, while others will be ramping up production for the fall. First time candle makers can be overwhelmed by all of the different types of waxes, wicks, and fragrances available as well as other process-related questions, so having to learn some new terms just compounds the problem.

In this issue, we will highlight some terms used frequently in the candle market as well as their meanings within the industry. For those who make candles every day, these terms become just a part of the process, but, to many others who are new to candle making, the meaning of these terms may not be clear. We will highlight some of the first words you may encounter as you do your research and explain how these concepts and products can assist you in making that perfect candle.
Except for some blended waxes that have been designed to need only onepour, all waxes have some level of shrinkage. As the candle sets up, it will shrink around the middle, requiring additional wax to be added. Backfilling or topping off the candle will be necessary to create a smooth top on container candles or, in the case of pillars, a fairly uniform bottom for the candle.
This is the temperature at which the wax will become fully liquid. There is an important distinction between melt point and pouring temperature. Be sure to check the product data sheet to determine which one is applicable to you.
This is what can appear on top of your wick during the burning cycle. Specifically, these are carbon deposits. The following factors are some of the reasons why this can occur: the core of the wick, lack of oxygen (in container candles), scent load and incorrect sizing of the wick. Other factors can cause mushrooming, but these are the most common. Mushrooming can cause excessive smoking of the candle and should be reduced as much as possible.
Blended wax is a wax that has all of the needed additives identified for a specific application. (In most cases, with the exception of UVs).
Straight wax is a wax that can be used for general candle making but would require the use of additives to improve the performance of the candle.
Standard paraffin waxes can have limited ability to hold fragrance or color or offer opacity. Using an additive like vybar or stearic can improve the function of paraffin wax. If you’re using a blended wax, generally additives are not needed.
This is a fracturing of the wax, which will create a look on the exterior of the candle that is "whited out," snowflake looking or "washed out." This look has been made famous by several big-name candle companies. Not all waxes are designed to mottle, so be sure to choose a wax designed for that application. If you are making mottled candles, be sure to check out our brand-new product being offered below.
Refers to a wick that is cut to a specific length and has a wax coating and metal base. In many instances, these parts have made candle making much easier.
This term is especially important to candle making. In general, scent load refers to the percentage of fragrance placed in the wax. Scent load can run anywhere from 1% percent up to — and, in some instances, exceed — 10%. This translates as: 1 ounce of scent to 1 pound of wax results in a 5% scent load.
This is a wax that has been through the maximum refinement process. A fully refined wax generally has a melt point of 125⁰F 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 generally are used to make pillars, votives and most candles other than container candles.
The amount of wax that is consumed in 1 hour of burning with a specific wick. However, without some type of base, the burn rate is difficult to evaluate.
Sustainer base refers to the metal plate that holds a wick in place in a container. There are several sizes and styles. The type of candle you wish to make will determine the best sustainer base for your application.
These terms generally apply when making gel candles and clear candle technology products. To be safe when using the referenced products, a fragrance must be non-polar. In general, a non-polar fragrance will be compatible with the gel that you’re placing it in. A polar fragrance can bleed out of the gel, causing a safety concern when the candle is burned. If you’re making paraffin candles, this terminology is not necessary.
This is any wick that has zinc, paper or cotton in the middle to provide additional rigidity to the wick. Wicks such as flat braided, square braided and round wicks do not have any type of core.
As you quickly will learn, there is a great deal that goes into selecting the proper wick. It would be impossible to inventory a wick that will work for everyone. Our Custom Wick builder allows you to select the exact length you desire as well as the wick material, coating and sustainer base so that you can buy exactly what you want, without compromising on any of the necessary components of the wick.
Depending on how scientific you may want to get, there are many other terms, such as oil content, phlate, needle penetration and others that you may come across, so Chandler is always an email or telephone call away.
How do I increase my sales in the fall season while I am waiting for the holiday season to start?
Hi. I'm Chandler.Hi, folks. I am always answering questions about increasing sales during the slower times of year, but, this time, let’s take a look at the fall season and discuss the option of fundraising. School is starting, which also means school fundraisers are starting as well. If your child’s class is looking for a unique way to make money, offer them a fundraising program that involves selling candles. All you have to do is put together a brochure for the children to use as a sales aid and get ready to make some candles. Fundraising is not only for schools. You can create programs for bands, the PTO, local social clubs, volunteer ambulance and fire corps, business clubs, fantasy football leagues, churches, foundations, sports leagues, and any other organization that is in need of some extra funding.
Fast Facts on our available sustainer bases. When using our Custom Wick Builder, you can choose any of these:
15 x 3 mm — is a sustainer base that is about the size of a dime and has a neck height of 3 mm. This sustainer base is generally used in tea lights and small, unscented votives.
15 x 6 mm — is the same as above except the neck on this sustainer base is 6-mm high. This base is very popular to use in votives and small-diameter containers for paraffin wax candles. It also is used with gels, but we would recommend a sustainer base with a 9-mm neck for this purpose.
15 x 9 mm — is the same sustainer base as above, except the neck is 9 mm high. This sustainer base is very popular for use with gels and paraffin candles.
20 x 3 mm — is a sustainer base about the size of a nickel with a neck height of 3 mm. This sustainer base is used extensively in votives and containers.
20 x 6 mm – is the same as above, except the neck is 6-mm high. It is used in paraffin candle containers and gel candles. We would recommend the 9-mm neck for gel candles.
20 x 9 mm — is the same base as above, except the neck is 9-mm high. This base is very popular for gel candles.
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