2024-02-26

Mistakes New Candle Makers Should Avoid When Making Soy Candles插图

In candle making we are all striving to make “perfect” candles and here at Candle Creations we have all the ingredients, equipment and knowledge you will need in your pursuit of perfection. Before we look at the four most frustrating problems in candle making it is important to remember that we are dealing with mostly natural ingredients, and mother nature sometimes gives us a hard time.

Are you a candle enthusiast who is eager to dive into the world of candle making? Well, you’re in for a delightful and aromatic journey! Candle making is a creative and rewarding hobby that allows you to unleash your inner artist while filling your space with beautiful scents. And if you’re specifically interested in soy candles, you’ve chosen a sustainable and eco-friendly option. However, like any craft, candle making comes with its fair share of challenges, especially for beginners. To ensure that your candle-making journey is smooth and successful, we’ve compiled a list of seven common mistakes that new candle makers should avoid. So, grab your apron, put on your creative hat, and let’s get started on this scented adventure!

Neglecting Proper Equipment

When it comes to candle making, having the right tools is as essential as choosing the right fragrance. Many new candle makers make the mistake of overlooking the importance of proper equipment. To avoid this blunder, ensure you have a reliable kitchen scale to measure your ingredients accurately. Invest in a good quality thermometer to monitor the temperature of your wax, and don’t forget to have a designated pouring pot solely for candle making. Additionally, stock up on wicks, molds, and essential oils or fragrance oils according to your preference. Remember, having the right tools will not only make the process easier but will also improve the quality of your final product.

Skipping the Testing Phase

One of the most common mistakes new candle makers make is skipping the testing phase. Just like any other craft, candle making requires experimentation and trial and error. It’s essential to test your wax, wicks, and fragrances before committing to a large batch. Use a small quantity of wax to create a test candle and observe its burn time, scent throw, and overall performance. This will help you make adjustments and perfect your recipe. Remember, patience is key in candle making, and testing is the foundation of a successful final product.

Overlooking Safety Precautions

Candle making, like any other creative pursuit, requires certain safety precautions. Neglecting safety measures can not only lead to accidents but can also jeopardize the quality of your candles. Always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling harmful fumes from the melting wax. Wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety goggles, to shield yourself from hot wax splatters. Never leave your melting wax unattended, and ensure that it is melted in a double boiler or a dedicated wax melting pot to prevent any potential fire hazards. Adhering to safety guidelines will keep your candle-making experience fun and accident-free.

Mistakes New Candle Makers Should Avoid When Making Soy Candles插图1Lumpy Tops

In the majority of cases a lumpy top on a soy candle is the result of incorrect pour temperature (see pic below for an extreme case). Many people do not place enough importance on pour temperature, some not even using a thermometer.

If you want a great looking soy candle with smooth tops and good glass adhesion, investing in a good quality thermometer is a must.

A lot of people are caught by surprise when after a couple of months of pouring their candles at a certain temperature, the next pour develops lumpy tops yet they have changed nothing. You may not have changed anything but the weather (mother nature) will certainly have changed with the seasons.

The seasonality, humidity, and your ambient temperature of the room you are pouring in all play a big part in how your candle sets. You may use air conditioning in summer and a heater in winter. This will all affect your candles.

Lumpy tops can usually be eliminated by increasing the pour temperature in increments until the problem disappears. The recommended pour temperature is a starting point only and your own fine tuning is usually required. Keep good notes.

Fragrance oils can also cause holes and lumpy tops. Fragrances like vanillas and some florals such as lavenders and geranium are notorious for ‘curdling’ the top of soy candles. This can be overcome by ensuring that your oils are mixed well with the wax and at the correct “add fragrance” temperature. Also, a pour temperature adjustment may be required to suit each different oil. If this does not work you may have to adjust the amount of Fragrance Oil (fragrance load). Always use a quality fragrance oil that has been developed for use in candles.

The ‘cheats’ way of getting rid of a lumpy top: Use a blow-dryer to gently remelt the top few millimeters and then let set. If you keep getting lumpy tops try the “top pour” method; this is where you leave some room in the candle jar to go back when it is set and pour a few mm of melted wax on top.

Wet Spots

This is a very common issue that we have all faced at one time or the other. There are places the wax pulls away from the container, creating gaps between the container and the wax.

It is caused by the wax cooling faster in some areas than others. Part of the wax pulls away from the glass while the remainder adheres to the sides of the container.

How to deal with it:

  • Clean your glass containers well and preheat them. Cleaning your containers ensures a beautiful looking candle and preheating it allows the wax to cool more slowly and help avoid pull away from the container.
  • Pour the wax slowly in the container. Pouring the wax slowly into your containers minimizes the chances of additional air getting into your wax.
  • It’s also helpful to tap the sides of your containers gently right after you’ve poured the wax to release any air bubbles.
  • Space your jars away from each other while cooling, when making a larger batch.

While cooling your candles, space them about 4 inches or more apart. If the glass containers are touching each other, they hold heat on the adjacent sides. This causes those sides to cool more slowly than the rest of the jar. Allowing enough airflow around your candles as they cool will encourage an even rate of cooling. You can also set your candles on a wire cooling rack rather than on a counter or table top. Solid surfaces, particularly granite and marble, will pull the heat from the bottom of the jar. It can also cause the wax to cool too quickly so that it shrinks and pulls away from the glass.

Mistakes New Candle Makers Should Avoid When Making Soy Candles插图2

These tips will help you to become a better Chandler but sometimes you will be frustrated no matter what. But I would rather a spot on my apple than one that has been genetically modified and spayed with chemicals, wouldn’t you?

As Chandlers we often stress when our candle has a wet spot or a slight imperfection in the top. The good news, if you are making candles for sale, your customers aren’t stressing about these thing. They mostly want a candle that smells great, burns well, is safe, and lasts the distance.

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