Candle Additives are additional ingredients that you can add to candle wax to improve the quality of the finished product. Candle wax can vary from batch to batch, so knowing how to adjust to these situations is key. There are a variety of candle additives at your disposal, spanning an array of possibilities for your candles. Some additives improve scent throw, some help with discoloration, there are even additives to help extend burn time. The key to providing the best candle you can to the market is knowing what candle additives are available and what they can do for your products.
What is Stearic Acid: The candle additive stearic acid helps the wax shrink as it cools. This is key to remember especially if you are making candles in molds. The addition of stearic acid will help release your candle smoothly. Stearic Acid also boosts the opacity of candle wax. If you are making candles and coloring them with powdered dye, the powdered dye can be melted in stearic acid before adding it to the melted wax to ensure an even dispersal of color throughout the candle. Stearic Acid can also be used to make gel wax embeds by adding it to pillar or votive wax.
How Much To Use: Stearic Acid is added to paraffin wax. The correct percentage use for this additive is 10% of the total wax amount. Therefore, for every pound (16oz) of paraffin wax you use, you will add 1.5 oz of stearic acid. Stearic Acid can also be used at an additional 2% in your paraffin wax if you have selected to scent your candle with heavier fragrance oils like vanilla scents. The extra added stearic acid in this case will help the candle wax with fragrance seepage. A break down example for this is 2 tsp. for every 16oz of wax.
What is Vybar: The candle additive vybar is a substitute for stearic acid. Vybar is also used to help extend the scent throw in your candles. The addition of vybar to your candle wax will make the wax more opaque. You will also notice a marbleized look to the top open portion in container candles. Vybar will also increase your candles melt point and also slightly harden your wax consistency. There are two different types of vybar depending of which type of candle you are making. Vybar 103 is used in votive or pillar candles. Vybar 260 is used in container candles.
How Much To Use: If you are looking to get the best scent throw possible out of your candles, vybar can be added to your candle wax at ¼ to ½ tsp. for every 16oz. of wax. This proportion provides the very best results. There is a precaution when it comes to adding vybar to your wax. Adding to much of this additive will result in trapped fragrance oil, directly meaning decreased scent throw. If fragrance oil is trapped in wax, the scent will not evaporate correctly when the candle is lit. Therefore, it is best to stick with the recommended use mentioned above.
What is Petrolatum: The candle additive Petrolatum is also known as petroleum jelly. This additive is used in container wax only and works by increasing the number of pores in your wax. Petrolatum will also increase the oil content in a wax therefore making it creamier and softer. The addition of Petrolatum to your wax will also help the wax to adhere to the sides of its container as well as help to reduce shrinkage of the wax. This candle additive will also aid in the reduction of the melting point resulting in an end product with a longer burn time.
How Much To Use: With this candle additive, testing is key. A good starting point is up to 5% of your total wax amount. This percentage can range all the way up to 30%. Please Note: Using this candle additive may affect your clean burn resulting in some smoking from your candle.
What is Crisco Shortening: Crisco Shortening is commonly used in food recipes, but can also be used as a candle additive. The addition of Crisco Shortening to a candle wax will help to extend the candles scent throw and decrease the chance of having wet spots. A good alternative to Petrolatum, this additive even works better with certain container candle waxes then Petrolatum does.
How Much To Use: Through our testing, we have found that the addition of Crisco Shortening at 1-2 oz. per pound of container wax provides your finished candle with a better scent throw.
What is Mineral Oil- Mineral oil is also known as paraffin oil. Commonly used as an emollient agent for cosmetics, mineral oil can also be used as a candle additive. The addition of mineral oil to your candle wax will provide for a mottled look in your end product.
How Much To Use: To achieve a mottled look in candles, add 3 Tbs. of mineral oil per every pound of wax you are melting. You will want to pour the candles at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. When using this candle additive in your wax, you do not want to rush the cooling process of the candles with a water bath.
What is Beeswax: The candle additive beeswax will improve a candles burn time and also provide your end product with a beautiful rich color if you choose to color the candles. Now, the addition of beeswax to your candle recipes can be expensive, but well worth it if you choose to go that route.
How Much To Use: Beeswax can be used as the only wax in a candle, or it can also be added at 5-10% of the total amount of paraffin wax.
What is Microcrystalline Wax: There are 2 different forms of Microcrystalline wax; hard and soft. The candle additive hard Microcrystalline wax is added to paraffin wax to harden wax therefore providing the candle with an extended burn time. The melt point for hard microcrystalline wax is over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This candle additive can also be used as a dip wax to make mottled candles. The other type, Soft Microcrystalline wax has a lower melting wax point. This wax is used with paraffin wax to make modeled wax. The addition of this candle additive will also help the wax adhere to the containers as well.
How Much To Use: For the Hard Microcrystalline wax, the usage suggestion is 1% of the total wax amount. For the Soft Microcrystalline wax, the usage suggestion is about 10% of the total wax amount, or about 1.5 oz. per pound of wax.
UV Light Inhibitor
What is UV Light Inhibitor: When coloring your candles, there are certain hues that have a tendency to discolor. These colors are Blue, Burgundy, and Violet. The same can be said about any variations of these colors as well. UV Light Inhibitor is a candle additive that helps to prevent the sun’s affect of fading or discoloration in your candles. However, it must be noted that if finished candles are set in direct sunlight, even with the addition of UV Light Inhibitor, fading will still occur.
How Much To Use: The addition of this candle additive is added at a rate of 1/8 tsp per 16oz. of wax used.