The type of wax that you select for candle making is very important to your end product. Wax has a direct affect on the overall quality of the finished candle. This is the secret to making the perfect candle; you have to have a good, high quality wax. The novice belief in candle making is that as long as they add more fragrance, it can compensate for a lower quality wax, and still produce a strong candle. This is absolutely not true.
To help you understand the importance of wax in candles, let’s think of wax as a sponge and fragrance as water. Sponges are very porous. And, when you pour water over a sponge, the sponge fills each pore with water. The sponge will swell as it fills. However, as you will notice eventually when the sponge is filled, it can no longer hold any more water. What then results is an overflow of water and the water will start leaking out from the sponge. The same concept is true for wax. Once the pores of the wax have been filled with their maximum capacity of fragrance oil, any additional fragrance oil that is added will settle out of the wax.
What you are left with in this scenario is wasted fragrance oil in the bottom of your pouring pot and a candle that is possibly a fire hazard. You should never use more than 1.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax. Adding additional scent to your candle wax will not increase your scent, instead it is nothing but money down the drain. That is why the quality of wax that you select for your candle making endeavor is so important.
Yes, it is true that there are a variety of wax additives that you can include in your candle recipe to manipulate certain qualities in your candles. But, in our experience, we have found that purchasing a pre-blended candle wax that already includes these additives is the best route to go. Not only are you saving time, money, and the hassle of testing, but your end product will be exactly what you are looking for in a candle. Analyzing it, by the time you purchase all of the extra ingredients you need to make a low quality wax into a high quality wax, you will spend more money than if you just purchase the high quality pre-blended wax (like JOY wax) to begin your candle making venture. Not to mention all the time you just saved yourself too.
Another key factor to remember in candle making is that temperature is extremely important. Anytime that you are working with wax, it is crucial to know the directions for use. The temperature of waxes varies according to the wax you are using. And, in candle making temperatures are vital to the process. Never heat any of your waxes above 250 degrees Fahrenheit. On a molecular level, heating wax to this extreme temperature will start to break down the wax on a molecular level. You will also notice if you get wax too hot (above the instructed degrees) the wax may burn, resulting in discoloration of the wax, as well as a burnt smell. If this does occur, the wax is done. It cannot be used for candle making any longer. DO NOT attempt to scent the wax, or over scent the wax to compensate for the burnt smell.