Category Archives: candle additives

Dec
11

Candle Wax Tips

This entry was posted in candle additives, candle making, candle making supplies, candle supplies, candle wax, candles, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , on by .

soy wax candlesThe 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.

Pre-blended waxes

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.

Temperature

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.

Dec
08

What are Candle Additives

This entry was posted in candle additives, candle fragrance oils, candle making, candle making questions, candle making supplies, candle supplies, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

candle additivesCandle 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.

Stearic Acid

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.

Vybar

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.

Petrolatum

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.

Crisco Shortening

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.

Mineral Oil

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.

Beeswax

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.

Microcrystalline 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.

Dec
06

Candle Making Equipment Continued

This entry was posted in candle additives, candle colorants, candle fragrance oils, candle making, candle making supplies, candle molds, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

candle making equipmentThis is a list of candle making equipment.  Whether you are just making a few candles as gifts for loved ones, or possibly venturing into the candle making industry; this is the equipment you will need to get started.  Please note:  Once this equipment has been used to make fragranced candles, it cannot be used again for food purposes.

Other Equipment

Pouring Pots- Coffee cans used to be perfect pouring pots when they were made of metal.  By simply bending the lip on one side of the coffee can, you could make a perfect spout to pour candles.  Metal coffee cans still exist, they are just harder to come by now.  If you do choose to use metal coffee cans as pouring pots, remember to have plenty of heat resistant safety gloves or pot holders available to assist you in holding the hot can.  This only works for metal coffee cans; most companies that sell coffee use plastic cans now.  Unfortunately, these types of cans cannot handle the heat from the melted wax and they will melt; compromising your candle wax and making a big mess to clean up.

Pouring pots, however, are great for candle making.  Not only can they hold up to 4 pounds of melted wax, but they also have a plastic handle on them so there is less chance of burning your hand.

In an ideal situation, you will have a pouring pot for each fragrance that you use to make candles.  For example, if you carry Apple Cinnamon (red), Blueberry Muffin (blue), Fresh Bamboo (green), and Vanilla Silk (no color), that would equate to 4 total pouring pots.  This works because you would never have to worry about jeopardizing your color accuracy or fragrance aromas in finished candles.  But, this is only ideally.  If you are just starting out, one pouring pot will work.  You just have to make sure you thoroughly clean your pouring pot after each use.  You also want to make sure you clean the outside and underneath portion of the pouring pot.  Having debris or wax on the bottom of your pouring pot could result in splatter when the pouring pot is placed in the water to maintain wax temperature.  The hot splatter can be painful.  This splatter is also a reason why wearing safety glasses while making candles is a very good idea.

Candy Thermometer- Wax temperature is everything when making candles.  Usually, if there are problems with your finished candles, temperature has something to do with what went wrong.  Using a thermometer to monitor your temperature in wax is one way to prevent these problems from occurring.  For best results in candle making, pour any single pour waxes at 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit, and any votive or pillar wax at 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Votive and Candle Molds- After purchasing multiple votive molds, you will notice when you receive them, they will be stacked together.  Make sure when you try to pull them apart you are wearing heavy duty gloves.  The edges of stainless steel votives are extremely sharp.  Attempting to pull them apart without gloves will cause cuts on your fingers.

When working with candle molds or votive molds, you always want to make sure that before you pour the hot candle wax into the mold that they are at room temperature.  Completing this one little step will save you the headache of trying to release the candle later.

As for the cleaning process for these types of molds, rub a small amount of shortening in the inside and outside of the molds.  Then, place the molds on a cookie sheet upside down.  Once the cookie sheet has been carefully placed inside the oven, bake at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.  Once the time has elapsed, simply remove the cookie sheet and wipe the individual molds clean.  Caution:  The molds will be hot when taken out of the oven, so you may want to use pot holders.  Please Note:  Never use water with your metal molds.

Work Environment-  Having a favorable work environment for candle making is a must.  Once again, it is all about temperature, and having a room that is 70 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for the best candle making situation.  Proper ventilation in the room is necessary, but you also have to remember rooms that have drafts will not work for the natural cooling stages of your candles.  Candles that cool too quickly will give you problems with your finished candles aesthetic look or functionality.

Work Clothes- These items may sound silly, but you never want to risk wearing one of your favorite outfits while making candles.  No matter how neat and careful you are, candle dye is permanent, and getting wax, even the smallest amount, on your clothing will ruin them.

Floor Protection-  When making candles, a small spill can have detrimental affects to your work area.  Besides the facts that candle dyes are permanent, wax messes are not the easiest to clean up, and spilled fragrance oil on a floor is super slippery, you do not want to take any chances especially if your work environment is your kitchen.  By purchasing floor mats, or simply placing cardboard on the floor in your work area, you can prevent havoc from occurring.  For you own personal safety, this is one perfect work environment step you do not want to skip.

Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons- When it comes to measurements for colorants, additives, and fragrance oils, you will want to have your very own candle making stainless steel tools for this portion of the job.  Fragrance oils will dissolve certain plastics, stainless steel measurers will not dissolve and can be cleaned time and time again without staining or scent memory.

Dec
06

Candle Making Equipment

This entry was posted in candle additives, candle colorants, candle dye, candle making, candle making supplies, candle supplies, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

candle making equipmentWhen it comes to candle making there are a few tried and true items that you are going to need in order to create beautiful hand poured candles.  This blog will focus on possible heat sources you will want to use.

Heat Sources

Turkey Roasters- Turkey roasters work great for melting slabs of candle wax.  On average, turkey roasters can hold 20-25 pounds of candle wax at a time, so this is a great solution if you are making big batches of candles.  The average cost of a turkey roaster is anywhere from $40-$100. But, keep in mind that these turkey roasters do go on sale around the holidays, so you might be able to find a bargain.  When melting wax in a turkey roaster you will want to keep the temperature set at 175 degrees Fahrenheit.  You will also want to make sure that you have the bottom portion of the pan filled with about ¼” water.  If you do not fill this area with water, you will notice that the wax will not melt properly.  Also, you will risk burning up your turkey roaster and rearing it useless.  But, remember ¼” is the magic amount.  Using more than this amount will result in having water bubble up and entering your work space.  Try not to let any water enter the melting wax.  Water is waxes worst enemy, and water in your melted wax will result with holes in your finished candles.

If you do get water in your wax, or you notice water in wax; put your turkey roaster on the low setting and keep it uncovered.  This will allow the water to evaporate out.  When wax is made into slabs, the manufacturer uses water to cool the wax.  Sometimes, water can get trapped in the wax as it cools, and this creates water pockets.   The water will evaporate; just keep an eye on the wax.

Besides working with a single pour wax, if you choose to also make votives and or pillars, you will want to have a second turkey roaster for this wax.  It is very important that you keep the waxes separated.  If you do not, chances are your single wax will require a second pour.  But, do not stress too much if a small amount of votive/pillar wax gets into your single pour wax.  A little bit of the waxes mixing should not give you any major issues.

Stove/Hot Plate- Besides the turkey roaster, you will also need a secondary heat source.  This is because you will need to maintain your melted wax temperature (or pouring temperature) as you add colorants, additives, or fragrance oils.  A stove or hot plate are great secondary heat sources.

By using a 13” x 9” cake pan you can create the same double boiler situation like you have in your turkey roaster.  This time fill the bottom of the cake pan ½” with water.  Then, set the stove or hot plate to a low to medium heat setting.  Place the cake pan with water on top of the burner and allow the water to heat.

Ideally, a stove works best for this situation, especially if you also warm your candle containers before pouring the hot candle wax into them.  Warming your containers will help to prevent jump lines from occurring in your candles.  Jump lines occur when the melted wax cools too quickly in your jars.  Warming your candle jars levels the “temperature playing field” if you will, allowing the wax to cool in its own natural time by decreasing the gap in temperature between the hot wax and warmed jars.