Archive for the ‘candle supplies’ Category

Soy Candle Recipe

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

how to make a soy candle Soy candles always seem to be the craze.  The soy wax 415 that Natures Garden carries is a 100% all natural vegetable wax.  This also means that this soy wax is biodegradable, and is made from a renewable resource.  When used to make candles; soy wax provides a nice, clean and long burn.

For this recipe, we have figured everything out for you (measurements, temperatures, color, and scent).  We are also presenting it to you in an easy to follow step by step form (with photos).  This recipe will make (1) 16oz apothecary jar candle.

Your finished soy candle will be colored in a light red hue, and scented in with a matching apple orchard fragrance.

We will be double wicking our apothecary jar with (2) CD-10 wicks.  This wicking will provide the candle with a nice hot burn, and allow the scent to travel nicely through the wick; guaranteeing a wonderful hot scent throw.

Besides the ingredients hyper linked above, you will also need some other candle making equipment.  This includes: Thermometer, POURING POT, Warning Labels, Glass Apothecary Jar (16oz), Hot Glue Gun with Gun, Scale, Pot, A cookie sheet, and a Stirring Spoon.

Now, normally prior to making a soy wax candle, you must first check the flashpoint of the scent.  This is important because the flashpoint will indicate the temperature at which you will add the fragrance oil.  However, for this recipe, we have already figured out this information.  Apple Orchard has a flashpoint of 155 degrees Fahrenheit.  What this means is that the temperature at which we will be adding the fragrance oil to the soy wax is 155 degrees Fahrenheit.  Our rule of thumb is:  If a fragrance flash point is below 130F, then add it to wax at 130F.  If the fragrance oil flash point is between 130-185F, then add the fragrance to the wax at its flash point.  If a fragrance oil has a flash point above 185F, then add the fragrance to the wax at 185F.

So now, before we get started making our soy candle; it is important to get all of the supplies and equipment ready that we will be using.  Most of these supplies can be purchased at Natures Garden.  Once you have all of this ready to go; lets get started!

supplies for making a soy candle

Step 1:  Get your pot.  Into the pot, place several inches of tap water.  Next you are going to put the pot on to the stove top and set the heat setting on medium.

prepping for double boiler method

Step 2:  Now get your pouring pot.  Inside the pot, weigh out 440 grams of the 100% soy wax flakes.  Once you have the amount, place the pouring pot into the water pot.  This will be how we melt the soy flakes.  This process is known as the double boiler method.

the double boiler process

Step 3:  Set your oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Next, place your apothecary jar on your cookie sheet.  Then, place the cookie sheet inside the oven.  Allow the jar to warm for 10-15 minutes, then remove.  Also, plug in your hot glue gun now.

warming your apothecary jar

Step 4:  Now, place your thermometer into the wax.  This is important because you will want to monitor the temperature of the wax while it is melting.  Never let the temperature go higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  This will burn and discolor the wax.  As the wax melts, stir it occasionally.  Also, keeping melting until all the wax is in a liquid state.

melting soy wax

Step 5:  Once the wax is all melted, remove it from heat.  When the temperature reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit, add the 4 drops of Spectrum Red Candle Dye.  Stir.

coloring soy wax

Step 6:  After the wax has been colored, check your temperature again.  When the temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit, add your 35 grams of Apple Orchard fragrance oil.  Stir again for a full 2 minutes.  This thorough stir will help the wax, fragrance, and color adhere.  Then, place your thermometer back into the wax.

scenting the soy wax

Step 7:  Next, grab your hot glue gun and place a small amount of glue on the bottom of your wick tabs.  Then, center and secure your candle wicks.

center and secure your wicks

Step 8:  Now, stick your warning label to the bottom of your jar.

applying your warning label

Step 9:  Check the temperature of the wax, you will be looking for it to reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once it does, give your wax one final stir.

checking for the pour temp
Step 10:  Then, slowly start to pour your candle.  You will want to stop your pour once the wax reaches where the jar changes shape.  Then, straighten your wicks.

pouring your soy candle
Step 11: 
Now, allow your candle to fully set up undisturbed.

allowing your candle to set up

Step 12:  Once the candle has hardened, trim your wicks, and lid your jar.  Allow your candle to cure for 24-48 hours.

Congratulations, you just made a soy candle.  Your 100% Soy Wax Candle is now finished and ready to burn.  Enjoy the sweet apple scent that will fill your home and make your house smell good!

Homemade Zebra Candle

Friday, February 7th, 2014

make your own zebra candleHow to make your very own homemade Zebra Candle!

This easy to make project is even fun to create.  Besides the standard candle making supplies such as: soy wax, wicks, scent, color, and jars; you will also need beeswax.  We will be using the beeswax to make the zebra stripes in the candle.  Because of the pliability of beeswax, it has the capability of being shaped easily into stripes.  Plus, due to the high melt point it has, beeswax can withstand a pour of another wax (soy), as long as the temperature isn’t too extreme.

Although for this project, the scent that was selected was Hot Pink Pomegranate Fragrance Oil, when you make your own zebra candle you can scent it to your pleasing.  The same is true for the candle color.  Since our fragrance oil has the name hot pink in it, the decision was made to make the zebra candle stripes pink on a white (or uncolored) background.

To see the full list of possible candle scents, please click on this link.  There are over 800 different fragrances to choose from!

Here are your total recipe weights to make (2) 16oz. Zebra Candles:
190 grams beeswax
2 drops candle dye (if making the candle like pictured)
About 4 oz.  of candle scent
1100 grams of soy wax (Golden Foods 444 soy wax)

Other items that you will need for this recipe are:
wax paper
pencil
knife
9×13 cake pan
2- 16 oz candle jars
4 wicks (we used 2- cd10 wicks per candle)
scale
2 pots (for double boiler method)
stirring spoon
cutting board
thermometer

Below are the steps to make your very own zebra candle (pictures included):

Step 1:  Using the double boiler method, weigh out and melt 190 grams of beeswax.  You will want to set the temperature of your stove top between medium and low heat while melting.  Stir the beeswax occasionally as it melts.

steps to make a zebra candle

Step 2:   This step is the colorant of your zebra stripes:  Once the beeswax is melted, now you will add 2 drops of your candle colorant, and stir.  Once you are done, place your pouring pot back into the heat source.

color for the zebra candle

Step 3:  To make the zebra stripes, you will need to concentrate your beeswax in a portion of the area in your cake pan.  To do this, lay out your cake pan on a flat surface.  Next, roughly measure out at least 9 inches in length.  Hold this place by setting your knife across the pan.  Finally, lay the wax paper over the cake pan and knife.  Carefully, tuck the corners of the wax paper down.

how to make zebra stripes

Step 4:  Now it is time to scent your beeswax:  Remove your beeswax from the heat source.  Weigh out about 19 grams of your candle fragrance oil.  Then, add the fragrance and stir to incorporate it throughout the wax.

zebra candle scent

Step 5:  Now, take your beeswax and slowly start to pour it over the flat portion of the wax paper.  Allow this to fully set up.  Do not try to rush this step.  Cooling beeswax too quickly, may cause it to crack!

making the zebra candle stripes

Step 6:  Once the beeswax has hardened, and is cool to the touch; gently remove it from the cake pan.  Carefully stand the square on one end and starting in one corner, peel away the wax paper.  Then, place the beeswax on your cutting board.  Finally, cut off any jagged edges using your knife.

zebra candle recipe

Step 7:  For the background of your zebra candle, you will be using soy wax.  In order to have enough wax for 2 candles, weigh out and melt 1100 grams of soy wax.  Melt this wax using the double boiler method.  While the wax is melting, stir occasionally.

soy wax zebra candle

Step 8:  You will create the zebra stripe pattern using the tip of a pencil.  Trace this lightly into the beeswax.  The shape that you will want to draw will be various sized long and irregular lines similar to tree branches.  When you are finished, cut these lines out.

making zebra stripes in beeswax

Step 9:  Once you have a few of your stripes cut out, carefully begin to place them individually against the inside wall of your candle jar.  It is best to start at the bottom of your jar and work in an angular direction.  Apply slight and even pressure until the stripes stick.  Repeat this step until you have the zebra design you are looking for.  Then, do it again for your second candle.

zebra candle pattern

Step 10:  Center and secure your wicks to the bottom of your candle jars.  Then, set aside.

centering your wicks

Step 11:  When your soy wax is in a completely liquid state, remove it from the heat source.  If you are adding color to the background of the zebra candle, do this now.  Then, add 110 grams of fragrance Oil.  Stir again.

Step 12:  Using your thermometer, wait until the soy wax reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit; this temperature will not melt your zebra stripes.  Pour the soy wax into your candle jars.  Don’t forget to straighten your wicks. Allow the candles to fully set up undisturbed.

pouring a zebra candle

Now it is time to celebrate, your Zebra candles are now ready to use.  Simply trim your wick, light, and enjoy your new awesome candle.

Beeswax Candles

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

beeswax candles
Air Purifying Candles

Many people burn candles as a way of relaxing with a soft light, or too add subtle scenting to the air, or as a means of setting the mood.  But, burning a beeswax candle may actually do more than this.

Let’s get a little scientific
The air that surrounds us is positively charged.  In fact, many of the items in our own homes emit a plethora of additional positively charged ions; jam packing our already filled surroundings with more and more positively charged ions.  But, all of these positively charged ions are not good for us. Recalling any lightning storm you have experienced, you will better understand this explanation.  Generally, after one of these storms, people feel stimulated, rejuvenated, and replenished.  The reason for this is that electrical storms produce a superabundance of negative ions that actually balance out the positive ions that dominate our surroundings.  This is why some of the most relaxing and renewed places for our bodies are be by waterfalls, beaches, forests, and mountain scenes.  These types of landscapes provide extra negative ions in the air that restore a natural balance of the charged ions.  Not only can you smell the difference in the air, but you can also feel it in your body too.

Positive Ions in our Homes
Many of the pollutants floating in the air of our homes like pollen, dirt, and dust all have a positive charge.  They get this charge from the static electricity that occurs in our home from daily routines.  Introducing negative ions into the air; combats these allergens. It has actually been scientifically proven to reduce many allergic issues like hay fever and asthma.  Negative ions can even help you sleep better too. Harmonizing the ions in your surrounding can help make you feel healthier and actually distress you.  Releasing additional negative ions can help with depression (SAD), headaches, and can even help you stay focused. Negatively charged ions work to make you healthier too.  Negative ions can help to boost your body’s immunity as well as help to build a resistance to many illnesses. Your body’s metabolism also benefits from negative ions making it more efficient.

Introduction of Negative Ions to our Homes
Beeswax can be considered an air purifier.  Beeswax candles are the only candles that emit negative ions into the air when lit.  Since opposites attract; these negative ions attach themselves to the positive ones.  This therefore balances the charge. Once the ions are bound together, the charge is now neutralized, and the molecule is complete.  The heavier mass causes these ions to fall to the ground, and they are no longer suspended in the air as contaminants.  This process of stabilizing, removes the ions, and cleans the air we breathe. The negative ions emitted by beeswax candles can even clean the air to eliminate smells like second hand smoke and many common household odors. Beeswax candles can be scented and colored just like other candle waxes.  Beeswax candles produce very little soot and burn very slowly.  These candles will provide your home with hours of purer, crisper, and fresher quality air.

Attention:  Natures Garden provides this information for educational purposes only.  We do not intend for this information to be misconstrued as medical advice or for treatment of any ailments.  If selling beeswax candles, refrain from making medical claims on your labels and/or advertising.   Promoting this way could make your candles considered a “drug” by the FDA.

Candle Instructions

Monday, January 6th, 2014

triple layer candleCandle Instructions

Burning candles in your home can be very enjoyable.  Candles are relaxing, soothing, and can fill your home with the most pleasurable aromas.  But, since burning a candle does involve an open flame, you must always burn candles with caution.

Here are some candle instructions to ensure candle safety when burning a candle.

Where to Burn a Candle:

Some things to consider when selecting the right candle holder for your candle are the material it is made of, size, and design.  You want to make sure the candle holder is made of sturdy and heat resistant material that can endure the high heat that some candles may give off.  Size is another factor because you want to ensure that your candle holder is large enough to hold your candle and also to prevent your candle from tipping over anytime that it is lit.

Never place your candle on a surface that cannot withstand heat, these types of surfaces may become damaged if the candle becomes too hot, or the candle holder breaks.

Never move a lit candle.  If you need to move your candle once it has been lit, extinguish the flame and allow the wax to set up before attempting to move it.  If a candle has been burning for an extended period of time, the container will be hot.

Always burn candles where they are out of reach to children and pets.  A flame can be very captivating to a small child.  You also do not want to burn a candle where it can easily be knocked over by an excited dog’s tail, or places where indoor cats frequent.

Never burn a candle by any object that is flammable.  Never burn candles near paperwork; especially on desks.  Draperies can also easily catch fire so avoid window sills and end tables near windows.

Never burn candles where they will be left unattended.  You only want to leave candles lit where an adult is in the room to monitor it.  Also, before going to sleep, extinguish all candles in the house.  You will want to ensure that your wick is completely out and no longer “glowing”.  Never use candles as nightlights.

When burning candles, make sure they are placed somewhere away from drafts.  Be wary of burning a candle in a room that has a ceiling fan going; you want to place the burning candle where it will not be affected by the breeze.

When burning multiple candles in one room, make sure they are at least 3 inches apart.  This is especially true for pillar or votive candles.  Burning candles too close to one another may result in the candles melting one another.  This can also create a draft situation where your candles will flare.

If you are interested in viewing other tips and tricks of candle making, or the homemade candle making process, please click on this link.  Natures Garden also provides free recipes and classes for candle making.

Candle Burning

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

candle burn Candle Burning

Regardless of whether you are making candles for personal use, gifts, or to earn extra income; candles are flammable.  You always want to make sure that you have taken all the right measures to ensure the safest candle possible.  Not only is candle safety important to the crafter, but it is also just as important to the person that burns the candle.

Here are some great tips for burning candles, the best way to extinguish a candle, and what to do if your candle wax is on fire.

Candle Burning and Maintenance:

Always before lighting your candle; trim the wick!  You never want your wick to be longer than ¼ inch.  Also, when lighting your candle, do not throw the wick trimming into the candle.  You want to keep your candle free of any and all debris such as:  dust, wick trimmings, matches, ect.  You want your candle pool to be scented wax only.

Keep your wick straight.  Once your wick has been trimmed, you will want to pull it straight.  If your wick is bent, your wick will burn hotter than regular.  This will result in a quicker burn time of your candle.

When it is time to extinguish your candle, always use a snuffer.  A candle snuffer is the easiest and safest way to put out a flame.  Using a snuffer will prevent hot wax splatter.  Candle wax is hot, you never want to touch it, or get wax splatter on you or surfaces in your home.

Never put a candle flame out with water.  Water can cause the hot wax in your candles to splatter.  There is also a chance that the glass container of your candle may also break.

If after lighting your candle, you notice the wick flickering, smoking, or the flame of your candle becomes too large; the candle is not functioning properly.  Extinguish the flame, let the candle cool, trim your wick to ¼ inch, check the rooms for drafts, and then re-light.

After a candle has been burned to the point where there is only 1/2 inch of wax left in the bottom of the container, stop burning.  The candle is now finished.  Never burn a candle all the way down.

For Candle Making Purposes: 

For your candle making area, it is wise to purchase a dry chemical fire extinguisher in case of any fires.  If you do have a wax fire, the dry chemical extinguisher or baking soda should be used to suffocate the flames.  Never use water to put out a wax fire.

Oil in Candle

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

candle making questionsCandle Making Questions:

Why is there excess oil in candle?  Sometimes when making candles, your finished product may have excess oil in it.   This oil slick may be along the edges, on the top, or at the bottom of your candle.  This oil is actually fragrance oil.  Excess fragrance oil in the candle containers is a tell tale sign that too much fragrance oil was used in the candle making process.

How to Solve It!  Sticking to the recommended usage suggestion for fragrance oil per type of wax is the smartest move, especially if you are new to candle making.  Another early warning sign to prevent oil in your finished candle happens during the pour steps.  When pouring the wax into the containers, if you notice an “oil slick” in the bottom of your pouring pot, stop the pour before the oil comes out.  If there is any leftover fragrance oil that the wax did not absorb initially, the wax will not absorb it in your container either.

To view other candle making questions and common troubleshooting tips for candle making, please click on this link to see the full Natures Garden’s Common Candle Making Mistakes Guide.

Candle Wax Tips

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

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.

What are Candle Additives

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

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.

Candle Making Equipment

Friday, December 6th, 2013

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.

Candle Making- Soy Candles

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Soy wax Candles When it comes to candle making, the wax you use is really up to personal choice.

There are quite a few reasons why candle makers select soy wax for their candles.  Some like it due to the fact that soy wax is 100% natural (it is a pure vegetable wax) and it is biodegradable.  Many prefer soy wax because of the long, even, and clean burn the wax provides with less soot.  And, even still, many candle crafters like soy wax because it is an environmentally friendly, renewable resource that American farmers can plant and harvest; also helping the economy too. Some other reasons for why some people prefer using soy wax for their candles are ease of use.  Since this wax is in flake form, it is a breeze to weigh out, work with, and clean up.  And, soy wax is a single pour wax, requiring no repours.

Soy wax is for container candles.  Due to the nature of this natural wax, the finished candle will have a mottled (or frosted) appearance on top.  However, if you do not like this appearance, you can always apply heat to the finished candle with a hot hair dryer or heat gun.

Supplies and Equipment Needed: 
NG 100% Soy Wax
Fragrance Oil
Spectrum Candle Dye or Color Block
Pouring Pot
Thermometer
Glassware
Wicks
Scale
Stainless steel mixing utensil
Cookie Sheet
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Sticks
Stove
Pot

A little behind the scenes knowledge: 

For this candle making process we are going to suggest the double boiler system for melting the wax.  Fill a large pot half way full with tap water.  Place the filled pot onto the stove top burner.  Turn the appropriate burner on medium heat.  Once you have the pouring pot filled with the correct amount of soy wax, place the pouring pot into the water filled pot.  Once the water starts to boil, you will notice that the soy wax is beginning to melt.  As this occurs, you want to occasionally stir the wax to ensure an even temperature.

Carefully place your glassware on a cookie sheet.  Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible.  Once the oven is heated, place the cookie sheet with the glassware into the oven.  Allow your glassware to warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Once the allotted time has passed, carefully remove the cookie sheet using oven mitts.  Set these aside. 

The standard fragrance percent for soy candles is 1-1 ½ ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax.

For measuring purposes, 20 ounces (weight) of soy wax is equivalent to 16 ounces of fluid volume.

Directions for making a soy candle: 

1.  Weigh out the correct amount of soy wax with your scale.
2.  Place your soy wax into your pouring pot and using the double boiler system, heat the wax to 185 degrees Fahrenheit.  Monitor this by using your thermometer.  Please Note:  Heating soy wax hotter than 200 degrees Fahrenheit will discolor the wax, so proper monitoring of the temperature is advised.
3.  While you are waiting on the wax, plug in your hot glue gun.
4.  Once the wax is in a liquid state, add your candle colorant.
5.  Next, add your Natures Garden’s fragrance oil of choice and stir well to incorporate throughout the wax.  The information we provide below about flash point and burnoff is information we have learned over the years that will help make the best soy wax candles.  When making candles, it is important to understand that ingredients affect the end result.  Testing needs to be done by the candle maker for every fragrance that you decide to use.  We provide the information as a guide, but you will still need to do the testing yourself.
      a.  For this step you will need to know the flashpoint of the fragrance oil you selected.  The right temperature is extremely important to ensure that the fragrance oil binds properly with the soy wax.  You also do not want to risk “burnoff”.  Burnoff is the adding of a fragrance oil at too hot of a wax temperature.  Because a flashpoint on a fragrance oil is the highest temperature the fragrance can handle before breaking down, burnoff can affect the scent in the finished candle.  That is why you want to know the proper temperature to add the fragrance oil.  You can find this information right on the label of the Natures Garden fragrance oil.  This information is also in the Important Fragrance Specifics area on the website under each fragrance oil listing.
b. Fragrance Flashpoints give you the answer as to when you add your fragrance oil to the hot wax.  Any flashpoint that is higher than 185 degrees Fahrenheit is added at 185 degrees.  For any flashpoints that are below 185 degrees, they should be added at or below the flashpoint degree.  The key to remember is try not to add the fragrance oil at a temperature that is hotter than its flashpoint.
c.  Some fragrance oils have a very low flashpoint.  In these cases, testing comes into play.  You are balancing flashpoint temperatures with the fact that the wax needs heat in order to bind the scent with the wax.
6.  Once the soy wax has been scented and colored, you will want to stir your wax thoroughly.  Doing this step will help the mixing and binding of the color and scent throughout the wax.
7.  The next step is allow your soy wax to cool at room temperature.  Place your thermometer into the pouring pot and wait until the wax reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pouring at this temperature will allow for a smoother surface in your finished candle.  While you are waiting, prep your containers for the pour.
8.  Using your hot glue gun, place a little amount of glue to the bottom of the wick tab.  Then, carefully center the wick to the bottom of the glassware.  Gently, straighten your wick in each glass.
9.  Once your wax is the appropriate temperature (110 degrees F), you will notice the physical appearance of the wax will be slushy like.  At this point, you are now ready to pour your wax.  Slowly, fill each glass to the point where the jar changes shape.  Filling a jar surpassed the point where the jar changes shape will increase your chance of a sink hole in the finished candle.
10.  Once all containers have been poured, allow them to set up and undisturbed at room temperature.
11.   When all candles have completely set up, lid each container to allow for the fragrance to be absorbed by the wax.  This is known as the “cure time.”  For best results, allow your candles to cure for 24-48 hours.
12.  Once the cure time has elapsed, it is now time to trim your wick, and light your homemade soy candle.  Enjoy!

On a Final Note: 

Anytime you burn a candle for the first time, you want to establish a “memory burn.”  A memory burn is a complete wet pool of hot, melted wax over the entire top portion of the candle.  If the first burn is a memory burn, this ensures that every time you burn your candle, you will not have tunneling around the wick or an excess of unmelted wax adhered to the candle jar.  A memory burn also guarantees that the scent throw of your candle will be the best possible since every gram of scented wax is being used.

If you are interested in making your very own soy wax candles, Natures Garden offers a Soy Wax Kit with all the ingredients you need to make soy candles.