Whenever something is being burned, there will be some amount of smoke. Naturally, when you limit the amount of oxygen, you will see more smoke than when ample oxygen is supplied. However, you can prevent your homemade candles from excessively smoking by making your candles the right way in the first place. There are a few reasons as to why a candle may smoke once lit. The first check point to examine is whether or not the correct amount of fragrance oil was used in the process. Using more than the recommended amount of fragrance oil per pound of wax may sound like it is a good idea to have extreme scent, but in the end it is only wasteful (and costly), and can cause your candles to smoke. Wax has a fragrance load limit. Since it is a porous object, once each and every pore has been filled, there is no more area for the fragrance to go.
The second reason your candle may be smoking is the wick. Using the proper wick for the diameter size of the candle is the best way to ensure a clean and even burn in the candle. Go here to read a very interesting blog post on the science of candle wicks. A smoking wick will occur if the wick of the candle is too large for the container. To view a wick suggestion chart for your sized candle container click here for Natures Garden’s wick recommendations. Avoid allowing the debris from wick clippings from entering into your melted wax, and keep your wicks trimmed to 1/4″.
Finally, your colorant may cause your candle to smoke. It is important to know that pigments can clog your wick and can cause increased smoking when burning your candle. That is why only candle dyes should be used to color the interior wax of candles. Never use crayons to color your candles as they contain pigments instead of dyes. When using candle dyes, understand that using alot of candle dye may also cause your candles to smoke more.
How to Solve It!
When it comes to fragrance oil percentage, never use more than the suggested amount of fragrance oil per pound of wax. Remember, using more may result in a candle with a fragrance oil slick that is a fire hazard.
Do your research first. In order to know which wick to use in candle making, you must first know your candle’s diameter. You can figure this out by measuring the bottom of your candle container with a ruler. You will want to measure horizontally across the center. Once you have this information, simply look at the wick suggestion chart and select which kind of wick you need. Keep wick trimmings out of your melted wax, and keep wicks trimmed to 1/4″. Also, avoid burning your candles where there are fans or drafts. This can cause your wick to move around and burn too quickly; potentially smoking more.
In candle making temperature is very important. Many waxes offer a range in temperature for their key steps (melting temperature, scenting temperature, pouring temperature). It is a very good idea to monitor these temperatures with the help of a testing notebook and thermometer. Within a few times of making candles, you can have your temperatures down to a specific degree. With well taken notes, it is possible to have your candle making process replicated exactly time and time again.
Lastly, you always want to avoid using pigments in the interior of your candle. Only candle dyes should be used to color the interior of your candle wax.