What are Jump Lines in Candles
Jump lines are the visible horizontal rings that occur on the sides of your candles. These lines look like ridges and prevent your candle from having a smooth finish. Ideally, to have a perfect candle pour, your candle wax will still be in a complete liquid state once it has been poured into your container/pillar. This is the best shot you can give your candle to completely and uniformly cool naturally, therefore decreasing your chances of getting jump lines. All candle wax has to conform to the sides of the container/pillar mold at the same rate of time. This provides for the smooth finish of a candle.
In candle making when you are pouring the hot wax, it will begin to cool as soon as it hits the jar. As this happens, you will visibly be able to see wax layers materialize. If you do not pour quickly enough, the wax will naturally start to harden and stick to the wall of the container/ pillar mold. Since the temperature of the jar stays consistent, there is no heat source to re-melt the wall portion, therefore showing each line of cooled wax aka jump lines.
How do you prevent jump lines from occurring?
Jump lines can occur for several reasons, the first of which is intentionally. Jump lines can also be created on purpose to give candles a textured look. Since jump lines are an aesthetic thing, they do not have any kind of effect on the candles burn or scent throw.
One of the first things as a preventative measure that you can do is pour your wax at the correct temperature. You can do this by using a candy thermometer. You may have to increase your pouring temperature to adjust for jump lines. This is where testing and note taking will come into play. As always, it is of the utmost importance for candle making that your jars and/or pillars are room temperature. The second measure you can take is to heat your jars at the lowest setting on a cookie sheet in the oven for twenty minutes prior to filling them.
Another important factor in combating jump lines is your pouring rate. Obviously, you do not want to pour fast, this will result in wax splashing everywhere. And, adversely, you do not want to pour so slowly that you can actually see the jump lines establishing themselves in the candle. Find your pouring medium. If you are seeking a fool proof way to prevent jump lines from the pouring stage, try counting seconds or singing a lyric of a song. These tricks will help you stay uniform with your pour.
How to correct jump lines?
Although all of the steps mentioned earlier are great ways to prevent jump lines, once they have occurred in your candles you really only have a one option. Using a heat gun or hair dryer to heat the outside of the candle will remelt the outside layer of the wax, this will mask the jump lines from visible view, but once again, jump lines have no direct effect on a candle.