Common Candle Making Questions
Natures Garden has compiled a list of common candle making questions we have been asked over the past 12 years. It is our hope that by posting these common questions, you will get the answers to your questions during non-business hours.
Note: At the end of this information, there is a customer review area. We encourage you to add your suggestions, comments, and expert advice.
New to Candle Making Questions:
Q: "I am new to candle making. Do you have any advice on how I would get started?" A: "Congratulations! Candle making is one of the most exciting hobbies/businesses on earth! The best way to start is to buy a beginners candle kit. Follow the exact instructions in the kit to make your very first candles. In addition, we want you to know that Natures Garden provides all of our customers a toll-free HUG (help you grow) line. Call us anytime you need candle making help. You can also email us with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org We are here for you! 1-866-647-2368."
Q: "If I request a certain fragrance, can you get it for me?" A: "Natures Garden is known for carrying unique, fine fragrances. Most of our attention is given to creating fragrance blends that no one else carries. We accept fragrance requests, and may decide to carry a particular scent if the scent is requested from several customers. If you request a fragrance, please understand that if we add this fragrance to our line, we will sell the fragrance to all of our customers. We do not offer exclusivity rights to any fragrance request."
Q: "I notice that some of my bottles of fragrance are fuller than others. Why?" A: "Natures Garden sells our fragrances by weight, not volume. The heavier fragrances will not be as full as the lighter weight fragrances".
Q: "I am not getting a good scent throw in my candles. Could it be the fragrance?" A: "We understand that scent throw issues can be frustrating to you. However, approximately 98% of the time, when using a reputable company for your supplies, scent throw problems in candles are not caused by the fragrance. There are several things that can inhibit scent throw: Using soy wax, not using a hot enough burning wick, using too much color, using too much vybar, adding fragrance to wax at too hot of a temperature, not allowing candles to cure (set for several days after you make them)."
Q: "I notice that with some of my fragrances, I cannot get the candle to get a full melt-pool across the top. Why?" A: "Fragrances vary in flash point and specific gravity. When a fragrance has a high flash point and high specific gravity, it requires a hotter burning wick to allow the fragrance to evaporate out of the wax, and to get a nice melt-pool. When a fragrance has a low flash point and low specific gravity, it requires a smaller sized wick to allow the fragrance to evaporate out of the wax, and get a nice melt-pool. Vanilla fragrances tend to require a hotter burning wick; while citrus fragrances will require a smaller sized wick."
Q: "My fragrance smells like alcohol out of the bottle, can I return it?" A: "Natures Garden fragrances are 100% concentrated fragrance oils. They smell different out of the bottle than they do in a finished product. We suggest putting the fragrance in a finished product prior to forming an opinion about the fragrance. We suggest that you purchase sample-sized fragrances prior to purchasing larger sized bottles. Sample sized fragrances are intended for testing purposes. Once the fragrance is put in a finished product, allow the product to cure for a few days. All of Natures Garden fragrances undergo 2 sets of quality assurance programs prior to selling to customers. Due to sanitary reasons, we do not accept returns on fragrance."
Q: "Do you sell non-polar fragrances for gel wax?" A: "Due to constant changes in IFRA compliance rules, we no longer test all of our fragrances for gel wax compatibility. It is the responsibility of the customer to perform all gel wax tests. Fragrances used to make gel candles should be 170F or higher flash point. The fragrances should also be tested for gel wax solubility. To test for solubility: mix 1 part fragrance to 3 parts food grade mineral oil. Shake and allow to set a couple of minutes. Check to see if the fragrance thoroughly mixes with the mineral oil. Now take 3 parts fragrance to 1 part mineral oil. Shake and allow the mixture to set a couple of minutes. Check to see if the fragrance thoroughly mixes with the mineral oil. If you see any type of insolubility or cloudiness, the fragrance is not good to use in gel wax candles. Many candle makers think that fragrances that are considered gel wax compatible are also considered Non Polar. From a chemistry standpoint, fragrances cannot ever be totally NON Polar; the ketones and aldehydes they are made of have at least some level of polarity."
Q: "I have a fragrance oil that I bought from you a few months ago. It is darker in color than when I first bought it. Is there anything I can do to lighten the color of the fragrance oil?" A: "All fragrance oils have a shelf life of between 6 months to a year. Since fragrances are made of aromatic chemicals (ketones and aldehydes) that have some level of polarity, they oxidize to some extent over time. Fragrances that contain vanillin will oxidize faster than others. Oxidation causes fragrance oils to become darker in color. There is nothing you can do to reverse oxidation once it has occurred. If you are making body products with the fragrances, you can add titanium dioxide to your product to slow down oxidation, but it still will not completely prevent it from occurring."
Q: "Do you offer bulk pricing discounts on any of your fragrances?" A: "Yes we do! Our bulk pricing prices are all online."
Q: "Can you tell me who your perfumist is?" A: "Natures Garden does not disclose our supplier information. However, if you are interested in buying fragrance in bulk quantities, we can offer you discount pricing."
Q: "How do I get my wicks to stay in place while my container candles are cooling?" A: "To prevent your wicks from falling over while the candle is cooling, we suggest you use hair combs. Simply secure your wick in the bristles of the comb, and lay the comb on top of the container."
Q: "After burning my candles, I notice black clumps on top of my wick. How can I avoid this?" A: "All wicks produce carbon "mushrooming" when burning. Some wicks produce less mushrooming than others. Our CD wicks produce the least amount of mushrooming than the other types of wicks we offer, however, they still produce some degree of mushrooming. Since carbon is let off whenever something is burned, we do not know how to prevent mushrooming from occuring."
Q: "I would like to use wooden wicks in my homemade candles. Do you supply these types of wicks?" A: "It is our understanding that wooden wicks are a patented product owned by one of the largest candle manufacturers. Due to this patent restriction, Natures Garden does not offer these types of wicks."
Q: "What type of wick do you suggest I use with joy wax?" A: After testing all of the wicks we offer in joy wax, it is our conclusion that since CD wicks burn hotter, CD wicks would be our first choice in joy wax."
Joy Wax Questions
Q: "Can I mix joy wax and soy wax 50/50 to save money?" A: "While we have many customers who mix joy and soy 50/50, we have found through our testing that this mixture does not perform as well as straight joy wax does. Mixing joy and soy can create frosting on the tops and sides of your candles. Mixing joy and soy can cause cracking of the candle. Mixing joy and soy can decrease the scent throw of your candles. While you can save money mixing the two waxes, you will find that your quality will indeed be affected by doing so. This is just our opinion. You may not agree."
Q: "Do you recommend adding vybar and crisco to joy wax?" A: "While we have many customers who add vybar and crisco to their joy wax, our testing has shown us that joy wax performs the best when you do not add any additives (except for fragrance and color) to it. This is just our opinion. You may not agree."
Q: "What is joy wax? Is it all natural?" A: Joy wax is a combination of veggie waxes and food grade paraffin. Due to its paraffin content, it is not considered all-natural."
Q: "How is joy wax better than straight soy wax?" A: Since joy wax is not 100% soy wax, it provides you with a better scent throw than straight soy wax. Joy wax also provides you with less frosting on your candle tops than does straight soy wax."
Q: "Can joy wax be used in cosmetic products?" A: "Joy wax was developed as a candle wax. We do not market joy wax for use in cosmetic products."
Soy Wax Questions
Q: "Can I use your soy wax in cosmetic products?" A: "Yes, our soy wax is 100% soy wax. It is also considered Kosher, and is safe enough to eat. Natures Garden soy wax can be added to your cosmetic products."
Q: "How can I increase my scent throw in my soy wax candles?" A: "The molecular structure of soy wax contains various types of chemical bonds that make it harder to break down than paraffin wax. Its structure is more prone to trapping scent, than allowing it to evaporate freely. It takes more heat to break down these chemical bonds, therefore, you will need to use hotter burning wicks when making soy candles. Try increasing your wick size. Also, we suggest that you use 1.5 ounces of fragrance per pound of soy wax with the majority of our fragrances. If you are still not happy with the scent throw of your soy wax candles, consider using a soy/paraffin blend wax. Joy wax may be the answer to your problems."
Q: "My soy wax candle tops are frosted looking. How can I prevent this from occurring? A: "Soy wax will naturally have a frosted look on the tops of candles, however, you can reduce the amount of frosting by pouring your candle wax at 100-115 degrees. At this temperature, your wax will be slushy in appearance."
Candle Coloring Questions
Q: "I am using your powdered candle dyes in my candles. I am getting specks of color in my candles. How do I prevent this?" A: "In order to allow the powdered dyes to dissolve equally in candle wax, you need to mix the powdered dye in a small amount of melted stearic acid before adding the dye to your wax."
Q: "When using your color blocks to color my candles, some of my candles get specks of color on the bottom of them. How do I prevent this?" A: "The specks of color you are speaking of are usually found at the very bottom of your pouring pot. When pouring your candles, stop pouring the hot wax from your pouring pot before you get to the bottom of the pouring pot. This should solve your problem."
Q: "When using liquid candle dyes, I notice a chemical smell. Will this make my candles smell like chemicals?" A: "When using liquid candle dyes, we suggest that you never use any more than 10 drops of color per 4 pounds of wax. Using more than that can cause your candles to have a chemical smell."
Q: "Can I use my liquid candle coloring for candles and bath products?" A: "Liquid candle dye is for candles only. Never use liquid candle dye in bath products. Liquid candle dyes should not be used when making smelly jellies either."
Q: "Can you give me coloring suggestions for all of the fragrances I purchased from you?" A: "In the description area under each fragrance, we have provided: A fragrance description, a list of fragrance uses, the fragrance flash point, and a coloring suggestion for that particular fragrance. Our coloring suggestions are merely suggestions; you are free to color your candles whatever color you would like to."