Make Your Own Candles, Soaps & Cosmetics
 Common Candle Making Questions

Common Candle Making Questions

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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 info@naturesgardencandles.com  We are here for you!  1-440-647-0100." 

Fragrance Questions

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 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."

 Wick Questions

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:  "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." 

Candle Terminology

Q: "What it UV light inhibitor?"  A:  "UV light inhibitor is used to prevent discoloration or fading from sunlight in burgundy, blue, and violet colored candles.  Candles can also discolor or fade from actual lights themselves.  However, UV light inhibitor will prevent fading only from direct sunlight.  In your homemade candles, you can use 1/8 tsp per pound of candle wax.

Q: "What is a pillar candle?"  A: A pillar candle is a free-standing candle that is not in a jar or tin.

Q: "What is candle tunneling?"  A: Candle tunneling occurs when the candle burns all the down the center, leaving some wax around the edges of the jar. 

Q: "What does mushrooming mean in candle making?"  A: When a candle is burner carbon is let off.  This will create build up on the candle wick producing black clumps.  This is called mushrooming.

Q: "What does wick up mean?"  A: Wick up is a term used in candle making.  It means to use a wick that is a bigger than the one you are currently using in your container.

Q: "What does wick down mean?"  A: Wick down is a term used in candle making.  It means using a wick that is smaller than you would normally use for your container.

Q: "What kind of wax is in a candle?"  A: A candle can contain a variety of different types of candle wax.  Soy wax, paraffin wax, beeswax, and other veggie waxes are often used in candle making.  Most commonly used are soy wax and paraffin.

Q: "What is a memory burn?"  A: The most crucial burn to your new candle is its first one.  This is what is known as a memory burn.  The initial burn is the one that is most vital to a complete melt pool.  And, even more importantly a memory burn in the candle is the one that sets the boundaries and scent throw for every burn after that.  Prior to doing a memory burn, make sure that the wick is no longer than ¼” high.  If you cut your candle wick too low though, your wick can drown out. A good rule of thumb to prepare for your memory burn is to know the diameter of your candle.  For every inch in diameter that your candle is wide, you need to gauge one hour of burn time.  So, if your candle is 3 inches wide; you need to be able to burn your candle the first time for at least 3 hours.  So, for the memory burn, it is important to start it when you know that you will be able to keep an eye on it for the allotted time necessary.

Q: "What are jump lines?"  A: Jump lines are visible lines that you see on the outside of the pillar candle or container candle.

Q: "What is a soy wax candle?"  A: A soy candle is created using a wax that uses hydrogenated soybean oil.  It comes in a flake form, is a natural wax.

Q: "What is frosting in candle making?"  A: Frosting can occur in soy wax candles or candle containing soy wax.  This is just the nature of soy wax.  You can lessen this effect, but it cannot be completely eliminated.

Q: "What is granulated wax?"  A: Granulated wax is simply a wax that is granulated.  It looks somewhat like sand.  Granulated wax is perfect for candle making with kids.  It is a fast and easy way to create a candle without a need to heat the candle wax.

Q: "What is a tealight candle?"  A: A tealight candle is a very small candle.  The size can vary but our tea light cups are 1 ½ inches in diameter and about ¾ of an inch tall. 

Q: "What is a votive candle?"  A: A votive candle is another candle that is on the smaller side.  The size can vary slightly but are typically around 2 inches in height and about 1 ½ inches in diameter.

Q: "What is wax from a candle?"  A: Candle waxes can come from a variety of places.  Candle waxes can be made from soy, beeswax, palm, paraffin, and other vegetables.

Q: "What is stearin used for in candles?"  A: Stearin, or stearic acid is used in candles to harden the wax.  Stearic acid helps candles release you’re your molds because it causes your candle wax to shrink as it cools.  In addition, it increases the opacity of candle wax and enhances dye colors.  If you are using heavy fragrance oil, you can add 2% stearic acid to your paraffin wax to reduce seepage.  Another use for steric acid is when making pillar waxes to make embeds for gel candle wax.

Q: "What are clamshell containers?"  A: Clamshell containers, when applied to candle making, are hinged containers that will have cavities.  You simply prepare your candle making wax and pour the wax into the clamshell container.  Once the candle wax has setup, the wax melt can be popped out of the clamshell container in small pieces that will fit perfectly into your wax burner.

Q: "What are wet spots in candle making?"  A: Wet spots in candle making occur when the candle wax does not completely adhere to the container that you have poured it into.  Why does this happen?  Your candle wax setup before the air in this area.  Or the So, how do you prevent this from happening?  First, warming your jars will help.  Also, allow your handmade candles to set up as slowly as possible.  The slower they cool, the more time they have to adhere to the glass candle container.

Q: "What does fragrance load mean?"  A: Fragrance load refers to the amount of fragrance oil you are adding to your homemade candles, cosmetics, or soap making recipes.

Q: "What does glass adhesion mean in candle making?"  A: Glass adhesion refers to the way the candle wax clings to your candle container.

Q: "What does melt point mean?"  A: Melt refers to the temperature at which something begins to become fluid. 

Q: "What does sinkhole mean?"  A: A sinkhole is a hole that appears on your candle when it begins setting up.  It will be a hole or cavity in the candle wax. 

Q: "What does melt pool mean?"  A: The melt pool of a candle is the melted wax that is created as you burn your candle.  An ideal melt pool will form across the entire surface of your candle.  It will also be about ¼ inch deep.

Q: "What does pour temperature mean?"  A: The pour temperature in candle making is the temperature at which you pour your candle wax.  The pour temperature will vary depending on the type of candle wax you use.

Q: "What is UV light inhibitor?"  A: UV light inhibitor is used to prevent discoloration in candles due to direct light from the sun.  It will help prevent fading in blue, purple, and red candles.  You add about 1/8 teaspoon per pound of candle wax.

Q: "What does scent throw mean?"  A: The scent throw in candles refers to the strength of the scent the candle releases into the air.

Q: "What does cold throw mean?"  A: The cold throw of a candle is the strength of the scent given off when a candle is not lit.

Q: "What does hot throw mean?"  A: The hot throw of a candle refers to the strength of the candle scent released into the air as the candle is burning.

General Candle Making Questions

Q: "What kind of wax should I use for candles?"  A: The type of candle wax you will use will depend on the type of candle you are creating.  If you are creating a container candle, you will want to use a container wax.  Natures Garden carries several container waxes.  First, we carry several soy waxes.  We carry Golden Brands 100% soy wax, Golden Brands 464 soy wax, and Golden Brands 444 soy wax.  We also carry Joy wax, WOW Wax, palm wax, and gel wax.  If you are creating pillar candles, you want to use a pillar wax.  Natures Garden carries two types of pillar waxes.  We offer Pillar of Bliss Candle Wax and Palm Pillar Wax.

Q: "Which is the best wax for candle making?"  A: When it comes to choosing a candle wax, it is really dependent on what you are looking for in your handmade candle.  Soy waxes, of course, are natural candle waxes.  It is also the least expensive and will have a cleaner burn.  However, it can be trickier to work with.  Soy wax is known to have an excellent cold throw.  However, it can be difficult to get a really good hot throw with some fragrance oils.  Soy wax also can naturally get frosting and have a rougher finish compared to other waxes.  A wax that is primarily or completely paraffin will have the best scent throw.  Our WOW Wax, for example, is primarily paraffin. If you are looking for an amazing scent throw, this is your wax.  The burn will not be as clean as soy wax.  Joy Wax is the best of both worlds.  It is primarily soy wax.  So, it will have a cleaner burn.  However, it also contains paraffin, veggie waxes, and other proprietary ingredients.  So, with this addition, it has a fabulous scent throw.  It also clings nicely to your candle jars and has less frosting, giving it a nice smooth and creamy finish.  Gel wax will give you a translucent look.  However, not all fragrance oils are gel wax compatible.  Next, let’s talk about palm wax.  Palm wax can get a bad rep, but when properly made, it is perfectly fine.  In fact, our palm wax comes from sustainable sources.  This means that when it is created it comes from a private plantation, NOT harming the trees or animals in the rainforest.  It has a beautiful crystal-like finish.  It also has a great scent throw.

Next, if you are making pillar candles, you will want to use a pillar wax.  Natures Garden carries two pillar waxes.  We carry our Pillar of Bliss Candle Wax.  Pillar of Bliss is a soy and paraffin blend with a great scent throw and a smooth creamy finish.  We also carry a palm pillar wax.  Just like the palm container wax, the palm pillar has a crystal finish to it, a wonderful scent throw and comes from sustainable sources.

Q: "What do you need to make your own candles?"  A: Beginner candle making can be a little overwhelming.  The good news is, we are here to help.  You can start with one of our kits.  We offer a soy wax candle kit and a Joy Wax candle kit.  However, you will also need a pouring pot and a thermometer.  A candle kit will provide you with everything else you need with everything else you need.  The only things you will not find at Natures Garden is a pot or pan used to create your double boiler, pan to place your jars on, a hot glue gun and sticks, stove, scale, mixing spoon, and water.  We also recommend a fine-tooth comb to help center your candle wick.  If you would like to buy the ingredients without buying a kit, the needed candle making supplies are listed below.

Candle Wax
Fragrance Oils
Candle Coloring
Candle Wicks
Candle Jars
Pouring Pot
Thermometer
Warning Labels
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue
Fine-tooth comb
Pan (for your double boiler)
Water (added to your pan)
Stovetop
Pan (to warm your jar)
Scale
Mixing Spoon

Q: "How do you make a scented candle?"  A: Scented candles are made by melting candle wax, adding fragrance oil, and adding color.  Then, you mix everything together and pour it into a jar or mold that has a candle wick in it.  The specifics of the temperatures and amounts will be dependent on the type of candle wax you use as well as the fragrance oils that you use.  However, in the description of each of our candle waxes, you will find step by step instructions on using that specific candle wax.
Q: "Can you use essential oils to make candles?"  A: Yes, essential oils can be used in some candle waxes.  You can use them in soy waxes, but you do not want to use them in candle waxes that contain paraffin.  However, each essential oil will need to be tested to determine the best amount to use.  You will use significantly less essential oil in a homemade candle.  You want to be careful not to use too much essential oil as they tend to have lower flash points and do not mix as easily in candle wax.  As long as you use the proper amount and test they can be used.

Q: "How easy is it to make candles?"  A: Candle making is very easy.  When made with the proper candle making supplies, it is simple and easy.  In fact, making a candle typically takes around a half an hour.  However, after that, you will need to allow the candle to setup and cure.  Natures Garden offers a variety of candle making classes and candle tutorials to help you along the way.

Q: "Can you melt old candles to make new ones?"  A: We don’t recommend melting old candles to make new ones.  The main reason is due to the fragrance oil content.  If you were to re-melt a candle, you will likely need to add more fragrance oil.  Since the candle wax already contains fragrance oil, you may end up adding too much scent.  Think of your candle wax as a sponge.  It will absorb only so much fragrance oil before the fragrance begins to seep out.  When you add too much fragrance oil to candle wax, it will likely end up sitting right on top of your candle.  Since it is pure fragrance oil right next to a flame, it can be dangerous. 

Q: "How do you melt candle wax at home?"  A: We recommend melting candle wax at home using a double boiler.  You can easily create a double boiler on your stove top.  You will need a pan filled with a couple inches of water.  Then, you will need to turn the stovetop on low-medium heat.  Finally, fill a pouring pot with your candle wax.  Place the filled pouring pot into the pan of water.  Then, simply allow the wax to melt to the temperature recommended in that candle wax instructions.

Q: "How do you color a candle?"  A: You can color a candle using a few different candle colorants.  First, you can use liquid candle dye.  Natures Garden carries Spectrum Liquid Candle Dyes.  These candle making colorants are extremely concentrated and you will need very little candle dye, no more than 10 drops.  Another option is coloring your candle using color blocks.  Each color block will color about 15 pounds of candle wax.  However, your color blocks will not be as vibrant as a liquid candle dye.  Finally, you can use powdered candle dye.  Just be careful not to use too much.  Powder dyes can easily clog your candle wick if too much is used.

Q: "What are candle wicks made of?"  A: Natures Garden offers several types of candle making wicks. 

CD Wicks- These candle wicks are flat braided wicks composed of cotton with special paper woven around them.

Hemp Wicks- These braided wicks are made with natural fibers of hemp instead of cotton.

HTP wicks- These wicks are created with a flat braided cotton fiber design, but also have paper fibers contained with the braid.

Zinc Core Wicks- These wicks are made with a cotton fiber braid, surrounded by a zinc core. Zinc wicks are known for allowing wicks to stand up in applications.  For this reason, they are frequently used in container candles.

Q: "What is the best temperature to pour soy wax?"  A: When working with 100% soy wax, Natures Garden recommends pouring your candle at 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, when working with Golden Brands 444 or Golden Brands 464, we recommend pouring your candle wax at 135 degrees.

Q: "What is the best temperature to add fragrance to soy wax?"  A: For the best results, we recommend adding heavier fragrances can be added at 185 degrees Fahrenheit.  These will be the fragrance oils that have higher flashpoints.  They can withstand the higher temperatures whereas lighter fragrance oils may burn off at these temperatures.  Lighter fragrances, or those with lower flashpoints, such as citrus type fragrances, should be added at around 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Q: "Can you use vybar with soy wax?"  A: While most soy wax candle makers do not use synthetic additives like vybar, some candle makers do.  Vybar can be used in soy wax candles to help increase the scent throw in your candles.  You can use ¼ tsp- ½ tsp.  However, it may make your candle opaque looking, and may also look marbleized on the top portion of your candles.  Also, vybar will increase the melt point of your wax.  So, you will need to be sure to factor this in when testing your candle wicks.  Finally, you do not want to go over the maximum recommendation.  If you go over you will actually trap the scent and the fragrance will not release into the air.

Q: "Which wick is best for soy candles?"  A: Most customers will use a cotton wick.  We carry two types of cotton wicks, the HTP candle wick and the CD candle wick.  I personally use the HTP wicks when creating my 100% soy candles.

Q: "How do you make soy wax melts?"  A: While Natures Garden does not carry a soy pillar wax, you can still use a container wax to make soy wax melts.  There are a couple of ways you can do this.  First, some customers simply place the wax in portion cups.  Then, simply squeeze the wax into their wax burner.  They will be soft, but it will work.  However, you really don’t want to put a container wax in an actual mold.  It will stick and be very difficult to remove them from the mold without freezing the wax.  Finally, you can add stearic acid to the soy candle wax.  Stearic acid will harden the wax and it will then release nicely from a mold or clamshell container.

Q: "Why is my candle wax turning yellow?"  A: There are a few things that can cause your candle wax to turn yellow.  First, it can be caused by the candle wax becoming too hot when melting, or even placing the wax on direct heat.  Next, the candle fragrance oil itself can discolor the candle wax.  Finally, discoloration can be caused by the direct sunlight.

Q: "What is vybar used for in candle making?"  A: Vybar is used to help increase scent throw.  You can use ¼ tsp to ½ tsp per pound of candle wax.  However, use caution as adding too much will trap the fragrance in the candle and not allow it to evaporate.  This will cause your candle to have very little scent throw.  There are two types of vybar, one we suggest for pillar candles and the other we recommend using in container candles.

Q: "Can you use crayons to make candles?"  A: No, we do not recommend using crayons to make candles.  A candle made out of crayons will not burn properly.  The crayons will end up clogging your wick.

Q: "How do you color a candle?"  A: A candle can be colored in a few ways.  You can use powdered dyes.  You can also use a color block or liquid candle dyes.  Natures Garden’s Spectrum Liquid Candle Dyes are available in a variety of colors and will allow you to create more vibrant candles with only a few drops of color.  Another option would be color blocks.  Color blocks are utilized by simply cutting or shaving of a portion of the block and adding it to your candle wax.  Color blocks will not be quite as vibrant as a liquid candle dye.

Q: "What is a container candle?"  A: A container candle is simply a candle placed in a jar or tin.  Typically, container candles are made with a container wax.

Q: "Why are there two types of vybar?"  A: The type of vybar you use will depend on the type of handmade candle you are making.  Vybar 260 is used for container candles since it has a lower melt point.  The vybar 103 is used for pillar candles which have a higher melt point.

Q: "How much fragrance oil do you add to candle wax?"  A: Fragrance oil can be added to your homemade candles in a variety of amounts.  You can add as little as ½ ounce per pound or as much as 1.5 ounces per pound.  The amount of fragrance will depend on a couple of things.  First, the type of candle wax you are using factors in.  It tends to be more difficult to get a really great scent throw.  So, in that case, I would suggest using 1.5 ounces per pound.  However, if you are using a straight paraffin candle wax, you could go as low as ½ ounce per pound of candle wax.  Paraffin has an amazing scent throw and may not need as much fragrance oil.  Next, the actual fragrance oil itself factors in.  Some fragrance oils just naturally stronger than others. 

Q: "Can I use mica in candles?"  A: Mica should not be used in the candle wax itself, it will clog the candle wick.  However, you can use mica pigment in candles in another way.  You can use candles on the outside of pillar candles.  Once you have created your pillar candle, you can dip it in melted candle wax that has mica mixed in.  This will create a wax overlay that has a shimmery mica mixed in.  You can also simply dust the exterior of your pillar candle with the mica pigment.

Q: "Can mica be used in wax melts?"  A: Absolutely!  Since you do not have to worry about a candle wick getting clogged, it can be added right to your candle wax.

Q: "What type of wax should I use for a container candle?"  A: When making container candles, you can use Golden Brands 100% soy wax 415, Golden Brands 464 soy wax, Golden Brands 444 soy candle wax which are all available at Natures Garden Wholesale Candle Making Supplies.  You can also use Natures Garden’s Joy Wax, WOW Wax, or palm container candle wax.  Finally, gel wax can be used for container candles.  However, you will need to test your fragrance oils in the gel wax.  Not all fragrance oils will be compatible with gel wax.

Q: "What type of wax should I use for a pillar candle?"  A: When creating homemade pillar candles, you can use two types of wax that Natures Garden carries.  We carry the Pillar of Bliss Candle Wax which is a blend of more than 50% soy wax and paraffin candle wax.  You can also use Natures Garden’s 100% palm wax which, of course, comes from sustainable sources, it does not harm the rainforest in any way.  It also has a beautiful crystal finish to it.

Q: "Can you add stearic acid to pillar wax?"  A: Yes, you can add stearic acid to pillar wax.  Most often this is done when creating gel wax candles with embeds.  Since gel wax needs to get to higher temperatures, it can be difficult to add embeds.  However, by adding stearic acid to the pillar wax, it raises the melt point.  Thus, the embeds will not melt as easily when exposed to the high temperature of the gel wax.

Q: "What equipment do I need to make candles?"  A: Aside from the candle wax, candle making wicks, candle colorant, and candle containers or candle molds, you will need a few other items.  First, you will need a heat source.  You can choose from the following: turkey roaster, presto pot, or hot water heater.  A turkey roaster that I am referring to is an electric unit with a heat control knob on it. It holds 25 lbs. of wax.  As far as a hot water heater, you can simply place a couple inches of water in a cake pan or pot.  Then, heat them on your stove top.  In addition, you will need a pouring pot, thermometer, scale, stainless steel mixing spoons, hot glue gun, and glue sticks.  I also highly suggest wearing disposable gloves and an apron as a precaution.  This will protect your clothes and hands from things like candle colorant, candle wax and fragrance oil, making clean up easier.

Q: "How do you use the wax melts?"  A: Wax melts are used in wax warmers.  You can use them in an electric wax burner.  Another option is the type that requires a tealight be used to melt the wax in a small pot above the tealight candle.  You simply place a wax melt, or a cube from a clamshell container into the melter.  Then, turn the burner on or place a tealight candle underneath.  Once the tart wax melts, it will release fragrance oil into the air.

Q: "Can you use scented oils in a wax warmer?"  A: Sure, you can use scented oils in a wax warmer.  However, when using Natures Garden fragrance oils, you should dilute them first.  You can dilute them so that they do not smoke while in your burner.  They are 100% concentrated fragrance oils and will smoke if undiluted.  So, how do you dilute a fragrance oil?  You can mix it in several ways.  First, you can dilute it with DPG or a carrier oil.  A carrier oil is simply coconut oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, etc.  Just use caution when using a carrier oil as some of these types of oil can have a strong scent to them.  You can also add a granulated candle wax, like Natures Garden’s Pillar of Bliss or palm waxes to your wax melter.  Then, simply add the fragrance oil.

Q: "Why is black smoke coming out of my candle?"  A: Black smoke coming from a candle can be caused by a number of things.  First, if the wick is not trimmed back, you can get quite a but of smoking.  Second, a draft in the area where your candle is burning can cause this.  In addition, a smoking candle can be caused by a wick that is too larger for your container.  It can also be caused by too much of a candle additive.  What do I mean by this?  Additives, when used in excess, can clog the wick and your candle will let off black smoke.  I am referring to any type of additive whether it be fragrance oil, candle dye, vybar, stearic acid, UV light inhibitor, or any other product you may add to your homemade candle wax.

Q: "Can you make scented beeswax candles?"  A: Absolutely!  You can take a look at our candle making recipes in our recipe box to find step by step candle making tutorials.  Our recipe box is found at the top of any page on our website and is labeled “Free Recipes & Classes”.  Among our candle recipes you will find a Beeswax Candle Recipe. 

Q: "What are the color blocks made of?"  A: Color blocks are made with paraffin.

Q: "Are color blocks vegan?"  A: Yes, color blocks are vegan.

Q: "Why is my candle wick drowning out?"  A: Your wick size is probably too small for your candle diameter. You poured your candle above the point where the container starts to change shape.

Q: "Can I mix Joy Wax and soy wax 50/50?"  A: While many of Natures Garden’s customers mix our Joy Wax and soy candle wax 50/50, our testing found that this mixture does not perform as well as straight Joy Wax does.  With the addition of more soy wax, we found more frosting on the finished candles.  Mixing the two can cause cracking of the candle as well.  Mixing Joy Candle Wax and soy wax 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. 

Q: "What can I do to prevent my candles from fading if I have them outside?"  A: When placed in direct sunlight, a candle can fade or discolor.  You can add UV light inhibitor.  UV light inhibitor will help prevent discoloration in blue, violet, and burgundy colored candles.   In addition, store them away from direct light.

Q: "How do I know what size wick to use?"  A: Wick size is determined by the diameter of your container.  You want to measure the container, then check the description of wick itself.  In the description, you will find wick recommendations based on the diameter of your jar.  However, you will need to test.  There are so many variables when it comes to fragrance oil and wax. Fragrances vary in flash point and specific gravity.  When a fragrance has a high flash point and high specific gravity, it requires a hotter burn 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.  In addition, depending on the type of candle wax you are using, you may need a hotter burning wick.  For example, if you were using soy wax, you would need a larger wick than if you were creating a paraffin candle.

Q: "After burning my candles, I notice black clumps on top of my wick.  How can I avoid this?"  A: This is called mushrooming.  So, why is your candle wick mushrooming?  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 occurring.

Q: "What is the average size of a votive candle?"  A: The average size of a votive is around 1.5 ounces.  They stand about 2 inches high.  They are 1.5 inches to 1.75 inches in diameter.

Q: "Why won’t my candle come out of the mold?"  A: You may have poured your candles at a too hot a temperature.  Pour your candle wax at a lower temperature.   Another reason your candle may not come out of the mold is that you may have poured your second pour over your fill line.  Finally, you may have used a candle wax that is too soft, like a container wax.  You always want to use pillar waxes when placing a candle in a mold.  This will allow the candle to easily release from the mold.  You can place the mold in the fridge if it will not release.  However, do not place the candle in a freezer, this will likely crack your homemade candle.

Q: "My soy candles have a good cold throw, but very little hot throw.  Why is this?"  A: This is the nature of soy candle wax.  It is possible that you are not adding enough scent. Another possibility is that the scent was added at too high of a temperature.  It could also be a problem with the wick.  If your wick is not burning hot enough, you may need to wick up or use a hotter burning wick.  Soy wax naturally does not have as good of a scent throw as paraffin waxes.  We suggest using 1.5 oz. of fragrance per pound of soy wax. 

Q: "Why do I need to test burn my candles?"  A: Test burning your candles is important to ensure that your candle properly and safely burns.  Each fragrance oil will 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: "Do candle wicks contain lead?"  A: No, candle wicks in the United States do not contain lead.  Candle wicks made in the US do not contain lead.  Lead core wicks were banned in the US back in 2003.

Q: "How do I double wick a candle?"  A: When double wicking a candle, we recommend first determining the size you would use if you planned to use just one wick.  Then, go down one size.  Then, test the wick to be sure your candle will burn correctly.

Q: "Why are there 3 wick candles?"  A: In some cases, 3 wick candles are created.  In larger containers or jars, this will ensure that the candle will burn with a full melt pool.  Always do a test burn to ensure the candle does not burn too hot.

Q: "What type of candle wax should I use?"  A: As far as what type of candle wax to use, this is really a personal preference.  Paraffin waxes will give you the strongest scent throw.  However, soy waxes and palm waxes are going to be natural candle waxes.

Q: "Can I use the microwave to melt my candle wax?"  A: We don’t recommend using a microwave to melt candle wax.  When preparing a candle, you need to have control over the temperature.  When melting candle wax in the microwave, it can get too hot or even get heat pockets.  If candle wax gets too hot, it could even discolor or develop an odor from being overheated.

Q: "What temperature do I add fragrance to my candle wax?"  A: The temperature at which you add the fragrance oil will depend on the candle wax itself.  In the description of the candle wax, you will find instructions.  This will tell you when to add the fragrance oil to the candle wax.

Q: "How do I make a granulated candle?"  A: Granulated candles are created using granulated candle wax.  Natures Garden carries two types of granulated waxes.  We carry the Pillar of Bliss Candle Wax and both of our palm waxes come in a granulated form.  Once you have chosen a wax, place it in a Ziploc bag.  Then, simply add your fragrance oil and your colorant and mix.  Prepare a candle jar by adhering a candle wick to the bottom.  Finally, place your granulated wax in the prepared candle jar.

Q: "What form does your candle wax come in?"  A: All of our Golden Brand soy waxes come in flake form.  Both the WOW Wax and Joy Wax come in slab form.  However, these slabs are very soft, and you can cut them with a butter knife.  Both of our palm waxes come in a granulated form.  The Pillar of Bliss Candle Wax also comes in a granulated form.  Our gel wax is a medium density gel wax.

Q: "Can your candle wax be used in body products?"  A: You can use our soy wax, beeswax, rice bran wax, candelilla wax, and sunflower wax for bath and body products.

Q: "Can you cool a candle in the fridge?"  A: No, you really shouldn’t place a candle in the fridge to cool.  In order to get the best glass adhesion, you want to allow the candle to cool as slowly as possible.

Q: "How often should I trim my candle wick?"  A: You should trim your candle wick prior to lighting your candle.  This should be done prior to lighting each time.

Q: "How do I color my candles white?"  A: Titanium dioxide can be used to create white pillar candles.  However, you really don’t want to add titanium dioxide straight to your container candles.  Titanium dioxide is likely to clog your candle wick.

Q: "How much should I charge for my candles?"  A: Before you can price your candles, you must first decide how much it cost you to create the candles.  In this cost analysis, make sure you include the cost of materials to make the candles or crafts, cost of utilities to make the candles or crafts, cost of office supplies such as labels, ink, cost of labor paid out, cost of packaging, cost of advertising, and an estimate of what your time is worth per candle or craft made.  Once you have your total cost per unit figured out, you will want to sell your candles or crafts for twice as much as you spent for wholesale, and three times your cost for retail.  Another factor when pricing your candles is your market.  Pricing your products too high will lower your demand unless the quality and packaging is exceptional and pricing your candles or crafts too low will also lower your market because customers will think your products are lower quality that is unless you sell them at an outlet store or a similar type setting.

Q: "What is the difference in the three soy waxes you carry?"  A: Soy wax can sometimes have problems with frosting, glass adhesion, and scent throw.  This is just the nature of soy wax.  For this reason, soy wax 444 and soy wax 464 were created with soy-based additives to address some of these issues.  In addition to the 444 soy and 464 soy wax, we also carry the 415 soy wax.

First, let’s look at the 415.  This is a Golden Foods pure 100% soy wax.  It is our most popular soy wax.

Next, GF 464 has a melting point of 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit. This lower melting point allows for a better glass adhesion in the finished candle. Now, as for scenting this wax; the maximum scent load for this wax is 10-12%. However, we suggest keeping the fragrance percent at 10 to reduce the possibility of fragrance oil seepage.

With the 444, the additive reduces frosting issues and also encourages a smoother finish in the wax. Also maintaining a higher melting point, like the 415, GF 444 is 120- 125 degrees Fahrenheit. This higher melting point also allows this wax to hold a higher scent load (up to 12% of scent per pound); making a stronger scented candle.

Q: "Can essential oils be used in Joy Wax?"  A: We don’t recommend using essential oils in Joy Wax.  Essential oils will not mix very well with the wax due to the paraffin content.

Q: "Can essential oils be used in soy wax?"  A: Yes, you can use essential oils in soy wax.  However, you will need to test to determine the proper amount to use.  Each essential oil will be different.

Q: "Why is fragrance oil settling to the bottom of the candle?"  A: Fragrance oil settling to the bottom of the candle could happen for a few reasons.  First, too much fragrance oil.  This is most often the problem.  Your candle is like a sponge, it will absorb so much fragrance oil before it begins to seep out.  It is also possible that you did not add your fragrance oil at a hot enough temperature and it didn’t completely mix with the wax.  Finally, you may not have stirred the candle wax and fragrance oil together long enough.

Q: "Why do I have white stuff on my soy wax candle?"  A: The white stuff on the top of your soy candle is most likely what is called frosting.  Frosting occurs in soy-based candles.  This is just the nature of soy wax.  You can use a heat gun or blow dryer to re-melt the surface and give it a smoother finish.

Q: "How long should a candle wick be?"  A: A candle wick should be trimmed back to ¼” prior to burning the candle.  Each time you relight the candle you will also want to make sure that the wick is trimmed back once again to ¼”.

Q: "How is Joy Wax better than soy wax?"  A: Joy Wax is a little easier to work with in some ways.  Since Joy Wax has paraffin mixed in with the soy wax, it can give the candle a smoother finish and a better scent throw while still maintaining the clean burn of a soy candle.

Q: "Can you use beeswax to make candles?"  A: Yes, you can.  We have a few beeswax candle making recipes using beeswax.  You can find our recipe box at the top of our website.  It is green and labeled “Free Recipes & Classes”.  In our recipe box, you will find quite a few beeswax candle recipes.  Some will be made of just beeswax others use beeswax to add unique elements to the homemade candles.

Q: "How do you determine the burn time of a candle?"  A: Since there are so many variables when burning a candle, it is difficult to give an exact amount simply based on the type of wax you are using.  In order to determine the burn time of a candle, you must first weigh your candle.  Then, light the candle and allow it to burn.  You want to keep track of how long you burn the candle.  Let’s say you allow the candle to burn for one hour.  Once you are finished, weigh the candle again.  Determine how much weight has burned off per hour.  Then, take the original weight of the candle (before burning) and divide it by the amount that burned off during that hour.  This will give you an estimate of how long the candle will burn from start to finish.

Q: "How do I clean my candle molds?"  A: You can clean your aluminum candle molds by placing a bit of oil in the mold itself.  Then, use a paper towel to coat the interior of the mold with the oil.  Heat the mold on a very low setting for just a few minutes on a pan in your oven.  You really just want to warm the molds and allow the oil and debris to roll down the interior of your jar.  Finally, remove the mold from the oven and wipe out any debris with a paper towel.

Q: "Why is my beeswax lighter or darker than it was last time I ordered it?"  A: Since beeswax is natural, its color can vary from batch to batch.  We are at the mercy of mother natures when it comes to natural products and their color.

Q: "Do I need to worry about the temperatures when making candles?"  A: Absolutely.  Your temperatures are extremely important to ensure a well crafted homemade candle.  For example, if you add your fragrance oil at a temperature that is too hot, you could burn the scent off before your candle is even poured.  Or, if you don’t pour your candle at the correct temperature, you may not have proper glass adhesion and you can get wet spots.  In the case of soy wax, pouring at the wrong temperature could increase frosting or give your candle a rougher finish.  The proper temperature used when making your candle will depend on the type of wax you use.  So, be sure to check the description of the wax for our recommended candle making guidelines for the wax that you are using.

Q: "How much fragrance oil do you add to candle wax?"  A: How much fragrance oil you add to candle wax will depend on the wax itself and at times, the fragrance that you are using.  Your wax will bind with only a certain amount fragrance oil before you get seepage.  Most people will use 0.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of candle wax.  However, others will use 1.5 ounces of fragrance oils per pound of candle wax when making candles.  Paraffin waxes will typically require less fragrance oil while soy wax will typically be on the higher end when it comes to the amount of fragrance you will use.  Some fragrance oils will naturally be stronger than others, requiring less scent be added.  In addition, you want to be sure, when using the maximum amount of fragrance, that it will bind properly with the candle wax without seepage. 

Q: "Do I need to use warning labels on my candles?"  A: We highly recommend using warning labels.  This will help protect you once you sell your finished candles.  Our warning labels read: Caution: Failure to follow instructions could result in fire hazard, injury, or smoke damage. Keep wax free of matches, wick trimmings, or other flammable materials. Keep wick centered & trimmed to 1/4 in. to prevent smoking & soot build up on container or other items. Burn only on stable heat resistant surface for not more than 4 hours at a time. Keep out of drafts. Discontinue use when only 1/2 in. of wax remains in bottom. Do not move candle while burning or if wax is hot. Keep out of reach of children and pets. Never leave a burning candle unattended.

Q: "Why isn’t my candle wax not burning evenly all of the way down?"  A: When a candle does not burn evenly all the way down it could be a wick issue.  So, how do you get a candle to burn evenly?  If your wick is too small for the diameter of your container, it will not burn all the way across, causing an uneven burn.  It could also be that you need a different type of wick that burns hotter.  Another option would be to use a wax that has a lower melting point.

Q: "How do I prepare my jar when making candles?"  A: Preparing your candle jars is important especially for glass adhesion.  First, of course, you want to make sure you start with a clean jar.  Then, place your jars a cookie sheet.  Place them in the oven on the lowest possible temperature.  You want to leave them in the oven for only a short period of time.  They should be warm, not hot.  Finally, adhere a candle wick to the bottom of each jar using a hot glue gun before pouring your candle wax into your glass candle jar.

Q: "Why are the tops of my candles fading or turning a yellowish color?"  A: There are several reasons why the tops of your candles my fade or turn a shade of yellow on top.  Your candles may have been exposed to direct sunlight.  The color of the fragrance oil itself that was added to your candles was dark enough to turn your candles a different color.  The fragrance in your candle is oxidizing.  So, how do you fix these problems?  When coloring your handmade candles shade of blue, purple, and pink, really want to add a UV light inhibitor in your candle wax. This will help prevent discoloration from direct sunlight.  When a fragrance oil is dark in color, you will simply need to adjust the color using a candle colorant.  When the cause of discoloration is the fragrance oil oxidizing, you will need to keep them covered.  Fragrance, especially vanillas, will oxidize over time.  So, you will need to limit the amount of oxidation.  Make sure you keep a lid on your candles or store them where oxygen from the air is not in contact with them.

Q: "How do I get rid of wet spots on my candles?"  A: Wet spots form on your candle jar because the candle wax did not properly adhere to your candle jar in that area, creating an air pocket.  In order to lessen the likelihood of wet spots forming on your candle jar there are a few things you want to make sure you are doing.  First, warming your candle jars will help.  When your jars are warm, your candle will setup more slowly.  Since the wax will stay fluid longer, there will be more time for any air in the candle wax to work its way out of the wax.  You can also try pouring your candle wax at a hotter temperature.  Finally, make sure the room you are creating your candle in is not cold.  This can cause your candle to cool too quickly as well.

Q: "How do I clean up candle wax?"  A: Candle wax can be a little tricky clean up.  Often, out of habit, we reach for water.  This is just not going to work.  Candle wax does not mix with water.  Therefore, it really isn’t going to help.  How you clean it up though, will depend on what you are cleaning it off of.  So, let’s say you want to clean your pouring pot.  Well, simply place your pouring pot back in your double boiler.  Once the wax is heated, it will collect at the bottom.  While the pot is still warm, wipe it out with a paper towel.  Use caution though if it is too hot, you will end up burning yourself.  You really just need it to be warm.  Now, if you get on your counter or tile floor, you will want to gently scrape of what you can before cleaning it with an oil-based cleaner.  Finally, if you get it on carpet there is hope.  You will need a brown paper bag and an iron set to a low setting.  Place the paper bag over the wax.  Place the iron on top of the bag for a few seconds.  The wax should melt from the heat and adhere to the bag.  It might not work for every type of carpet, but it has worked for mine several times.  As far as candle molds, it will depend on the type.  If it is a mold that is able to withstand heat like a silicone or aluminum, you can clean them by placing them on a cookie sheet in the oven.  Then, wipe them out

Q: "Where does the wax in a candle go?"  A: Waxes are made of hydrocarbons. This means they are composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms.  So, how do candles work?  The flame produces heat.  This heat melts the wax that sits by the candle wick.  This heated liquid wax is then pulled up the wick.  Then, the heat turns the wax into vapor that travels to the flame. The heat causes the hydrocarbons into hydrogen and carbon.  The hydrogen and carbon then come into contact with the oxygen in the air to create water vapor, carbon dioxide, heat, and light.  This process creates enough heat for the process to continue repeating until the wax is used up or the candle is extinguished.  The continuation of this process is what causes a candle to stay burning.

Q: "How long does it take for a homemade candle to set?"  A: The time it will take for a candle to setup will depend on the size of your homemade candle.  Tealights will setup really quickly.  However, a larger candle can take 6-8 hours to fully setup.

Q: "Can I use your soy wax in cosmetic products?"  A: Natures Garden’s 100% soy wax 415 can be used in cosmetic recipes as well as candle making.

Q: "How much fragrance do I need in a candle in tablespoons?"  A: We really don’t recommend using volume measurements.  Since fragrance oil’s viscosity varies from scent to scent, we really recommend using weight to determine the amount of fragrance oil you will need.  Weighted measurements will give you much more accurate results.

Q: "What temperature do I pour into clamshell containers?"  A: When pouring candle wax into clamshell containers, you should do so at a low temperature.  This will prevent them from melting.  I typically pour mine between 130 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: "What can I do if my liquid candle dye is drying up?"  A: If your liquid candle dye is drying up, you can add a small amount of vegetable oil to it.

Q: "Do you sell fragrances for gel wax?"  A: Due to constant changes in IFRA compliance rules, we can’t guarantee gel wax compatibility. While we do test the fragrance oils and list our results in the description of each scent, it is the responsibility of the customer to perform all gel wax tests. To use a fragrance oil in gel wax it needs to have a flashpoint of 170F or higher flash point. The fragrances should also be tested for gel wax solubility. You will simply need to mix the fragrance oil 50/50 with mineral oil. Shake and allow to set a couple of minutes. Check to see if the fragrance thoroughly mixes with the mineral oil.  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.

Q: "Why are there lines on my candles?"  A: Lines in your candles are typically jump lines.  Jump lines occur when you pour your candle wax a temperature that is not hot enough.

Q: "How much wax by volume do your pillar molds hold?"  A: We carry six different pillar molds.  The chart below will show you approximately how much by volume each pillar candle mold will hold.

     3 x 4 ½” round candle mold is 13 ounces                

     3 x 6 ½” round pillar mold is 20 ounces                  

     3 x 3 x 3 ½” square pillar mold is 16 ounces            

     3 x 3 x 6 ½” square candle mold is 30 ounces          

     3 x 3 ½” octagon candle mold is 14 ounces

     3 x 6 ½” octagon pillar mold is 24 ounces

Q: "How many candles can you make with 10 lbs of soy wax?"  A: How many candles you can make with 10 pounds of soy wax will depend on how large or small your candle container is.  What I can tell you is that you will get, on average, about 20 ounces by volume out of one pound of candle wax.  That means that in a 10-pound bag, you will get about 200 ounces of candle wax by volume.

Q: "How long should I cure my candles?"  A: You should cure your candles for at least 3 days.  While they are curing keep them covered.  This will help keep the scent trapped in the jar and allow it to really come alive. 

Q: "Why are there specks of color in my candles?"  A: You want to make sure you give your color blocks or liquids plenty of time to mix with the candle wax.  Stir thoroughly but slowly.  The specks of color you are speaking of are usually found at the very bottom of your pouring pot. They are undissolved candle colorant.  If you continue to have this problem 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: "How long can you use wax melts?"  A: While each wax melt will be different, the average burn time of a wax melt is 4-8 hours.  The burn time will depend on the type of wax used, how long you allowed the wax tart to cure, the amount of fragrance oil added to the wax tart, and the type of wax burner you are using.

Q: "Why are my candles sweating?"  A: If your candles are sweating this is likely fragrance seeping out of your wax.  It is likely that you added too much fragrance oil to the candle wax.  This is a sign that your candle wax can’t handle your fragrance load.  To prevent this, you want to cut back on the amount of fragrance oil you are using.

Q: "How do I get rid of the air bubbles in my candles?"  A: Air bubbles occur when your candle wax cools too quickly and air gets trapped in the candle wax.  This will happen if you get water in your candle wax, you pour at a temperature that is too cool, if you pour your candles too quickly, or if you pour above your pour line.  How do you prevent air bubble in a homemade candle?  Keep water away from your candle wax.  Pour your handmade candles at a hotter temperature.  Pour the candle wax very slowly.  Don’t pour above your pour line.  You want to stop adding candle wax to the jar before it begins to change shape.

Q: "How can I mix candle colors?"  A: You can mix candle colors by simply adding both of the candle colorants right to your candle wax and them stirring it into the wax. 

Q: "Can I use essential oils to make my candle?"  A: Essential oils can be added to some waxes.  However, they will not mix with all candle waxes.  Essential oils will not do as well in Natures Garden’s Joy Wax due to the fact that it contains a small amount of paraffin.  Paraffin waxes will not mix well with essential oils.  Soy wax is the way to go when making candles with essential oils. 

Q: "What type of candle dye should I use?"  A: This is a personal preference.  When using color blocks, they aren’t as messy as liquid candle colorants.  However, it can be more difficult to measure the amount you are using.  This makes it a little bit more challenging to keep a consistent color in your next batch.  You customers may notice a difference in color from batch to catch.  Another option is to create candles using liquid candle dyes.  Liquid candle colorants make it very easy to get a consistent color.  You simply count the number of drops you add to the candle wax.  However, I highly recommend wearing gloves when using them.  They can get messy sometimes.

Q: "How often do you change the wax in a wax warmer?"  A: An average tart has life of 8 hours at the maximum.  After that, you will want to place a new wax tart in your burner.  The burn time though can vary depending on the wax melt itself.  Things like wax type and fragrance load can come into play when determining how long a wax melt will last in a burner.

Q: "What precautions should I take when burning a candle?"  A: There are several precautions you should take when burning a candle. Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire.  Keep burning candles away from areas where children or pets may reach them.  You also want to make sure you keep your candle wicks trimmed back to ¼”.  You also want to make sure you keep your candle wicks upright.  When a candle wicks bend over it will cause a larger flame and a hotter burning wick.

Q: "What can I add to gel wax to increase the scent throw?"  A: There isn’t an ingredient that you can add to gel wax candles to enhance the scent throw in gel candles.

Q: "What type of wax should I use for wax melts?"  A: We recommend using a pillar wax.  Pillar waxes, like the Pillar of Bliss Wax or Palm Pillar Wax, are harder waxes so they will easily pop out of the candle making molds easily.

Q: "Can I whip your Pillar of Bliss Wax?"  A: While yes, it can be whipped, it will setup very quickly once the wax is whipped.  So, you will need to move quickly.  If you are looking for a wax that will not setup as quickly, I would suggest the Joy Wax.

Q: "Is your Joy Wax gluten free?"  A: Yes, the Joy Wax is gluten free.

Q: "Is your WOW Wax gluten free?"  A: Yes, Natures Garden’s WOW Wax is gluten free.

Q: "Can I use your fragrance oils in liquid paraffin?"  A: Yes, our fragrance oils can be used in liquid paraffin.  However, you will need to test to determine an appropriate usage rate.

Q: "Is your Pillar of Bliss Wax gluten free?"  A: Yes, Natures Garden’s Pillar of Bliss Wax is gluten free.

Q: "Can I use your candle dyes to color oils?"  A: Our spectrum liquid candle dye can be used to color oils used for oil warmers.  However, you do not want to use them in body oils.  They will dye your skin.  If you are looking for a way to color body oils, you will need to use Natures Garden’s lip tints, they are body safe and oil based.

Q: "Why do the tops of my candles look rough?"  A: This most often occurs with soy wax.  Again, this is the nature of soy wax.  However, you can reheat the surface of your candle using a heat gun or blow dryer.  Once the surface is re-melted, it should set back up smoothly.

Q: "How much will one pound of wax produce by volume?"  A: Volume measurements will vary from wax to wax.  However, on average, one pound of candle wax will produce approximately 20 ounces of candle wax by volume.

Q: "Which fragrance oils can be used in gel wax?"  A: While we have tested each fragrance oil for gel wax compatibility, we still suggest testing the fragrance in your recommended products.

Q: "How much fragrance oil do you add to candle wax?"  A: We recommend using no more than 10% fragrance oil, about 1.5 ounces per pound.  However, on average, most customers will use about 1 ounce per pound of candle wax.  Some will even use as little as 0.5 ounces per pound of candle wax.  If you are making wax melts, which do not contain a wick, you can go up to 12% fragrance oil with some waxes. 

Q: "Sometimes I follow all recommendations and I still can't seem to get it right. Why is that?"  A: There can be many factors that can change the outcome of your homemade candles.  It could be your candle wick for example.  Thicker fragrance oils can require that you wick up.  So, a wick that works perfectly with one fragrance may not work with other fragrance oils.  You will need to test each scent.  If you are having problems with glass adhesion or even frosting, it could be that the room you are working in is colder than normal causing the candle to setup too quickly.  If you have a candle that you used to be able to smell really well and can no longer smell as well, it could be that your nose has adjusted to the scent and you can no longer smell it as well.  This is actually quite common. Over time, your nose can become use to a smell.  Well, the same thing happens with fragrance oils whether they be in homemade candles, handcrafted soap, handmade cosmetics, or even out of the bottle. 

Q: "How many candles can you make with 1 kg of wax?"  A: One kilogram is equivalent to about 35 ounces or 2.2 pounds.  One pound, or 16 ounces, of candle wax by weight will produce about 20 ounces of candle wax on average by volume.  However, each wax will be different, so you will need to test to determine an exact amount.  So, as far as how many candles you will produce will depend on the size of your jar.  This will give you a good starting point though.

Q: "How do you stop a candle from tunneling?"  A: There are several reasons your candle could be tunneling.  First, your wick may not burn hot enough.  You might need a larger wick or even multiple wicks, depending on your jar size.  You could also use a softer wax that has a lower melting point.  You may have poured too high in the jar.  You want to stop pouring just before the jar begins to candle shape.  Next, your wick could be clogged.  Too much of any type of additive or things like mica or crayons used as colorants can clog your candle wick.  Finally, you want to make sure you are doing a memory burn to ensure your candle burns all the way across all the way down the candle.

Q: "My candle wax will hold a 10% fragrance load.  How do I know how much to add?"  A: This is quite possible our most common question.  To determine the maximum amount of fragrance you can add you will simply need to do a little math.  First, weigh out your candle wax using a scale.  Then, you will multiply it by 10% to determine the amount of fragrance oil you can add.  So, see the equation below and plug in your numbers.

Candle Wax Weight X Fragrance Percentage = Amount of Fragrance That Can Be Added

Example: 20 (ounces of candle wax) X 10%= 2 ounces of fragrance oil can be added to the candle wax

Q: "Why is the flame of my candle so high?"  A: "The flame of your candle can be high for a few reasons.  First, your wick might be too large, burning too hot, for your candles.  You may need a smaller wick.  Second, perhaps your wick needs to be trimmed back.  Your wick should be trimmed back to 1/4 inch.  Finally, it could be that you added too much fragrance oil to your candle.  You do not want to add more fragrance oil than the candle wax can hold."

Q: "Why don’t my candles have a good scent throw?"  A: "Your candles may not have a good scent throw for a number of reasons.  First, your fragrance load.  You may not have added enough fragrance oil.  Second, your wick could be clogged.  Too much of any type of additive, even too much fragrance oil, can clog your wick.  Also, adding things like mica or crayons to color your candles can clog your candle wick.  Also, the type of wax you are using could be the cause.  Paraffin waxes naturally have a better scent throw than soy waxes.  Finally, you may have the wrong size candle wick.  If a candle wick is too small for your container, it will not burn hot enough to get your fragrance into the air.  Alternatively, if your candle wick is too large, it will burn too hot, burning the fragrance oil off before it is released into the air." 

Q: "Why are my candle jars black after I burn my candles?"  A: "Most commonly this is caused by a wick that is too large for your jar.  Another cause could be a wick that is too long.  Your wick should be trimmed back to ¼ inch.  To much fragrance oil or a clogged wick can also cause more soot than normal."

Q: "How is polysorbate used in candles?"  A: "Polysorbate can be used in candles when adding essential oils.  Yes, you can use essential oils to fragrance your candles, but you will have to add an additive to your paraffin wax so that the essential oils will not settle to the bottom of your candles, this additive is called polysorbate 80. However, adding polysorbate to your paraffin candles will require testing.  Even with the addition of polysorbate the essential oils still may not mix completely, each essential oil will be different.  For this reason, we recommend using essential oils only in soy waxes."

Q: "Can you use essential oils in a wax warmer?"  A: "You will need to use caution when using essential oils in a wax warmer.  First, they will need to be diluted with a carrier oil or DPG.  Second, due to the fact that essential oils tend to have lower flash points, not all essential oils should be used in a wax warmer.  You should test each oil in a wax melter."

Q: "Why are my layers bleeding in my candle?"  A: "There are a couple of reasons why your candle layers are bleeding.  First, you may have poured your layers to hot or before the previous layer had enough time to fully setup.  Next, you may have added too much fragrance oil to your candle.  What will happen is your colorant will blend with the oil itself.  Then, it can migrate to the other layers of your candles."

Q: "Are your candle wicks bleached?"  A: "The hemp candle wicks are not bleached.  The other types of wicks that Natures Garden carries are bleached."

Q: "How much color block will I need to use compared to liquid candle dye?"  A: "When using a color block, you will need to use more than you will with liquid candle dyes.  About ½ inch of a color block equals about 2 drops of liquid candle dye."

Q: "Do your wick tabs contain lead?"No, Natures Garden’s candle wick tabs do not contain lead.  They are made of tin."

Q: "What size candles can I make with Natures Garden’s spooled wicking?"  A: "Natures Garden carries two types of spooled wicking for candles.  First, we carry a 44-24-18 zinc wick spool.  The zinc spooled wicking 44-28-18 is good for a 2-2.5” diameter.  Next, we carry a cotton spooled wick 34-40.    The cotton 34-40 is good for both container candles and pillar candles with a 2-3” diameter.  It can also be used for votive candles with a 1 ½”-2 ½” diameter in tapers that have a ¾”-7/8” diameter."

Q: "What is your stearic acid made from?"  A: "The stearic acid is made from palm."

Q: "What is the shelf life of UV light inhibitor?"  A: "UV Light Inhibitor is two years."

Q: "Is UV light inhibitor made in the United States?"  A: "Yes, Natures Garden’s UV light inhibitor is made in the United States."

Q: "Is Natures Garden’s sunflower wax GMO free?"  A: "Yes, our sunflower wax is GMO free."

Q: "Is your soy wax vegan?"  A: "Yes, Natures Garden’s pure soy wax is vegan."

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