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  • nOOb *raises hand*

    Silent forum stalker, soaking up the knowledge.

    Hi all. This candle making business is trickier than I expected. And more addictive. And more expensive (so many new toys)....

    So.
    Trying to satisfactorily produce container candles first (anyone else would just use the word 'master' for that sentence, but a greater understanding of whats involved has made me realise that goal is waaaay off).

    Medium is:
    90x60mm 8oz hex jars, Pro-C container wax, 8% fragrance oil, 1% dye, all from 4candles using various wicks (3x12c seems best).

    Method:
    Melt wax, add colour and stir for 5min, add fragrance oil at 180deg, stir in for 2min off heat, pour into preheated jars at 150deg.

    Issues:
    My rooms full of various fragrance half-burnt candles (sound familiar?) make me wonder;

    Colour change (often with 'dirty line') of cooled melt pool, is this an issue? Can it be fixed?

    Are wood wicks really that easy? After all the testing/work on regular wicks I'm nervous. Seemed effortless. Whats the catch?

    How long do I need to wait before a candle is ready to burn? Seen various answers. Is this 'curing' thing significant?

    Safety Stickers. Read post (bit confusing). Are there any available that do the job correctly? Which to use?

    Humbly awaiting the Knowledge Bomb.
    ^..^

  • #2
    Can'thelp. Def. not a candle maker. Just wanted to say and that its nice to see you finally stopped lurking. lol.
    Carol
    God helps them that help themselves.

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome to the forum. Hopefulyl someone will be able to answer your question, but you may have to ask your question in candle section
      View my flickr

      'I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work filigree by candlelight.' - Jane Austen

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Fayenor,

        I will be along shortly with my version of a "knowledge bomb"... Just got to get the twins to bed first.

        I see Tartan Witch has turned up and I'm sure she'll have some wise words in the mean time.
        (No pressure Sheila )
        Last edited by Spencer101; 26-09-2012, 08:15 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Har har harrrr... Spence (a.k.a. Obi Wan Candelobi)... I'm entertaining my Aunt at the moment and apart from that I'm struggling with getting Ikea galy glass wicked properly and not smoking so I'm feeling pretty useless on the candle making front and like Fayenor I'd settle for satisfied rather than 'master'! However I am not going to take over Fayenors post by writing about my problems . I have various visitors from Scotland until the end of October so my candle making is on hold at the mo It is rather frustrating.

          Fayenor , welcome, welcome to the forum. I have every faith that the chandlers much more knowledgeable than me will give you a full answer to all your queries.

          Good luck
          Sheila
          Sheila Wiseman - magical wire sculptures

          www.etsy.com/shop/SheilaWiseman


          www.facebook.com/sheilawisemanwire

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fayenor View Post
            Silent forum stalker, soaking up the knowledge.

            Hi all. This candle making business is trickier than I expected. And more addictive. And more expensive (so many new toys)....

            So.
            Trying to satisfactorily produce container candles first (anyone else would just use the word 'master' for that sentence, but a greater understanding of whats involved has made me realise that goal is waaaay off).

            Medium is:
            90x60mm 8oz hex jars, Pro-C container wax, 8% fragrance oil, 1% dye, all from 4candles using various wicks (3x12c seems best).

            Method:
            Melt wax, add colour and stir for 5min, add fragrance oil at 180deg, stir in for 2min off heat, pour into preheated jars at 150deg.

            Issues:
            My rooms full of various fragrance half-burnt candles (sound familiar?) make me wonder;

            Colour change (often with 'dirty line') of cooled melt pool, is this an issue? Can it be fixed?

            Are wood wicks really that easy? After all the testing/work on regular wicks I'm nervous. Seemed effortless. Whats the catch?

            How long do I need to wait before a candle is ready to burn? Seen various answers. Is this 'curing' thing significant?

            Safety Stickers. Read post (bit confusing). Are there any available that do the job correctly? Which to use?

            Humbly awaiting the Knowledge Bomb.
            ^..^
            Right where to start :P

            The colour change and dirty line is from the paraffin wax. When paraffin burns it leaves a soot deposit behind usually as black marks on the container. However, it can also be left behind in melt pool. The colour change is caused by an uneven colour distribution in the melt pool. This its self is not a problem and should be ignored. Just as a theoretical experiment (don't try) you can stir the melt pool to regain correct colour (providing there is no soot left behind). Obviously do not try this as it will make a mess and possible cause injury.

            The dirty line can be fixed by adding additives such as vybar. The problem is the oil content in paraffin wax which creates the soot. Vybar will help trap all the oil and distribute the soot evenly throughout the burn time of the candle. Thus leading to less soot left behind in the melt pool. Although this will not fully cure the problem the only other solution is to change to a natural wax such as soya. Personally, I would ignore the soot problem, if the big manufactures can solve it or don;t want to solve it then I wouldn't worry.

            Wood wicks are brilliant in theory. They are fairly easy to get a nice burn pool. I struggled to get a good scent throw from them but it just takes practice as with any new wick. The catch is getting the wood wick to do what it should....Crackle. It should when burning have a slight crackle like a wood burning fire. The first couple of attempts are a big learning curve trying to get it to work. But I'm sure someone with more experience with them will give a better answer.

            Candle Curing time is very important. Letting a candle cure for 2-3 weeks will increase burn time, cold and hot scent throw and wick performance. Try making two identical candles and allowing one to cure for 2-3 weeks and burn the other one after about 4-8hrs. Notice the difference between both these "identical" candles.

            Safety stickers are a confusing subject (I made it worse with my more confusing post). When I have have 10 mins spare I will post my knowledge on the subject in more detail.

            With regards to your comment on mastering candle making, I still haven't "mastered" it after almost 7 years of trying. In my eyes, If your customers are happy and are willing to pay then you have mastered it.
            David Bolger - CEO of Endless Green Group Ltd
            Retailer, Distributor and Manufacturer of Hobby, Craft and Pastime supplies

            Candle Making Supplies
            http://www.thatflamingcandlecompany.com


            Bolgers Woodworking Supplies
            http://www.bolgers.co.uk

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you so much for the welcome everyone, I'm looking forward to tapping into your knowledge and hopefully not bugging you too much with my training wheel questions

              Thank you very much CandleMan for your rather hefty Knowledge Bomb!!! It's great to know that the colour change/ dirty line issue can be added to the pile of 'things not to stress over', along with wet spots. Woohoo!

              I think I must have lucked out with my first wood wick candle, it crackles beautifully, hence my wondering 'Is it really that easy?'. However, I haven't let it cure for 2-3 weeks, I patiently waited for 2-3 days...

              I think I'm going to find it quite hard to wait that long, which leads me to yet another question (sorry), how do you organize your testing? Do you set up a selection of possible options (various wicks, fragrance:dye:wax ratios) make them all, wait for them to cure, then test burn to see which is best? Or make one option, wait the 2 weeks, test, tweak, wait...? I have tried the wick trick where you make a wickless candle and then make a hole in it and try different wicks that way (altho I struggled a bit to get the wick in the candle), but that still leaves the fragrance and dye testing. Is it neccessary to try each colour with a fragrance, or are most colours similiar enough to not affect fragrance? (I have a feeling I'm really not going to like the answer to that question..!) Ok, enough with the testing questions..

              CandleMan, I didn't mean to imply that your post about safety stickers was confusing, I was already hella confused! I didn't think it was a requirement to have safety stickers, (obviously was going to use them for my own peace of mind, and a reminder to people of the dangers, even friends and family) but to discover I could have a safety sticker that was 'wrong' was what baffled me! Any clarification of this would be greatly appreciated, when you have a minute (or 10, eek sounds daunting!).
              Thanks again

              Oh, one more query (with bold important bits for prosterity):

              I was mixing a honey fragrance yesterday (8% fragrance, 1% yellow dye) to pro c container wax, added F/O at 180 deg took off heat stirred for 2min and then allowed to cool to 150 deg to pour, and when I went to pour it there was a dark sticky, very sticky, residue/mess on the bottom of the pan and the spoon I used for stirring. Any ideas why? I thought at first it might have been because the fragrance oil is quite dark that I was seeing something that always happened but that I was just not aware of, but it was very sticky and I'm sure I would have noticed. I didn't use the wax in a candle because I wasn't sure what was wrong with it, so poured it into a silicone mould for melts, they look fine and smell very strong even tho a lot of the scent (i'm guessing) was stuck to the bottom of my pan! I know there may be no definite answer and it's probably a weird candle making phenomena but I'd quite like it if I could avoid it happening again!
              Forgot to mention, it seemed to 'fizz' when I added it to the wax.

              Sorry this post is so much more rambling than the first, I'm obviously not trying as hard to impress you!!

              Thanks again,
              ^..^ Fayenor

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey and welcome ! You will find this forum invaluable- I know I have and still do! Am just offering my tuppence worth about wooden wicks. About 70% of my orders are wooden wicks and would have to admit I love them. I think I have been lucky though cause I never had any scent throw problems. They make a melt pool quicker than normal wick which worried me at first but it evens itself out in the time following so was grand. I get mine from an American supplier and as I'm sure you know the crackle can vary from batch to batch - I have had some crackle more than oters but I just accepted it as the norm and to be honest my customers are more than happy with them so I suppose that's the main thing!

                Good luck!

                C

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fayenor View Post
                  I think I'm going to find it quite hard to wait that long, which leads me to yet another question (sorry), how do you organize your testing? Do you set up a selection of possible options (various wicks, fragrance:dye:wax ratios) make them all, wait for them to cure, then test burn to see which is best? Or make one option, wait the 2 weeks, test, tweak, wait...? I have tried the wick trick where you make a wickless candle and then make a hole in it and try different wicks that way (altho I struggled a bit to get the wick in the candle), but that still leaves the fragrance and dye testing. Is it neccessary to try each colour with a fragrance, or are most colours similiar enough to not affect fragrance? (I have a feeling I'm really not going to like the answer to that question..!) Ok, enough with the testing questions..
                  To be truthful I'm probably the worst person to ask about testing new wicks. I only offer wicks for sale that I use (which is not a big list). So I know exactly what wick works in what candle without even having to make one. The only time I have to test a new wick is when I make a custom blend wax. The problem most people have is when a supplier offers to large a range wicks and they are not 100% sure on which to use. (I'm not ranting or blaming, we all have to make a living). Back to topic, I would advise a wickless candle, and allow to burn for around 2hrs before changing wicks.

                  I generally use a drill to make the holes in the candle. Bit of a tip for threading a wick... Get a length of the wick you want to test and drop it into the melting pan with a little bit of the wax from the candle to "prime" the wick. Using a stick (clothes peg works well), pick up the wick and allow to cool for about 30 -60 seconds. Pull the wick as tight as possible to make it straight. The wax should still be quite soft. Using your hand roll it (like making a playdough sausage). Once your happy hang it up to dry and fully cool. This makes the wick more like a needle and easy to thread.

                  With fragrance and dye testing, I have yet to find a dye that does not work with any fragrance. Although the dye melting points do vary which can be a pain. Personally I would think of a list a fragrances you want to use with the colour combinations and only test them. Only reason being that for argument sake you may not use a deep red dye with a soft neutral fragrance (in my mind :P) so only test possible combinations you will be using. it will save you time and money.

                  Originally posted by Fayenor View Post
                  CandleMan, I didn't mean to imply that your post about safety stickers was confusing, I was already hella confused! I didn't think it was a requirement to have safety stickers, (obviously was going to use them for my own peace of mind, and a reminder to people of the dangers, even friends and family) but to discover I could have a safety sticker that was 'wrong' was what baffled me! Any clarification of this would be greatly appreciated, when you have a minute (or 10, eek sounds daunting!). Thanks again
                  Well I've tried reading my post regarding safety stickers and just ending up thinking that i'm going to confuse people even more.

                  anyway, safety stickers are not essential in all cases. It is acceptable to hand out safety sheets which includes the relevant information. This is only true when there is physically no possible way of attaching/printing the safety data one the candle or packaging.

                  Unfortunately, Society today has gone a bit mad. It is government policy to act as if everyone around them have no common sense. So in 2007 they brought out a new law stating that candles must be labelled correctly with far to much information, that being honest is completely over the top.

                  My 10 minutes will be made up of 7 minutes of rants, and the rest may be useful if I can stay on topic :P


                  Originally posted by Fayenor View Post
                  Oh, one more query (with bold important bits for prosterity):

                  I was mixing a honey fragrance yesterday (8% fragrance, 1% yellow dye) to pro c container wax, added F/O at 180 deg took off heat stirred for 2min and then allowed to cool to 150 deg to pour, and when I went to pour it there was a dark sticky, very sticky, residue/mess on the bottom of the pan and the spoon I used for stirring. Any ideas why? I thought at first it might have been because the fragrance oil is quite dark that I was seeing something that always happened but that I was just not aware of, but it was very sticky and I'm sure I would have noticed. I didn't use the wax in a candle because I wasn't sure what was wrong with it, so poured it into a silicone mould for melts, they look fine and smell very strong even tho a lot of the scent (i'm guessing) was stuck to the bottom of my pan! I know there may be no definite answer and it's probably a weird candle making phenomena but I'd quite like it if I could avoid it happening again!
                  Forgot to mention, it seemed to 'fizz' when I added it to the wax.

                  Sorry this post is so much more rambling than the first, I'm obviously not trying as hard to impress you!!

                  Thanks again,
                  ^..^ Fayenor
                  Right, I may not be able to solve this one right away because I haven't heard of this one before.

                  To begin with where did you get the fragrance oil from? and is it possible to email me the MSDS data sheet from the supplier? my email address is [email protected]

                  I think what you did was exceed the recommended temperature of the wax and possibly the fragrance which has led to basically partly "cooked" fragrance and wax.
                  (For other readers info 180*F = 82.2*C) which is too high. Try making the same candle again but not exceeding 165*F (73.8*C). Fragrance oil should be added at around 154-165*F (68-73*C ish) for maximum efficiency.

                  When you said it fizzed, it sounds like the temperature was too high. An possible burned off the carrier oil. just to clear it up, you will get a very strong scent from the finished candle due to the chemical reaction that occurred at that temperature. Only the scent part of the oil bonded with the wax and left the bulking agents behind.

                  note to other readers... Although this sounds good, don't try it... tipping fragrance oils in at that temperature could literally explode.

                  To to finish off, Drop the temperature down to 165*F and try again. Once you add the fragrance in remove from the heat and stir for about 2 mins.

                  Hope this helped
                  David Bolger - CEO of Endless Green Group Ltd
                  Retailer, Distributor and Manufacturer of Hobby, Craft and Pastime supplies

                  Candle Making Supplies
                  http://www.thatflamingcandlecompany.com


                  Bolgers Woodworking Supplies
                  http://www.bolgers.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CandleMan View Post
                    To be truthful I'm probably the worst person to ask about testing new wicks. I only offer wicks for sale that I use (which is not a big list). So I know exactly what wick works in what candle without even having to make one. The only time I have to test a new wick is when I make a custom blend wax. The problem most people have is when a supplier offers to large a range wicks and they are not 100% sure on which to use. (I'm not ranting or blaming, we all have to make a living). Back to topic, I would advise a wickless candle, and allow to burn for around 2hrs before changing wicks.
                    I have a large selection of wicks as initially bought LX and eco wicks then read on the forum that they are not the best to use for container candles and that a cored wick would be better, so I also have cotton and zinc cored. I haven't bought any paper cored wicks as yet. Is there a noticeable difference between the three? I've tried the cotton and liked it.

                    I generally use a drill to make the holes in the candle. Bit of a tip for threading a wick... Get a length of the wick you want to test and drop it into the melting pan with a little bit of the wax from the candle to "prime" the wick. Using a stick (clothes peg works well), pick up the wick and allow to cool for about 30 -60 seconds. Pull the wick as tight as possible to make it straight. The wax should still be quite soft. Using your hand roll it (like making a playdough sausage). Once your happy hang it up to dry and fully cool. This makes the wick more like a needle and easy to thread.
                    Sounds much easier, will def try this when trying out my other wicks. Was finding it impossible to thread a different wick into the wax.



                    With fragrance and dye testing, I have yet to find a dye that does not work with any fragrance. Although the dye melting points do vary which can be a pain. Personally I would think of a list a fragrances you want to use with the colour combinations and only test them. Only reason being that for argument sake you may not use a deep red dye with a soft neutral fragrance (in my mind :P) so only test possible combinations you will be using. it will save you time and money

                    It's a relief to know that they normally all work together.
                    I know what you mean about fragrance and colour combinations, when I first started making candles I was planning on offering people the option of choosing the colour and fragrance combinations they wanted, for example if your decor is greens, you hate the smell of pine but love strawberry, you could choose a green strawberry candle. I've made a couple for myself, turquoise banana and pink coconut, and it really messes with your mind.



                    Well I've tried reading my post regarding safety stickers and just ending up thinking that i'm going to confuse people even more.

                    anyway, safety stickers are not essential in all cases. It is acceptable to hand out safety sheets which includes the relevant information. This is only true when there is physically no possible way of attaching/printing the safety data one the candle or packaging.

                    Unfortunately, Society today has gone a bit mad. It is government policy to act as if everyone around them have no common sense. So in 2007 they brought out a new law stating that candles must be labelled correctly with far to much information, that being honest is completely over the top.

                    My 10 minutes will be made up of 7 minutes of rants, and the rest may be useful if I can stay on topic :P
                    So, with the safety stickers...

                    I thought I would stick a safety sticker to the bottom of each candle jar, a small sticker without pictograms is probably the only one that would fit, and then include a safety sheet with pictograms in my packaging. Would that satisfy safety regs? What information would I need to ensure I included? Also, my husband was wondering if by putting a safety sticker on a candle if you were asking for more trouble than needed. He suggested a liability style label along the lines of 'Park your Car here at your own risk'. So something like 'Always burn candles responsibly. In lighting this candle you are responsible for its safe use'.




                    Right, I may not be able to solve this one right away because I haven't heard of this one before.

                    To begin with where did you get the fragrance oil from? and is it possible to email me the MSDS data sheet from the supplier? my email address is [email protected]

                    I think what you did was exceed the recommended temperature of the wax and possibly the fragrance which has led to basically partly "cooked" fragrance and wax.
                    (For other readers info 180*F = 82.2*C) which is too high. Try making the same candle again but not exceeding 165*F (73.8*C). Fragrance oil should be added at around 154-165*F (68-73*C ish) for maximum efficiency.

                    When you said it fizzed, it sounds like the temperature was too high. An possible burned off the carrier oil. just to clear it up, you will get a very strong scent from the finished candle due to the chemical reaction that occurred at that temperature. Only the scent part of the oil bonded with the wax and left the bulking agents behind.

                    note to other readers... Although this sounds good, don't try it... tipping fragrance oils in at that temperature could literally explode.

                    To to finish off, Drop the temperature down to 165*F and try again. Once you add the fragrance in remove from the heat and stir for about 2 mins.

                    Hope this helped[/QUOTE
                    EEK!!

                    Tried again at lower heat, still had a slightly sticky residue, but nothing like the first one I made. The fragrance is Honey from 4Candles. I have emailed them asking for the MSDS data sheet, and I'll email it to you when they get back to me.

                    Thanks ever so,
                    Fayenor ^..^
                    Last edited by Fayenor; 06-10-2012, 04:30 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cotton Core Wicks are designed for pillar candles as they have no real support and tend to fall over and slump in container candles. Zinc cored wicks are cooler burning wicks for low melting point waxes for a longer burn time. Paper core wicks are my preference for container candles as they give good support and are eco-friendly (unbleached and recycled paper core)

                      I like the idea of offering the unique colour and fragrance combinations, Theoretically, all dyes and fragrances work together so I would still try and explore this idea. It may prove to be a good selling point for you.

                      Although I completely agree with your husband, Safety stickers are required by law. I have started advising my customers who do craft fairs and run their own candle making businesses to:

                      -Put a text based sticker on the candle itself (keep out of reach of children, do not leave unattended ect)
                      -put and advert leaflet in with the candle itself with a candle safety page printed on the back (pictograms ect)

                      With regards to what your husband said yes I would include the words, Burn at your own risk ect. try to add everything that makes you less liable and the customer more liable. This gives you maximum coverage and should keep the law at bay (at least until the next time they change it)

                      With regards to you fragrance dilemma, have you heard anything back from 4candles?
                      David Bolger - CEO of Endless Green Group Ltd
                      Retailer, Distributor and Manufacturer of Hobby, Craft and Pastime supplies

                      Candle Making Supplies
                      http://www.thatflamingcandlecompany.com


                      Bolgers Woodworking Supplies
                      http://www.bolgers.co.uk

                      Comment

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