Ads

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

New candle maker in need of a little help

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New candle maker in need of a little help

    Hi folks,

    I've just started to make candles, having done so before with parafin wax, which has always turned out well, other than a little dip just by the wick.

    Now I want to make more with better 'ingredients' of soy wax and eco wicks in really delicious fragrances. I hope to try to sell them to make a little extra money and perhaps turn a hobby into a small business.

    I bought some supplies from manzanas.co.uk; ecosoya CB-Xcel wax, eco 10 pre-tabbed wicks (much heavier than I've used before), some diamond dye chips and FO (chocolate chip cookie = yum!). I made 3 tin candles last night, 2 of which seem to have turned out just fine, but they have tiny cracks at the bottom of the wicks. The third had a large cracked ring in it, so I used this one to test burn. When I burned it for just a few minutes, the whole candle seems to be mottled and lumpy on the top!

    I melted the wax to about 160F, left to cool to 130F before adding fragrance, then poured (one pour).

    I'm really hoping that someone more experienced could perhaps help me with a few questions:

    Any idea why there are tiny cracks in the two that otherwise seem perfect?
    Will these two also go mottled and lumpy when burned, like the less perfect one?
    Can anyone recommend somewhere cheaper to buy supplies from in larger amounts, otherwise this hobby will get expensive pretty quickly!

    I have one more batch to make so I'm hoping these will work out better with a bit of advice.

    Thanks so much,

    Libby x

  • #2
    I Don't use soy but you may have better luck adding the fo at the higher temperature to allow it to combine and bind into the wax. At cooler temperatures you can have problems.

    Could the cracking be down to rapid cooling? Container blends are best left to Cool slowly at ambient temperatures. You could always 1st pour to about half a cm 5mm from desired level then do a 2nd pour once set which would give a smoother finish.
    http://www.facebook.com/rugeleycandles

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by spyderuk View Post
      I Don't use soy but you may have better luck adding the fo at the higher temperature to allow it to combine and bind into the wax. At cooler temperatures you can have problems.

      Could the cracking be down to rapid cooling? Container blends are best left to Cool slowly at ambient temperatures. You could always 1st pour to about half a cm 5mm from desired level then do a 2nd pour once set which would give a smoother finish.
      Thanks so much for the advice, I'll try adding FO at a higher temp and see if that helps.
      They weren't rapid cooled, just cooled normally in the kitchen overnight.
      Perhaps two pours would help with both these issues.

      L x

      Comment


      • #4
        2 pours would certainly help achieve a smoother surface.

        There seems to be a few people reporting surface cracks around the wick with soy wax. Again the lumpiness and mottled effect is weird. Is the mottling from the dye? Lumpiness could be the fo but normally it would sink if not fully incorporated into the wax. Then again I've never worked with soy.

        When we do jars I melt wax add dye at around 70-75c then stir well, I generally add fragrance around 62c then stir 2 minutes and pour around 60c. Some dyes, especially red dyes need a higher temp to fully melt or they can cause a speckling effect.

        The kitchen could of got really cold overnight which wouldn't help matters. Did you have much sinking of the wax after cooling with only 1 pour?
        http://www.facebook.com/rugeleycandles

        Comment


        • #5
          The wax didn't sink at all and oddly it was only one of the candles that went lumpy - however, after thinking on it, this one has a broken wick when I put it in and cooled with a large ringed crack about 1.5 cm from the edge of the tin. The other two just cracked very finely at the wick, so I wonder if it could be that the wick was a bit dodgy in that one?

          When I lit that one earlier this evening it burned quite well, but the scent throw was hardly there at all. I used a 15g bottle of scent for 3 150g candles, so maybe not enough?

          Perhaps I'll try cooling them on the upstairs landing where it generally stays a bit warmer.

          Thanks again

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Libby! Welcome to the forum and the world of candle making. Well, back to the world of candle making as you've had a go before

            Soy wax can be a bit problematic to work with on occasions as you've seen, but it's not always that way. Once you get the hang of it you'll be churning out great results with less and less problems.

            The slight cracks in the surface occur during cooling because soy waxes (especially container blends) are quite brittle.
            Sometimes you get the much larger cracks (as seen in the one you've test burned). In my (somewhat limited) experience of soy candle making, these cracks seem to be worse if the candles are cooled in a cool place. The surface sets early in the cooling process and as the wax below it cools it contracts slightly and causes the cracking.
            In paraffin wax you'd poke relief holes and do a top up pour to make the surface flat. Not sure if this would be beneficial with the soy as it contracts far less so doesn't really need the top up pour but it's well worth a try. Especially as in tins you wouldn't see any lines between the layers like you would in a glass container.

            Another trick, especially for the smaller cracks would be a quick zap over the surface with a heat gun. Although in some soy waxes this causes a certain amount of 'blooming'. Especially noticeable if you've dyed the wax too.

            I'm not sure what you mean by "mottled and lumpy". Could you explain a little more about that?

            Also, what did you mean by "broken wick"? Broken in what way?

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Spencer,

              Thank you for the warm welcome
              Your advice is excellent and I'm now thinking that it was perhaps because the candles cooled too quickly, although I'm not sure how to prevent this unless I turn the central heating up to above normal! I don't have a heat gun, so perhaps poking the holes in and doing a top up pour would be the best option, as also suggested by Spyder.

              With the broken wick - it seemed to be damaged at the bottom and also half way up where the wax coating had split. I thought nothing of it and used it anyway, but now I'm thinking that perhaps this was not a great idea. However, as mentioned, it was only the one that I had real problems with anyway.

              I'll try the next set of candles today and let you know how I get on with the second pour method.

              Thanks again!

              L x

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Libby,

                With regards to cooling the candle slowly, do you have a airing cupboard or something similar? This sort of weather is one of the hardest times to make candles because they cool so quickly. One thing you could do is get an old cardboard box lined with tin foil, pour your candles, Put them in the box and close the lid. leaving them to cool in there should hold them at a steady temperature for a few hours to slow the cooling process down. If that fails substitute Spencer's heat gun suggestion with a hair drier. Its the same principle just takes more time. Also Spyder's technique with the second pour would work, just be sure the second pour is fairly hot when poured to blend the join lines.

                Soy Wax is good to work with but can be hard work. There are so many factors as to why a problem arises, but there is a wealth of knowledge on the internet (this forum especially) of how to solve almost any problem.

                With pre-waxed wick, damage to the wax coating is not usually a problem. The wax coating is only used to make the wick ready for use without the need to prime it. Although its to late to check, For future reference check to see if the wick underneath the damaged coating is contaminated, this could lead to mottling or burning problems.




                Originally posted by LibbyC View Post
                Hi Spencer,

                Thank you for the warm welcome
                Your advice is excellent and I'm now thinking that it was perhaps because the candles cooled too quickly, although I'm not sure how to prevent this unless I turn the central heating up to above normal! I don't have a heat gun, so perhaps poking the holes in and doing a top up pour would be the best option, as also suggested by Spyder.

                With the broken wick - it seemed to be damaged at the bottom and also half way up where the wax coating had split. I thought nothing of it and used it anyway, but now I'm thinking that perhaps this was not a great idea. However, as mentioned, it was only the one that I had real problems with anyway.

                I'll try the next set of candles today and let you know how I get on with the second pour method.

                Thanks again!

                L x
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CandleMan View Post
                  Hi Libby,

                  With regards to cooling the candle slowly, do you have a airing cupboard or something similar? This sort of weather is one of the hardest times to make candles because they cool so quickly. One thing you could do is get an old cardboard box lined with tin foil, pour your candles, Put them in the box and close the lid. leaving them to cool in there should hold them at a steady temperature for a few hours to slow the cooling process down. If that fails substitute Spencer's heat gun suggestion with a hair drier. Its the same principle just takes more time. Also Spyder's technique with the second pour would work, just be sure the second pour is fairly hot when poured to blend the join lines.

                  Soy Wax is good to work with but can be hard work. There are so many factors as to why a problem arises, but there is a wealth of knowledge on the internet (this forum especially) of how to solve almost any problem.

                  With pre-waxed wick, damage to the wax coating is not usually a problem. The wax coating is only used to make the wick ready for use without the need to prime it. Although its to late to check, For future reference check to see if the wick underneath the damaged coating is contaminated, this could lead to mottling or burning problems.
                  Hi CandleMan

                  Great advice, especially with cooling in the cardboard box, I would never have thought of this and I'll definitely give it a go. It seems that cooling is where my problems arose from, so I'll put all these suggestions together and should end up with a fab set of candle the next time around.

                  Thanks again

                  L x

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Libby, just though I'd throw in my tuppence worth. I was having similar problems with cracking in Soy. I don't have a heat gun so used my hairdryer with the big diffuser to stop splashes, it melted the top layer perfectly and no more crack!
                    Since then I've started using a cool bag to cool my candles in. It's quite big, holds around 6 cans of beer. It's insulated to keep cool things cool and warm things warm so far it's worked a treat. What is they say about necessity being the mother of invention

                    Isabel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi again all,

                      Isabel - Thanks for the great advice. Wow, there's so much good stuff here. Is there a beginners advice section on the site? I think all this advice would be awesome wrapped in to one section

                      So, I made a second batch and did this....

                      Prepared tins and stuck the pre-tabbed wicks (Eco10 6") down with a little pritt stick - really not the best but I haven't bought glue dots yet (are these any good?) - I thought of sticking it down wit superglue, then read the back of the label and it has a flammable warning on the back. Stupid question maybe, but is all glue flammable and should I be wary of pritt stick?

                      Heated wax (EcoSoy CB-Xcel) to 180F and added dye chip.

                      Left to cool to 150F and added FO @5% (approx) stirred for a good 2 minutes then poured into 150g tins.

                      One of the wicks floated around a little so I poured the wax back into the jug and re-fixed the wick.

                      Poured and cooled in the afternoon rather than late evening, so the kitchen is warmer - I hunted for tin foil to try CandleMan's suggestion of cooling in a foil lined cardboard box, but it seems by daughter used the last of it for baking and didn't tell us!

                      Results: No cracking by the wick on any of them. Hoorah!

                      However, one of the tins has a cracked wax ring about 1.5cm from the side of the container, the same as before.
                      The one with the floating wick turned out the best! Although less wax in it than the others because of the re-pour
                      Beautiful scent (orange and cinnamon) from all three as a solid candle.

                      DEFINITELY better than the first try!

                      I'm going to leave them til this afternoon, which will be 24 hours since cooling then try Isabel's hairdryer technique to get rid of the cracked ring in the one candle. I'll light one then to judge the scent throw and try and upload some pictures.

                      I'm wondering if it wouldn't be best to try some smaller containers, maybe glass, so I can get more candles out of the wax.

                      How easy is making votives from tin molds? This is not something I've tried before.

                      Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the help.

                      L x

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LibbyC View Post
                        Prepared tins and stuck the pre-tabbed wicks (Eco10 6") down with a little pritt stick - really not the best but I haven't bought glue dots yet (are these any good?) - I thought of sticking it down wit superglue, then read the back of the label and it has a flammable warning on the back. Stupid question maybe, but is all glue flammable and should I be wary of pritt stick?
                        Technically, yes all glue is flammable. Most Superglue contains products like Acetone and Xylene solvents which are highly flammable, But evaporate to dry the glue. The Cyanoacrylate Resin makes the superglue sticky and protects any flammable bits with a strong hard film. Yes I know I'm boring with useless knowledge but Glues and resins are another part of my company so I have to know these things xD

                        Originally posted by LibbyC View Post
                        However, one of the tins has a cracked wax ring about 1.5cm from the side of the container, the same as before.
                        The one with the floating wick turned out the best! Although less wax in it than the others because of the re-pour
                        Beautiful scent (orange and cinnamon) from all three as a solid candle.
                        Cracks and splits are not usually classed as a big problem as they can easily be fixed, almost with no effort, with a hair drier or heat gun. So if the scent thrown is good then its a job well done.

                        Originally posted by LibbyC View Post
                        I'm wondering if it wouldn't be best to try some smaller containers, maybe glass, so I can get more candles out of the wax.
                        I would always recommend trying out new containers, but when changing container remember that the learning curve starts again.


                        Originally posted by LibbyC View Post
                        How easy is making votives from tin molds? This is not something I've tried before.
                        Votive candles are fairly easy to make, Usually done with 2 pours. Would not really recommend soya for this purpose, although some people have been successful in using it, for me it is to much "Faffing" around. I would, however, recommend Auto Votive Wick Pins (as it happens Me and 4Candles are both out of stock xD).
                        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


                        • #13
                          Libby, well done with the candles, it's a great sense of achievement when you work things out.
                          I've just started making candles with soy too and was, where you are, a couple of weeks ago. I too wished there was some kind of beginers section available in the forum to save asking daft questions. I wasn't able to find it, what I did do was read the Spencer/Spyder epic thread from when Spyder first started making candles. Spencer and others were able to advise Spyder through his journey from novice to expert. It's a great learning tool and I gleaned loads of valuable info from it. (Easiest way to find it is go to the list of posts for this forum click the "reply/views" column and it will come top as it has the most replies.)
                          So far as glue dot's are concerned- don't they're rubbish! I've started using double sided sticky pads which work a treat but I think you can buy things called wick stick-ums that are similar. If you use the hairdryer thing either make sure you cover the area well or use the big round diffuser meant for curly hair. If you don't you could get spalshes of wax everywhere.(I'm hoping Santa is going to bring me a heat gun!)
                          One other thing I would say is that the longer you leave the candles to cure the better the scent throw and burn time. Like you I was mad-keen to try out my creation but have now curbed my enthusiasm! I think the minimum cure time is 48hrs but I'm sure one of the experts will comment on that.
                          I became so disillusioned at trying to get it right with Soy that I bought some paraffin wax and tried that. It certainly seems less complicated and I got better success with it. However, being a stubborn woman, I have moved back to Soy- after all if others can do it why can't I?!
                          While I was dabbling with paraffin I made some votives and some chunk candles, they were great fun and very successful and I think they gave my confidence a wee bit of a boost so it may be something worth trying out.
                          Hope you find this helpful. Good luck


                          Isabel

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            They sound great. Hope they burn well for you.

                            Soy soy soy. Hmm I've never tried it but sometimes I feel like throwing 5kg in with an order. Maybe 1 day.

                            Did you try the second pour? A little hotter than your main pour? I tend to do them the following day but I get a fair bit of shrinkage with paraffin. It should give a smoother finish to the surface.

                            Looking forward to the pics and burn report.
                            http://www.facebook.com/rugeleycandles

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X