Candle Curing

You’ve poured your candle and are anxious to light it. But then you find out about the need for ‘curing’.

What's that?

Candle curing is the stage between when you pour your candle and when it is lit for the very first time.

During this time, the candle wax hardens progressively. When a candle is ‘cured’, we infer it is ready to burn.

 

What’s The Point Of Curing, Anyway?

Most customers will judge the quality of their candle based on the initial burn experience.

Once your candle is poured, it sets, and the wax hardens. The fragrance oil binds to the wax, ensuring a pleasing scent throw.

Curing your candles ensures that your customer has a great first experience. Fragrance oils circulate evenly through your candle as it hardens, increasing the likelihood of a dynamic scent and better performance.

If you send out a just poured candle to your client, the customer may be dissatisfied with the fragrance throw.

 

How Long Should I Cure My Candles For?

There’s a lack of consensus between candle makers about specifically how long you should cure candles for. There are also so many types of waxes, lots of soybeans and some fragrances will take longer to bind with certain waxes. Exact ingredients of waxes and fragrances aren’t divulged by manufacturers either, so there is no hard and fast rule. Various wax and fragrance combinations will create fluctuating results.

One to two weeks is suggested as the minimum. The longer the better.

 

Curing & Soy Wax

Soy wax in particular can be complex in terms of obtaining a dynamic scent. Soy wax will encapsulate the fragrance oil molecules when it transforms from liquid into solid. Soy wax doesn’t evaporate fragrance like paraffin wax does and so it takes longer to bind.

Soy wax will continue to harden during its life. Crystals form in the soy wax because of temperature vulnerability, which means it continues to harden throughout its life. In contrast, paraffin will already be at its hardest within a day or so of being poured.

 

Testing

When testing, it’s vital to delay until the candle is cured before lighting. While your is still setting, it will require less heat to melt, but more heat later on when it is harder.

With each day that passes after pouring, the candle wax grows harder.

The harder the wax, the larger the wick needed.

Larger wicks create more heat to melt the wax.

If you burned the candle three days after pouring, your testing results might show that your wick is overly large since the wax melted so quickly.

If you waited two weeks, you would gain a more authentic view of the wick required to melt the wax.

Much of the hardening required for accurate testing is done by day 14. However, soy wax hardens over time so a soy wax candle will evolve over months. Paraffin, in contrast, won’t experience much variation after 2 days.

 

 A General Guide

Soy wax – 10 -14 days.

Paraffin 3-5 days

Parasoy 7-10 days

Coconut & coconut / apricot wax – 10-14 days

 

 Where & How To Cure

 

Curing requires patience and restraint. 

Find a dark, cool, dry place to store your candles in your workspace where they can cure. Once your poured wax has totally cooled and hardened, and you have trimmed your wicks, you can pop lids on to keep the dust out before curing.

 

More On Curing

 

Do I need to cure soy melts?

Ideally, yes. They should cure for 7 days at a minimum. Not allowing cuing time would increase the likelihood of your fragrance oil evaporating.

 

What if my candles have no fragrance in them?

You should cure un-fragranced candles, particularly if they're made with soy wax since they will harden over time by nature. This will ensure correct testing results and a more reliable burn.

 

I used vybar, so do I still need to cure my candles?

Yes. Although vybar is designed to harden wax, it cannot distribute fragrance through wax.

 

Can I cure my candle for too long?

No. However, candles generally have an expiration date of approximately 12-18 months depending on your ingredients.

 

 Can I speed up the curing process?

No. While some candle makers pop their candles in the fridge or freezer to speed up the hardening process, this still does not evenly distribute the fragrance through wax.

 

Closing Thoughts

 

Once you have poured your candle, you might assume that it looks finished. It has hardened after all, you've trimmed the wick and boxed it all up. But looks can be very deceiving! Remember that changes will continue to occur at the molecular structure. These transformations are subtle they are not at all obvious to the naked eye. 

You have put so much effort and love into your creation! Why not allow your wax and fragrance time to fully bond?

 

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