So, you're there, donning your creative cape, ready to conquer any candle conundrum that comes your way. But wait, what's this?
You've stumbled upon the legendary challenge of "Wet Spots!" It's like a candle's secret hide-and-seek game with the glass. Also known as poor adhesion. When wax cools, it can shrink and pull away from the glass in some areas. This is more obvious in transparent glasses. It's not surprising to see expensive candles in stores with wet spots. It doesn’t alter the performance of your candle, but if the aesthetics bother you or your clients... no worries, you've got tricks up your sleeve.
You whip out frosted glass, superhero labels to hide the spots, and even a heat gun – all part of your candle-battling arsenal. In future, heat your glass in the oven on a tray or with a heat gun prior to pouring. This will reduce the temperate difference between wax and glass. They just need to be warm, not hot to touch. Pour your candles in a warm environment and leave them to set in that same warm environment. Pour your candles slowly to avoid air bubbles. The candles are looking better than ever, and you're the candle-making hero.
Next up, you encounter "Frosting." It's like your candles decided to throw a winter wonderland party. You see a white layer forming on the surface of natural vegetable based waxes like soy. This appears because of what’s known as ‘polymorphism’ - where tiny crystals form. The nature of soy wax is such that in it will harden over time and crystals will form. Since you are selling a natural product, this is bound to happen sometimes and doesn't influence product performance. But if it bothers you...
You add additives to reduce frosting, mix your melted wax slowly. Mixing it too vigorously can cause frosting. You pre-heat your glasses prior to pouring, and you pour wax at a lower temperature. Temperature changes will encourage crystal formation. Place your newly poured candles in an area with minimal temperature or humidity changes to cure. Ensure that you are using a soy blend rather than basic soy wax. Soy blends contain additives to help stabilise soy wax. Many manufacturers sell soy blends to avoid frosting. Expensive candles often contain blends that have had a vast investment in research and data to reduce frosting. Remove dye to reduce the chance of frosting being more visible. Use an opaque vessel to conceal frosting. Now those candles are smoother than a snowboarder on fresh powder!
"Rough Tops," you say? Uneven, rough, mottled surface on a candle that has set, instead of a smooth, creamy finish. The wax cooled too quickly or too slowly. Not on your watch! You adjust your pour temperature up or down, and keep your room temperature constant without a temperature drop, the wax contains small air bubbles, caused by stirring too vigorously. You do a second pour to the top, as long as the wick hasn't been cut yet and there is still room.and even give your candles a little spa day with a heat gun being sure not to singe the wick. Smooth, creamy finishes all around!
Now, "Sinkholes" thought it could sneak in like a mischievous goblin. This can happen when wax shrinks as it cools, and air bubbles get trapped in wax.
Trapped air will release once the candle has set. If the surface has already set, trapping the bubbles in, air pockets will then leave a void and the surface above the void will collapse. But tapping your containers, using a heat gun, or poking relief holes, you've got it covered! Your candles are looking hole-some again. Mix wax slowly so as not to encourage the formation of air bubbles. Tap your container to release air bubbles after pouring. Use a heat gun to fix the surface. Poke holes around the wick (relief holes), then do a top up pour.
"Smoking Flame and Sooting" tried to make a smoky entrance. You might have added too much fragrance. The flame is struggling to burn off this excess that didn't bind to the wax, and is instead sweating it out. 6-8% maximum fragrance load is usually sufficient. You are burning your candle in a drafty area The wick you have selected is too large. Consult our wick guide as a starting point and measure your container's diameter. You have not trimmed your wick prior to relighting. Try a new wick series eg. HTP or CDN. It's normal for candles to produce some smoke, but excess smoke or a dark rim around your container indicates there is a problem. Your candles are burning brighter and cleaner than ever.
"No Hot Throw"? Perhaps you added fragrance to your wax that was too hot, and there was too much evaporation. Remember to only add fragrance when you are happy with your pour temperature. Maybe you used a poor quality diluted fragrance oil rather than a pure, concentrated, premium product. Or the fragrance was not suitable for candle making. You could be using inferior quality soy wax that doesn't hold fragrance well. Be sure to cure your candle for at least 2 weeks before burning, to allow time for fragrance and wax to infuse. Decrease or increase your pour temperature. Not a problem in your candle kingdom. You've mastered the art of pour timing, quality fragrances, and curing like a pro. Fragrance-infused candles, coming right up!
"Fragrance Oil Seeping"? Beads of fragrance sweat on the surface of your candle while it cures.You used too much fragrance oil, use less in future. Try 6-8 percent fragrance load, and never more than 10%. Try a different wax in future, your wax may not designed to retain fragrance. All waxes have a maximum fragrance load. For fragrance to bind to wax, temperatures must be correct. Try adding fragrance at a warmer temperature next time.You added fragrance to your wax too soon, and there was too much evaporation. Only add fragrance when you are happy with your pour temperature. You used a poor quality diluted fragrance oil rather than a pure, concentrated, premium product. The fragrance was not suitable for candle making. You are using inferior quality soy wax that doesn't hold fragrance well. Be sure to cure your candle for at least 2 weeks before burning, to allow time for fragrance and wax to infuse. Decrease or increase your pour temperature. Not on your crafty watch. You've got the right recipe, the perfect timing, and the art of stirring down to a science. Your candles are the essence of balance and beauty.
"Hairline Cracks" tried to sneak in. The wax shrinks, and tiny air bubbles are trapped in the base, causing cracks. As the wax sets, it sinks in to fill areas where the bubble has burst. Tapping containers to release bubbles, adjusting pour temperatures, and wielding that heat gun to improve the surface, you're sealing the cracks of defeat. Increase airflow to encourage an even set, by allowing your candle to cool on a wire rack. Your candle cooled too quickly. Maintain the same temperature in the room. Poke holes in the candle to. release air, then do a second fill to cover the crack. Cool candles on a wire rack to encourage even setting and air flow to the base.
"Tunnelling" may have started. Your candle wick is consuming too much wax and fragrance too quickly. The melt pool should extend slowly to the very edge of your container. Instead, a small melt pool forms in the centre and then burns down quickly. Because the melt pool didn't extend to the edges, wax remains on the sides.Wick up, extend that melt pool, and let your candles shine like a pool party where everyone's having a blast. The wick is too small. Wick up in the same series to generate more heat. Increasing your wick size which will extend the melt pool.
"Wax Discolouration"? Candles are affected by light and oxygen. Dye-free candles can turn yellow or brown or fade. Fragrances which contain vanillin or citrus scents can create yellow in the the wax once it sets and begins the curing process. Minimise use of fragrances will high vanillin content. Use less fragrance. Try a UV inhibitor to block UV light which can cause fading.Try adding a dye to the entire candle in an ivory or yellow to conceal the discolouration. Not under your creative care. You've got vanillin solutions, UV blockers, and a rainbow of dyes at your disposal. Your candles are vibrant and true!
"Mushrooming" wanted to sprout, but you're on top of it. A mushroom shape forms on the end of a candle wick after burning because of carbon buildup. The flame is consuming more wax / fragrance / dye than it can burn. Reduce the quantity of fragrance or dye. Trim your wick between burns, balance the wax, and keep that mushroom in check.
Your candles are picture-perfect.