During your soy candle making adventures, you'll come up against challenges. 

 

Often the best way forward is to go back to basics!

 

Try changing and testing only one factor at a time. Then you're ready for the next element. That's where testing notes come in handy, to record factors such as pour temperatures so you can continue to replicate your improved product once issues are resolved.

 

Wet Spots: 

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 clear 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:

  • Use frosted glass instead of clear glass.

  • Conceal wet spots with a label.

  • Pre-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.

 

Frosting: 

You’ll 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, try:

  • Add additives to reduce frosting.
  • Mix your melted wax slowly. Mixing it too vigorously can cause frosting.
  • Pre-heat your glasses prior to pouring.
  • 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.

  • Even if you send your candles off to a customer looking perfect, frosting can occur when they are on the customer shelves. If all else fails just explain that it is a natural product.


     

 

Rough Tops: 

Uneven, rough, mottled surface on a candle that has set, instead of a smooth, creamy finish.
  • The wax cooled too quickly or too slowly. 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.

  • Do a second pour to the top, as long as the wick hasn't been cut yet and there is still room.

  • Melt the surface of the candle with a heat gun being sure not to singe the wick.

 

Sinkholes: 

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 though, trapping the bubbles in, air pockets will then leave a void and the surface above the void will collapse. 
  • 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: 

It's normal for candles to produce some smoke, but excess smoke or a dark rim around your container indicates there is a problem.
  • This might be from too much candle dye.

  • 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.

 

  No Hot Throw:

  • 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.

 

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.

  • Stir continuously for 2 minutes once you add the fragrance to wax, to incorporate well.

 

Hairline Cracks: 

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.

 

  • Tap your container to release bubbles.
  • Increase airflow to encourage an even set, by allowing your candle to cool on a wire rack.
  • Adjust your pour temperature.
  • Your candle cooled too quickly. Maintain the same temperature in the room.
  • Use a heat gun to improve the surface
  • 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: 

    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.
    • 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.
  •  

    Mushrooming: 

    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.