Four Common Soy Candle Problems

1. Lumpy Tops

In the majority of cases a lumpy top on a soy candle is the result of pour temperature. Many people do not place enough importance on pour temperature, some not even using a thermometer.

If you want a great looking soy candle with smooth tops and good glass adhesion, investing in a good quality thermometer is a must.

A lot of people are caught by surprise when after a couple of months of pouring their candles all of a sudden develop holes or pits when they have changed nothing. They may not have changed anything but the weather may have changed. The season and your ambient temperature of the room you are pouring in all play a big part in how your candle dries. You may use air conditioning in summer and a heater in winter. This will all affect your candles. On a particularly cold day you may also have to heat your glass or container slightly so it is warm to touch.

Lumpy tops can usually be fixed by increasing the pour temperature in increments until the problem disappears. The recommended pour temperature is a recommendation only and should be used as a guide for a starting point. If the recommended pour temp does not work you will have to experiment to find the correct temperature for your conditions and fragrance.

Fragrance and essential oils can also cause holes and lumpy tops. Fragrances like vanillas and essentials such as lavenders and rose geranium are notorious for ‘curdling’ the top of soy candles. This can be overcome by pour temperature adjustment once again however if this does not work you may have to adjust the amount of Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil you are using.

The ‘cheats’ way of getting rid of a lumpy top: Keep some wax back & pour a millimetre or 2 across the surface, or use a blow-dryer with a difuser and remelt the top 2 millimetres and then let dry! Keep those to yourself!

2. Wet Spots

A wet spot refers to the patch on your glass that almost looks like an air bubble between the wax and glass.

What in fact has happened is the wax has pulled away from the edge of the glass. Once this happens it will not re-adhere. It does not affect the performance of the candle in anyway but is an aesthetic thing.

It generally happens when the candle temperature fluctuates and the wax expands and contracts. You will find it very nearly happens always overnight if you leave your candles out.

It can be controlled by using a good quality wax like GW464 that has great glass adhesion, but also with your pour temperature.

If you find your candle wetspots as it is drying, try increasing the pour temperature. If your candle wetspots overnight, make sure you put the candles in a warm place & don’t leave them exposed to the cold.

Sometimes however no matter what you do you will not prevent wetspots. The climate changes both outside and inside, even during transportation or the air-conditioning in a shop can all cause wetspots.

3. Frosting

This is the common term for “polymorphism” and describes the white coating that appears on your soy candles. What causes it? Frosting is a perfectly natural effect of using soy wax and is unique to vegetable waxes, especially soy. It is the natural wax re-crystallizing and trying to return to its natural state.

All soy waxes frost and is a sign that you are using 100% natural soy wax. Some soy waxes have additives to help prevent frosting however if you want a 100% natural product then expect some frosting sooner or later. Frosting does not affect the performance of your candle and is something that you shouldn’t stress over.

You can minimize frosting with these simple tips.
* Play around with your pour temperature. Recommended pour temperatures are only a guide and are very relevant to your conditions and surroundings and also the fragrance you are using. Try adjusting the temperature in small increments and keep a diary of the results.
* Keep your candles warm overnight. Don’t leave them out especially when you know the temperature is going to drop. This is certain to promote frosting. Soy likes stable temperatures and can only cope with gradual changes.
* Frosting will also occur with age so it is best to use your soy wax flakes within one year of manufacture (unless stored appropriately for extended storage) and consume your candles within six months of making them.

4. Hollowing or Sinking

This usually occurs when the pour temperature is too low. If the candles are cooling too quickly the wax on top dries while the underneath is still quite warm. This causes the wax to suck down on itself as it continues to dry.

To remedy, increase the pour temperature incrementally and make sure the wax is allowed to cool slowly and evenly. Also worth considering the environment in which you are making your candles, is it too cool or drafty, is there a heat pump nearby? Always strive for a stable ambient room temperature of 21°C.

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