You are excited; your candles look great, and you are anxious to light them and enjoy their beauty. However, the last step requires time and patience. After you have poured your melted wax, the candle requires curing time before it is lit.
The final step in the candle making process is curing. Most experienced candle makers recommend a full two weeks of curing time for beeswax candles. While that seems like a long time to wait, curing candles is an important part of candle making.
While different waxes cure at varying rates, without a scientific means to measure a candle’s hardness, waiting fourteen days will let you safely experiment with new recipes and candle shapes. Continue reading for details on curing your beeswax candles.
What Does Curing Beeswax Candles Mean?
Curing beeswax candles means to let your candles sit after you pour the melted wax. The temperature of the wax needs to cool after you create your candles. This time of letting your beeswax candle sit gives your candles the time they need to harden or solidify.
It is important not to move your candle while it is curing. Movements of the candles while they are still forming can cause air bubbles in the candle. This will negatively impact how efficiently your beeswax candle will burn. In addition, changing the location of your candles too soon can affect the shape of your candle. Candles in molds can become distorted if they are moved before they are ready.
Part of your plan when making beeswax candles needs to include where you will store them. This will ensure that you do not need to reposition your candles before the two-week curing period. Beeswax and all other candle making waxes need to be left on a flat stable surface for optimal curing.
How Do You Cure Beeswax Candles?
After pouring the molten liquid into your candle molds or containers, you need to let them cool. The temperature of the melted beeswax should cool off for about twenty-four hours before you start the curing process. Your next step is to trim the wick to ¼ of an inch. This is the optimal length to burn your candles.
After the temperature of the candles is reduced, the candles should be covered. Do not cover them until they have cooled, or moisture will form from the heat. This condensation would add water to the top of the candle, which will negatively impact the quality of the candle.
If your candle containers have lids, you can use those to cover the candles while they cure. If the containers do not have lids, you can use the top of a box to cover the batch of beeswax candles. The lid or box top safeguards the candles from dust or other impurities.
The candles should be stored out of direct light or sunlight while they cure. Additionally, keep the beeswax candles in a cool location away from heat sources. Be sure to date the group of candles, so you are certain when the curing process is completed.
Do All Candles Cure at the Same Rate?
While two weeks is the recommended cure time for candles, there is some variation in how quickly some waxes harden. The type of wax, blends of waxes, and fragrances can all impact the time it takes for candles to cure. That is why the two-week timeframe is recommended. Also, if your candles are not fully set after the fourteen days, that is an indication of a problem with the combination of waxes and fragrances used.
Beeswax is unique from all the waxes used to make candles. Since beeswax is produced in the hives of bees, the wax varies in composition. Bees do not follow a set pattern of pollination. Therefore, they visit a changing array of plants and flowers. This can impact the formation of the wax. Beeswax candles will cure at differing rates since the structure of the wax fluctuates.
At the seven-day point, many beeswax candles will have hardened. However, to obtain the maximum performance, a two-week cure time is recommended. If you add fragrance to your beeswax candles, the fourteen-day hardening time will account for the addition of oils.
Candles made from soy wax should cure for a minimum of one week. However, the two-week cure is still the recommended length of time. The ‘extra’ week will provide sufficient time for your soy candles to absorb fragrances and coloring. Your candles’ hot throw will be significantly improved after two weeks. If you do not wait, your candle may smell great when it is not lit. However, upon lighting the candle, you will not have an effective hot throw.
Coconut Wax Candles
Often coconut wax is mixed with other waxes to make candles. The variations in the percentages of each wax makes it difficult to determine a precise curing time for coconut-blended candles. These candles should sit for a minimum of three days to cure. If the blend is heavily skewed to paraffin, the shorter timeframe might be effective. However, without knowing the exact blend, coconut candles should cure for at least fourteen days.
Since it is a very hard wax, paraffin has the shortest curing time of all waxes. If you are using one hundred percent paraffin wax in your candles, they can be cured within five to seven days. Paraffin has a lower melting point than other waxes, which explains why it hardens faster.
Impact of Fragrance
The two-week window of time gives time for fragrances to be fully absorbed by the candle. This allows for the varying absorption rates of different fragrance oils. When candles have more fragrance added to the wax, they take longer to cure, but the two weeks accounts for that. If after fourteen days there is an excess of oil on your candles; use paper towels to wipe off the oils. Then let the candles cure for another two weeks.
Why Do Candles Need Curing?
Curing is time needed in the candle making process to ensure your candles are fully dry and solidified. If you put any additives into your candles, the curing time provides time for the scents to assimilate into the wax. Whether you used natural fragrances such as vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks or added in essential oils, the drying time is when these scents are dispersed throughout the candle wax.
Scent throws will be enhanced during the curing process. Oils or other fragrances will bind to the wax. Not only will your candles have a great cold throw, but once you light the candles, the hot throw will make your room smell terrific.
Not only will your candle smell better after curing, but it will also burn more efficiently. Without curing your candles, the flame will not be as consistent. Uncured candles would need a larger wick to offset the benefits of curing your candles.
Without an efficient burning process, the flame on your candle will be either getting too much or too little air. This causes your flame to flicker and is an incomplete combustion process. When candles are producing a stable flame, they can emit carbon particles or soot into the air. Curing your candles is another step in ensuring you have a stabilized combustion process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use the refrigerator to cure your candles?
Putting your candles in the refrigerator to speed up the curing process can cause problems in your candles. If you made your candles in a glass vessel, the glass can crack in the refrigerator, especially since the wax is still warm.
Can you use the freezer to cure your candles?
No, you should not use the freezer to help cure your candles. The contrast of hot and cold temperatures can cause any glass containers to shatter. Also, the wax will not set evenly. This can cause gaps in your candle similar to sinkholes.
Can you cure a candle for too long?
No, you cannot cure a candle for too long. Depending on the wax and fragrances used, some candles do have dates by which they burn more effectively.
Can you speed up the curing process for candles?
There is not a recommended method to use to speed up the curing process for candles. With the time and energy you took to make your gorgeous candles, enjoy the whole process. The wait for fully cured candles is worth it.
Do candles expire?
Candles do not expire like other perishable items. However, overtime fragrances and coloring in candles can fade. Typically, if you burn your candles within twelve months, you will enjoy optimal fragrances and beautiful colors.
Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here
Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.