You have worked hard at creating the perfect candle. But for some reason, the soy wax you used is making the candle not look exactly perfect after drying. You look at it confused. As if you need to throw it away and create a new one, or can you fix it? If this is you, then you are in the right place to find your answers.
There are numerous problems that can occur with making your candles with soy wax. Such as White Chalky Coating, Mushrooming, Rough, Uneven Surface, Wet or Oily Surface, Tunneling, Air Bubbles in Melted Wax, Cloudy Wax, Off-Center Wick, Wax Discoloration, Sooting and Large Flames and more. But don’t fret, there are answers. In this article, I will discuss some of the issues that you will face and the resolutions.
Keep reading to find out more about how to fix your candles made from soy wax. When they just aren’t as perfect or correct as you want them to be. I am going to discuss the best and most effective ways to fix them.
White, Chalky Coating
The white chalky coating that shows up on the tops and sides of some finished candles is known as frosting. This chalky coating is caused by tiny crystals that grow on the top of the wax. Even though soy wax does frost, it is normally over time. However, the white coated frosting will not affect the way your candle burns or smells.
Some things that will fix the issue are
Mix melted wax less vigorously; (over-agitating melted soy wax can increase the crystallization process, which produces the frosting appearance).
Preheat your glassware; (preheating your glassware can help reduce the rate of your soy wax candles will frost).
Pour at a lower temperature; (Pouring at a lower temperature can help reduce the crystal formations that form once the wax hardens). Let your poured candles cool more slowly (make sure your candles cool at room temperature).
The mushroom shape at the end of a candle wick after burning is the result of carbon buildup. This comes from the flame consuming more fuel than it can burn.
It happens quite often. However, there are a few things you can do to help manage it. Use less fragrance or dye. (Using less fragrance and dye; Helps ensure that the flame of your candle properly consumes all the material through the wick). Trim wick between burning (be sure to trim your wick to 1/4” each time you burn the candle). Downsizing your wick.
Rough, Uneven Surface
Rough and uneven tops are a common occurrence with soy wax. When the wax cools too fast, or it cools too slow, air bubbles may form; and the surface will look blemished. There are a few things you can do to fix these issues of the candle having a rough top.
Avoid over-stirring; (If you notice air bubbles; tap the container gently right after pouring to help any air bubbles escape to the top).
Adjust your pour temperature; (Finding the right temperature helps your candles cool more evenly and this will reduce the likelihood of imperfections).
Cover the imperfection with a layer of wax; (Re-pour about 1/8th of an inch of melted wax on the top surface of the candle to cover surface imperfections).
Re-melt the surface with a heat gun; (turn the heat gun on low and then hold it down near the candle’s container where you are seeing the imperfection; This heat will melt the wax and fix those imperfections.).
Wet or Oily Surface
You may sometimes notice that there is a significant amount of liquid on the surface of your candle. It is known as fragrance leaching, seeping, or bleeding. It is caused by adding too much fragrance oil or by adding the fragrance at a temperature that is too cool. If the fragrance doesn’t bind correctly, the fragrance will start to separate from the wax and rise to the surface or the bottom of the candle.
You can do a few things that can deter this from happening: fragrance leaching out of a candle
Mix fragrance oil in at 185 °F; (it is hot enough that any fragrance oil you use will fully bind with the wax, but not so hot that any fragrance oil might be lost to the heat).
Stir gently for 2 minutes; (stir continuously and gently to encourage the oil to incorporate fully).
Adjust your fragrance load; (do not use more than 10% fragrance).
Tunneling occurs when a candle wick consumes too much wax and fragrance too fast. Instead of a slowly forming, wide melt pool that extends to the edges of a container, it causes a pool to form in the center and burns down quickly. This leaves a large amount of wax on the sides of the container.
In order to stop this; you can increase your wick size (increasing your wick by one size in the same series). And decreasing your wick size (if it is too large, it will consume too much fuel too quickly, causing it to generate too much heat and melt right down the middle. Try sizing down instead).
Air Bubbles in Melted Wax
Occasionally, air gets trapped in the wax during the flaking process. The air is then released when the wax is melted down for candle making. If your wax contains any excess air, you might see a foamy look on the surface while the wax comes to the right temperature.
A few things that can help:
Allow air bubbles to release; (slowly stir the wax to help release any trapped air).
Don’t stir the wax too quickly; it will create air bubbles, (stir slowly to avoid adding any extra air).
Slowly heat the wax to 190-200 °F.
During manufacturing, because the soybean oil is being constantly stirred, it allows air into the oil. As the wax undergoes flaking, condensation may soak into the flakes. This flaking is caused by either air or water becoming trapped in the wax.
What can you do? Start with allowing the wax to stay between 185-200 °F, then give the wax time to air out (keep the bag open and unsealed to allow moisture to evaporate, and store wax in a cool, dry location (this will allow the excess moisture to evaporate and ensure that more moisture is not collecting).
Proper wick placement is the most important part of the candle burning correctly. If the wick is placed too far to one side or the wick leans, it can cause the candle to burn on one side only. In some extreme cases, it can get too close to the side of the jar and overheat the glass, causing it to shatter.
Some ways to prevent this from happening are to: use a wick setter tool (using a wick setter in your container is an easy way to make sure your wick is placed in the center of your jar), create your own wick placement guide if you don’t have a wick setter, and keep the wick held taut while the wax cools (set the wick and pull it tight. If you leave any slack by not making the wick tight, it can cause the wick to bend and move from the center of the container. This will make it set inside the candle incorrectly).
It doesn’t matter if you add color to your candles or leave them dye-free, they will be affected by natural or artificial light. Fragrances with a high vanilla content and citrus scents can cause the wax to develop a yellow tint within 24 hours. Fragrances with small amounts of vanilla and floral scents can cause a gradual yellowing over time.
What do you do when a soy wax candle turns yellow over time? There are a few things: use a UV inhibitor (UV inhibitors acts like a sunscreen for your candle, blocking the UV light to prevent fading and yellowing), add a small amount of ivory dye to help counteract the yellow tint to give you a more natural, uniform soy color, and minimize your use of vanillin containing fragrances (consider minimizing your use of fragrance oils containing vanilla).
Sooting and Large Flames
Everything that you light will smoke, but when you create a great candle, it shouldn’t produce an excessive amount of smoke. If you see a large amount of smoke, you may need to adjust your process. You can do that by: checking your wick size and series (Be sure to double-check that you are using a wick in the recommended series), decrease fragrance load (most fragrances will be strong enough at 6-8%, but no more than 10%), try another wick series, (if you have tried sizing up or down the size of your wick and are still having issues, try changing your wick series).
Are there more imperfections that can occur?
Yes, there are numerous things that can happen to cause the soy wax to not make a perfect candle. But there is also a solution. It may just take a little research to find the answer.
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.