PROBLEM-SOLVING FOR JAR CANDLES

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Below is a table of the most common problems candle makers experience when working with soy and soy blended waxes. Try as we might, it takes a lot of practice, and (sadly) many mistakes to create a consistently good quality candle. Try not to get too frustrated if you experience any of these problems, every candle has its own personality! 

Problem

     Possible Causes

     Possible Solutions

Candle smokes excessively when it burns

  • High fragrance oil content
  • Wick is too large
  • The candle may have air pockets
  • Flame too high
  • There is a draft
  • Decrease the amount of fragrance oil
  • Try a smaller wick size
  • Pour candles at a hotter temperature and/or poke release holes and refill
  • Keep wick trimmed to 1/4 inch
  • Do not burn candles in a drafty area

The candle does not have a good scent throw (Note: Everyone’s scent palate smells differently!)

  • There is not enough fragrance
  • Low-quality fragrance
  • Burn pool size is wrong
  • Your nose may not be able to smell certain fragrances
  • You have been working with various fragrances and your nose has become immune to the environment
  • Wax was left on the heat source too long allowing the fragrance to evaporate
  • Scent not compatible with wax
  • Used pure essential oil without prior blending or added when the wax was too hot
  • We recommend a maximum of 8% fragrance oil unless the wax supplier has approved a higher fragrance load.
  • Try a better quality, more concentrated fragrance oil
  • Make sure you have a 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep (side to side) burn pool in about 4-5 hours (for optimal scent throw)
  • Have multiple people test your candles in different environments
  • Add fragrance oil last, just before pouring
  • Only use scents that are made for use in candles
  • Pre blend essential oil with a good non-scented carrier oil
  • Add pure essential oil to wax when the temp is around 50 degrees (but remember this is only for cooler pours, if you increase temperature it will evaporate).

Fragrance oil is settling to the bottom of the candle

  • Used too much fragrance
  • Wax was not hot enough when added
  • Increase wax temperature before adding, suggest 75-80 degrees.

The second pour is not blending well with the first pour or re-pour(s) separated from a candle after removal

  • Poured second poor too late
  • Poured second poor too cool
  • Do the second poor when the candle is still a little warm and not fully hardened. (If you pour the second poor too soon, that re-pour will sink just like your first pour)
  • Increase temperature of 2nd our by 2 degrees

Candle wax is not burning evenly all of the ways down.

  • Wax is too hard (too high of a melting point)
  • Wick is too small
  • May want to use a wax with a lower melt point that is softer
  • Try a larger wick size

Candlewick is drowning out (not staying lit)

  • Wick is too small
  • Wick is getting clogged
  • Wick is not primed (waxed)
  • Lack of wick tab (container)
  • Try a larger wick size
  • Use less fragrance oil, essential oil, and/or dye; do not use dyes that contain pigments
  • Use waxed wicks OR soak raw wicking in melted wax before use
  • Pull wick taut when wicking mold (always secure the wick to the base of the container and a wick holder to keep in place)

The candle is getting jump lines (visible lines on the outside of the candle)

  • The container was too cool when the candle was poured
  • Pouring temperature is too low
  • Pre-heat your container prior to pouring
  • Increase the pouring temperature

Candle surface has pit marks (small holes)

  • Wax was poured into the container too fast causing air bubbles
  • Dust particles were inside the container at the time of pouring
  • Water got in the wax at the time of pouring
  • Candle cooled too fast
  • Pouring temperature is too low or high
  • Used dirty wax
  • Pour the candle at a slow and steady rate and after the candle is poured tap on sides of the container to release air
  • Make sure the container is clean
  • Pre-heat your container prior to pouring
  • Make sure that water (from a double boiler or elsewhere) never gets into your wax
  • Keep candles slightly apart when cooling and make sure candles cool from the bottom first, not the top (to do this cool candles on a wire rack).
  • Decrease or increase the pouring temperature accordingly
  • Always keep your melting pots and wax clean—pour dirty wax through cheesecloth to filter

Candle surface is frosting (white dusty appearance on surface or cauliflower look on the surface)

  • Certain organic or all-natural soy waxes are prone to frosting and it cannot always be totally eliminated. Room temperature is too cold
  • Candle cooled too fast or too slow
  • The container was too cold
  • Pouring temperature is too high or too low
  • Fragrance does not work well with the wax you are using
  • Increase room temperature
  • Keep candles slightly apart when cooling and make sure candles cool at a steady rate from the bottom first, not the top (to do this cool candles on a wire rack)
  • Pre-heat container prior to pouring
  • Decrease or increase the pouring temperature accordingly
  • Change fragrances or use a different wax with that fragrance

Candle is cracking

  • Candle cooled too fast
  • The candle was put in the freezer or fridge
  • Keep candles slightly apart when cooling and make sure candles cool from the bottom first, not the top (to do this cool candles on a wire rack)
  • Putting candles in the freezer or fridge can cause them to become brittle and crack
  • Do a second pour to cover up the cracking.

Wax is too brittle causing chips to break away

  • Common when additives are added to the wax
  • Storage area too cold
  • Decrease the amount of additive used
  • Increase room temperature

Container candle has wet spots (wax is not adhering to the side of the container)

  • Candle cooled too fast
  • Room temperature is too cold
  • The container was dirty at the time of pouring
  • The container was too cold
  • Keep candles slightly apart when cooling and make sure candles cool from the bottom first, not the top (to do this cool candles on a wire rack)
  • Increase room temperature
  • Make sure the container is clean before you use it
  • Pre-heat container prior to pouring

Container candle is tunnelling (meltdown the middle and leave leftover wax on sides of the container)

  • Wick is too small
  • The candle was burnt for short periods of time
  • Wax is too hard/has too high of a melting point for the wick
  • Too much or the wrong type of additives were used
  • Try a larger wick size
  • Burn the candle for at least 1 hour per inch in diameter to ensure an equal burn
  • Try a softer wax with a lower melt point
  • Use the least amount of additives needed for the desired effect

Wick is mushrooming (carbon and/or other substances build up on the wick)

  • Fragrance and/or dye is collecting in the wick and interfering with combustion
  • The wick naturally mushrooms
  • Too rich of a wax formula
  • Wick is too  large
  • Try different fragrance/dye combinations
  • Zinc cored wicks and others naturally have this effect, try a different type of wick to get rid of mushrooming
  • Try a harder wax
  • Try a smaller wick size

The candle has a sinkhole by the wick

Note: It is normal if a small 1/4 inch “crack” appears by the wick when the candle is completely cooled.

  • Candle cooled too fast
  • The wax naturally shrinks while cooling
  • Keep candles slightly apart when cooling and make sure candles cool from the bottom first, not the top (to do this cool candles on a wire rack)
  • Pre-heat container prior to pouring AND/OR while the candle is cooling poke holes around wick and refill (may need to do more than two pours)

The candle is sweating (oil droplets on candle surface)

  • Too much oil in wax
  • Room temperature is too hot
  • We recommend a maximum of 8% fragrance oil (if the problem recurs, use less than recommended)
  • Decrease room temperature AND/OR take the candle out of direct sunlight

Flame flickers/sputters

  • Water got in the wax at the time of pouring
  • Water trapped in wick from the water bath
  • Wick is not primed (waxed)
  • Make sure that water (from a double boiler or elsewhere) never gets into your wax—if it does, pour off melted wax and relight candle (if that doesn’t help re-melt and start over)
  • Make sure wick hole is securely sealed on the mold
  • Use waxed wicks OR soak raw wicking in melted wax before use

The candle is burning unevenly

  • There is a draft
  • Wick is off centre
  • Wax is too soft/melt point is too low
  • Do not burn candles in a drafty area
  • When the wax is soft, use a fork to gently push the wick back into the centre.
  • Try a harder wax with a higher melt point

The candle has dark spots on the top

  • Dye did not thoroughly mix in
  • Used dirty wax
  • The pigment used instead of dye
  • Thoroughly stir dye into the melted wax before pouring
  • Always keep your melting pots and wax clean—pour dirty wax through cheesecloth to filter

Coloured layers bled together

  • Re-poured too soon
  • Re-poured too hot
  • Wait until the previous layer is set (but still a little warm)
  • Pour each layer 2 degrees hotter than the last to ensure good adhesion.
  • Reduce the pouring temperature of the first layer

Candle’s colour has faded

  • UV rays from sunlight and artificial light
  • Store candles in a dark place
 

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Tuesday, 28 June 2022

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