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The importance of test burning your candles

We often get asked things like, “How long will this candle burn for?” or “What fragrance is the best one to use?”.  The answer to this is, it depends.  It depends on alot of factors including, but not limited to:

  • The temperature that you melt your wax to
  • The temperature at which you pour your candles
  • The amount and type of the fragrance used
  • The fill level of your candles
  • The number, type and size of Wick/s used
  • How long you cured your candles for
  • The ambient temperature during both candle making and burning

As you can see, there are numerous factors that will effect the outcome of your candles. In-fact there are many many more than I have listed above, and each combination of factors that went into making your candle, make it unique both in look, and in operation.  For this reason we suggest that you conduct your own testing of each candle type that you make.

Keep a notebook to record things like, The method used to make the candle including all of the above points, How the candle burns/operates, How it smells, How the melt pool looks, The size of the flame. These notes will be valuable to you if you need to either replicate the candle in the future, but also if something is not quite right and you need to make a change, you should only change one thing at a time, and keep notes about what that was.  You should then test burn again and repeat the notes.
Whilst this sounds like alot of work, it can save you time, effort and money in the long run by ensuring you have the perfect candle that is repeatable.  If you are running a business, it depends on you producing a high quality, repeatable product.

The photo on this post was a Controlled Experiment to show what could happen when you don’t trim your wick before you light it.

See, Size does matter!!!
** Photo courtesy of Cosmic Spell Candles

If you would like to learn more about making your own candle masterpieces, then why not try our Candle Making Workshop

 

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Fragrance Notes

fragrancenotes-chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating that special combination of fragrance can be a science.

What do top notes, middle notes and base notes mean when talking about fragrance?

The perfect combination of the Fragrance Triangle will give you a high impact, long lasting & memorable scent that will have people coming back for more.

  • Top Note – This is the initial impression the fragrance oil makes when you first smell a candle or remove the lid. It is the most volatile, meaning it will evaporate the quickest.

Middle Note – The middle note is the “heart” of the fragrance. It can take 10 to 20 minutes for the middle notes to fully                                                                  develop. When you are burning a candle, the middle notes are the most prominent.

  •  Base Note – also called the “Dry Down”- The base notes are what give a candle lasting qualities. It is the scent that lingers even after the candle is extinguished.

We recommend grabbing a bottle of your favourite  bubbly and start creating your own unique scents, or use one of our specially designed, candle ready fragrances that we stock instore.

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UV Light and how it reacts with your candles

Do you like to build up your stock?  Do you have a shelf or a space where you store your candles, until they are used or sold?  With summer fast approaching, and the hotter days almost upon us, now is the time to start thinking about how to store your candles to get the most life out of them.

When selecting a storage area, we need to look at a few things.  In this post we will look at UV light.  UV light can effect the candle by changing the colour of it.  This happens for a few reasons, but the most common is that the fragrance is reacting with the UV light.  If you have an un-coloured candle, then once it is exposed to UV light for a period of time, it will likely start to change colour to yellow.  Some fragrances react differently and more aggressively than others.  While some Candles may only get an ever so slight yellow tinge to them after a long period of UV exposure, others can change to bright yellow within just a few short weeks.

If you have coloured candles, then you may notice they start to Grey when exposed to the UV light.  Again different colours react in a different way, and when coupled with fragrances, you start to have a unique mix of ingredients that will combine to react in their own way and at their own frequency. It is important to note that UV additive will not completely eliminate the problems associated with UV induced defects, but it will slow them down.

There are a couple of ways you can avoid these problems.  One is to keep your candles packed inside sealed boxes, in a cupboard.  Only bring them out when it is time to either use them or sell them.  Of course, if you are selling them, you will likely want to have them out on Display at the point of sale, but don’t despair.  You can use a product called UV Inhibitor.  This is a product that when added to your candles, it acts like sunscreen for them.  Usually used at around 0.2% loading in your wax, or 0.3% for particularly susceptible fragrances/colours.  If you have a look at our blocks they are very easy to use.  Just pop a full block into 2Kgs of wax, and you will be right to go. This additive should be mixed into your melted wax before adding any fragrance or colour.

The best thing to do is look at using a combination of UV inhibitor and sealed storage options to increase the longevity of your products.

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How to make a soy wax candle

Steps to making a beautiful soy wax candle:

  1. Melt your soy wax to around 80℃ using one of the below methods
    1. Place into a microwave safe vented container, and heat in short bursts (around 30 secs each) until it has melted and is clear.  Be sure to stir in between each 30 second burst.
    2. Heat over a low – medium heat on a stove (double boiler is best to avoid burning). Stir continually until wax has melted and is clear. ** Never leave a pot of wax unattended on the stovetop
    3. Melt in a slow cooker, until your wax reaches 80℃
  2. If you are using colour, now is the time to add. You will need to experiment on the qty used to get the desired colour in the finished product.

NB: If you ever see little specks of solid color in the bottom of your candles try adding the color chips at a slightly higher temperature, or ensure you have stirred your wax.

Remove your wax from the heat, and add in your fragrance at a rate of approx 8%,  ie for every 100ml of wax, add 8ml of fragrance. Again, ensure you stir this in well, but ensure you are not too vigorous as you do not want to induce air bubbles into your wax too much.  Sit this aside while you prepare your jar, but don’t take too long, now is not the time to make a cuppa.

  1. Place a Stickum onto your wick and center the wick in your jar.
  2. Place the wick bar  on top of your jar, threading the wick through the hole.  Pull the wick taut and bend the wick over, or wrap around the wick bar. This will keep your wick centered while the candle cools.
  3. Once the wax has cooled to around 75℃ carefully pour the wax into your candle jar.
  4. For best results, let the candles cool at room temperature overnight, and try not to move the candle while it is setting.

Grab yourself a pair of our wick trimmers, and you will have a perfect trimmed wick every time.

  1. Light and enjoy.

 

If you are having some problems that are driving you crazy, why not attend our candle making workshop which is held at our premises in Rockingham. You will learn everything you need to know about how to make a candle.  It is a fun, relaxed class, and you will get a copy of the class notes, along with in depth details on what causes most of the common defects, and how to avoid them.  We even provide a light lunch.  We trained over 400 people in 2016, and 2017 is shaping up to be even busier.