Monday, March 25, 2013

A How-To Guide for Beginners

When you make your own candles, be prepared to embark on a journey of discovery! Candle making is a learning process and you will soon discover what to do and what not to do when making candles...

Here are a few candle making tips to keep in mind as you experiment with making your candles.
Sink Hole in the Center: When I started making my own candles, I thought that having a sink hole in the center of the candle was normal. How silly I was! I did not realize that wax expands when heated and therefore, natural shrinkage occurs when it cools. It is this shrinkage that causes this depression. I have found that warming the container or mold before pouring the wax in helps. You will also have to poke a few holes around the wick and refill the candle up to the same level while it is cooling. You may have to do this a few times.

Smoking Candles: Have you come across any smoking or sooty candle problems whilst making your candles? If you have, ask yourself these 2 questions:
1. Did you trim your wick?
Poorly trimmed wicks can sometimes result in smoking and if the wick is too large to start with, this makes the problem worse. A proper and appropriately sized wick should ideally consume the wax at the same rate at which it is melting it. Keep all your wicks trimmed to a quarter of an inch.
2. Are you burning your candle in a location where there is a draft?
If you notice that the candle flame shifts from side to side and produces puffs of smoke, this means the candle is in a draft. Shift the candle to a less drafty place or try to eliminate the draft.

Dripping Candles: At times, you may come across uneven burning and/or dripping of candles. Troubleshoot this problem by asking yourself these questions:
1. Are you burning in a draft?
When you burn candles in a location where there is even a slight draft, this can cause one side to burn more quickly than the other. This will result in a lower spot on the edge of the candle which allows the wax to drip and run out. If possible, remove the source of the draft, try to minimize it or relocate the candle.
2. Where have you placed the wick? 
If you have not placed the wick within the center of the candle, then there will be more heat on one side of the candle. Ensure that you center the wick carefully before pouring.
3. Did you trim your wick? 
As I have mentioned before, poorly trimmed wicks means larger flames which cause the wax to melt more quickly that the wick can consume it. Ensure you keep the wicks trimmed to ¼ inch.
4. Have you chosen the correct wick size?
Inappropriate wick size can cause a candle to drip. The wick size you opt for must be suitable to the wax formula and your candle diameter.Remember that a properly chosen sized wick will consume wax at the same rate that it is melting it. This will prevent any excess buildup of melted wax which means that there will not be any dripping. Some experimentation is involved here. Check out our wick size infos.

You can see what I mean now when I said that candle making is a learning discover new things along the way. I find that part of the journey quite exciting as I'm sure you will too!

Happy Candle Making!