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Forrest

Warm Vs Cool Environment Test

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I’ve see many comments about the effects of a warm environment on candles lately, so I decided to run a test and see for myself what those were. So I made two 8oz tins with 51 zinc core wicks and 6006 wax. I cured them for two week and then ran my test. I put one in my garage and kept the other one inside. I would guess the temperature difference was about 8-10 degrees. After one hour the melt pool on the inside candle was 2.0 inches and the outsides’ was 2.4 inches. At two hours the inside was at 2.3 in and the outside had a FMP. The inside candle reached a FMP at 3 hours, but it was not nearly as deep as that of the outside candle. I got similar results on days two and three. My best guess is that I would need to down wick two sizes to get a good burn on the outside candle. The humidity in the garage was also much higher, but I don’t know if that would have affected the burn. I may devise a test for that later. The problem I’m seeing is that all of my recent wick testing is only valid if the candles I make are burned in a room that is within a few degrees of the temperature the test was done at. The difference between my house for the current test and my house during the winter is at least 15 degrees. Based on this test a candle that was properly wicked for my house today would be very under wicked in December.  Of course this is only one test and more testing is needed. I’m going to try and come up with some other test to see what I can learn about this. I would hate to have to put burn at temperature labels on my candles.  

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Fun and infuriating isn’t it?

 

some of my winter candles are horribly overwicked right now. My bread and butter event starts day after tomorrow. I need to remake a whole lotta candles. 🔥😭

 

@ComfortandJoy was just saying the same thing about her candles and humidity a few minutes ago. 

 

Part of the “perfect burn” is a range of acceptable. Soy wax is the most difficult of all as it slushes so badly. I tell people to manage the throttle by trimming that wick. If they powerburn or live in a warm place, trim it to a nub. The burn is all up to them. Like driving a car ...

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17 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

Fun and infuriating isn’t it?

Yes it is! I have some 4oz tins I'm going to fill and use to test temperature and humidity effects, I may even test some 4630 and 464 to see which wax is least susceptible to environmental conditions . One day I might even make some candles that aren't for testing.

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Aw honey. I have burned through hundreds of lbs of wax trying to figure stuff out with new wax changes. 

 

I keep telling myself its about the journey. 

 

Then I get a candle like this and it’s allll worth while. This is coconut wax 5 hours in to a power burn. Absolutely perfect so far. Long way to go still though. 

6163451C-616C-4F40-83ED-CBDEC444484A.jpeg

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Ooooo talltayl, that looks amazing! Can I ask how deep your MP is? My coco wax n wicks make me wanna throw stuff and say REALLY bad words 😆

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50 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

Aw honey. I have burned through hundreds of lbs of wax trying to figure stuff out with new wax changes. 

 

I keep telling myself its about the journey. 

 

Then I get a candle like this and it’s allll worth while. This is coconut wax 5 hours in to a power burn. Absolutely perfect so far. Long way to go still though. 

 

I started this a year and a half ago because I thought it was going to be easy, I stayed with it because it was hard and my brain needed a challenge and I doubt there is a better one  out there.

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1 hour ago, Fairymoon said:

Ooooo talltayl, that looks amazing! Can I ask how deep your MP is? My coco wax n wicks make me wanna throw stuff and say REALLY bad words 😆

It’s a meniscus that is about 1/4” at the deepest in the middle. Not quite to the edges. Still cool to the touch. 

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1 hour ago, TallTayl said:

It’s a meniscus that is about 1/4” at the deepest in the middle. Not quite to the edges. Still cool to the touch. 

Nice!! Thanks for answering 😁 now I know a shallow MP does exsist for Coco wax and Im not pulling my hair out for nothin 😂

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1 hour ago, Fairymoon said:

Nice!! Thanks for answering 😁 now I know a shallow MP does exsist for Coco wax and Im not pulling my hair out for nothin 😂

it has taken me about 100 lbs of different coconut waxes to find a combo that works. 😕 The good news is I learned a LOT about how this wax reacts and wants to burn. It's an awful lot like container paraffin.

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Forrest, I can relate to this...we live in a desert climate which is very dry most of the year, as well as very hot for about 6 months of the year. I keep down wicking, because they are burning like torches here in the desert! We get perhaps 2 1/2 months of moisture in the monsoon season, which is still on the "dry" side compared to the midwest or southern states...so I'm going to wick them for the "optimal time of year". Frustrating, to say the least. 

 

Talltayl, that's a lovely burn! I like the ceramic pot, too. 

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38 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

it has taken me about 100 lbs of different coconut waxes to find a combo that works. 😕 The good news is I learned a LOT about how this wax reacts and wants to burn. It's an awful lot like container paraffin.

🤔 well, Coco wax is my very first wax, so I had no expectations, no experience, and nothing to compare it to. I just kinda said "hey, coco wax and wood wicks sound nice, so thats what im gonna do!" SMH... so.. im about 80 lbs in and am coming to the conclusion that wood wicks may not be ideal for this California heat... but dangit, Im stubborn 😂 my MPs are just too deep for me to feel safe to sell. Cool/slightly warm after a few hrs? Check. Nice width? Check. Depth?? Uh-huh.. 🤣

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13 hours ago, Hopie said:

Forrest, I can relate to this...we live in a desert climate which is very dry most of the year, as well as very hot for about 6 months of the year. I keep down wicking, because they are burning like torches here in the desert! We get perhaps 2 1/2 months of moisture in the monsoon season, which is still on the "dry" side compared to the midwest or southern states...so I'm going to wick them for the "optimal time of year". Frustrating, to say the least. 

 

In your experience do you think the humidity has a significant effect on the  burn, or is it primarily the heat? Here in the deep south there is no such thing as hot and dry, buy my thinking is that the melting of wax is primarily a function of heat. Of course most things I think about candles turn out to be wrong so why would this time be different?

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I don't know the answer to that, maybe someone who does know will come along and elaborate. I do think the humidity comes into play, which we have very little of. That would mean my wicks are VERY dry, as opposed to having humidity in the air. Same with our extreme heat. I would "think" the temperature of the air would also make a difference. Anyone? I know there are experts around here who know more than I do, but as I said, I keep having to down wick here in the arid desert.

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5 hours ago, Forrest said:

In your experience do you think the humidity has a significant effect on the  burn, or is it primarily the heat? Here in the deep south there is no such thing as hot and dry, buy my thinking is that the melting of wax is primarily a function of heat. Of course most things I think about candles turn out to be wrong so why would this time be different?

Deep south, as in like the Gulf? With the high humid climate there, it wouldnt surprise me if it does have a high effect on the burn. At the very least, it would effect the scent throw.

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19 minutes ago, Hopie said:

I don't know the answer to that, maybe someone who does know will come along and elaborate. I do think the humidity comes into play, which we have very little of. That would mean my wicks are VERY dry, as opposed to having humidity in the air. Same with our extreme heat. I would "think" the temperature of the air would also make a difference. Anyone? I know there are experts around here who know more than I do, but as I said, I keep having to down wick here in the arid desert.

My guess is that all of our wicks are dry within seconds of lighting the candle. The heat thing is simply that the warmer the wax the less energy it takes to melt. Try putting a candle in the refrigerator over night and then light it. It will burn like it is vastly under wicked until the wax gets to room temperature. I'm guessing you have better HT due to the low humidity, but that is just a guess, but I'm working on a test for that theory.

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6 minutes ago, Fairymoon said:

Deep south, as in like the Gulf? With the high humid climate there, it wouldnt surprise me if it does have a high effect on the burn. At the very least, it would effect the scent throw.

I'm in North Alabama, but our humidity has been awful this summer, we usually get a break from time to time, but not so far this year. I grew up in Florida so I do know humidity. From my limited training in thermodynamics I can see why heat affects the burn so much. The melting process absorbs energy and we are trying to size our wicks so that we are putting just enough heat into the candle to make a good melt pool. If the wax is warmer to start with it takes less heat to melt is. The humidity thing will be hard to test, but I'm going to try.

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52 minutes ago, Fairymoon said:

Deep south, as in like the Gulf? With the high humid climate there, it wouldnt surprise me if it does have a high effect on the burn. At the very least, it would effect the scent throw.

 

1 hour ago, Hopie said:

I don't know the answer to that, maybe someone who does know will come along and elaborate. I do think the humidity comes into play, which we have very little of. That would mean my wicks are VERY dry, as opposed to having humidity in the air. Same with our extreme heat. I would "think" the temperature of the air would also make a difference. Anyone? I know there are experts around here who know more than I do, but as I said, I keep having to down wick here in the arid desert.

I did a little research and this is what I found, I’m referring to burn and not HT here. Surprisingly dry air conducts heat better than moist air. This means in a humid environment more heat from the flame is going to transfer to the wax, so you get a bigger melt pool. I can’t say how much difference this makes, but proper wicking of a candle is walking a fine line so I suspect it makes more difference to candle making than to other applications.

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so I go back to my original mantra that the perfect burn is a range of acceptable.

 

Even if perfectly wicked for a given environmental condition, the person operating the candle needs to be consistent with wick trimming, draft-less zone, etc. Candlemakers and burners are partners...

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7 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

so I go back to my original mantra that the perfect burn is a range of acceptable.

 

Even if perfectly wicked for a given environmental condition, the person operating the candle needs to be consistent with wick trimming, draft-less zone, etc. Candlemakers and burners are partners...

True, and the plus side to all this is that even though the tealight size wick were too much for double wicking my 11oz tureen last week I bet I can make it work in January when my house is 65 degrees.

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This is a very interesting thread if I must say so.......

 

Sooooooo......what is the moral of this story?   Inquiring minds want to know?

 

Trappeur

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Trappeur said:

This is a very interesting thread if I must say so.......

 

Sooooooo......what is the moral of this story?   Inquiring minds want to know?

 

Trappeur

 

 

 

I'll give it a shot; do your testing in the spring and fall when the weather is mild, and you may want to consider up wicking your holiday candles. I guessing TT would tell you that your perfectly wicked candle is good for a temperature range of about 5 degrees above or below where it was tested; anything beyond that you need to retest. 

Or perhaps the moral is, stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter and your candles will always burn well.

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You know this is all well and good but ok....lets say you have your candles all wicked and ready to go and all is good.  Now this candle that you have wicked at the holidays is now going to be a gift to someone for Christmas that is being shipped to another part of the country that is very warm at this time of the year....so now lets see...you have a candle made properly for the area you live in so therefore the way I'm understanding this is if your candle has been properly made with the correct wicking for Blue Ridge, Georgia this candle would now be overwicked if it were to go to someone else who lives in a completely different part of the country like South America (just sayin), so when this candle is now burned in South America it will have a deep melt pool and just burn so differently...Get what I'm saying?   So what's the answer to this question  now?  ......Candle not made to be burned in extremely warm climates?.....Know what I mean?  I'm not trying to be difficult here but you are talking fine details, then here are my further questions about getting even more finer in the details? lol...it is an honest question..you know?

 

Trappeur

Edited by Trappeur

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16 minutes ago, Trappeur said:

You know this is all well and good but ok....lets say you have your candles all wicked and ready to go and all is good.  Now this candle that you have wicked at the holidays is now going to be a gift to someone for Christmas that is being shipped to another part of the country that is very warm at this time of the year....so now lets see...you have a candle made properly for the area you live in so therefore the way I'm understanding this is if your candle has been properly made with the correct wicking for Blue Ridge, Georgia this candle would now be overwicked if it were to go to someone else who lives in a completely different part of the country like South America (just sayin), so when this candle is now burned in South America it will have a deep melt pool and just burn so differently...Get what I'm saying?   So what's the answer to this question  now?  ......Candle not made to be burned in extremely warm climates?.....Know what I mean?  I'm not trying to be difficult here but you are talking fine details, then here are my further questions about getting even more finer in the details?

 

Trappeur

I think you have to assume some average room temperature and  make your candles for that. I don't know what else you could do. My problem is I tested at 80 degrees so I'll need to retest when the weather cools. Most people don't vary the temperature in their houses as much as I do. You probably burn your candles year round and if you don't see a problem then I wouldn't worry about it. Yankee Candles are in the same boat as we are and I bet they don't vary their wicks.

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Duh....lol....well, I'm sure in South America they have A/C.....Would you believe I don't?

 

Now that I think even more about this discussion, why even think about it....I truly think that this is getting too technical. 

 

You know last year I saw a post on Facebook of someone who was from Alaska and was vacationing in Georgia and this person stopped in at a shop who I sell candles to and they bought some candles which happened to be Peach Nectar.  Well when they got back to Alaska they burned my candles they purchased and went and posted on this shop's facebook page thanking them for the candles and how nicely they burned and they just loved.  So that leaves me to believe that the wicks used for this candle worked as well in Alaska as here in Georgia.  So I must have done well in the wicking department since the climates between Georgia and Alaska are vastly different.

 

Trappeur

Edited by Trappeur

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5 minutes ago, Trappeur said:

Duh....lol....well, I'm sure in South America they have A/C.....Would you believe I don't?

 

Trappeur

Must be cooler up in Cherry Log than it is down here. I checked and average room temperature is 72, if we go with that we should be OK.

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