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bktolbert

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About bktolbert

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  1. Tbh, I use 16oz straight-sided jars from Fillmore: https://www.fillmorecontainer.com/a16-11c-case12ct-12-oz.html I've used the 8oz (too small) and 9oz straight-sided jar early on. I believe they have the same mouth opening, so the wick wouldn't change. My most helpful hint when I was testing out wicks in the beginning was to make a wickless candle. Take a toothpick or a skewer and make a hole for a wick. Put in the wick and let it burn. Pull it out if it didn't reach full melt pool within 3 hours, let the wax harden, and repeat with a bigger wick. You can apply the same logic to go down wicks too.
  2. You have the right mindset: test. But asking for advice or other people's experience doesn't hurt. I do think slight black soot is inevitable no mater what, at least near the end. I love CD wicks. People say they burn too hot, but I've found them to be superior to LXs and HTPs. (I can't speak for ECOs.) If CD 8 doesn't work, re-test with 12. From my testing, CD 10 will burn hotter and a bigger melt pool than 12. I don't know why... All said, I do use straight sided jars, but I doubt it'll make a major difference.
  3. Tbh, I think I need to stick with full water too. At least until I get some more practice. Do you spray the tops with alcohol, which I think I've read somewhere to prevent... something (soda ash?) That's a great tip! I'll be looking for those boards. Also, thank you for the recipe!
  4. Hi all, Thanks to your helpful advice, I've successfully made soap I'm proud of! I've ditched the hot process method for cold process oven process (CPOP for short, I believe.) However, I'm still somewhat confused about the proper way to do things. I've seen people pre-heat their oven to 175F, turn it off, then leave the soap in overnight or until the oven is cooled. I've seen others keep the soap at 175 until they visibly see the soap transition through the gel stage. I know it's probably preference, but which way do you do it and why? Also, I've had some soaps volcano in the oven and others that haven't. I have been playing around with formulations, so I don't know if it's a specific ingredient causing this to happen or if it's because I allow the lye solution to cool completely for some and not others. Wondering what may be the culprit... Thanks again for all the help so far (esp. Sponiebr).
  5. Don't have soy oil (have lots of wax lol), but I'll be on the lookout! I have rice bran oil though, hmm... Yogurt is also a good idea, and I could see how that would help. 4th time is the charm, I guess? This is the texture I was aiming for. I know it passed the "mashed potato" phase, but I'm uneasy about knowing if it went into the Vaseline phase... the soap wasn't too translucent when I molded it, but I was afraid it'd dry out if I left it much longer. Will get some phenolphthalein tests to put my mind at ease. (Soap did pass the zap test lol.)
  6. It is my own monstrosity. I'm trying to make it vegan without coconut or palm oil. Third attempt attached. It was going SO well until the very end. I think I let it cook maybe 5 minutes too long. I used this new recipe. (I ran out of mango butter.) 70% olive oil 20% safflower oil 8.75% shea butter 1.25% sodium lactate I will be trying this recipe before giving up for today 50% olive oil 33.75% safflower oil 15% shea butter 1.25% sodium lactate... I think I added .25% more b/c I read it might help with keeping things fluid Fingers crossed
  7. Thank you for the explanation. I'm currently trying a formula with a way lower mango butter concentration, and it's cooking a lot more reasonably. I have pH strips but didn't think of phenolphthalein. Thanks again! Am also learning about "superfats," so that may also help! Yes, there are a lot of stages. The online tutorials make so much soap at one time, it's hard to compare what my 1 bar of soap looks like to their huge crock pots lol. Have been using soapcalc and Bramble Berry's to double-check. Intent on making this work... different beast than candles for sure.
  8. This is my second attempt at making soap, and I've run into a similar issue. I'm trying to make hot process soap, and I doubt when the soap is "done" to the point it's dried out so much that I can't cleanly fit it in the mold. Wondering what I'm doing wrong/how I can improve? (How do you know when your soap is "done?") Here's my recipe: 55% mango butter 32% olive oil 13.48% safflower oil 2.5% rosehip seed oil 1.25% sodium lactate
  9. I'm not quite sure what would be moving around/settling inside a melt or candle to make it throw better after 3 mo. if it remains completely solid. But if it worked for you, keep at it! Just stinks that it's so long. Any reason behind your recommendation against adding FO at low temps? As long as the wax is liquid, it should blend just fine. Additionally, you are minimizing the burn off of volatile scents (albeit it might be negligible, but you're lowering the risk of evaporation). My wax doesn't start hardening until 90F. At 100-120F, it's completely liquid.
  10. https://www.theflamingcandle.com/candle-wicks/cd-wicks/cd-wick-sample-pack/ I also really like CD wicks.
  11. I can't accurately measure 1% USA for a 7oz candle. But once I have 1% measured, I can just use a different scale. I will check out jeweler scales. Ty!
  12. I use AAK 415. It is just plain soy wax: https://www.fillmorecontainer.com/aaks-golden-wax-415-100-soy-formerly-golden-brands.html I am also of the belief that adding fragrance to wax at high temps (150F+) burns off volatile scents, so I add my fo 100-120F. Other people may have luck with higher temps, but this is what works for me. You may want to try doing everything (adding fo, pouring, etc.) as cool as you comfortably can to see if that changes anything. Best of luck!
  13. Does anyone have recommendations for a scale that actually measures .01oz? I currently have this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0113UZJE2/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 But it doesn't start weighing until .07oz, and even that is a 50/50 shot.
  14. There are lots of people who believe in cure times, and lots of people who don't. Personally, I cure for 3 days, but I'm 99.9% certain there's no chemical reactions taking place after the candle completely hardens (~24 hours). As others have recommended, try a wax with paraffin. It should be a sure way to get a throw.
  15. At this moment, I can't justify paraffin when there are more sustainable alternatives for the environment. I've not seen a ton of soot in either all-soy or coconut-blended, but my candles without coconut oil have noticeably less carbon buildup. You might get a faster throw with coconut oil because of its low melting point, but I don't think it throws better. I actually haven't tested the speed. I usually just test ~1, 2, and 3 hour. Interesting idea! I just wanted to put it out there for new folks that a regular soy candle isn't inferior to a soy candle with coconut oil in terms of smell.
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