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  1. All soy waxes have what seems like similar ranges of temperatures to heat to, add FO, and pour for optimal performance. Most are in the 185 range to melt, 170 range for FO and 140 right down to slushy for pour. Everyone has a magical process to ensure pretty tops. Let's pretend that pretty tops are also pretty insides that do not include cavities. A concerning trend that has popped up now and again, and is now gaining popularity once more is adding FO near the flash point. The idea is that fragrance flashes off if poured too hot, thereby reducing CT and HT. Please, once and for all let's put this idea in a coffin, nail it shut and bury it deep. Fragrances for candles can take the heat. Many of us use waxes that must be melted to more than 200*F and poured right away with NO degradation of FO. Most of the FO on the candle retail market is also used in cold process soap, which must endure scorching hot lye and a very high pH at the same time with no degradation of throw. We have talked about flash point many times in the past. Here is the crux of the post this time: SOY WAXES CANNOT ALL SET UP SAFETY AND RELIABLY WHEN FO IS ADDED AT A LOW TEMP. Soy waxes are polymorphic, meaning they develop crystals of different sizes and shapes that continue to change for a very long time as they cure. When a wax is not heated hot enough those crystals cannot reach their smallest particle size to make a nice pretty candle top. If you add a low FP FO, like a lemon with a FP of 120, let's say, those cooling crystals begin to form very irregularly and cannot be guaranteed to hold FO reliably. The cooling wax is shocked with a cold FO, so some larger crystals form quikly, and a chain reaction of more irregular crystals begins. This results in an unstable matrix that allows fragrance to move around easily, pool and sink to the bottom. Pro Tip: Once FO is added to your wax, the new flash point is measured by the entire blend. This means if you add 10% of a 100* flash point fo to hot wax with a flash point of say 300*F (would need to look at the safety data sheet for a specific wax to know the exact temp) the new flash point of the wax plus FO will be about 300*F. Practical Example: Here is a candle tin made according to the American Soy directions of melting to 140, add FO and pour at 105. It never hardened properly. Look at the grain sizes. I could stick my finger all the way to the bottom and feel the wet FO all along the container. Had I stuck a wick into it I would likely have caused a candle fire when the flame hit pooled FO. This same exact thing happens to every other soy wax in my shop (C1, C3, 464, 415, 444) This tin sat in my shop for nearly 3 months with grains continuing to morph. It mocked me. Rather than dump it, I scraped it all back into the presto pot and heated to 200*F and poured right back into the tin to cool over night. Here it is today: There was ZERO loss of CT, in fact it smells more clean and pure than before the reheat. I feel confident popping a wick into this one in a week or two to burn and know it will be a beautiful candle from top to bottom. I know the FO is trapped homogeneously through the entire candle from top to bottom. I will probably use an apple corer to pop a tabbed wick in and can examine the core quality at the same time. Not satisfied with one experiment, I took another tin made at the same time, but with 10% added coconut oil 92. When it was first made according to the directions, the candle cooled with a giant pool of FO on top. When I scraped it all into the melter last night, heated to 200*F, and immediately poured, this is what I found this morning: The rim ring is from the last bit of cooling shrinking into the middle. I can push on the top and dent (thumb print bottom left) but can feel the soy grains are very tiny and smooth. No pooling. No FO fade. No sinking. A safe looking candle that I will burn in a couple of weeks. So this made me push the envelope a little. If this can hold 10% coconut oil, what would happen if I put 20% and heated to 200? Look for yourself. Shiny, and smooth as a baby's bum. The imperfections are from me poking at it to see how soft it is. I can push but not poke a finger through it. This one does not have scent, so I cannot be certain of what it will hold with that much added coconut oil. That would be another test that I expect will fail in hot weather because midwest soy wax does not have additives that will hold it all together safely at those levels. Instead I'll use it as a baseline test for a candle just for me. Moral of the story: Do yourself a favor and ignore the bad advice to add FO at low temps. At best, your candle will form ugly grains that burn ugly. At worst, the FO will seep, possibly pool and cause a candle fire. Flash point has nothing to do with adding FO to wax. In fact, once added to wax even the lowest flash point FO now has a new flash point that is almost as high as the flash point of the wax itself: 300+ degrees F typically. OK My Candleistas, you are now wicked smart about flash point and will always add fragrances at higher temps now.
  2. Fragrance Oils have individual Flash Points. CandleScience has them on the label. I've been told the flash point should be considered when adding the FO to melted wax, and that this process (done successfully or not) will directly affect the candles cold and hot throw. I've also been told pouring temperature is also a factor in the Flash Point. Can anyone enlighten me?! I'm using IGI 4630. I've also been told that companies such as CandleScience prioritize fragrances that work better with vegetable waxes. Since 4630 is all paraffin and I buy most of my FO from CS, I really need this information to choose FO more suitable for 4630 and also know exactly how I should treat them. Chemistry 101 ;-) Thanks in advance for the helpful information to come ;-)
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