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464 users please help!


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im about to give up :(

 

So, Im testing 464 and did my first test batch of just pure wax. JUST 464. No FO, no wick, no dye. Melted 1lb wax to 180*, poured at 125*. Perfection. Adhesion 100%, tops like glass. Ok, good starting point I think.

 

Next test. ADD FO. Heat 1lb 464 to 180*, add 1oz FO, pour at 125*. WHAT A MESS. I wake up the next morning and my tops look horrid, which I know soy is known for, but more so they look grainy and FULL of air pockets. I leave for work and check on them again when I return home. Mind you this is now 26+hrs after pour. My wax is still super "mushy" I can, and did, stick my finger 2 knuckles deep into the jar. When I took my finger out, the wax I had removed had the consistency of wet sand. Very very grainy.This doesnt seem right to me? Anyways, I get my heat gun out to smooth out the tops. The wax is so soft that it melts almost immediatly. And the air bubbles, my god! You can see literally hundreds of air bubbles as I melt the top layer. When i added my FO I made sure not to over stir or stir too fast. It was controlled and gentle but also made sure the FO was fused into the 464. Again, no idea and doesnt seem right.

 

For reference, Im using 1lb 464, 1oz Red Hot Cinnamon FO from Candle Science, and 2-16oz Country Comfort Apothecary jars.

 

*I know wax takes time to harden, but being this soft 26+hrs later doesnt seem normal.

*The wet sand texture and general grainy feel of the wax doesnt seem normal.

*The ugly tops I can tolerate and fix later

*Isnt 1oz of FO per 1lb wax ok? Did I over scent?

 

On a plus side, the cold throw is rediculous. My 3 main rooms around the kitchen where I make the candles smell like Red Hot Cinn.

 

Something isnt adding up here. I feel if I was to light these candles in 2 weeks after they cure, the air bubbles alone would make me toss them in the garbage. I dont think 2 weeks of cure will change the grainy consistency of the wax and generally this whole process has frustrated me to the point of giving up for now. All together Ive spent $500+ and havnt produced a consistent candle. Every candle I make has some sort of issue and it just seems like Im missing a step in this testing process.

 

Any 464 users PLEASE PLEASE step in and say hi. 

 

Thanks-

Edited by Clear Black
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Hi hi. Take a deep breath.

I used to use 464, but moved to C3 - which is similar in many ways. When my C3 wax cools too slowly it creates the grainy texture you mention. Slow cooling causes big grains to form (which is why Palm wax candles are intentionally cooled slowly: to grow grains/crystalize).

I tried all sorts of user suggestions pour at various stages of cloudy and was never happy with the texture. I now pour while the wax is still clear and cool the candles quicker. I always poke holes around the wick when the candle is cooled because no matter what temperature i pour at there are always caverns. So i do a small second pour and call it good.

If those were my candles i would reheat the wax and remake the candles. You may lose some scent, but you would at least have a chance at better candles.

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I now pour while the wax is still clear and cool the candles quicker.

 

Thanks for the response TT. Being as new to this as I am, I'm not exactly sure what this means. To pour while the wax is still clear that is. If I poured mine at 125* and let them cool at room temp, are you suggesting I pour hotter than 125*? Say 150*+? Also, cool the candles quicker. How do you accomplish this? I dont imagine you stick em in the fridge? lol

Thanks 

 

PS. I am currently reheating the jars in a cook pot filled 1/4 with water on the stove top. Will pour melted wax back into my double boiler and start the process over. I am going to take a stab at pouring hotter at 150* and go from there. Like you said, I will lose some fragrance, but Im more focused on getting a solid wax body at this point and will worry about HT during phase 3 of testing.

Edited by Clear Black
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Guest OldGlory

There's something wrong if your wax is still mush after 26 hours, and I don't know how to troubleshoot that.

Heat the wax to 180, remove from heat, add FO and stir, allow the wax to cool to 140-150 degrees, stir again, pour into your containers. In 3 days your candles should be solid... unless you have burned it recently or left it in a really hot room. Have you tried a different FO?

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There's something wrong if your wax is still mush after 26 hours, and I don't know how to troubleshoot that.

Heat the wax to 180, remove from heat, add FO and stir, allow the wax to cool to 140-150 degrees, stir again, pour into your containers. In 3 days your candles should be solid... unless you have burned it recently or left it in a really hot room. Have you tried a different FO?

I have tried other FO in the past, even with GW 444. I have usually poured at 125* or lower according to the manufacturers guidlines. They actually say to pour when slushy. Then, I come here and find out people are pouring between 140-150* like you suggest. So I am re-heating the batch that turned out bad from last night to 180* Since I already have my FO in, I will just take it off the heat and allow to cool to 145*ish then pour. Im just still confused as to what TT suggested I do to "cool the candle" more quickly. Apart from sticking it the fridge, Im not sure exactly how this is accomplished. My house sits at about 68* F so they cool at room temp.

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My shop is pretty cool (55-60 year round) i run a fan in the room to circulate the air on candle making days.

I tested my wax and containers many times and the results were consistent. I poured 6 candles from the same pot, 3 i set on the bench to cool slowly. The other 3 i set near a fan. The three near the fan cooled shiny, hard. The three slow cooled candles were grainy and dull. Every time. Cooling my candles on a wire rack where air circulates all around cools them even quicker.

Caveat: i do not use glass often, and don't care one bit about wet spots. My candle customers don't care about wet spots either. The quick cool may well result in wet spots.

Caveat 2: i always poke around the wick for caverns. No matter what method i have tried i found holes around the wick enough times to just poke and fill.

Caveat 3: like trappeur, i often use colored bits on top of the candle. I push them into the wax when it develops a skin, but is still mushy forces out any air pockets that may be developing. Bonus that it means i don't need perfectly level tops. Colored bits draw my magpie customers like a tractor beam.

Note on beeswax, a quick cool as i poke relief holes around the warm wick in front of a fan when using aluminum molds gives the best release. I always have to fill beeswax because of the high shrinkage rate of the wax itself. When no relief holes i have found beastly caverns.

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My shop is pretty cool (55-60 year round) i run a fan in the room to circulate the air on candle making days.

I tested my wax and containers many times and the results were consistent. I poured 6 candles from the same pot, 3 i set on the bench to cool slowly. The other 3 i set near a fan. The three near the fan cooled shiny, hard. The three slow cooled candles were grainy and dull. Every time. Cooling my candles on a wire rack where air circulates all around cools them even quicker.

Caveat: i do not use glass often, and don't care one bit about wet spots. My candle customers don't care about wet spots either. The quick cool may well result in wet spots.

Caveat 2: i always poke around the wick for caverns. No matter what method i have tried i found holes around the wick enough times to just poke and fill.

Caveat 3: like trappeur, i often use colored bits on top of the candle. I push them into the wax when it develops a skin, but is still mushy forces out any air pockets that may be developing. Bonus that it means i don't need perfectly level tops. Colored bits draw my magpie customers like a tractor beam.

Note on beeswax, a quick cool as i poke relief holes around the warm wick in front of a fan when using aluminum molds gives the best release. I always have to fill beeswax because of the high shrinkage rate of the wax itself. When no relief holes i have found beastly caverns.

So last night I remelted the first batch that came out horrible like you suggested. This time however, I melted the wax to 180* and poured at 150*. Then I placed them on a wire rack and in front of a fan set on medium. Just like you said, I woke up the next morning and they looked perfect. So I do believe I will be trying this method for all future testing and will report back with any findings.

 

Thanks a whole bunch TT. You certainly have given me hope that I can make this work. OG, thanks for your advice as well. Newbies like myself would be lost without the wisdom of the people here. I hoe someday I can return the favor to another future newbie  ^_^

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Guest OldGlory

My house is generally between 68-78 depending on the season (I set it warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter). I don't lower or increase the temp. to alter the rate of cooling. If it works for TT, and you can do it, you should try it. That's one more tidbit of information you will have in your back pocket. Might come in handy one day.

Just last year I finally was able to get a pretty consistent smooth top when pouring hot, rather than waiting for slushy. I ALWAYS LEAVE A BIT OF WAX IN THE POUR POT UNTIL MY BATCH IS READY TO PUT THE LID ON. This way, if I get a few tops that aren't as nice I can top them off with some pretty warm wax and get that smooth top. How much wax depends on how big the batch is, but always enough to cover all the tops if I have to. If there's extra wax I pour it into an HDPE disposable restaurant type container and use it in the next batch.

You know, this is a very time consuming craft to learn. It's expensive and frustrating as well. Seems to me you're at least half way there. Why give up now?

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<snip> I ALWAYS LEAVE A BIT OF WAX IN THE POUR POT UNTIL MY BATCH IS READY TO PUT THE LID ON. This way, if I get a few tops that aren't as nice I can top them off with some pretty warm wax and get that smooth top. How much wax depends on how big the batch is, but always enough to cover all the tops if I have to. If there's extra wax I pour it into an HDPE disposable restaurant type container and use it in the next batch.

When using colored wax i save some for repours too. It helps with color matching. Any left over i pour sometimes pour into a "candleshop" candle (drips and drops of this and that). A couple of my dearest customers love those, and i admit sometimes i save those just for ME :D

Otherwise, if there's enough, leftover the wax makes quick tea lights and maxi tea lights. These are so nice to have around for a quick gift with purchase, or to burn on those long, dark winter nights.

You know, this is a very time consuming craft to learn. It's expensive and frustrating as well. Seems to me you're at least half way there. Why give up now?

So true! You're on your way now!
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I heat to 185. Put 1/2 tsp uv inhibitor and stir 1 min. Put in dye and stir 2 min. Put fo in at 185 and stir 2 min. Take off heat. Pour around 130 to 125.

I also clean jars with ammonia before I use them. I put a box over them as they cool after pour. I get minimal wet spots and frosting and when I started it was crazy how much i got. I'm about 50 50 with smooth tops but I use a heat gun to smooth them and they are good.

That fo I've only ever used 2 Oz and 1.6 oz pp and both were strong. 2 was the strongest of anything I ever did. It was my first batch ever and I prob would have never done that much if I knew better. Lol. But totally worked with that.

I also bought apothecary and just stuck with 12 oz status to have a one wick jar to start my line with. I'll do apothecary eventually.

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I heat to 185. Put 1/2 tsp uv inhibitor and stir 1 min. Put in dye and stir 2 min. Put fo in at 185 and stir 2 min. Take off heat. Pour around 130 to 125.

I also clean jars with ammonia before I use them. I put a box over them as they cool after pour. I get minimal wet spots and frosting and when I started it was crazy how much i got. I'm about 50 50 with smooth tops but I use a heat gun to smooth them and they are good.

That fo I've only ever used 2 Oz and 1.6 oz pp and both were strong. 2 was the strongest of anything I ever did. It was my first batch ever and I prob would have never done that much if I knew better. Lol. But totally worked with that.

I also bought apothecary and just stuck with 12 oz status to have a one wick jar to start my line with. I'll do apothecary eventually.

First I have heard anyone mention using ammonia to pre-clean the jars. What does that do exactly? Is it degreasing the jars?

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First I have heard anyone mention using ammonia to pre-clean the jars. What does that do exactly? Is it degreasing the jars?

 

No idea. When I started my wet spots were crazy, almost the entire jar every time. Doing my method differently made improvements, but none as dramatic as cleaning the jars with ammonia. I actually am about to clean some and I wish I remembered what I did, I think it was 1 part ammonia to 3 parts water but the clear ammonia bottle I got says 1/2 cup to one gallon (I know I didn't do that) so I am trying to read more about it before I decide.

 

There was someone here named Stella that posted a lot before I came and she suggested Parson's Sudsy Ammonia for this. I can only find regular ammonia, and used that to great success. According to her, it helped remove the film of residue from manufacturing and people in general say unclean jars can have wet spots much greater than clean jars.

 

After cleaning them I dry them upside down by heating in a toaster oven I bought expressly for candlemaking at about 150 degrees. This leaves no wet spots. I only pour in my jars at room temperature. I pour the 464 at about 125 to 130. I also use dyes of all 3 major types and have very little problems with frosting or wet spots and before the majority of each jar had wet spots and there usually was a bit of frosting. Most of my candles today have neither, and the ones that do it's very light.

Edited by C Dizzle
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A few months in most of mine are still wet spot and frosting free. I keep them in a middle room that has no windows and is surrounded by other rooms, very little draft, and the house stays at 73 degrees and this is the most stable temperature room. Surely they won't look as good eventually, but about 3 months most are!

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  • 1 month later...

A few of you have mentioned that candles don't look as lovely after a few months of sitting on shelves - and I have a question.  I have several (soy 444) in my candle "studio" that I made in mid-October and by now many have a slight, frosty discolored ring, right around the edge of the jar, on the tops.  Is this normal?  Is there something I can do to prevent it?  In your experience, are these candles worthy to sell, or will people be turned off by the discoloration?  They burn just fine, I'm just not excited about the tops.

Edited by ehatch1
Forgot a word
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On 1/9/2016 at 9:10 PM, TallTayl said:

My shop is pretty cool (55-60 year round) i run a fan in the room to circulate the air on candle making days.

I tested my wax and containers many times and the results were consistent. I poured 6 candles from the same pot, 3 i set on the bench to cool slowly. The other 3 i set near a fan. The three near the fan cooled shiny, hard. The three slow cooled candles were grainy and dull. Every time. Cooling my candles on a wire rack where air circulates all around cools them even quicker.

Caveat: i do not use glass often, and don't care one bit about wet spots. My candle customers don't care about wet spots either. The quick cool may well result in wet spots.

Caveat 2: i always poke around the wick for caverns. No matter what method i have tried i found holes around the wick enough times to just poke and fill.

Caveat 3: like trappeur, i often use colored bits on top of the candle. I push them into the wax when it develops a skin, but is still mushy forces out any air pockets that may be developing. Bonus that it means i don't need perfectly level tops. Colored bits draw my magpie customers like a tractor beam.

Note on beeswax, a quick cool as i poke relief holes around the warm wick in front of a fan when using aluminum molds gives the best release. I always have to fill beeswax because of the high shrinkage rate of the wax itself. When no relief holes i have found beastly caverns.

TT whats colored bits?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not sure if you solved this yet...I just joined the message board yesterday, but I have two thoughts about your problem candles while using 464.

 

(1) I wonder if water could be getting into your wax, somewhere along the process or perhaps in the containers before the wax is poured? Even a small amount of water can cause big problems, and the air bubbles and mushiness could, in my experience, be caused by some water contamination.

 

(2) I am also wondering if you might have a problem with your stirring.  I am thinking that if you are pouring the wax, without stirring it enough, that maybe the FO is sitting too much on the bottom of your pouring pot? When you top off the containers, you could be pouring wax that has too much FO concentrated within it.  Thus, the tops of your candles are mushy and don't hold properly.  I have started using heat guns on the pouring container (held beneath it) while I swirl for two minutes, to ensure that no FO is stuck at the bottom of the pitcher.  (Credit to candle cocoon for that method).

 

Do those thoughts resonate with you as possible problems?

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