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Hi All-

 

I am starting to make soy candles with essential oils to sell to help pay for IVF (to friends/family/craft fairs). This also give me a much hobby to funnel my energy into right now & help me focus on something other than doctors appointments! I have just started testing, and need some guidance. I have narrowed it down to working with C-3 or golden 464 wax and am wondering which you would suggest for someone in FL and a newbie. I would also like to use wooden wicks... for someone who isn't doing this as a full blown business, but definitely to make money, what tools are a must, what should I avoid, etc. I am thinking of using mason jars (a small & large size - does anyone have a size they would especially recommend? What wick size would you pair with that specific size? How much oil per jar?). I am in the process of getting an LLC and insurance as well.

 

I know these are a lot of novice questions, but any advice would be welcome! I live in Clearwater, FL and there isn't much of a candle making community/store/or classes. Also, is there a brand of EO that I can buy in a large quantity? I have found in my test batch I am going through the standard jars I buy at whole foods very fast!

 

Any tips, advice, love, encouragement (lol), would be welcome!

Edited by infertilemyrtle

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Welcome to the board 

I have used both waxes in the past but never used wooden wicks so I can't help much there 

if you search the board there are many threads in wooden wicks to read up on 

I use the 8 ounce square mason jars and the colored 16 ouncers, recently the 4 ounce squares are now available and I will be adding those as well

as far as jars for you to use it's really a personal preference that will match your brand you have in mind and what people in your area are looking for....you may want to ask family and friends what they like in a candle jar

now as far as EO.....they are wonderful but not cost effective in candle making IMO- EO Can be added to fragrance oil to enhance but I personally have tried the whole straight EO thing and people won't pay what I have to charge to make a good candle that smells great burning with straight EO- they are expensive - and I have bought many many crafters candles with EO And couldn't smell a thing, I would rather use a diffuser and burn a candle I can smell but again that's just my opinion

Your area may be very different, and there is probably a market out there for EO Candles and there are many places to buy large quantity EO, essential wholesale, mountain rose herbs, lebermuth I believe has them....many threads on here about those as well 

After you figure out your whole branding and get consistent great results in your testing, which will take time, I would have to say insurance is a must, great marketing strategies and lots and lots of patience are required! Lol

Again welcome and enjoy the ride, it's truly a wonderful craft and the people here are amazing and very helpful 

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We have a forum for soy candle makers and you may get more answers if you post your questions there.

 

I agree with Moonshine that working with essential oils (EOs) in your candles can be very expensive and also limits your scent choices. EOs were not made for candlemaking and while some work many don't and those that do many of those you have to use a high percentage of the EO for the candle to have a good scent throw.

 

The good news is many fragrance oils (FOs) are already infused with essential oils. There are FOs specifically designed for candlemaking and many suppliers sell FOs for soy candlemaking or have scent 'ratings' for soy candles.

 

You should pick a jar you like and work with that. Since you are new to candlemaking you want to start simple. One wax, one jar. Narrow down your wick first, then try adding scent, next color (optional). I see many new candlemakers trying out several waxes and containers at the beginning before they even understand how their wax works. Learn all you can about the wax you are working with and try one new additive at a time until you understand how your wax works. It will help teach you the patience and discipline you need to work with any new wax you try. I've seen many give up, especially working with soy because they never had the patience to learn about the wax they were using. Soy can be one of the most frustrating waxes to learn to use because it has several issues that need to be managed and addressed in order to make a good, safe, well scented candle.

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I agree with Candybee and Moonshine :) EO's are too costly and many just won't give you a good scent throw, I've tried. The only one I had any bit of

luck with was peppermint, and that was not that strong either. I believe Camden Grey is in florida but not sure where. I bring them up because if they're 

close to you maybe you can pick up your order to save on shipping. But it depends on how far you are from them and if the trip is worth it gas wise. 

Candle Science is a good supplier too. Super fast shipping and pretty good prices and good quality oils. Also, I would do regular wicks instead of wood

wicks. I think the wood wicks can be too unpredictable IMHO :)

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I can't speak to the Florida aspect but as a fellow newbie (ish - I've been doing this about 5 months) I've had a lot of success with 464. I'm in Utah, which is quite dry though so maybe it reacts differently in more humid weather. 

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Everyone has given great advice so far and I agree with all of it. You are on the right track with testing, as soy wax is frustrating to get good consistent results in the beginning. Wood wicks, also, can be finicky. I use them in straight paraffin, but that's what my supplier recommended as results in soy were not favorable. Maybe someone here has experience in soy. Essential oils are magnificent things! I use them often in aromatherapy diffusers but not in candles. They are just too cost prohibitive and frankly don't give a good enough throw to be worth it. I know the label appeal of saying your candles are "made with essential oils" is tempting, but it's not really lucrative.

I notice no one mentioned how long it actually takes to make $$ doing this, so I'll ignore that one too. ;)

Edited by Faerywren
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Thank you all so much for the feedback so far! I think I will stick with regular wicks to start. I know I am taking a big bite into hoping to make money, however I would be happy to break even just to give me a hobby right now :) I am on a long 9 month journey for IVF, so maybe by then I will be getting something out of it (((( maybe )))). I think I am going to start with the 4oz/8oz/12oz canning jars from jarstore.com - any specific wicks that people have good luck with? While I am happy to test away, a little guidance to get me in the right direction would be appreciated! I will also take everyone's advice and play with the FO's... it seems like I can make more fun combos that way as well. Here is how my candles are looking so far..... they burn great, not the prettiest *yet* ;) After playing with a few different jars, I definitely like the mason jar feel the best. I have been using essential oils which makes the candle smell lovely if its not burning and I sniff it... zero throw! At least I know why now.

 

I think I will be using jarstore.com for the containers... and one stop shops for either C-3 464 wax with oils, wicks, etc w/ good prices and decent shipping? The FL store is nowhere near driving proximity to me, so trying to limit my shipping costs. Thank you all for being so welcoming!

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Thank you all so much for the feedback so far! I think I will stick with regular wicks to start. I know I am taking a big bite into hoping to make money, however I would be happy to break even just to give me a hobby right now :) I am on a long 9 month journey for IVF, so maybe by then I will be getting something out of it (((( maybe )))). I think I am going to start with the 4oz/8oz/12oz canning jars from jarstore.com - any specific wicks that people have good luck with? While I am happy to test away, a little guidance to get me in the right direction would be appreciated!  I am thinking about Eco 14 for 8/16oz and eco 4 for the 4oz- and brands or type you especially love? I will also take everyone's advice and play with the FO's... it seems like I can make more fun combos that way as well. Here is how my candles are looking so far..... they burn great, not the prettiest *yet* ;) After playing with a few different jars, I definitely like the mason jar feel the best. I have been using essential oils which makes the candle smell lovely if its not burning and I sniff it... zero throw! At least I know why now.

 

I think I will be using jarstore.com for the containers... and one stop shops for either C-3 464 wax with oils, wicks, etc w/ good prices and decent shipping? The FL store is nowhere near driving proximity to me, so trying to limit my shipping costs. Thank you all for being so welcoming!

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It is definitely tunneling. This is after about 5-6 hours of burning. The soot is actually from me not having a stick lighter and burning it with a flame (so there is at least that)! I am ordering larger wicks for my next round, so deciding which way to go with those -- who knew there were so many wicks out there?! 

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I use CD 8 wicks for my 8oz jelly jar candles. If it's a heavy oil (like something spicy) I wick up to a CD 10. I also use a custom parasoy blend, so that may not work for your application. That wick is way too small. It's not burning the wax all the way to the edge. Candlescience had a good wick size chart that I found useful when I was starting out.

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Your container looks kinda wide 

from the pic it looks over 3" in 

diameter ? I found the wick guide on candle science to be too big 

on my 464 wax when I was testing eco wicks. Also your wick looks 

off center. That can effect your burn & always trim your wick ?

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Haha, they are! This was my very first candle... I have since purchased a wick bar. The jars I just ordered are:

 

2 3/8 diameter - the chart is recommending Eco 4

3 1/4 diameter - recommending Eco 14

 

What would be other size wicks to test with each one?

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Hello Myrtle,

 

Wonderful advice from everyone!  Here are few extras....

1.  Pictures are great - keep them coming.  When people ask for help it is always soooo helpful when you put up these things for us to see so

    we can get a visual and know just how to answer your questions as helpful as we can be.  It is EXTREMELY frustrating when people ask questions when they don't know which direction they are going and we are asked to give suggestions on a "maybe" I will do this jar or this wick or wax.....Your doing good and pictures are great.  Just try and remember to be more exact/specific and tell us exactly what wax you have in that jar and even tell the style and size of that jar with the diamter of it and what wick is in the jar you are testing....You've pretty much covered it....just a few more things to help you out which helps others out in giving the best possible suggestion we can.  The more info you give, the more truer exact responses you will get by being very detailed and specific.

 

2.  C3 and s464 are super qood waxes...I started out with c3 for years and now use 464....love em both.

 

3.  I don't know what size/diameter that oval jar is your using..but like others said looks like it is underwicked (too small).  Depending since I don't know the size of it, it might need 2 wicks.  IDK.....

 

4.  The Harvest jar (looks like the 16oz you have there) is use that all the time.  In 464 I use 1 cd 12. what size and style wick do you have in that jar now??

 

Now another thing....these 2 waxes you say you are trying; c3 and 464......I can tell you they need curing time......2 weeks I do for me for the best burn.

Sometimes I can get by with 9 days.  But they sure do need to cure...

Some oils won't perform in certain waxes....won't get much of a throw....things like that you have to consider.  It's all trial and error and lots of money.  I hope you have patience and time because this hobby sure is all about that.

 

You need to center your wicks also which I can tell they are not.....but that is ok......you will learn as you go.....we have all been there.  Don't be embarrassed or anything....you are trying and that is a beginning...just keep going and take pictures like you have been.....great job!

 

That jar you have a picture of with the beautiful arrangement the wick is not centered.  I wouldn't even burn that if that was me.  I'd chip out the wax and remelt it, and recenter that wick or go and get another wick and start over.  Your not going to get good results to start off with as the wick is going to present a problem being it is off wicked to begin.   

 

And read read read as much as you can on this forum....Use the search bar above and type in c3 wax or 464 wax or maybe for example wicking a mason jar with 464 wax.....There is tons and tons info on here to read about.

 

Welcome and good luck and keep on moving forward......

 

Trappeur

 

 

 

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When you are testing out a wick series for your candles you should invest in a sampler pack. Sampler packs will give you about 5-6 wicks in every size for that wick series. With all the wick sizes you can simply pull out another size wick to test out the candle when one you have tried failed. It really makes testing much easier and cheaper. On top of that if you ever try another wax, jar size, etc, you already have a bag of different sized wicks to try out.

 

For each wax I probably go through about 2-4 different series of wicks so I buy sampler packs of each series I want to test out.

 

I see you are interested in 3 different size jars. I would test one jar at a time starting out with at least 3 different sizes of the same wick series. For example, if you are testing out Eco wicks try the 'recommended' wick size plus the next one up and the next one down. Wick recommendations on websites are to give you a starting point for testing. Its up to you to find if that particular wick or wick size works best for your candle application.

 

I found it very helpful to read up on wicks and wick technology at Wicks Unlimited to understand how a wick should work and the technology that goes into different wicks from different manufacturers and for what waxes they were designed to burn in. Once you understand wick properties it will help you eliminate the bad burning wicks and bring you closer to finding that perfect wick.

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10 hours ago, infertilemyrtle said:

Haha, they are! This was my very first candle... I have since purchased a wick bar. The jars I just ordered are:

 

2 3/8 diameter - the chart is recommending Eco 4

3 1/4 diameter - recommending Eco 14

 

What would be other size wicks to test with each one?

I would check these sizes again, maybe at another supplier.  There isn't enough difference in diameter to warrant a wick so much bigger or in this case smaller.  I think the Eco 4 may be too small.  You will also most likely need 2 sizes for each size jar as scents differ in the way they burn.  I use C3 and some scents I need to wick down 1 size.

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I ordered the suggested size and a sampler pack. All of my new supplies come this week and I a plan to work on them all Saturday.... I will definitely post pics & updates :)

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