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Wicking Coconut Wax


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Welcome! It's nice to meet you. 

 

On the coco 83 in a 3" wide jar, I have had the most success with an eco6 unscented, an eco 4 or eco6 scented. Double wickingnthe coconut is a mistake IMO because it melts and burns very easily. Less is more with it. I get almost instant HT with no MP. I'd rather not have a mp, actually, as the fragrance in the unmelted wax stays true and strong for the entire life of the candle. 

 

Discoloration in the mp, IME is too much wick. 

 

I would not call it a waste in my case. I love the hot throw for my personal use candles. If I need a quick hit, the candle fills my spaces within minutes. I don't love the undisclosed Petroleum in it. I believe @Kerven discovered that earlier when digging through tech docs. The lack of transparency of the retailers is disappointing. 

 

The coco is also nice when you have a harder to burn soy, or a fragrance that makes soy wax very difficult to burn. Rather than add more scent, a few % of coco wax improves the overall candle for very little $, and can improve throw if you find the sweet spot in your candle. 

 

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Ok, Im going to fill you all in on a little secret. Im a big rig truck driver when not making candles for fun. Thats how I pay my bills and how my daughter is going to college.  The single biggest cus

I was never able to wick that wax to my satisfaction.  Constant supply chain issues and the need to add to that wax to make it usable all turned me off.  I use my own blend now out of readily availabl

Will do, @Kerven I have seen it on a couple of supplier websites that gb 444 and 464 don't play well with beeswax.  I just tried a blend of coconut wax, gb444 and stearic at 5%.  I am waiting a couple

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The issue was mostly with coco83 and other Accu-Blend "natural" waxes finding their way into almost every cocoblend. In 83's MSDS sheet, paraffin was mentioned in safety instructions but not concretely stated as being part of the material. Why add that bit if it's not part of the formulation- none of the other suppliers add it if it's not included in their product?

Not only 83, but an apricoco blend sold by Candlewic on Amazon turned out to have paraffin as well. The seller answered a question about the product on whether or not it contained paraffin: yes a very small percentage.

Then, another supplier listed one of their coconut waxes with a product ID of something along the lines of "coco-83" and a different product name. Coincidence?

Since most suppliers aren't providing complete, detailed MSDS sheets, there's really little way of knowing if a particular coconut wax has paraffin... unless you find a glaring clue and follow the paper trail back to a known paraffin-containing coconut wax. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that some of the soy waxes contain small amounts of paraffin as well.

 

I need to retest my cocosoy (coco83/464) blends again. The jars I was using were too small. Using larger jars should give me better results and more wiggle room for wick sizing. In addition, with 464 being so unpredictable lately, that may have thrown my tests off a bit. I'll probably go back and test with 415 or another brand of soy. Lately, I've been testing coco83 and wick sizes. RRD's were my latest and produced too much mushrooming. Next up: square braided and premier.

 

I can say that the cold and hot throws from cocosoy blends were amazing. Even the cold throw from a plain coco83 candle is almost as good as when lit! While putting away holiday stuffs, I kept getting strong whiffs of conifer. Turns out I hadn't put the top on a coco83 tester containing CS Fraser Fir... which was approx. 10ft away. I usually have to be within 3-4ft to catch a good, full-bodied whiff of an unlit soy candle.

 

 

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I found this thread interesting; I'm using Calcandle's coco.( I'm still new at candles - quickly gave up on soy after hearing about cocowax).

 

I have a question about smoke/soot.  How much - if any - black smoke or soot is "allowed"?   I've seen a liitle black smoke - on ocassion from at least one of my testers. I've been concentrating on flame and melt pool size and perhaps should have been observing the smoke too?

 

For those of you in this thread who are unhappy about finding petroleum in the cocowax - what is your reason for that?  I'm learning to make candles for my personal use, and don't mind having a small amount of petroleum - but educate me. Maybe 100% petro free is better? 

Edited by lenarenee
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I missed @kdmorgan's post. The coconut/apricot blend from Candlewic is the one I started testing with. It blended quite well with 464. Excellent cold throw, hot throw, and color retention. Wicking was still an issue, as was adhesion to container.  Melt pools could be a little... iffy after burning when using higher percentages of soy. It had an interesting "clean and clear" quality to the hot throw... I can't explain that. I don't have my notes with me right now to list my wicking results.

Woah! 3 LX 12's? Are you using the bowl containers?

 

@Artsmith The coconut oil 92F was suggested as something to use to create a from-scratch coconut wax, since it was uncertain which coconut waxes contained paraffin. When in doubt, create it from scratch, I suppose. Coconut oil 92F is what I'm currently using to formulate a paraffin-free, soy-free wax. On its own, I suspect co92 (coconut oil 92F) would make a candle prone to melting and sweating due to its low melting point.

Finding an organic 92F coconut oil might be difficult. I don't believe I've seen any. Organic coconut oil in general, however, is easy to find. Off the top of my head, Soapers Choice has it. Of course, due to regular coconut oil not having a high melt point, it is liquid at room temperature and you'll need to adjust your wax blend to account for that.

I wouldn't say the eco damage from coconut and palm plantations is any more damaging than the impact of soy farming and petro chemicals/harvesting on the environment. The materials that go into our plant-derived waxes are mainly harvested for the food and cosmetics industries (coconut oil, soy bean oil, apricot oil, rice bran oil, palm oil, etc.). The candle industry is a secondary market. That's why soy waxes took such a hit when the FDA announced the ban on trans fats in foods. But all of that is a discussion for another thread.

If you want a lotion/massage wax, Swans Candles has one. It's pricey, but it seems to be loaded with all sorts of botanical oils. In my opinion, no soy wax or any wax containing a potential allergen will be skin safe, but if you're referring to parabens and hydrocarbons... I can see why paraffin wouldn't be considered skin safe. I've seen (haven't read) a few articles around the web about trans fats and skin - I'll have to read those at some point. Off the top of my head, if you're up for it and already have the supplies, you could try creating your own massage wax using coconut oil 92F, other botanical oils (apricot, sunflower, castor, olive...), and something to bind it all together like cetearyl alcohol, rice bran wax, beeswax, or a skin-safe emulsifying wax (careful, some of them contain polymers). I suppose you could turn a lotion formula into a candle by omitting the water phase and water-containg/soluble ingredients and then increasing the amount of emulsifying wax or adding another stabilizer/emulsifier that's solid at room temp. I haven't tried that so I'm just speculating. Speaking of, Swans Candle's lotion wax can be turned into a lotion.

The new quantum waxes are receiving a flurry of negative reviews. Personally, I haven't tried them. I saw one picture of that wax's color and texture and decided it wasn't worth ordering a sample.

 

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@lenarenee Personally, I prefer no smoke/soot, which is why most of my wick tests fail. The idea of a cleaner burn and better throw than soy is what convinced me to give coconut wax a try. Granted, if I'm having a hard time wicking a particular combination, I give a little leeway for smoke... like if the flame is disturbed and smokes that's fine as long as it remains steady and smokeless the rest of the time.

I suppose the issue with paraffin is similar to the issue with GMO's, trans fats, pesticides, etc. Everyone has their reason(s). I don't like using paraffin due to several reasons. Every paraffin candle I've burned had a tendency to smoke like a chimney no matter what I did to it. The production and combustion of paraffin is known to produce harmful toxins. It's also non-renewable. I'm not happy that it's found its way into supposedly "natural" waxes either, as that makes it impossible to market these waxes as paraffin-free without either having to twist words or resort to dishonesty. That being said... I've realized that, until I find an alternative, I'm just going to have to live with what little paraffin may be in the coconut waxes.

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On 1/7/2018 at 7:30 AM, moonshine said:

Are you getting puffs of black soot at all? What wick series are you testing 

I get minor cracks and soot in that blend...not horrible but enough for this soy girl to not love it 😂

I don't like seeing black coming off my candle at all 

Hi Moonshine

 

Re: Puffs of smoke- depends on the wick but I can't say smoke/soot is anymore of an issue with the beeswax blend than it was with coco83 alone.

I am jumping around a bit at this point on beeswax ratios.  I've poured and tested- 10%, 5% and now I'm working with 4% white beeswax.  Oddly, I've had no cracking yet in any of the beeswax blends I've poured ( about 15 in total at this point). Not even the 10%ers.

 

Here's where I'm at right now: On a 4% beeswax  in a 3.18" dia. 10 oz.  glass w/ 7% FO:

Eco6- too tall flame and too much smoke - nixed the test after the 2nd 3 hr burn b/c it was just too smokey.  
RRD40- small, calm flame, moderate mushrooming after 2 hrs.  This one's not going to make it.  It's building a wall halfway through.   Prob. need the next size up on this one.  It might even drown on next burn.  

Med. Ribbon wick- I tried this a fluke and it's turning out to be the best by far. Go figure.  Just the right sized and calm flame throughout.  I can not make this thing smoke if I try.  No mushrooming at all on these ribbon wicks , which is nice too.   I'm 85% through a full test burn on this and if the cling that's left on the jar melts down completely in the next few hours, this will be a perfect burn.  

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1 hour ago, pughaus said:

Hi Moonshine

 

Re: Puffs of smoke- depends on the wick but I can't say smoke/soot is anymore of an issue with the beeswax blend than it was with coco83 alone.

I am jumping around a bit at this point on beeswax ratios.  I've poured and tested- 10%, 5% and now I'm working with 4% white beeswax.  Oddly, I've had no cracking yet in any of the beeswax blends I've poured ( about 15 in total at this point). Not even the 10%ers.

 

Here's where I'm at right now: On a 4% beeswax  in a 3.18" dia. 10 oz.  glass w/ 7% FO:

Eco6- too tall flame and too much smoke - nixed the test after the 2nd 3 hr burn b/c it was just too smokey.  
RRD40- small, calm flame, moderate mushrooming after 2 hrs.  This one's not going to make it.  It's building a wall halfway through.   Prob. need the next size up on this one.  It might even drown on next burn.  

Med. Ribbon wick- I tried this a fluke and it's turning out to be the best by far. Go figure.  Just the right sized and calm flame throughout.  I can not make this thing smoke if I try.  No mushrooming at all on these ribbon wicks , which is nice too.   I'm 85% through a full test burn on this and if the cling that's left on the jar melts down completely in the next few hours, this will be a perfect burn.  

Very interesting the Ribbon wick is working for you- they don't do well on soy for me so far 

RRD 47 or 50 will probably be needed- I like the RRD with bees but it's a tricky balancing act because they can mushroom and soot like no other if too big 

thanks for sharing the info - I am done and over the beads though- I agree with TT that alone it has awesome throw and burn when wicked correctly but I can't see past the soot to continue 

I prefer the coco slabs from c & s but it has its issues as well - I'm back to soy 😂

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3 hours ago, Kerven said:

I missed @kdmorgan's post. The coconut/apricot blend from Candlewic is the one I started testing with. It blended quite well with 464. Excellent cold throw, hot throw, and color retention. Wicking was still an issue, as was adhesion to container.  Melt pools could be a little... iffy after burning when using higher percentages of soy. It had an interesting "clean and clear" quality to the hot throw... I can't explain that. I don't have my notes with me right now to list my wicking results.

Woah! 3 LX 12's? Are you using the bowl containers?

 

I do use the bowl containers which is why I said I probably wasn't going to be much help lol. 3-wicking is a whole different animal than single wicking and I haven't tried to single wick it yet. It is on my to-do list though :)

 

 

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5 hours ago, Kerven said:

@lenarenee Personally, I prefer no smoke/soot, which is why most of my wick tests fail. The idea of a cleaner burn and better throw than soy is what convinced me to give coconut wax a try. Granted, if I'm having a hard time wicking a particular combination, I give a little leeway for smoke... like if the flame is disturbed and smokes that's fine as long as it remains steady and smokeless the rest of the time.

I suppose the issue with paraffin is similar to the issue with GMO's, trans fats, pesticides, etc. Everyone has their reason(s). I don't like using paraffin due to several reasons. Every paraffin candle I've burned had a tendency to smoke like a chimney no matter what I did to it. The production and combustion of paraffin is known to produce harmful toxins. It's also non-renewable. I'm not happy that it's found its way into supposedly "natural" waxes either, as that makes it impossible to market these waxes as paraffin-free without either having to twist words or resort to dishonesty. That being said... I've realized that, until I find an alternative, I'm just going to have to live with what little paraffin may be in the coconut waxes.

 

Thanks Kerven.    

 

A couple more questions:  It sounds like many people think soy doesn't produce smoke or soot - but is there research that backs that up?  It's odd that soy is the only thing that doesn't smoke or soot when burning - paper, fabric, vegetation all smoke and produce soot. I've got to think soy wax does too...?

 

Also, does anyone have information on the effects of the solvents used to process soy into wax?  That must produce some kind of pollution when burning.  I haven't looked into what it takes to make coconuts into wax either....

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Coconut oil soots very badly. My trials with co92 left oily black smidge on my freshly painted walls. It was surprisingly difficult to get off. 

 

Fractionated coconut oil made otherwise stable beeswax very sooty too. You could see threads of black smoke stretch from the wick upward several inches from across the room. The chimneys of smoke looked exactly the same as IGI 4786 burns. My pure coco beads containers, while appearing to burn well, leave thick black soot around the glass about the MP.

 

the price of coconut oil has made it impractical to burn. Fco, Coconut 76 and 92 are more than coco wax. Kerven is correct that they are unstable in warm weather without a *lot* of additives. When my jugs of co92 arrive in warm weather they melt a bit and form giant grains in the unmelted portions. Some grains get as big as pearls. Weird for a hydrogenated product. 

 

Because of all these issues, I will only burn coco wax for personal use. I would never sell these as they look filthy after burning. People would swear they are cheaply made paraffin candles. 

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All waxes have a tendency to produce smoke/soot. Some more than others. Soy was touted as burning X% (I don't remember) cleaner than paraffin, and coconut was touted as burning X% of soy. I've had coconut burn very clean with a minimal amounts of smoke when the flames were disturbed... and then I've had it produce constant streams of smoke. Wicking has a lot to do with it, as do additives, FO's, and how far down into the container the candle has burned. I'm not familiar with the solvents and such used in the production of soy wax. I think a nickel catalyst is used to hydrogenate the oil... a nickel catalyst is also used in the hydrogenation of castor wax, I believe. C3 wax uses an emulsifier, or so I've read, so it may not be nearly has processed as the other waxes... I don't use C3 so I haven't read up on it.

 

It's possible to create a candle using liquid oils. I've read a patent that uses 20-40% rice bran and 60-80% oils. Something about the crystalline structure of the rice bran wax allows it to efficiently bind oils. You can find such candles on Etsy (I've forgotten the name of the seller). I've also seen a patent using high percentages of stearic with liquid oils. I suppose those formulas would be solvent-free.

 

 

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As for scientific studies... I can't say that I've ready anything significant with basic browsing. There are studies but many seem to be pay-to-access. This article looks interesting. A quick search didn't produce results for coconut wax or coconut oil's use in candles; most articles seemed to deal with coconut oil's combustion when used as a biofuel.

 

Does anyone know of any US suppliers that sell All Seasons Wax's A05 cocosoy?

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13 hours ago, lenarenee said:

 

Thanks Kerven.    

 

A couple more questions:  It sounds like many people think soy doesn't produce smoke or soot - but is there research that backs that up?  It's odd that soy is the only thing that doesn't smoke or soot when burning - paper, fabric, vegetation all smoke and produce soot. I've got to think soy wax does too...?

 

Also, does anyone have information on the effects of the solvents used to process soy into wax?  That must produce some kind of pollution when burning.  I haven't looked into what it takes to make coconuts into wax either....

Soy wax, pure soy wax with no additives, when wicked well soots white, not black, giving it the rumored clean burn. 

 

As as soon as anything is added, all bets are off. Soy wax candles can produce black black black soot. All candles can.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've got a couple of questions for my fellow soy/coconut wax blend-testing peeps.

 

1) For those of you blending coconut wax with 464 or 444...which has been your preference so far?  

 

I normally work with straight 464, but was worried that the addition of coconut wax (I'm only adding about 25%) would soften it too much. I was intrigued by 444, mainly because it's a harder wax, but my testing has been problematic due to terrible tunneling during test burns due to air cavities I didn't see that were under the surface. I'm now realizing this is a common issue with 444.

 

Significantly lowering my pour temp has helped, but I'm wondering if working with 444 is worth it. 

 

What's interesting is that I've also been testing 464/coconut wax, and the normal pour temps of 140-145 I do for straight 464 ALSO seemed to cause the same tunneling/air cavity issue in my coconut blend tests. Pouring at about 120 seemed to eliminate those in my recent test batch, too.

 

2) Which leads me to my next question. Could the addition of coconut wax be contributing to these air cavities? I'm using the slabs from C&S, and they recommend pouring hot (between 160-200), quite a bit higher than my original pour temps of 140-145...

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/1/2017 at 3:35 PM, TallTayl said:

I had hoped to get to it today but work got in the way. I have 25 lbs of sunflower wax.  😳  

 

With a melt point up around 170*F it is similar to high mp paraffin or microcryatalline wax. I would think as little as 5% would go a long way toward improving coco wax. 

 

Would you believe I don't have rice bran wax? I have just about every other wax but not that one.  Please let me know how it goes :) 

@TallTaylThe rice bran wax finally brought the cracks to my candle making adventure.
I've been plugging away with the beeswax/coco ratios. Tested a few dozen with and without FO's.  Landed on 3% beeswax as a sweet spot (for now.) Have had ZERO cracking in any of the beeswax blends, even the 10%ers, although I've been expecting them and thus have worked my way down to 3% trying to minimize crack potential while still getting some flame taming and maybe? a slightly higher melt point.
I digress..  So, I tried a 2% rice bran wax/ 98% coco83 for kicks yesterday and woke up today to find all the rice bran candles had cracks.  Ha!

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@pughaus good to know. 

 

I really wish i could predict how well these will hold up in our summer months. I love burning these for myself, but worry they will be too soft come summer. Or worse, they will burn poorly when it gets super warm. 

 

have you worked with it in hot months yet? 

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I love these coco candles too and I'm reeally loving the wood wicks now that I've nailed down the right ones for my wax. 

I'm only about 8 weeks into this hobby so I haven't spent a summer with coco wax yet- but I live in So Cal so we know hot.  Heck, it was in the 90s a month ago!

When it warms up, I'll be ground shipping a few of these to my friends in Phoenix and Miami; double boxed and bubble wrapped and as insulated as I can pack them without adding cold packs.   I think they'll be fine.   
PS: I just burned some voluspa 4oz tins at work this week.  They completely liquify in about an hour, right down to the wick holder; which is something I never noticed until I started making my own candles.  They burn just beautifully but lawd! don't bump the table!    I also sell some other smaller "coconut wax" lines and used to rep a "proprietary apricot wax " candle line.  So I sell some soft candles. It's rare for me to get a claim from a store re: candles melting in transit and ALL of my accounts are in the south west where we're either hot, really hot or.. on fire.  And we sell a LOT of candles from various lines that ship from all over the country.  My experience is that with the correct packaging and reasonable scheduling, this is manageable.. Sure, our lines watch the weather and will hold back a shipment if it's an oven at the destination but no line , not even the coco ones, won't ship at all after late May-June, for example.

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Doh! I should have added that it was a small tin, only 4 oz.. Still, I was surprised how quickly it turned to a tin of fragrant liquid..  Hot throw was fast and strong and the flame stayed consistent and calm throughout.  Never trimmed the wick- no need to.  Really, it was a pretty perfect little candle.  I was just using it as an example of a soft wax big brand candle wax that is surviving cross country shipping in all temps.

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On 2/14/2018 at 3:26 PM, Trappeur said:

Wow, those Voluspa candle are complete liquid in an hour? that is very interesting as you don't want a candle to do that.  And they are a huge company.

 

Trappeur

The candles are awesome though 

i buy them all the time & the scents 

are just lovely & truly fill up a room 

with scent quite quickly. I've never 

had any issues with them whatsoever. 

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