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Hello! As it says in the subject I am brand new at candle making but already so in love with it and soaking in all the knowledge I can (so any help would be so very appreciated!) my apologies if I put this all in the wrong place or anything. Ive read numerous times that to fix imperfections on the tops of your soy candles you can use left over wax from the pot after pouring. Since the candles do take awhile to dry, how do I reheat the wax left over in the pot without burning off all fragrance so that I can cover up holes? Do I just leave the left over in the pot while they cool and start it warming again..? 

 

Also after doing a wick test with one batch of candles to find the right wick for a container/fragrance do I have to do that every time I make a new batch? (Ie: if I mixed supplies today and did a test with three containers/wicks/1 fragrance and found the right one after the correct burn time, the next time I buy that same 1 fragrance/wick/container to actually make the candles, do I need to test it again or can I just make it with the specifications I found work best from the first test and leave it at that?) I have gotten SO MANY different opinions on this, you wouldn’t believe.

 

Besides maybe leaving the wick too long, too much fragrance, or using an unsafe container- is there absolutely anything that could accidentally happen that would make a candle you made dangerous to a consumer? I’m obviously just starting out but would love the opportunity to turn it into a business later on down the road after I get much more experience and I guess I’m just paranoid that maybe there’s things I don’t know that could go horribly wrong? (I do have my warning labels ready and have been reading plenty of safety regulations.. but still.)

 

And FINALLY for the last question: I know the depth of the burn pool is as important as the width... but I am starting off with 8 oz tins. How could I go about seeing how deep the melt pool is without being able to see the sides? Do I want it to touch the edges in the first burn? How deep do you believe the depth should be in each burn? Apologies if these questions are all very “newbie-ish” but that’s just what I am, haha. And I’m sorry to put so many but I need so badly to have people to talk to about this as I’ve been doing SO much research on my own but sometimes it just helps more to get personal help!

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Hello grungedoll and welcome to our forum!

 

This is a great place to ask questions on candlemaking. Just remember it takes lots of patience and time with your initial candle testing to get everything just right.

 

Heating the wax up to pour over your first pouring is called a repour. Just heat your remaining repour wax about 10 degrees warmer than your first pour. So if you heated your first pour to 185 degrees, heat your repour wax to 195. Don't worry about burning off fragrance. You are not going to be heating the repour wax long enough to effect that. For repours yes I leave a little bit of wax in the pour pot for my repour. Once the first wax poured gets hard enough I then pour the repour wax over the candle top to cover any holes or imperfections.

 

Re wicking, you do need to test each new fragrance to be sure the wick you selected burns properly. You may find that some scents require you to wick down (smaller size) or wick up (larger size) depending on the test burn. Once you have the right wick for the right jar, fragrance, etc. you are done testing.... normally. Unfortunately you came into candlemaking during a very significant pivotal time.

 

Soy waxes have undergone a change variation and its important to now test with each batch of wax you purchase. Get into the habit of checking the batch numbers on the box, bag the wax came in. If all your wax came from the same batch series then you only need to test that batch. If you purchased several cases of wax and the batch series are different, you will need to test each batch.

 

RE melt pool size, its a mistake to think the melt pool needs to reach the sides of the container on the first burn. When trying to find the perfect wick for your candle application always test for the entire life of the candle. The candle will burn differently as it gets closer to the bottom of the container. So a wick that seems right at the beginning may not achieve the same burn towards the end of the candle life. Its okay to have the melt pool not reach the sides of the candle until the 2nd or even 3rd test burns. For a test burn I typically burn the candle one hour per inch of diameter. So if the container is 3" across I will test burn for a minimum of 3 hours.

 

Depth of the melt pool for tins can be determined simply by using a stick like a bamboo skewer. Dip it into the pool near the wick and see how far the wax goes on the skewer. A good depth for a melt pool with soy can be 1/8" to a 1/2" deep. You don't wick for the depth or size of the melt pool as much as you wick for the fragrance throw and how safely the candle is burning.

 

Much of this you will learn from experience. As you continue testing you will soon find that you come up with more specific questions. It helps to let us know which wax, jar, wick, etc. you are using when asking. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

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@Candybee You wrote:  Heating the wax up to pour over your first pouring is called a repour. Just heat your remaining repour wax about 10 degrees warmer than your first pour. So if you heated your first pour to 185 degrees, heat your repour wax to 195. 

 

I pour at about 145 degrees so I thought I should heat repour wax to 155.  But what you are saying is to use the original temp (185) for melting my wax.  Do I then pour at that 195?

GoldieMN

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1 hour ago, Candybee said:

Re wicking, you do need to test each new fragrance to be sure the wick you selected burns properly. You may find that some scents require you to wick down (smaller size) or wick up (larger size) depending on the test burn. Once you have the right wick for the right jar, fragrance, etc. you are done testing.... normally. Unfortunately you came into candlemaking during a very significant pivotal time.

 

Soy waxes have undergone a change variation and its important to now test with each batch of wax you purchase. Get into the habit of checking the batch numbers on the box, bag the wax came in. If all your wax came from the same batch series then you only need to test that batch. If you purchased several cases of wax and the batch series are different, you will need to test each batch.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Candybee for being so welcoming and detailed in your response! I’m definitely adding everything you said to my notes so that I don’t forget it! :)

 

One thing that does worry me, after reading this part of what you’d written.. I understand the need to retest after a change in fragrance, wick, container each time... but I am concerned... what if the supplies I bought were just enough for a test and therefor I need to rebuy more wax for the actual finished products after finding the perfect combination. If the batch that I receive is in fact a different batch number as the one id just tested... that entire batch would be another retest? I feel that’s a bit overwhelming to think that unless I buy a huge load of wax or somehow am able to get the same batch number twice I’ll constantly just be testing and never have any finished candles. :( does that make sense? Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to put in the time and I want to make good candles. But Is soy not the way to go? Are there any waxes that are more stable? Or wax blends for container candles? I like the idea of using soy but now I feel lost, haha.

 

if you stuck with the same vendor, does that make any difference? I’m using enchanted lites millennium soy wax and had planned on staying with it as long as these ones I’m testing turned out ok. 

Edited by Grungedoll
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If you are using soy wax you will notice differences from batch to batch.  Hopefully you can get to a point where you buy enough to last a while and not have to retest so much. For the past year or so every purchase has been a new adventure in testing for me.  I just opened a new case today, keeping my fingers crossed that it's not crazy different, so far it looks and feels the same.

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32 minutes ago, kandlekrazy said:

If you are using soy wax you will notice differences from batch to batch.  Hopefully you can get to a point where you buy enough to last a while and not have to retest so much. For the past year or so every purchase has been a new adventure in testing for me.  I just opened a new case today, keeping my fingers crossed that it's not crazy different, so far it looks and feels the same.

I have a feeling that’s just what I’ll have to do. Just buy a bunch of wax at a time and use some of it to do tests while saving the rest for actual finished product. Can you kind of tell the changes in wax after awhile like you said through the look and feel of it? Not that you should go off that alone of course, but that’s interesting. I just am itching like crazy to make so many candles but I know I need to be patient. As I’d asked Candybee, I really don’t want to change from soy as I really like the idea of using it... but do you know of any more stable waxes or blends of waxes? I need all the opinions and input I can get! :)

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4 hours ago, GoldieMN said:

@Candybee You wrote:  Heating the wax up to pour over your first pouring is called a repour. Just heat your remaining repour wax about 10 degrees warmer than your first pour. So if you heated your first pour to 185 degrees, heat your repour wax to 195. 

 

I pour at about 145 degrees so I thought I should heat repour wax to 155.  But what you are saying is to use the original temp (185) for melting my wax.  Do I then pour at that 195?

GoldieMN

 

What I was trying to say is reheat your repour wax 10 degrees hotter than what you heated your wax at for the first pour. Not your pouring temp. Your heating temp. I'm using a heating temp of 185 as an example. If you heat the first pour to 185, they heat your repour to 195. HTH

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7 hours ago, Candybee said:

 

What I was trying to say is reheat your repour wax 10 degrees hotter than what you heated your wax at for the first pour. Not your pouring temp. Your heating temp. I'm using a heating temp of 185 as an example. If you heat the first pour to 185, they heat your repour to 195. HTH

Yes, you explained that well.  Now, do I do that repour at 195 or wait until the wax cools to 145?

GoldieN

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4 hours ago, GoldieMN said:

Yes, you explained that well.  Now, do I do that repour at 195 or wait until the wax cools to 145?

GoldieN

 

This you will just have to play around with to find the right pouring temp that works for you. If you have been pouring at 145 and that works, even with your repour, then do that. If you are having problems, try a higher temp for the repour. When I pour a repour I generally pour at a higher temp at least 10 degrees hotter. The higher temp helps the repour layer bond better with the original pour.

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15 hours ago, Grungedoll said:

One thing that does worry me, after reading this part of what you’d written.. I understand the need to retest after a change in fragrance, wick, container each time... but I am concerned... what if the supplies I bought were just enough for a test and therefor I need to rebuy more wax for the actual finished products after finding the perfect combination. If the batch that I receive is in fact a different batch number as the one id just tested... that entire batch would be another retest? I feel that’s a bit overwhelming to think that unless I buy a huge load of wax or somehow am able to get the same batch number twice I’ll constantly just be testing and never have any finished candles. :( does that make sense? Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to put in the time and I want to make good candles. But Is soy not the way to go? Are there any waxes that are more stable? Or wax blends for container candles? I like the idea of using soy but now I feel lost, haha.

 

if you stuck with the same vendor, does that make any difference? I’m using enchanted lites millennium soy wax and had planned on staying with it as long as these ones I’m testing turned out ok.

 

kandlekrazy gave you a great answer on this. Hopefully in the near future the soy wax manufacturers will have worked out the kinks in the processing of the wax. A lot has happened to the soy industry in the past year or so. The FDA made some changes in the regs re hydrogenated wax. In addition, one of the leading soy manufacturers had major issues which effected the processing of their waxes. Thus soy waxes have been unstable and different from one batch to another.

 

Soy candle makers have been pulling their hair out for the past year trying to work with all the challenges they face working with unstable wax from batch to batch. Just trying to make the same candle they have been making for years was next to impossible with the wax issues. So you are coming in during a time when these issues are being worked out. So be prepared to be working with wax that behaves different from one batch to another.

 

What many soy candle makers are doing is buying in larger quantities so at least they can have enough wax to test and make saleable candles with. I think by the end of this year we may see more stability in the waxes.

 

BTW--- that is just the issues with soy wax. The fragrance industry also suffered a major setback this past fall when a key component for perfumes and fragrances was discontinued due to the manufacturer's processing plant having burned down. A key component to many fragrances and perfumes was manufactured at the plant so many fragrances are effected by this. Each supplier that carries fragrances is dealing with the loss in their own way. Some are reformulating their FOs, while some have enough stockpiled they will wait until the crisis is over. While others may go out of stock on fragrances effected, refusing to reformulate, and wait until the component is available to make those fragrances. Hopefully this crisis will end by the end of this year also.

Edited by Candybee
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@Candybee well, I certainly hope so. I guess I’ll have to just test like crazy until then. Have you ever used Natureswax C-3? I’m using Millennium wax for my first round and literally didn’t notice just how much more expensive it comes out in the end compared to other waxes that I’ve also read good things about. :/ also, what wicks do you prefer...?

 

And lastly. I’m also concerned about some of the legal things I’ve read while looking into what I’ve read about selling. Do you know anything about liability insurance while selling candles? Or have an idea of who I could go with who won’t cost me an arm and a leg? This one company that got back to me said they’d cover my business for 400 and something dollars... while that’s annually, that’s still a lot and I’m curious just how needed it is....

 

Thank you you again for your continual help! :)

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On 4/4/2018 at 10:18 AM, Candybee said:

 

This you will just have to play around with to find the right pouring temp that works for you. If you have been pouring at 145 and that works, even with your repour, then do that. If you are having problems, try a higher temp for the repour. When I pour a repour I generally pour at a higher temp at least 10 degrees hotter. The higher temp helps the repour layer bond better with the original pour.

Ok, sounds good. 

GoldieMN

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53 minutes ago, Grungedoll said:

@Candybee well, I certainly hope so. I guess I’ll have to just test like crazy until then. Have you ever used Natureswax C-3? I’m using Millennium wax for my first round and literally didn’t notice just how much more expensive it comes out in the end compared to other waxes that I’ve also read good things about. :/ also, what wicks do you prefer...?

 

And lastly. I’m also concerned about some of the legal things I’ve read while looking into what I’ve read about selling. Do you know anything about liability insurance while selling candles? Or have an idea of who I could go with who won’t cost me an arm and a leg? This one company that got back to me said they’d cover my business for 400 and something dollars... while that’s annually, that’s still a lot and I’m curious just how needed it is....

 

Thank you you again for your continual help! :)

 

Go the the "business" section to read up on insurance.  Yes, you will definitely need it if you sell. $400 is pretty good for a year. 

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2 hours ago, Grungedoll said:

@Candybee well, I certainly hope so. I guess I’ll have to just test like crazy until then. Have you ever used Natureswax C-3? I’m using Millennium wax for my first round and literally didn’t notice just how much more expensive it comes out in the end compared to other waxes that I’ve also read good things about. :/ also, what wicks do you prefer...?

 

And lastly. I’m also concerned about some of the legal things I’ve read while looking into what I’ve read about selling. Do you know anything about liability insurance while selling candles? Or have an idea of who I could go with who won’t cost me an arm and a leg? This one company that got back to me said they’d cover my business for 400 and something dollars... while that’s annually, that’s still a lot and I’m curious just how needed it is....

 

Thank you you again for your continual help! :)

 

I no longer use soy as I was allergic to it and get skin rashes. I now work exclusively with palm wax. Yes I have used C3 wax before but only to test and didn't stick with it. When I was using soy I used the Ecosoya CB135 and mixed it with J223 paraffin to make a parasoy blend. So I'm afraid I am not the one to ask for advice on wicking C3.

 

I use HSCG for my biz insurance. Since I make mostly soap & B&B it made sense to use it. I make candles only during the fall and holiday season and the HSCG insurance covers me. I just renewed as a matter of fact and my cost was $475. That pays for my membership with HSCG and my biz insurance plus I have to buy extra so I am covered for 2mil instead of the 1mil. (The 2 mil is required by one of my markets).Check out the biz section, there is a thread on insurance companies you may want to check out. If you are selling or plan to sell insurance is a must have and you simply have to work the cost into your overall business expenses.

Edited by Candybee
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5 hours ago, Candybee said:

 

I no longer use soy as I was allergic to it and get skin rashes. I now work exclusively with palm wax. Yes I have used C3 wax before but only to test and didn't stick with it. When I was using soy I used the Ecosoya CB135 and mixed it with J223 paraffin to make a parasoy blend. So I'm afraid I am not the one to ask for advice on wicking C3.

 

I use HSCG for my biz insurance. Since I make mostly soap & B&B it made sense to use it. I make candles only during the fall and holiday season and the HSCG insurance covers me. I just renewed as a matter of fact and my cost was $475. That pays for my membership with HSCG and my biz insurance plus I have to buy extra so I am covered for 2mil instead of the 1mil. (The 2 mil is required by one of my markets).Check out the biz section, there is a thread on insurance companies you may want to check out. If you are selling or plan to sell insurance is a must have and you simply have to work the cost into your overall business expenses.

I will definitely be looking into it! I just don’t have any idea how much I need... I have a feeling insurance is going to be the most difficult thing to figure out. :(

 

really, really basic question... how do you go about cleaning out your pour pot after making one batch of candles so that the wax/fragrance from it doesn’t go into the next batch? I have two different fragrances I’d hoped to make testers out of in the same time and obviously don’t want to mix scents!

 

first pouring hopefully happening tonight and I’m pretty excited about it!

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47 minutes ago, Grungedoll said:

really, really basic question... how do you go about cleaning out your pour pot after making one batch of candles so that the wax/fragrance from it doesn’t go into the next batch? I have two different fragrances I’d hoped to make testers out of in the same time and obviously don’t want to mix scents!

 

first pouring hopefully happening tonight and I’m pretty excited about it!

 

I use paper towels to clean out the pour pot in between scent pours. If you started a thread asking how people clean out their pour pots you will find many of us just use paper towels.

 

Good luck with your first candles!

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1 hour ago, Grungedoll said:

I will definitely be looking into it! I just don’t have any idea how much I need... I have a feeling insurance is going to be the most difficult thing to figure out. :(

 

really, really basic question... how do you go about cleaning out your pour pot after making one batch of candles so that the wax/fragrance from it doesn’t go into the next batch? I have two different fragrances I’d hoped to make testers out of in the same time and obviously don’t want to mix scents!

 

first pouring hopefully happening tonight and I’m pretty excited about it!

Just take a paper towel and wipe out your pour pot. Then take alcohol and spray it down inside and wipe it down again. The scent won't transfer for batch to batch...or if you want you can wash the pour pitcher out with dawn and hot water, but the paper towel and alcohol works just fine..;)

 

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7 minutes ago, rhoops said:

Candybee, are you full time in soaps/candles?  I mean, for a living?

 

 

I am now. I retired from the corporate world and started doing my soap biz full time. I have markets and craft show venues year round so I work pretty much every week. Starting next month and through to Fall I do 3 markets a week. In the fall I do the big money fall & Christmas craft shows plus a few markets here and there, then after Christmas I do my winter market. So yes, I work full time, all year round.

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20 hours ago, Candybee said:

 

I am now. I retired from the corporate world and started doing my soap biz full time. I have markets and craft show venues year round so I work pretty much every week. Starting next month and through to Fall I do 3 markets a week. In the fall I do the big money fall & Christmas craft shows plus a few markets here and there, then after Christmas I do my winter market. So yes, I work full time, all year round.

I think that's just awesome!  That's where my wife and I would like to be eventually.

 

 

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