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How old are most candles when they are burned


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I once did a test with 6006 that showed a 3 month old candle needed a bigger wick than a two week old candle. This information is probably useless to most candle makers, but it does bring up the question of what is the average time between when a candle is made, and when it is burned. So I have two questions.

1.       1. What is the average time between when you make a candle and when you sell it?

2.      2. How long do you think most people keep a candle before burning it?

I’m guessing the answer to the second question is less than a week, unless they but more than one candle.

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21 hours ago, TallTayl said:

Also, regardless of when they buy/burn, it’s impossible to know the ambient conditions when it is burned. 

 

Shoot for a range of acceptable since perfection is a false target. 

As for ambient conditions I am very aware of those as I'm trying to correlate test date from test done at 65 degrees and 78 degrees. I suppose if you wanted to cure your candles for 9 months before selling them that would take the time element out of it, but it would take you two years to get the wicking right. I think if you give a candle a normal cure time before testing that's all you can do. I ask the question because years ago I was the lead for a logistics team at NASA, so I think about these things. For example at markets first time buyers are likely to be impulse buyersthat burn their candles right away, but online sales to repeat customers are more likely to wait a while before burning. My wife used to get candles by the case and pickup extras here and there. At one time the average age of the candles at our house was more than a year.  

 

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1.  I shoot for one month from pouring to selling. 
2.  I think it is impossible to know.
Playing around with 6006 for three years now has really given me time to learn it.  If we wick based on a short cure, the wicking is basically one size too small (with my wicks, at least).  It takes about a month before that larger size wick ends up being perfect.  I find that's pretty much the end of it.  That same candle is still properly wicked 2 years later.   

I'm in the process of cleaning off my testing shelves, and lately I have burned several that are at least 2 years old or older, and they are good.  Very good.  It's astonishing really.

You've just gotta find that happy medium.  I don't have a problem selling a freshly made candle, because the wicking isn't so big that it is unsafe.  The bigger issue is that the wicks mushroom more, the flame bobs and weaves and it can throw off a little soot.  It burns OK, it's just not as clean and pretty as it should be.  So there is a bit of leeway there.  It basically just boils down to inventory control.  I make things in advance and store them to restock as needed.

For what it's worth, your information is NOT useless.  It's actually very valuable for anyone that truly wants to make the best product they can.  I screamed it for a while, but no one listens.  People balk at cure times, etc, but it is so important (no matter what you make) to know how the product performs in the long term.  It blows my mind that people routinely disregard that.  Seems like common sense to me.

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I make the majority of my candles prior to the season I begin to sell them so they are ready for sale when the season starts. My point is some may be sold right away while others may sit on the shelf for weeks or months before they sell. The truth is you don't know when any particular candle will be burned so you have to design your candle for optimum burn and safety knowing ahead of time you have no control over the matter.

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2 hours ago, bfroberts said:


Playing around with 6006 for three years now has really given me time to learn it.  If we wick based on a short cure, the wicking is basically one size too small (with my wicks, at least).  It takes about a month before that larger size wick ends up being perfect.  I find that's pretty much the end of it.  That same candle is still properly wicked 2 years later.  

Thank you for that information, it gives me hope. For my 6006 candles I have been selecting wicks that were a size large   based on my test of a two month old candle. I feel much better now about my plan to make my candles for next fall, and most of 2020 now and store them.

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During the summer Faire season I don’t have much time to cure.  It’s just how it goes. Sometimes I can finish on Monday or Tuesday for Saturday.  Some then sit on the hot display cases for hours or weeks. You never know. 

 

  I put the wick it will need, and trim fairly short for the first burn.  Sure if someone goes right home and lights it won’t be the “perfect” candle but they sure seem happy enough. These also are not $100 candles, so expectations are different. 

 

Once you work with your wax and containers for a while and develop a comfort comfort level it gets easier. 

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On 5/24/2019 at 5:49 PM, TallTayl said:

During the summer Faire season I don’t have much time to cure.  It’s just how it goes. Sometimes I can finish on Monday or Tuesday for Saturday.  Some then sit on the hot display cases for hours or weeks. You never know.

Well if my theory is correct sitting in a hot display case for a week may be curing them more than you think.  I've got a candle in the refrigerator and another in the garage  that will be ready for testing next week.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've done some searching but never really came up with any sort of consensus.  As this thread is about cure times I figured this was as good a place as any.   What do you guys recommend as a minimum cure time for wick testing?  I know that can vary based on wax time so I'll narrow it down to 464 and 6006.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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18 minutes ago, xxxAlpha71xxx said:

I've done some searching but never really came up with any sort of consensus.  As this thread is about cure times I figured this was as good a place as any.   What do you guys recommend as a minimum cure time for wick testing?  I know that can vary based on wax time so I'll narrow it down to 464 and 6006.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Hmmm.  I thought for sure there was a way to edit my post but can't seem to find it.  Anyway, ignore my question-unless I'm wrong-read a few more pages into my search and seems that somewhere around 2 weeks is about right.  

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19 hours ago, xxxAlpha71xxx said:

Hmmm.  I thought for sure there was a way to edit my post but can't seem to find it.  Anyway, ignore my question-unless I'm wrong-read a few more pages into my search and seems that somewhere around 2 weeks is about right.  

Curing is a process and while it seems to go on for a very long time the rate of curing slows over time. Two weeks is a "good enough" number. Some FOs I use seem to be fine at that, while others have very poor HT at two weeks, but good HT at 5 weeks. As best I can tell at two months you are pretty close to fully cured. That's not practical if you are making candles for sale, but if you are making candles for yourself you can make extras a nd put the aside for a couple of months.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A store that is interested in a wholesale order just told me that they stopped stocking candles because if a candle sat in the store for a few months, it looked terrible. I imagine that maybe the a/c is off at night and transportation REALLY affects candles here in Florida. We did a market last week (90 degrees and it was a hot, humid rainy day) and when I looked at my poor little candles the next week, they looked like they had been through a (handcraft) war zone. Seriously, they were a disaster. They didn't have dust covers or packaging so that could be a factor, but they were crazy frosted in spots, bubbles and had all kinds of strangeness on the tops. A heat gun made them nice again...but it has me worried about how to create the best candle for Florida conditions. I don't want a wrapped, boxed candle in a store...to be opened and look terrible inside. Maybe that is why so many use paraffin. I have been using GB 464 or 444 and about 20% coconut wax and a little bit of stearic (maybe stearic is the heat-related frosting culprit) and 10% FO. (Yea, it is a lot I know). Any suggestions appreciated! 

 

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