Jump to content

Candle Testing for Advanced Candle Makers


Recommended Posts

I just realized the fact that my candle testing method was not a complete candle testing.  So, here is my question to advanced chandlers.  What are the things that we are supposed to be looking for during candle testing?  And, how would we know that we got optimal result out of certain ingredients?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Flame height, flame stability (does it flicker and dance a lot?), carbon production (smoke, soot, mushrooms, etc.), proper curling (if applicable), not curling too close towards glass (if applicable), speed of melt pool formation, depth of melt pool (is it deep enough that the wick moves?), outside surface temperature (is it within a safe temperature to handle?). Safety comes first. After safety checks, it's more about the performance, aesthetics, and throw.

 

Do you mean ingredients as in additives? If so, test with none, then gradually work up until you're satisfied. If results don't improve as you gradually increase the amount, that ingredient might not be appropriate or compatible.

If you mean ingredients such as the wax itself, I guess we determine "optimal result" based on what we aim to achieve with it. A strong throw, a cool burn, vibrant color retention, tolerance to shipping heat, great adhesion, no shrinkage, no frosting, no cauliflower tops, melt pools with sloping sides, no residue on the glass...

Edited by Kerven
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been checking these below until recently, but I felt there are few very important things that need to be observed also.

 

Glass containers: Thermal shock endurance & Annealing   *I did my best to figure this out, but I have to admit it was not enough.  I just went for reputable American manufacturer glasses.

Container temperature during burn

Checking for any cracking or breaking

HT: Spreading out range and direction, Complexity of scent, Strength

Wick: ignition & re-ignition, tunneling, guttering (flickering), Performance in both heavy and light draft, Clubbing (mushroom), Capillary action, curvature (curling), tipping or floating, stability, Self-trimming capability

Flame size, quality & brightness

Wick tab floating

Duration of After glow & Smoke of extinguished flame

Wax consumption rate

Frosting & Wet spots

Melt pool:  Depth, Width, Hang up, Time it take to reach certain size melt pool, Temperature, Scorching

After burn:  Top appearance, Discoloration of wax, Wax shrinkage, Re-ignition

Burning Environment:  Room temperature, Humidity, Room draft condition & direction, Location of testing candle distance from the floor

 

Somehow I feel these are more important than what I have been checking above.  I think these might be the key for optimal HT.

Convection:  Strength of air current and its temperature & amount of air being pulled into the container

Radiation

 

I mean wax & FO.  I though I was having best result with 464 at 128F melt pool temperature for so long.  But it turns out that  around 135F is the magic number for 464.  Above 138F, I am starting to get burnt wax smell.  4 other waxes in my possession, I find that 140F is optimal.  But is it really the best?  I feel that without Convection & Radiation knowledge, I don't think I can be  100% sure.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Kerven said:

Flame height, flame stability (does it flicker and dance a lot?), carbon production (smoke, soot, mushrooms, etc.), proper curling (if applicable), not curling too close towards glass (if applicable), speed of melt pool formation, depth of melt pool (is it deep enough that the wick moves?), outside surface temperature (is it within a safe temperature to handle?). Safety comes first. After safety checks, it's more about the performance, aesthetics, and throw.

 

Do you mean ingredients as in additives? If so, test with none, then gradually work up until you're satisfied. If results don't improve as you gradually increase the amount, that ingredient might not be appropriate or compatible.

If you mean ingredients such as the wax itself, I guess we determine "optimal result" based on what we aim to achieve with it. A strong throw, a cool burn, vibrant color retention, tolerance to shipping heat, great adhesion, no shrinkage, no frosting, no cauliflower tops, melt pools with sloping sides, no residue on the glass...

Well this made my day. I may be amateur, but I'm testing like a pro.,

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here’s the problem, you can delve into all the science you want with candle stuff, but along the way you’ll find a lot of things that ‘shouldn’t’ work but they do. It’s good to properly understand all of the supplies you’re using, no doubt about that, but even understanding exactly how a candle should burn perfectly, there is still no ‘ones size fits all’ answer to everything because everyone’s experiences vary so greatly. Which has always been funny to me because it ‘seems’ such a simple thing to learn.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ErronB said:

Here’s the problem, you can delve into all the science you want with candle stuff, but along the way you’ll find a lot of things that ‘shouldn’t’ work but they do. It’s good to properly understand all of the supplies you’re using, no doubt about that, but even understanding exactly how a candle should burn perfectly, there is still no ‘ones size fits all’ answer to everything because everyone’s experiences vary so greatly. Which has always been funny to me because it ‘seems’ such a simple thing to learn.

 

 

I look at it like other industries wherein there's a range of acceptable. Aim for the middle.

 

I remember the first time I was able to smell one of my candles. I walked into a room and wondered, "what's that smell???" lol  Shed a tear of joy to learn it was HT FINALLY!!!!!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TallTayl said:

I look at it like other industries wherein there's a range of acceptable. Aim for the middle.

 

I remember the first time I was able to smell one of my candles. I walked into a room and wondered, "what's that smell???" lol  Shed a tear of joy to learn it was HT FINALLY!!!!!

 

Ever since soy turned to hell.... I can either make a candle with a middle of the road hot throw and great burn, or one that will blow your whole house out but require trimming after every burn. I choose the better 'burn' just for safety reasons.

 

I'm stuck using specific fragrances otherwise this wouldn't be an issue, but at least it gives me something to keep playing with. I doubt I'll ever be 100% happy with any candles so I think I'll be testing for the rest of my life lol.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ErronB said:

 

Ever since soy turned to hell.... I can either make a candle with a middle of the road hot throw and great burn, or one that will blow your whole house out but require trimming after every burn. I choose the better 'burn' just for safety reasons.

 

I'm stuck using specific fragrances otherwise this wouldn't be an issue, but at least it gives me something to keep playing with. I doubt I'll ever be 100% happy with any candles so I think I'll be testing for the rest of my life lol.

How do you manage to handle wax shrinkage after burn?  It is my observation that every time melted waxes being harden the wax will shrink down leaving taller wick than while burning.  Wax shrinkage will be different depends on duration of burning & different types of wax.  So, I thought every candles need to be trimmed almost every burn.  Have you found a wax that would not shrink or wick that will shrink with the wax?  Or are you using wicks that will work with your wax at any (long) length?

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, BusyBee said:

How do you manage to handle wax shrinkage after burn?  It is my observation that every time melted waxes being harden the wax will shrink down leaving taller wick than while burning.  Wax shrinkage will be different depends on duration of burning & different types of wax.  So, I thought every candles need to be trimmed almost every burn.  Have you found a wax that would not shrink or wick that will shrink with the wax?  Or are you using wicks that will work with your wax at any (long) length?

 

You're right, I've seen shrinkage in that way with every wax I use . But if you're using a self-trimming wick that just happens to like the wax you're using, the fragrance, and the fragrance load, then it will usually trim itself and carry on where it left off. There is a LOT more to it than that, but realistically professional candle testing by scientists is done with trimming to 1/4 inch between burns, so that is a good enough standard if you pass their checklist.

Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, ErronB said:

 

You're right, I've seen shrinkage in that way with every wax I use . But if you're using a self-trimming wick that just happens to like the wax you're using, the fragrance, and the fragrance load, then it will usually trim itself and carry on where it left off. There is a LOT more to it than that, but realistically professional candle testing by scientists is done with trimming to 1/4 inch between burns, so that is a good enough standard if you pass their checklist.

Yes I have seen wicks that can catch up quickly between burns.  But like you said earlier, there are many wicks that won't catch up but perform superior.  I am the one who choose to go for performance over hmm I don't think my candles are unsafe but here it is "safety".  I guess we are all different.  Thank you for your input!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey @Busy Bee Here's an ever evolving work-in-process candle testing form I use. A sticker goes on the candle with the reference number to keep things simple. Would you believe that for some clients the 12 spots for wicks tested was not nearly enough? =O 

Candle Testing Form.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...