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C-3 Soy Wax Rough Tops & Sweating when using Heat Gun


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Hi! I've recently switched to C-3 Soy wax from Cargill because i read a lot about it having creamy smooth tops and great adhesion online.

 

I tried the following 2 methods:

 

1. Melted the wax to about 180F, added in 6-7% FO around 170F, stirred for 3 minutes, then poured around 120F (cloudy stage). Then i did a second pour for the top layer since the tops from the first pour were not smooth enough.

 

2. Melted the wax to about 170F, added in 6-7% FO around 160F, stirred for 2 minutes, then poured immediately.

 

Results:

 

There were better results for the first method - the second one resulted in cracks in the top surface and FO was not incorporated well enough.

 

However the problem is that with the first method:

 

1. Even after doing the second pour the tops are still not completely smooth. There are still weird lines all over the top of the wax. A lot of people would suggest using a heat gun, however i am consistently getting the same problem - once i use the heat gun, my candles start sweating the next day. Without the heat gun it would be fine.

 

2. There were also some wet spots, although i had preheated the jars before pouring.

 

Any suggestions/thoughts? It would be greatly appreciated 🙂

 

 

 

 

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For your second pour ... I normally retain a little wax in the melting pot.  Then I only warm it slightly past being melted, allow it to cool a bit before pouring a very thin layer.  I think you're getting cracks due to the top pour being too hot.  If I have to use a heat gun for some minor reason, I hold it a bit far away and only point to where it's needed at first, then lightly go over to smooth it out and I lightly cover with a little piece of fabric.  Insulating your containers might help with the wet spots.

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C3 can be tricky. Try heating your wax up to 180 and hold for 10 minutes and fragrance then cool. Each environment will have different result. Test 150 - 160 range.

Or something I have been experimenting with different waxes, and getting better outcome. heat your wax up to 180, then let it cool, the. Come back reheat add fragrance.

Some of the Natural waxes small batches I found do better this way.

If you hate the look of the wax blend c3 with a soft paraffins.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/3/2022 at 10:59 AM, birdcharm said:

For your second pour ... I normally retain a little wax in the melting pot.  Then I only warm it slightly past being melted, allow it to cool a bit before pouring a very thin layer.  I think you're getting cracks due to the top pour being too hot.  If I have to use a heat gun for some minor reason, I hold it a bit far away and only point to where it's needed at first, then lightly go over to smooth it out and I lightly cover with a little piece of fabric.  Insulating your containers might help with the wet spots.

 

Hi birdcharm, when you say you lightly cover with a piece of fabric, does it mean you just put a fabric over the whole jar opening so the heat that reaches the candle won't be as much? I have yet another candle with cracks after the second pour and am terrified of ruining yet another candle with my heat gun 🥶 Thanks for the tip on the second pour, i'll try that next time!

Edited by blacktoast94
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You can make a diffuser for your heat gun with a metal strainer so the heat doesn’t go on candle full blast. Do not hold heat gun right next to strainer! You should get a mini heat gun instead of a biggie from home depot etc. I have a mini with two settings that’s handy for lots of crafts.

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9 minutes ago, NightLight said:

You can make a diffuser for your heat gun with a metal strainer so the heat doesn’t go on candle full blast. Do not hold heat gun right next to strainer! You should get a mini heat gun instead of a biggie from home depot etc. I have a mini with two settings that’s handy for lots of crafts.

 

Thanks nightlight! do you have any recommendation on which brand of heat gun to get? i am using a mini heat gun, but the minimum heat is about 400F, and i can't find any other heat gun that has a lower heat than that.

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C3 (and c1 along with many other soy blends) are unforgiving on second pours. The amount of shrink between the 2 layers causes cracking since irregularly shaped crystals of soy wax are not rubbery or  stretchy like paraffin blends. 
 

when production making candles using the C series wax, I had the most luck (and least rework) by pouring just about at the slushy stage. For me, the temp was in the 105-109*F range. I was able to make 300 candles start to finish including labeling in a couple of hours. Any time I needed a second pour or a heat gun it cost money in terms of time and other resources. Time = money. 
 

I heated the wax to 185, colored, scented and rapid cooled the pouring pots in front of a fan - stirring periodically to distribute the heat and prevent the cooling wax from forming lumps from uneven cooling. Poured quickly into containers and let cool the rest of the way. This prevented sink holes/hidden cavities as well.

 

rapid cooling like I did made for smaller wax crystal formation which = shinier finish. Slow cool = larger crystals = more matte or rough finish. 
 

heat gunning the c series waxes mixes in the priming of the wick causing weird patterns in the surface where the paraffin prime swirls with the surface of the soy blend. The wax itself behaves badly when partially melted then re-cooled. I often noticed mottling and cracking when heat gunning tops. If using color the imperfections were magnified. 

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Yes true above TT but you can make heat gun do better by diffusing it through strainer and keep it light.

If not then wax modification. I’m playing with C3 wax at the moment and the formula is much better than it was from a couple years ago.

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4 hours ago, blacktoast94 said:

 

Hi birdcharm, when you say you lightly cover with a piece of fabric, does it mean you just put a fabric over the whole jar opening so the heat that reaches the candle won't be as much? I have yet another candle with cracks after the second pour and am terrified of ruining yet another candle with my heat gun 🥶 Thanks for the tip on the second pour, i'll try that next time!

 

Actually, I use the piece of fabric as a bit of insulation to keep the surface from getting too cold too fast -- my workspace can be a bit chilly, and although I cleared a shelf in an inner cabinet for pouring in the winter (+ warm the space up with a blow dryer), I also got in the habit of doing this thing with the piece of fabric.  I've found that it can also help to lightly use a heat gun prior to doing a very thin top layer.  With all of this combined (thin layer, not too hot), warm little area, it's helped my candles.  I only pour a few at a time, if that, but I've tried doing single pour and still got a circular crack -- I will try again when I have more time at a lower temp than simply cloudy, but go for slushy as TallTayl has suggested with a rapid cool down.  For my last project, I couldn't risk trying for a single pour, so went this method for now.

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23 minutes ago, NightLight said:

Yes true above TT but you can make heat gun do better by diffusing it through strainer and keep it light.

If not then wax modification. I’m playing with C3 wax at the moment and the formula is much better than it was from a couple years ago.

 

Keeping it light is definitely important ... good idea about the strainer.  I was trying to rig something with some foil, to diffuse, but it didn't work, lol.

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A second pour isn’t bad if you don’t let the first pour cool completely and make the second pour 1/2” or so deep. Thin second pours will nearly always be problematic. 
 

I learned this when I had a few specific fragrances that needed special treatment for faire. Never cracked when thick. 
 

another trick was to do the second pour while the first was still kind of moving - not set. This one prevented the horrid cavities if nothing else. 
 

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 A metal strainer works like a diffuser on a hairdryer. So instead of super concentrated it will diffuse the blast of hot air.

if that doesn’t give you what you want then modify your wax. Make a parasoy blend, buy a parasoy blend, or start to play with additives but that can take a long time testing depending on what you want in a candle.

 

Mind you you can get smooth tops in soy but after your burn unless you modify your wax you are back to the uglies again. It all depends on what you want. Some candle companies are proud of uglie. It’s up to you.

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