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Why am I gettting little craters/air bubbles on my candle


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Beeswax doesn’t love to be overheated.  Generally, the melt point is around 140-150*F. I tend to melt to 160-ish and pour into silicone sprayed molds to promote smooth surfaces and easy de molding.  If it’s cold in the shop and am using cold silicone molds, 165 can help prevent jump lines.  
 

I’ve never once had surfaces like your photo in decades of using beeswax. 

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Very cool mold, BTW!

 

If you've already tried TallTayl's and NightLight's advice and haven't seen an improvement, is there anything you can take out of the equation to try to isolate the problem?  Just some general things that come to mind:

  • I think you said in your other post that you're not using fragrance yet, right?
  • I assume you're not adding anything to wax (dyes, additives, etc?)
  • Have you used that same mold with a different wax just to see if you get similar results?
  • Is the mold homemade?  I know ZERO about molds, but I wonder if it could be the material that the mold is made from?
  • Do you have a different mold you can try with the same wax using the same technique (same temps, etc.)?
  • Have you used that same wax before?  (Specifically that same batch, since every batch can be different.)

 

Good luck, and keep us posted.  I don't use beeswax OR molds but it's a really interesting problem.

 

editing post to add this:
Another thing that might be interesting would be to turn one half of the mold on its side and make half a candle like that.  It should cool a lot faster that way, and I'd be curious if the faster cooling has any effect on the pockmarks.  (I assume TallTayl's advice to pour at a lower temp would also affect the cooling speed.)

Edited by BenderSF
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Hey everyone so I have tried parafin wax and also soy wax. The soy wax candle looks PERFECT but it breaks easy. And parafin is out of the picture because it’s toxic to breathe in. So I’m stuck with beeswax. I do have to admit I am struggling to properly melt the wax at the recommended temperature. By the time all the wax fully melts, it jumps to around 180 degrees. 
 

I have reasons to believe that my mold isn’t the problem (it is DIY) because the soy wax version turned out super smooth with no craters or air bubbles. I will try to make another candle tomorrow, using everyone’s advice. I just can’t believe how much of a struggle it is! 
 

here is the soy wax version I made, and here is the mold release I am using. 

image.jpg

image.jpg

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12 hours ago, TallTayl said:

Beeswax doesn’t love to be overheated.  Generally, the melt point is around 140-150*F. I tend to melt to 160-ish and pour into silicone sprayed molds to promote smooth surfaces and easy de molding.  If it’s cold in the shop and am using cold silicone molds, 165 can help prevent jump lines.  
 

I’ve never once had surfaces like your photo in decades of using beeswax. 

How long does it take to properly melt beeswax? It takes me around 1 hour to fully melt half a pot of beeswax in my 10lb pot. Today I managed to have it reach 174 degrees.. still need to lower by 15 degrees. I really hope this is the reason why I’m getting craters. Or maybe it is the brand of beeswax I’m buying?

 

im also getting a lot of shrinkage, I already filled the shrink hole earlier.. now there’s a little more I need to fill. 

image.jpg

image.jpg

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8 hours ago, BenderSF said:

different

 

8 hours ago, BenderSF said:

Very cool mold, BTW!

 

If you've already tried TallTayl's and NightLight's advice and haven't seen an improvement, is there anything you can take out of the equation to try to isolate the problem?  Just some general things that come to mind:

  • I think you said in your other post that you're not using fragrance yet, right?
  • I assume you're not adding anything to wax (dyes, additives, etc?)
  • Have you used that same mold with a different wax just to see if you get similar results?
  • Is the mold homemade?  I know ZERO about molds, but I wonder if it could be the material that the mold is made from?
  • Do you have a different mold you can try with the same wax using the same technique (same temps, etc.)?
  • Have you used that same wax before?  (Specifically that same batch, since every batch can be different.)

 

Good luck, and keep us posted.  I don't use beeswax OR molds but it's a really interesting problem.

 

editing post to add this:
Another thing that might be interesting would be to turn one half of the mold on its side and make half a candle like that.  It should cool a lot faster that way, and I'd be curious if the faster cooling has any effect on the pockmarks.  (I assume TallTayl's advice to pour at a lower temp would also affect the cooling speed.)

Thank you for all of this, I forgot to tag you in my comment but you can scroll a little further to see my response. Here are the main issues I’m dealing with 

 

1. melting the was to the correct temperature (140-155 degrees) mine is fully melted at around 180 degrees. Maybe I’m rushing the wax melt process? Takes about a full hour. 
 

2. I’m struggling with filtering the wax once it’s melted. I’ll provide pictures of the cheese cloth I am using that just won’t filter through. I tried using a metal freeze filter, but the holes are too large to filter this wax. 

 

 

image.jpg

image.jpg

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First ditch that wax. You bought on Amazon? Get it from supplier people can suggest here. You will be able to tell if its the bag of wax right away by testing with new wax. That was looks like it has water in it or something.

 

Get new wax do the following.

 

New wax one candle tester

Blend soy and beeswax candle new wax tester

 

Now if you add fragrance that could be the issue.

If so you do candle tester no fragrance to rule out fragrance as issue.

 

 

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I think the problem is the wax.  That product has no reviews, probably for good reason. Many Amazon waxes are not what they claim to be. 
 

try a candle wax supplier and see if your luck improves. 
I have been very happy with this beeswax: https://soybeads.com/product/beeswax-beads/

 

bulkapothecary.com has a decent wax, but is often too deep yellow for my use, and has a smoky odor.

soaperschoice.com carries a decent beeswax. It oo is too dark in color for my needs, and usually has a smoky odor.

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As for the craters, this is 100% normal. You will always need to fill molded beeswax candles after they cool. Totally normal. Really dig around for the hole to ensure it is 100% filled.

 

I don’t blend beeswax with any other wax for molded candles. The only reason to blend is to achieve a more opaque finish. Any soy added to beeswax changes the melt behavior and messes with wicking. 

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9 hours ago, Enotionaldebt said:

I just can’t believe how much of a struggle it is!

Heh, yeah, if it makes you feel any better, we've all been there.  (I feel like I'm still there most of the time.  😆)

 

From your previous post it sounds like you would prefer to be using soy anyway but your tester came out too brittle.  That's probably a solvable problem, too.  Might just have been the wrong type of soy for a mold, or (especially if you got it on Amazon) just not great wax.  Post some more info about your experience with soy, if that's really the route you'd prefer to go.

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5 hours ago, NightLight said:

First ditch that wax. You bought on Amazon? Get it from supplier people can suggest here.

 

 

You and TallTayl hit the nail on the head. I simply don't trust Amazon anymore. There is such an increase in counterfeit items and fly-by-night sellers that I rarely shop there anymore. (Prime Video and buying my HVAC filters--oddball size--is essentially all I buy there with rare occasion.)

 

Wicking is hard enough with batch variances from reputable sellers. You don't need to add additional unknowns into the equation.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Mythreindeer

Just to add though you've likely got this figured out by now, the color of your beeswax looks off to me and I suspect it is China sourced. Be wary of any brand with an odd name or spelling/grammar errors in the labeling as it likely low-quality wax from overseas.

 

I strongly encourage everyone to use a USA beekeeper who sells their capping wax for beeswax. It's usually $8-12/lb for filtered wax give or take. Some apiaries don't have a filtering operation but can sell you pretty clean wax from cappings that smells amazing. Buy a sample first and if it's good turn right around and order all you need as harvests can differ year to year.

 

Oh, nice jughead mold 🙂

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