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Relief Holes


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Why do you poke them?
To spread out the shrinkage of the wax.

The strain of the shrinking wax is all focused on the center of the candle, where it forms a sink hole. It can cause air to get sucked in around the wick to form a cavity, or it can even make the outer wall of the candle collapse inwards, causing a dent.

If you poke largish holes into the congealing wax, air will get drawn into the holes as the wax shrinks and relieve some of the strain.

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Thanks for the reply. Do you do this for containers as well as votives?
It's not required for small votives.

It isn't generally done for containers either. They're typically poured on the cool side to minimize shrinkage, usually with soft specialized container formulations that minimize shrinkage even more and often eliminate the need for a second pour.

Containers can also be made with formulations that are mostly paraffin and have a fair amount of shrinkage. These can be poked after the first pour sets up, to expose any cavities and make sure they get filled on the second pour. This is also sometimes needed for vegetable waxes and blends.

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