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Newbie! How do I get my candles to stop doing this

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Help! I got my first starter set from Amazon to make soy wax candles. I’m following the instructions and temperatures, but can’t seem to get a smooth top :( I’m getting a lot of craters. I smoothed some out with a hair dryer to fill the holes (didn’t have a heat gun), but once lit they cratered again. I also tried experimenting with black liquid candle dye in one of them and not only did it crater, but looks like some sort of sugar crystals on top and dried to more of a grey (I put 8 drops in)lol. I have watched and read a bunch on do’s and don’ts but can’t seem to get it right. I did end up buying some better quality materials to use but I really want to get the technique right before I use them! IMG_0725.thumb.jpeg.142b26497c9cbf41f0effde92cdca904.jpegIMG_0726.thumb.jpeg.de3362568f4080a382300f90dda87272.jpeg

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Soy wax can be really finicky.  The sink holes are the worst as you don’t know you have them until either the candle flares and dies or you poke holes into it and feel them out.  Some waxes (444 I’m looking at you) develop more sink hole cavities as you fill old cavities.  

with soy, I typically have the best luck by heating to 180-185, stirring gently along no the way as temp rises to ensure all of the wax components are fully melted.  I add color at this point if using it. Then stir down to 140-160 depending on the blend, add fragrance. Slowly stirring with a wide rubber spatula helps keep the temp dropping steadily without creating little wax grain crystals that grow into those grains you discovered on your tops. I pour soy at the cloudy to slushy stage to prevent cavities as best I can. a second pour of reheated, reserved wax can often hide the original homeliness of the first poured surface. As little as 1/4” of a second pour can make a big difference. 

Most soy will get grainy over time no matter how pretty it looks at first.  Not using dye helps camouflage the graininess for a while. Soy wax continues to morph and dry out over time. It’s a weird fuel.


heat gun treatment to high stearic waxes like soy rarely solves the problem.  As the heat gunned wax layer cools it has no choice but to grain.



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