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geekrunner

Reverse engineering a candle?

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I had a thought while shopping at the grocery store. I saw a small local candle company's display, and thought about buying one of their container candles to check it out. Then I began to wonder how I could learn from what other chandlers have done by analyzing their candle wax composition.

Question: does anyone know someone or a company that can do that type of chemical analysis, other than wax companies? Would there be any moral or ethical considerations?

Just something to grind on. If nothing else, I'm doing my part to break in this new site! :D

BTW thanks Alan for all your hard work in the bg!

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Seems like it would be an awful lot of trouble. Even if you knew what kind of wax and additives it had, you'd probably still have just as much testing as you do with your own. As for ethical, don't know, but I wouldn't feel right about doing it without their permission :(

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I met with a new account the other day, Premier Candles. According to the web, they are one of the major manufacturers and designers of candles for the North American Market. After talking to them for a while about wax, wicks, FO's etc., they invited me to spend a day at their facility. I can't wait! (www.premiercandle.com)

I saw some of their candles, and when asked what I thought, what popped out of my mouth was "Your wicks are crooked. I would never sell a candle with a crooked wick." They laughed and called me a "Candle Snob" and they're right, I am.

I have two accounts that sell candles, and I have to say that I am not impressed. The other account deals in aroma therapy jars and votives. They are supposed to be handpoured. I opened a box and out of the 48 votives inside, over half had crooked wicks, and air bubbles, like little crater's on them. Yuck! I guess really have become quite critical when it comes to candles.

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Call me critical too! I look at everyone's candles now and must say most of them leave something to be desired. I did run across a company in our local pharmacy that impressed me though; natural candles, and sure would love to know their secrets. My Hubby has a friend, who works as a chemist in a soy manufacturing company; maybe I will give this candle to him and see if he can tell me what is in it. I sure would love to know what additive they used to get rid of the frosting in the soy wax...has bugged me for years.

Candlemaking can be soooooo frustrating, but soooooo much fun! ;)

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If you don't mind me saying so, to me it's not an issue of being a "snob" as it is knowing what a good candle is & knowing how to make one. When one considers the inferiority of many factory made candles, it's really a wonder they're in business. On the other hand, we know why they're in business - too many ignorant consumers! I'm just saying, don't feel bad, feel proud that you know the difference between quality and ... ho hum! :D

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If you don't mind me saying so, to me it's not an issue of being a "snob" as it is knowing what a good candle is & knowing how to make one. When one considers the inferiority of many factory made candles, it's really a wonder they're in business. On the other hand, we know why they're in business - too many ignorant consumers! I'm just saying, don't feel bad, feel proud that you know the difference between quality and ... ho hum! :D

I agree. They should have turned red in the face at their "crooked" product, from someone they asked in to see how the "big boys" do it. Be proud that you caught it. :D As others I look at every candle I come across now to compare.

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IThen I began to wonder how I could learn from what other chandlers have done by analyzing their candle wax composition.

I see your point in wanting to know what the competition is doing, but it seems like an awful lot of trouble and expense. It would be easier to just do some testing yourself and maybe use them as a benchmark to aspire to. Once you get familiar with making candles, you get a better idea of what they are made of when you see them. For example, most soy candles you see that are perfectly smooth with no frosting are not 100% soy; they most likely have some % of paraffin in them. You'll also get to recognize different types of waxes and techniques.

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