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Heating FO


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I'm the first to realize that I don't know ANYTHING yet, but it seems I read on here somewhere about heating the FO to get it to mix more readily. In shopping at Walmart, I found a 4 cup coffeemaker (Mr. Coffee # DR4) that I bought for 13 dollars and change. I was experimenting with it today and found that if I were going to melt 5 lbs of wax in my Presto pot and use 9% FO, I'd want 7.2 ounces of FO. So I put 7.2 ounces of water (by weight) in the glass bowl (the cup marker on the side of the bowl showed about 1 1/3 cups) and turned the burner on. It took about 20 minutes to heat from ambient to 170 degrees F. where it stabilized. I realize that FO will have a different specific gravity than water, but like I said, I was experimenting and wanted to pass on the information for what it's worth :)

I guess if your FO has a flash point of less than 170, you'd want to check it with a meat thermometer as it heats up to prevent going over the top and creating a problem.

It should be pretty handy, just pouring the FO out like a cup of coffee from the coffee maker bowl into your wax.

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I would suggest it's both art and science. You seem to have a bent for the science side considering your test of the coffee maker and how you reported the results. That won't serve you badly.

As regards heating the FO, I remember seeing mention of that in some thread recently but I just skimmed over it. I have no idea why that would ever be necessary or helpful versus heating it in the wax.

As you pointed out, it raises the issue of the flash point (which in MANY cases is well below 170) as well as rapid deterioration of the fragrance. The most volatile components are going to be evaporating quickly at those temperatures, and I suspect (but I'm not sure) that they would be lost more gradually if mixed into wax of the same temp.

Maybe someone will come along and explain why people are doing this.

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IMHO you're complicating the whole process of making candles by over analyzing.

The weight of 7.2 fluid oz. of water won't weigh the same as 7.2 fluid oz. of FO. Equal fluid measurements of different FO's won't always weigh the same.

The flashpoint of an FO isn't a concern when it's mixed into the wax. See http://www.candlesupply.com/flashpointinfo.html for an explanation.

I don't heat FO before adding to the wax. For me it's just an unnecessary extra step, since the FO will warm up once it's in the wax.

I also never bother with percentages. I weigh the FO, and adjust as needed based on my testing of each one.

You might find that you waste a lot of materials by making candles with 5 lbs. of wax at first. I recommend starting out with no more than 1 lb., unless you need more for the container you plan to use.

I like to use disposable cups to measure FO. Makes cleaning up a lot quicker and easier.

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You are making things more complicated. The only time mixing FO and wax is a problem is if you use to much or you are dealing with certain FOs like vanilla that sometimes have problems mixing. Then extra stirring will take care of the Heavier FO and and if it is to much FO cut back.

Every time you heat the FO you are doing a few things that I would not consider very good. The FO is degrading, dissipating and you could be changing the chemical make up of it as some chemicals change with heating.

Now that being said there is times you need to heat you FO in the winter when it is really cold some FOs will crystallize a little bit but if you sit them in warm water the crystals will melt away and you FO is usable again.

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