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Experienced candle maker... new at this forum


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I just joined this forum today. I've owned a successful candle making business (doing home shows) for 10 years now (www.candlicious.com). I pour pillar candles and hand paint my candle jars. I absolutely love art and LOVE my job, or at least I used to...

I've been using the same 2 waxes, scents, and wicks for 10 years with much success. But... all of the sudden in the past year I am having problems with my candles staying lit (Pillars and jars). I have low flame or no flame at all. It seems pretty obvious that either my scent company or wax company has changed their formulas and won't admit to it. I am VERY frustrated and am trying all sorts of things to make my candles burn great again.

For my pillars I use:

- IGI 1324 (and I add 20% 6006 with vybar and UV)

- Liquid dye from French Color & Fragrance Co.

- My scent (essential oil blends) is from French Color (a VERY reputable company), I add 7% to 10%

For my Jars I use:

- IGI 6006 (nothing else added)

- I don't use die for the jars (I paint the jars)

- 6% to 10% Scent (same as pillars)

I'm not even going to go into my wicks, it's not the wick. I haven't ordered new wicks in 2 1/2 years, they're the same wicks, no new batches of those. I use cotton for pillars and zinc core for jars. They're stored in a cool dry place.

Does any one have any input on this?? If I didn't like what I did so much and if I didn't need the money I'd probably just quit! But what other job can be so rewarding as expressing yourself in art, getting paid for it, and working in your PJ's if you want to!!

Also, as most of you are aware, wax has gone up a TON!!!! The 6006 has gone from $60 to $85 a case. I order it at 4,000 lb increments and that's the best price I can get! That alone may make me go out of business!

I would LOVE any input from experienced candle makers that share my frustration with my all of the sudden "non-burning" candles. Or am I the only one out there??

Michelle

Candlicious

(please don't mistake me for candle-licious, they're a completely different candle company that copied my name 3 years after I was already business... don't even get me started with that one)

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Hi Michelle,

First let me say that you candle jars are awesome!!

Love all the beach and safari themes!!

Your Dog Breath Candle cracked me up!!!

Sorry to hear about your problems.

I have recently had to pull 3 of my candles scents from my stores, and I am only offering them on my website as melts and wickless. They were burning with a low flame and drowning out.

I used these oils for at least 4+ years with no problems, and for the life of me, these last batches I got, I could not get them to burn properly??

No other properties changed except the oils. I ruled out the wicks, wax, etc.

I know it was the oils that were causing the problem.

I assumed that is was something the FO Manufacturer changed and did not let us know..

These oils were from 2 different suppliers. Both the suppliers told me no changes were made in the FO's..

Which is leading me to believe the "Big guys" are reformulating..

This is just my theory, but we shall see.

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Welcome to the board

I am inclined to believe it's the FO also I have had a few tried and true FO all of the sudden not burn well. I was also told nothing has changed but when I burn those FO and compare with an older batch and that is the only thing different I am pretty sure it the FO.

I do know the EPA has stop FO manufactures from using several chemicals in the last few years and a lot of FO had to or will be reformulated. We are going to see a lot more of these problem cropping up.

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Welcome, Michelle.

And ditto on the fragrance oil. I have had this problem myself in the past. Great to know that is still something to look forward to in the near future! :(

I must also add about the waxes. I have ordered wax and used the same wax for 10 years. This last shipment was different. At first I thought I was losing my mind....different look, feel, texture and different end product. But after reading some posts, I know it is not me. I actually had different lot/batch numbers and compared the wax. BIG DIFFERENCE. My supplier is very willing to work with me to make this right. But meanwhile the orders keep coming in! Pretty scary when something that has to follow a certain manufacturing code can end up so very different.

SCARRRYYYY!:confused:

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I guess it could be either wax or fo but in our case is was the wax.(our candles were doing exactly what you are discribing) we thought it was our fo but NO it was not! It was a totally different wax! We are reformulating as I type! We understand your frustration! We just about have it again! Best of luck to you, LeeAnn~

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Are you using fragrance oil or essential oils? I am really new to candle making but an experienced soap maker and I know that eo's react differently than fo's in product.

Your site says you use exclusively eo in candle scents, but I see scents such as hot apple pie? :confused:

Your candles are cute by the way.

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Wow, and we thought it was us. We've been doing thiis 11 years and have never had this problem before. Same problem as in previous posts. We have talked with all of our suppliers who claim ignorance. We have tested and tested. No hard eveidence for what is happening. Will let you know if we find an answer.

RE: costs. We started out paying 59 cents a pound for wax. Shipping was 9 cents per pound, so we have seen lots of changes. We have learned to hate IGI. long story.

they say misery loves company, so it makes me feel better to know others are having the same problems with burns.

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Okay. I'll say it. I have had a margarita and I am feeling bold. :P

Suppliers, if you truly have knowledge that any aspect of your oils have changed or will change, and you are not allerting your customers about even the slightest reformuation, well, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Not only is it horrid customer service, imo, you will lose business. There have been way too many very experienced candle makers who know what they are doing who are obviously having issues. Now, if your manufacturer did a switch-a-roo on you and YOU did not know about it, then I would be LIVID with my manufacturer if I was in your place.

How many times has anyone here called a supplier with an issue only to hear "Well, gee, no one else has complained" only to see/hear on here or other boards that, wow, low and behold we are not the only one with issues.

We are experienced. We KNOW our products and we know when something we have been doing for years suddenly does not work, be it wax, oils, wicks, stickums, etc. We know when something smells different. We know when something burns different.

I tell you what, I had a huge product issue several years ago that cost me close to $2000. I will never forget it and I came *this close* to throwing in the towel. The most frustrating part was that the supplier never did follow through and help me figure it out. It was actually another supplier who is their competitor that ended up helping me. They now get a TON of my business. :smiley2:

I have a feeling that there are many, who if faced with oils that are suddenly not performing the same, might just throw up their hands and be done with it. People throwing in the towel=less money for suppliers. Let's face it, with prices the way they are, it would be so much easier to say "screw it," throw in the towel and take up macrame than it would be to lose money and then spend MORE money to try and figure out what is going on.

Of course, I am not a supplier. I don't know what goes into being a supplier. But I have been a customer for a long time and I have a LOT of respect for suppliers who will actually share information with their customers about their products. Case in point, one of my suppliers has an oil that I have used for a couple of years. Instead of me getting a new version of it and wondering why it smelled differently, burned differently or threw differently, they actually put the info on their website that they are carrying a new formulation. I knew to test it. Sure enough it burned differently. BUT, I knew to test it before I made two cases with that oil for a wholesale account. Or another supplier who tells their customers, "This watch batch is burning a bit tougher...best test." Again, I have so much respect for those kind of suppliers.

Okay, rant over.

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Wow! Thanks for ALL of your input! I feel a bit better! I hope I'm responding to all of you correctly, I haven't taken the time to learn the craft server. I can't wait to call French Color tomorrow (for the 15th time) to ask them about this "phalate free" thing. I've been using larger wicks in the pillars that aren't burning good. The jars, I don't know what to do. I am also sampling new wicks out of despair! Of course French Color recommended that.

A note to "Vertically Enhanced" YOU SAID IT!! That's exactly how I feel!! Can you tell me what scent and wax company that you're using?? I could really use a company that I can trust. I am a very honest person and have been a very loyal customer to French Color (I use their UV, vybar, and die as well) It makes me SICK to think about testing candles again!! I don't have 100% trust in IGI wax either.

Is there any one else that can comment on the IGI 6006 (soy paraffin blend)? Any experiences good/bad in the last few years? Approx 4 years ago I received 4,000 lbs of bad 6006 from them (it had WATER in it!). They did return it and sent me a new batch.

Also, thanks for the compliment on my jars! Ironically I'm painting jars tonight and as I'm painting, I'm thinking, why am I painting these? I don't have anything "flammable" that I can fill it with!!! Maybe I'll just sell them as candy jars (joke!)

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Okay. Again, I have so much respect for those kind of suppliers.

Okay, rant over.

How lucky are you to have a supplier that will listen to you. I have had 2 company's that have given me a credit when I argued something was wrong. But too many others say noting has changed. I don't see a solution unless we tell which supplier and what FO or wax that is different/not working the same. Wax is easy cause most have the company's name and the type wax, sometimes you'll even get a batch #. But FO's are going to be hard. Everyone has their version of what throws. We don't have a chance and THEY know it.... Who can afford to test all their scents again? I don't have the time, money or the nose, most of the time. I have to give to my tester and how the hell is she going to tell if it is different? This is making me sick and reaLLY MAD.

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How many times has anyone here called a supplier with an issue only to hear "Well, gee, no one else has complained" only to see/hear on here or other boards that, wow, low and behold we are not the only one with issues.

So true!! Those type of suppliers have lost most of my business!! I like giving my business to someone who cares!!

We are experienced. We KNOW our products and we know when something we have been doing for years suddenly does not work, be it wax, oils, wicks, stickums, etc. We know when something smells different. We know when something burns different.

Yes we do.. And some suppliers seem to forget that! When I was new, I fell for the BS..Now I am PO!!

I tell you what, I had a huge product issue several years ago that cost me close to $2000. I will never forget it and I came *this close* to throwing in the towel. The most frustrating part was that the supplier never did follow through and help me figure it out. It was actually another supplier who is their competitor that ended up helping me. They now get a TON of my business. :smiley2:

I remember that!! I had the same wax problem along with 2000 incorrect wicks being shipped to me.

The Company mixed zinc in with my batch. When I called and told them, they said "Oh, No we would not do that, IMPOSSIBLE!!

I flipped, impossible.. I see the zinc... DUH!! NO denying it now..

They blamed their manufacturer of course!

Now if I could not see the zinc, they would have not of believed me and would have kept telling me I was doing something wrong!!!!!!!!!!:mad:

Lost all respect for this big supplier..

I lost thousands of $$ at the time too.. Between the wax and wicks!!

Of course, I am not a supplier. I don't know what goes into being a supplier. But I have been a customer for a long time and I have a LOT of respect for suppliers who will actually share information with their customers about their products. Case in point, one of my suppliers has an oil that I have used for a couple of years. Instead of me getting a new version of it and wondering why it smelled differently, burned differently or threw differently, they actually put the info on their website that they are carrying a new formulation. I knew to test it. Sure enough it burned differently. BUT, I knew to test it before I made two cases with that oil for a wholesale account. Or another supplier who tells their customers, "This watch batch is burning a bit tougher...best test." Again, I have so much respect for those kind of suppliers.

I have one supplier that TALKS to me.

He is honest and listens.

I had an issues with about 20 cases of wax that was dirty and not burning properly.

Instead of telling me.. OH.. Nothing on my end, or we can't duplicate this problem in our warehouse. He took back the wax, and gave me 20 new boxes!!! He dealt with the wax Manufacturer, who refunded him and told him that there was a problem.. (See we are not so dumb suppliers!!, As VE said.. WE DO KNOW!!!)

He also said that some of the FO Manufactures have offered him his oils at a reduced cost. Same scent, reduced cost.. He said he will not use the "New, less expensive ones" as he does not know how it will effect US!!!

This company that is honest and upfront will continue to get my biz and lots of it!!!

(Hmmm this tells me these manufactures are reformulating to make the oils more affordable for us:rolleyes2)

Ohh... I feel better now...

Okay, rant over.

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Are you using fragrance oil or essential oils? I am really new to candle making but an experienced soap maker and I know that eo's react differently than fo's in product.

Your site says you use exclusively eo in candle scents, but I see scents such as hot apple pie? :confused:

I am also confused as to what "scents" you are putting in your candles. Are they FO or EO?

Can't say I have ever seen "hot apple pie" EO.

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While I can't explain what is going on with your specific problem. I'm having problems with my wax. I use 50/50 container. I received two cases, and I thought it was really hard to cut, but thought it had to do with a medical issue I had where I lost some strength in my arm. Anyway...I poured some tins, and a week later I look at them, they are "veined" and very hard. So, hard that they released from the sides of the tins and could fall through. This wax is so hard, and cools very, very differently, with jump lines, etc.

I contact the supplier. Of course nothing is wrong with it. First it was, a temperature change (hello, we are in September, not February). No, I don't need to heat my jars now. No, I didn't change my wicks. No I don't want more wax of the same batch number.

I contacted another supplier of the same wax, she was very informative and wanting to help me, but unfortunately they are out of this wax currently and unsure when it's coming in.

If I was a first time chandler, I'd understand the condescending attitude, but I've been buying consistently from this supplier for years. So, I'm forced to use another supplier who is more expensive, but I'm in dire need.

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A note to "Vertically Enhanced" YOU SAID IT!! That's exactly how I feel!! Can you tell me what scent and wax company that you're using?? I could really use a company that I can trust. I am a very honest person and have been a very loyal customer to French Color (I use their UV, vybar, and die as well) It makes me SICK to think about testing candles again!! I don't have 100% trust in IGI wax either.

First of all, I don't use IGI wax, but I do remember there being some issues on this board about the IGI 6006 a while back. I would do a search and see what comes up.

As for fragrance suppliers I use way too many, lol. Some I have to use and I don't particularly want to, but they carry "that" oil that I really need. Kwim? With that said, here are the good ones...the ones that consistantly provide me a quality product and ones that stand behind what they sell:

Just By Nature - they are the ones who were instrumental in helping me with my $2000 issue (yes, I am still a bit bitter over it, lol) and it was not even their product in question. They have the MOST amazing customer service and their oils are wonderful. Also, they are the ones that gave me the heads up on one of the oils I use changing, which I appreciated so much.

KY - Vicki is one of the best suppliers out there. Top notch products, top notch knowledge and top notch customer service. She will also post about "new formulations" on oils on her page. Another thing that she does is on her soy wax page, she has a big ole disclaimer saying basically "each lot of soy can change...make sure you test." That is a "must know" if you are working with soy. So many suppliers simply don't put that on their site and again, when working with soy, you simply have to understand that for not only making a quality candle time after time, but also a safe candle.

GL Candle supply - Although I don't get my wax from them, I have seen Brenda go out of her way to let her customers know in the past if there were any different burning characteristics with their 70/30 wax. Translation in my mind=she tests her products before passing them on.

Tennessee Candle Supply and Millcreek Candle Supply are are other suppliers that I use for oils that have consistantly provided great service and products. I am sure others can post their experiences. I am not saying there are not any other great suppliers out there, these are just the ones I personally have used and the ones I feel are top notch.

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ok, I'm getting a bit confused?? If we are going to help one another and try to figure out what's good, what's not, what supplier is "lying" and who is not, and so on, I need EVERYONE to be more specific. I definitely have all of your attention and you're all letting out some steam, but... is it truly helping with our final product?? One person said they use 50/50 wax (WHAT BRAND??), another person said that their supplier "talks/communicates" with them (WHO'S THAT SUPPLIER??), So many people are complaining about their scent companies & wax companies but are not listing who they are using. If we are going to avoid making more mistakes and learn from each other, YOU NEED TO LIST WHO AND WHAT YOU USE so it can start helping everyone. In my last email I had asked "vertically challenged" WHAT scent company they were using because they were happy with the communication and honesty.

On another note, I spoke to French Color this morning and the two big guys that I've been working with told me that if a formula has changed I would know because it would have a different order number on it. They are working with Wicks Unlimited for me to see what wicks could be better for my jars with their scent (I use Wick it right now). French Color told me that I have been lucky for the past 9 years that I've always used the same size wick for every scent because MOST scents require different size wicks depending on the weight of the scent (*which does make sense, but I still think all of this is suspicious). My pillars have a dim wick as well as my jars for autumn spice!

I'm waiting to hear back from IGI. I told them I needed to know if they have changed their formula on the 6006. I need to order a new batch and at $85 per case I won't accept it at delivery if it appears different.

As mad and frustrated as I am about my candles not staying lit, I can't say I'm going to switch suppliers just yet. They have always worked with me (and I'm also pretty persistent). If I don't get better results soon then I will consider other options. I have randomly used another scent company called Belle Aire. Have any of you used them?? I like their EO and FO as well (I haven't used them recently, don't know if they've changed as well). I stopped using them because they have the worst customer service I have ever seen (or at least their sales reps for Wisconsin are terrible, one worse than the other).

To answers some of your questions on my hot apple pie, yes, it is a fragrance oil. I am updating my entire website and have to change/add to the description of my fragrances. One thing that I am starting to notice is...

My hot apple pie and cafe mocha are burning awesome, BUT my bonsai citrus ginger, lilac, pumpkin ginger, & autumn spice are low flame. In my case, it looks as though the fragrance oils are burning better than the essential oils (but cafe mocha is part EO).

So, please, if you're going to respond, please be specific, let's help one another and make a difference in our candles. Let's support the honest companies and let's figure out what's working and what's not.

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I wish I knew what supplier of wax this was. But the two places I've used Candles & Supplies and Farmhouse will not release who the manufacturer is.

As for the comment about KY--awesome, very informative, and willing to help.

I have not personally had any issues with FOs, but I buy from Peak, TN, KY, Candle Science and Daystar.

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I am responding with what I know of essential oils, their properties are very different than their synthetic counterparts. Sometimes the flash point is extremely low. I know with my litsea cubeba and my citrus that I use in my soap making has a much lower vaporization point than my fragrance oils.

My concern would be the concentration of essential oil in some of the blends. If it has a lower vaporization point it should in turn affect throw.

My wax I use is ecosoya cb135 from Candle Science.

I'm pleased with the wax, the service, pricing and my relationship with my supplier.

Thanks for posting this thread because I'm still new to candlemaking and I have the utmost respect for all of you that do this, and do it well.

Making Cp soap is a cakewalk for me compared to my candle research.

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Your problems sound similar to my own, except on a much smaller scale. I was using Green Leaf 70/30 wax (soy/paraffin), 7.5 oz Crisa tumblers and CD wicks. My usual fo suppliers were Just By Nature, Green Leaf and Natures Garden. The increase in shipping costs and raw material costs forced me to search for suppliers closer to home, in an effort to keep the bottom line from eating up my profits. Long story short? There is no quality control on our raw materials and suppliers are caught in the middle. They only know what the manufacturer wants them to know and are unwilling to provide satisfaction for sub-standard quality when it occurs. I found my wax with another supplier and I have learned my lesson with fos from free shipping suppliers and have ordered my old reliables. If it turns out that something has so fundamentally changed with basic raw materials that I can no longer produce a decent product at a reasonable price; then that's the end of my business. It looks like the governmentis going to shut us down anyway.

Chuck

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I remember that!! I had the same wax problem along with 2000 incorrect wicks being shipped to me.

The Company mixed zinc in with my batch. When I called and told them, they said "Oh, No we would not do that, IMPOSSIBLE!!

I flipped, impossible.. I see the zinc... DUH!! NO denying it now..

They blamed their manufacturer of course!

Now see...I think *I* remember you posting about that. :laugh2:

Was that the time where they asked you for the wicks back, you sent like 1521 back (made up number cause I cannot remember THAT well) because you had used some of them in the dud candles, and they only credited you for the ones you sent back instead of the entire 2000?

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I remember that!! I had the same wax problem along with 2000 incorrect wicks being shipped to me.

The Company mixed zinc in with my batch. When I called and told them, they said "Oh, No we would not do that, IMPOSSIBLE!!

I flipped, impossible.. I see the zinc... DUH!! NO denying it now..

They blamed their manufacturer of course!

Now see...I think *I* remember you posting about that. :laugh2:

Was that the time where they asked you for the wicks back, you sent like 1521 back (made up number cause I cannot remember THAT well) because you had used some of them in the dud candles, and they only credited you for 1521 wicks you sent back instead of the entire 2000? Forget the tons of money you lost having to pull candles with bad wicks, huh?

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I use 6006 for my containers. So far so good. I have noticed changes in the quality of my oils. When I pick them up from the suppliers, I check all of them before I leave. I never know when one has changed THAT WEEK. But when I order, I can not send them back. That is not right. I know they are all looking for the best quality at the lowest price, but please tell me if you change an oil. And it seems to happen when I have a dead line. I started using a wax made by Calamet. It is 30% soy, rest parrifin. Instead of paying 91.00 for 6006, I can pay 76.00 for this one. I like it. It is actually easier to use and not as sticky as 6006. I get this from Starrville. It tested fine. No complaints. Hope you can figure out what is going on. I use a 51-32 Z wick the 6006, 9oz jar. That might help too. And 1 1/2 oz. per lb in oil. Good luck and don't give up. You really have a talent. :yay:

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