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Questions - Coconut Oil, Frosting, hmmm?


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I have a couple of questions for you folks! :)

1) For those of you who use the Coconut Oil 76 degree, where do you get it? I have found a few sites, and the cheapest I have found is $9.57 for 7 lb. I haven't found any locally, as I moved to a small town. :(

2) I have read that in candles, CO-76 is primarily used to increase scent throw in veggie waxes, but also that it can eliminate frosting?? Is this true?

3) Has anyone used anything other than CO for frosting issues successfully?

I use GW444 currently, with about 6% PSA (plus dye and usually about 6% to 8% FO, depending on fragrance).

When I lived in Arizona, I had absolutely NO frosting issues. But now, living in Wyoming, I can't make a single candle without frosting, and it's bad! I mean, like A LOT.

I have tried various pour temps, (usually between 100 and 115 degrees, even as low as 95 degrees) as well as cooling slowly (using tin foil around the jars, and covering the jars until completely cooled - No peeking!! LOL). I'm at a loss. Having never had to deal with the frosting before, I haven't had to try to get rid of it, but now.. ugh!

Any help is appreciated..! TIA.

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I use 76*, you can get it at the grocery store- the brand most commonly used is LorAnn coconut oil. I get mine at walmart... Its pretty affordable, simply because you only use a small amount pp so the bottle lasts forever. I use 76* for soap making too, so I have it in 25 pound buckets... but I still buy LorAnn for candle making because its easy to store with my FO's and just pull out and get a TSP, versus digging in a giant bucket.

I use GB464, and I use 1tsp PP of wax. I dont use any other additives. I use the coconut to help with smooth tops, with frosting, and with throw. I havent had any frosting issues since starting to use CO, but I also dont use color. When I did, I used Redding Glo chips- and those help.. but I noticed some that are colored and over 3 months old are developing frost over time.

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I use CO for scent throw only. Frosting seems to be (on my end) clusters of little, little bubbles when heated up with the heat gun. If you make sure all the bubbles are gone (stir the candle after it's poured) when you are pouring, you may eliminate most of the problems. I make sure my containers are squeaky clean. With that said, my next candles will now all be frosted....

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LOL Willow - Murphy is my back seat driver haha! While I do tend to get more of the lumpy tops with a lot of my candles up here (not much of a problem down south for me), the PSA seems to help that for me.. however, the frosting I get is the white star spots all over the sides and tops, but I will try stirring them after they're poured to see if that helps with the lumps! Something I hadn't thought to try. Some of my candles I can't do that with though because I make color swirls, where I add the dye right before I pour and only stir the wax two or three times around before pouring, as I don't want the colors to blend too much. But I'll definitely try that with my solid colored ones to see if it helps!

LB - Thanks, I DO have a Walmart here, if nothing else!! LOL.. I will check with them for the CO because I really would like to try some before I buy bulk, and if they carry it at our WM, even better because then I don't have to pay on shipping!!

:D

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Lol.. it's actually really easy. I just heat my wax as usual, add the FO at the recommended temp, then let it cool until slushy, like really really slushy, then add the color (I use liquid dyes). The trick is to just add one to two drops of each color, depending on what color scheme you're going for, and only stir the wax around maybe two to three times at most. The dye will settle towards the bottom of the wax when you first put it in, so when you pour it into the container, it will mix even more on its own.

You can mix two, three, or several colors together, or use just one to get different shades.

My avatar is one that I made with blue and yellow, and the attached photo is one using red and yellow. But I overdid the red on accident because it started pouring out of my dropper, LOL.

post-10433-139458464076_thumb.jpg

post-10433-139458464081_thumb.jpg

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Oh wow!! I love the look of your candles!!

I'm gonna have to try that...I use a parasoy(6006) but first I'll have to order some liquid dyes. I think the only one I have is red.

They really are very beautiful Firestarter :):cool2:

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Wow, Those are beautiful*super banana* Is your 444 frosting at all? and does pouring slushy help with frost and the tops being smooth? I use 135 now and am testing the xcel. Pouring at about 120. A little frosting with color:cry2:

Linda

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Thanks DNJ! They're alot of fun to make, but can get rather messy LOL.. I want to try so many different colors!!

@Linda, when I lived in Arizona I didn't have any frosting at all. Up here in Wyoming, it seems to be inevitable.. which is why I want to try the coconut oil. I also get wet spots galore here, which also wasn't an issue down there, so I'm certain that the cause is that the candles are cooling too fast. Pouring slushy does seem to help the tops some, but not with the frosting. It's not as noticeable with the swirls, but the solid colors have all come up with frosting. I've tried insulating the candles, and pouring as low as 90* but still, the persistent frosting. It does seem to happen less, the cooler I pour. I just hate waiting that long to pour my candles! I currently use GW444, and haven't tried any other waxes, except for IGI 4625 for pillars, of which I have made 3.. LOL

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You know, thinking about it, I suppose it could work with dye chips/blocks too. Maybe just put the chips in while the wax is still hot enough to melt them, but just dont stir it until it gets slushy. Of course, you would want to make sure any fragrance you added was done before the color, and make sure it's mixed real well before adding the color.

It's worth a shot, and considering i just ordered a ton of color blocks, I may try it and let ya know how it works out! Besides, i'm itching to try out these new fragrances I just got.. hehe

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Thanks CandleMama I will definitely check it out when I'm there next. I never noticed it before, but then again I've never looked for it at WM. :)

Linda, have you ever tried using the CO in your candles? If so, did it help with the frosting at all? I make them in my basement, which is definitely cooler than the rest of the house, and yeah, in snowy months it's almost not worth trying to make them it seems. :( A little frosting isn't bad, and I can tolerate it, but to the extent that I get it, bleh.. they look ugly, IMO anyway. :)

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Thanks CandleMama I will definitely check it out when I'm there next. I never noticed it before, but then again I've never looked for it at WM. :)

Linda, have you ever tried using the CO in your candles? If so, did it help with the frosting at all? I make them in my basement, which is definitely cooler than the rest of the house, and yeah, in snowy months it's almost not worth trying to make them it seems. :( A little frosting isn't bad, and I can tolerate it, but to the extent that I get it, bleh.. they look ugly, IMO anyway. :)

At my Wal-Mart, it is over by the regular cooking oil. It is in a white container.

Also, on your swirls, does it affect the burn since the color can be more concentrated in one area than another??

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Frosting seems to be (on my end) clusters of little, little bubbles when heated up with the heat gun. If you make sure all the bubbles are gone (stir the candle after it's poured) when you are pouring, you may eliminate most of the problems.
What you are describing is frosting. Here's what's going on: All wax has microscopic air bubbles in it. When larger phase crystals form (the size you can see and don't want that we call "frosting"), there is space created by the crystal structure. As those crystals form, the microscopic air bubbles crowd into the spaces created by the crystallization and pop together to form larger, visible bubbles. These are the tiny bubbles you see rising when you stir or heat gun the exterior of the container. Air bubbles are not frosting, but when you see those teenie-weenie bubbles rising when the side is heated or the wax is agitated, they are being released and rising because you have disturbed or melted the crystals which were holding them.

This is what happens on a much larger, more visible scale with palm wax. As the big crystals form, air bubbles become trapped in the spaces in the formation as the candle cools and have to be released to prevent a big pocket from forming inside.

the frosting I get is the white star spots all over the sides and tops, but I will try stirring them after they're poured to see if that helps with the lumps!
Yep, that's frosting, too. If they melt into a higher temp area of the candle when stirred, they may not reform, so stirring may eliminate some of them if the temp of the wax is hot enough to melt them and discourage their regrowth. How the candle looks ultimately depends on how many of those little buggers are in there and the cooling/storage temp of the candle, along with the dyes & FOs used, which have a pronounced effect on whether that crystal phase forms readily. Some candles, as y'all both know, look PERFECT after they cool only to frost like crazy a few days, a week, a month or more later. Some only develop a few little minor spots. Nearly all soy candles will frost to some extent over time, but minimizing it from the get go can postpone and reduce that to an acceptable level.

I love swirlies!:D To minimize frosting, you have to heat the wax to a temp high enough to melt and discourage that crystal phase before pouring. Many folks just don't heat their wax high enough when they melt. And of course, dyes & FOs are you worst enemy as both encourage the formation of the wrong crystal phase, so finding that balance can be tough. Tempering is a way to help control this but each wax tempers at a slightly different temp, etc., so you have to play with it a lot to find that "sweet spot."

when I lived in Arizona I didn't have any frosting at all. Up here in Wyoming, it seems to be inevitable
The role that temperature (and possibly humidity and barometric pressure) plays cannot be ignored nor overemphasized. Keeping track of ambient air temp (not the number the thermostat is set on!) in your pouring/cooling environment is critical, as you have discovered. The formation of frosting is not due to ONE factor; rather it's a bunch of things you have to keep an eye on to stay within the range where it isn't as likely to occur. Finding that range in your particular location with a particular wax, ingredients & manufacturing system is the big brain-teaser! HTH :)
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Thanks Stella, That was easily understood (by some of us that are mentally candle disturbed:grin2:).

Firestarter, I use the USA to hopefully control frosting, you mentioned PSA? I use 1tbsp pp and 1tbsp pp of CO for HT, Don't really know that its working all that great though.

That's why I decided to test the exel to see if the HT is better than the 135, Candybee uses the135 I believe and says she gets a great HT don't know what she does maybe she will chime in:drool: and give us more info.

Linda

Edited by soy327
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Hey, ya thanks Stella! That is some invaluable information. In fact, I've printed it out for my notes! I remember reading on the forum a few of your posts regarding tempering. I'll have to do a search again and find them, because I know each wax is different.

I did pour a few candles last night (before having read your post here), and poured them hotter than I usually do, as well as into heated jars, then insulated as usual, and the frosting was reduced significantly; although not completely. But hey, it's a lot less than what it was!!!

However, I apparently didn't stir enough because I used color blocks for the first time, and I have little dots of color on the bottom where the undisolved specks settled LOL. I added them while the wax was still around 180*, but ended up adding more as the wax cooled because I didn't know how much I'd need yet.

Anyway, thanks again for that info. It is recommended to heat my wax to about 185*, but I'll try heating it a bit hotter next time to see if that also makes a difference.

@CandleMama - I generally don't have an issue with wick clogging in the swirls, because I try to use less dye than I normally would in a solid colored candle. So for example, if I wanted to make a solid red candle, I would use about 5 - 7 drops for the entire candle, whereas in my red swirl, I used probably 2 - 3 drops, and 1 - 3 drops of yellow, so my total concentration isn't more than 7 drops in a pound of wax - my theory may be wrong though LOL. That, and since most of the color seems to settle towards the bottom, the candle is about to putter out by the time it gets down that far, so I haven't had an issue thus far. Just try to keep your concentration minimal.

However, I am also testing different wicks now because I don't like the one I've been using, it seems to go through my wax much faster than I'd like. I'll make a note to test these wicks in the swirls to see if clogging becomes an issue.

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I have little dots of color on the bottom where the undisolved specks settled

This is why I strain my wax through a fine mesh tea strainer when I pour the candle. It catches most of any particulate matter that has found its way into the pour pot. In addition, I add my liquid dyes to the FO in the pour pot, then prewarm the FO/dye so that there's a better chance that the clods get dissolved before I add the wax. Having said that, if I am doing swirlies and other strange things with dyes, the last thing I'm gonna let worry me is a few specks of undissolved dye on the bottom of the candle. HTH :D

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