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No scent throw in my soy candles...help, please?


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Hi, I am completely new to making candles, so please bear with me! :)

I have read, read, read, and read some more about making candles. After doing lots of research, I jumped right in and purchased some supplies to test drive making some soy container candles.

My first attempt actually turned out pretty well (no frosting on the top, no "wet spots" on the glass, great cold throw). They actually look really great, especially for a first attempt. However, the candles have almost to hot scent throw at all. :( I'm not sure what I did wrong. Maybe someone can give me some advice?

Here is what I used:

11.5 oz straight sided tumbler glass containers

4 oz tin containers

Soy wax 464

6" C-85 cotton core wicks (for glass containers)

2.5" C-40 cotton core wicks (tin containers)

7% Christmas Cabin FO (very strong scent!)

3 Christmas Green dye chips (a little too light)

Poured at 135 degrees

Can you tell me what may have caused no scent throw? Anything I can try to fix this issue? I would appreciate any help/advice.

Thanks! :)

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a few more details and someone may be able to help.... what temp did you heat the wax to, what temp did you add FO, how long did the candles cure before you burned and how long was your test burn?

Sorry, still so new at this...I thought I provided all the needed info, but I forgot to include these important details!

I heated the wax to 150, then added fragrance, then added color chips, stirred for a long while as I waited for the color chips to dissolve, then poured at 135.

The candles cured for about 12 hours before I burned my test candle. The test candle burned for about 2 hours.

ETA these details as well: I pre-heated the jars before pouring. The candles smell strong and wonderful when they are not lit and you sniff them. I don't get any hot throw, but if I shove my nose as close to the candle as possible while it's lit, I do detect a bit of scent, but it's very faint.

Edited by LittleBee
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Some of my candles take 2 to 3 weeks to cure. At one week I get no ht but at 2 or 3 weeks cure time, one can scent up half of my house.

Give your candles a minimum of 48 hours to cure, preferably longer. If during your test burn you sense no ht, blow it out, cover it and forget about it for another week.

Additionally, I heat my wax to around 180 then remove from heat and add fo around 174.

I am very new to this myself, but I have been reading, learning and practicing. HTH. Good luck!

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Some of my candles take 2 to 3 weeks to cure. At one week I get no ht but at 2 or 3 weeks cure time, one can scent up half of my house.

Give your candles a minimum of 48 hours to cure, preferably longer. If during your test burn you sense no ht, blow it out, cover it and forget about it for another week.

Additionally, I heat my wax to around 180 then remove from heat and add fo around 174.

I am very new to this myself, but I have been reading, learning and practicing. HTH. Good luck!

Ditto, I don't test burn for a week. Unless I'm pretty sure about the FO.

Edited by soy327
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I used to use that wax and I heated until 180-185. Are you mixing your FO well? I use a wire whisk and stir for 2 min and then stir more off and on until time to pour. But your main problem may be that you did not allow them to cure long enough before the intital test burn. Soy wax takes time to cure and if it's not cured enough it will effect the burn and throw of the candle. I agree with the others that you should not test until atleast 48 hours. It seems the longer soy candles cure the better they get. I know when you're starting out you're really excited to test out your product but be patient as the finished candle has it's own time table and sadly it doesn't always coincide with ours. Let the candles sit for a few days and try the HT again. If still no HT or very little, blow it out and let it sit a few more. HTH!!

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Yes letting soy wax cure will give you a better scent throw. BUT, you need to remember that some FO's will just never throw good in soy wax, no matter how long you wait!! That is one reason why I switched to mxing soy with paraffin.........I don't have to wait weeks to see if a FO is gonna throw, it throws great and with a 48 hour cure. Of course, the longer it sits the strong the throw is, but I won't ask my customers to let their candle cure for xx amount of time before they can use it. I need to pour and deliver within 3 days!! :cool2:

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Thank you all for your replies! I really, really appreciate your help! :)

I will let them sit for about a week or so, and try them again. I'll see what happens, and see if I need to let them sit some more.

Another question - would heating the wax to a higher temp, like some others have suggested, but still pouring at my ideal temp of 135 or so, help with the hot throw?

I'm not sure what to do right now...I have more wax, color (two different ones), and fragrance (two different ones), and I had wanted to make some more candles. I was planning on making these 3 different kinds as Christmas gifts (IF they turned out good, LOL). If they need to cure for 3 weeks or more, I should probably make them soon. But I don't want to make them if I'm doing something wrong and need to adjust my recipe/technique. Should I wait a few weeks to see if the first ones I made turn out okay? By then, I won't really have time to make the other ones as Christmas gifts, since they too will need to cure for a few weeks. Is it okay to make them now and let them cure also, or would that be foolish? Thoughts?

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I didn't see another common throw issue addressed: the wick. I am not familiar with the wick you are using so I can't say whether or not it's the culprit, but it's something to consider. You didn't mention the diameter of the container you are using nor any details about your test burns. If you poured the same day as you burned the candles, it's entirely possible that you are suffering from the dreaded "candle nose." When you are exposed to a scent, particularly in a heavy concentration, your nose becomes temporarily "immune" to that fragrance. Waiting a couple of days (48 hours minimum) before testing not only gives the FO time to cure in the wax, it gives your nose a rest so you can judge the scent throw more accurately. It isn't necessary to cure all candles for 3 weeks - most develop a pleasing throw within a week or two. Some fragrances do benefit from a longer cure, but those are few and far between. You'll simply have to learn which ones need a longer cure in your candle system (wax, wicks, FOs, additives, etc.). Some folks feel they have to rush the curing process for customers but I have not had any problems in this area. If a customer orders candles from me that I do not have in stock, the waiting time is 7 days, minimum. I inform them if they have chosen a fragrance that has to be cured longer and let them make the choice of whether to wait, choose another scent, or buy the candle and let it finish curing on their watch. They accept this.

My best suggestion is to read, read, read MORE here in the veggie wax forum. :) There's a LOT of information about the wax you are using. You may find that you need to add your FO at a higher temp as others have suggested. Stirring is very important. Keep a thermometer in your wax at all times so you can see how much the addition of the FO drops the temp, etc.

Is it okay to make them now and let them cure also, or would that be foolish?
Before you think about gifting your candles to anyone, you need to perform due diligence in testing your candles. Getting a good burn and a good throw is seldom achieved right out of the gate. It's not as simple as pouring wax, sticking in a wick and away we go, contrary to Martha Stewart's candlemaking videos! ;) Testing in a methodical manner and keeping detailed notes is your best path to a good product. Testing methods differ depending on what you are doing. I have been using the same wax, wicks & containers for a long time, so I have a very good idea of how my candle's wax & wicks will perform in general. What I mainly test for these days is the hot throw and consistency of my wax from case-to-case. If I test new wicks or any other major component of my system changes, I go back to square one with testing.

Since you have no track record for your containers, you have to discover what works best for you. Test full candles identical to the ones you plan to gift or sell. I encourage you NOT to take short cuts by using the testing results of others that you have not verified yourself or by testing half-full candles, etc. We can all give our opinions (and those will vary quite a bit!), but you have to take all of those and then find out what works best for YOU. That takes time and patience. ALWAYS remember that you are making a product which has an open flame. While some may feel very cavalier about this, the number of candle fires yearly caused by poor candle manufacturing and stupidity on the part of the user is a scary statistic!

To test, I suggest you weigh an empty container, tare, then weigh a finished candle so you know exactly how much wax you have to begin. Record the beginning weight in your notes.Trim the wick to 1/4" and burn the candle in a draft-free location (away from vents, etc.) for 1 hour per inch of diameter (ie. 3 hours for a 3" candle). Note the height of the flame during the burn & whether it is straight and true or flickering, dancing around or sputtering. Rate the hot throw from 1-5. When the time period expires, extinguish the candle (by dipping the wick into the meltpool, then straightening) and measure the width and depth of the melt pool. The depth is a little hard to gauge accurately because soy wax becomes very soft before it liquifies. Note the condition of the wick - is it mushrooming? How big is the 'shroom? How long is the wick now? Did the candle produce smoke or soot the container or wax? Write all this into your notes.

Allow the test candle to cool COMPLETELY all the way through before relighting (several hours for most medium-large size candles).

Time for burn #2. Repeat the steps from the beginning. Weigh the contents to see how much wax the wick consumed per hour and note that. Trim the wick to 1/4" and relight. Extinguish after the prescribed time and make the same notes as above. Keep doing this until the candle has burned all the way to the end of the container.

If everything goes well, your candle should achieve FMP on the 2nd or third burn; there should be no hangup on the inside of the container (residue is acceptable). The container should never become too hot to handle, especially during the last half of the candle. The hot throw should be acceptable, even before FMP. The wick should burn straight and true with no evidence of smoking or sooting or excessive mushrooming. The wick should not move AT ALL when the candle becomes totally liquid. It should self-extinguish at the top of the wicktab. If it continues to burn with the wax below the top of the wicktab, it has failed and did not self-extinguish properly.

Assuming all that goes perfectly and you are satisfied with the FO & wick performance, THEN (and only then) it's time to do a powerburn test. That's when you light the candle and let it burn for hours and hours and hours all the way to the bitter end with no maintenance (wick trimming, etc.). This is a torture test designed to demonstrate how your candle will perform if burned by a fool (or a customer who is ignorant of how to properly burn a candle). During the powerburn, note whether the wick has mushroomed excessively, has produced sooting in the container or wax, smokes, self-extinguishes when the wax level drops below the top of the wick tab, or the container has become too hot to handle at any point. Little problems from prior testing generally become big problems during a powerburn. Be sure to keep the candle where you can see it and monitor its state while powerburning in case it catches on fire or the container becomes hot enough to crack. If it does catch on fire, do not attempt to move it! Place a pot lid or something non-flammable over the container and allow it to cool down before removing the lid or attempting to move the candle. NEVER put water on a candle fire - it will cause an impressive fireball to explode from the candle.

There is time to perform this level of testing before Christmas, provided that you work at it diligently and don't have too many people on your list. I don't see how you can test more than 2-3 fragrances properly before then. HTH :)

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  • 9 months later...

Hi

I am new to the forum and soy candle making!

I have been reading the threads in the forums and researching them.

And I decided to get the Soy container starter kit from Peak Candle Supply.

I read the instructions that came with the kit and started to make some candles.

Some of the supplies:

Ecosoya Container Blend 135 Soy Wax.

Pre-tabbed Cotton Core Wicks (C-60).

Glass Thermometer

Using the double boiler method, I melted the wax to about 175 degrees F then I added fragrance oil (1oz Lilac) for 1 pound of wax, then added liquid dye and stirred it up. I let the wax cool down to about 130 degrees F and stirred it up again and then poured into containers. I let it set for about 10 hours and then trimmed wick to about 1/4 of an inch and then lit my candle. I let it burn for about 4 hours and it had a good full pool.

The candle had a WEAK cold throw but NO hot throw.

From what I have read in the forums It sounds like I need to let it cure for up to 1 week.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Edited by BPP
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This is an old thread about 464, but some of the same general advice given to the OP holds true... All soy waxes don't perform alike, so some of the tips given by other 464 users may not be dialed in for CB135.

I let it set for about 10 hours

Bingo. What is the diameter of the containers you are testing for 4 hours? Generally 1 hour per inch of inside diameter is the convention...

Here's the manufacturer's instructions for pouring CB135. This may or may not be helpful to you... but it's a good place to start...

http://www.ngiwax.com/products/usingecosoya/cb135instructions.html

Put the candle aside for a few days and see how it throws after curing. HTH

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I heated the wax to 150, then added fragrance, then added color chips, stirred for a long while as I waited for the color chips to dissolve, then poured at 135.

The candles cured for about 12 hours before I burned my test candle. The test candle burned for about 2 hours.

Try heating your wax to 185 then adding your FO and dye chips. The chips don't disolve well at lower temps. You'll be stirring forever to get them to disolve at 150. I also get better hot throw when adding my FO at a higher temp and the FO blends better at a higher temp.

Like others have mentioned, a candle won't cure in 12 hours. Especially with soy, a very finicky wax, you need to cure anywhere from 48 hrs to 2-4 weeks. Depends on the FO and the wax. Some take much longer than others.

I also test out several different wick series with any new wax I am testing out. The wrong wick or even the wrong size can definitely effect the hot throw.

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464 is a PITA - I have been working with this wax for years and I still have problems.

Cure time 2 days to 1 month - JS Caramel Apples took over 1 month to cure.

Wick type and size

% of FO

quality of FO some work better than other, I could never get Peak's FO to throw for me in this wax, their FO work well in my tart melt wax but in 464 nothing.

to CO or no to CO

and when you finally get it right your candle will frost.

If you are new this is not the easiest wax to work with.

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464 is a PITA - I have been working with this wax for years and I still have problems.

Cure time 2 days to 1 month - JS Caramel Apples took over 1 month to cure.

Wick type and size

% of FO

quality of FO some work better than other, I could never get Peak's FO to throw for me in this wax, their FO work well in my tart melt wax but in 464 nothing.

to CO or no to CO

and when you finally get it right your candle will frost.

If you are new this is not the easiest wax to work with.

I am getting similar results with 464, some FOs are great and if you want that to dictate what kinds of scented candles you make that I guess that is ok. I am coming to the conclusion that I don't want that. Frosting, oy vey, what a mess. Yes, you can hide it if you use no color and what looks good the first few weeks can turn horribly frosted by the time candle "cures" and decides to throw some scent. And just what is curing anyway, I am beginning to think that the wax is starting to breakdown (decay) which soy will do over time anyway.

All that said paraffin is not the end all either so pick your poison and plan to spend $$$ and time working it out;

soy----soy/paraffin-----paraffin/soy-----paraffin that's the wax spectrum of choices and to that add temperature of FO addition, pour and the world of additives and associated "tweaks" that people do. That will keep you busy.

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similar results with 464
464 is a PITA
Yes, but this is an OLD THREAD and the person who is asking, BPP, is using CB135...

This is the confusion caused by posting to old threads, particularly when they do not pertain to the wax one is using... Lotta difference between CB135 and GB(W) 464... ;)

I am beginning to think that the wax is starting to breakdown (decay) which soy will do over time anyway.

This is HIGHLY unlikely!! Soy wax lasts literally years and years without breaking down or decaying... dunno where you got that info, but it is very misleading.

You need to read up on frosting and what causes it. Soy wax is polymorphic, meaning it can change appearance (the structure of the crystals which make up the wax). There are lots of tips and techniques in the threads about how to help minimize this phenomenon by manipulation of temperature, seeding, careful selection of FOs and dyes used, and careful pouring, cooling and storage temperatures.

Your wax is NOT decaying. Over time, veggie oils (waxes) can oxidize and become rancid (the wax will smell BAD when this happens), but this takes years under average indoor conditions. Most of the soy wax formulas contain citric acid and/or another antioxidant to prevent premature oxidation and rancidity.

Edited by Stella1952
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Oh, I have read and read and there appears to be no simple or common solution and the ones that do pop up appear to be user and wax specific. I know it can be done, the question is becoming is it worth doing when at any moment one of your ingredients can be changed by the supplier and you are back to a frosted mess, which one can either hide with no color or place into frosted glass. If there was indeed a fix to this frosting issue that could be applied to commonly available soy waxes then this info would be clearly known but it is not. Tips and tricks? I would hope that we could move beyond this and until some can explain what "curing" is and what is happening, who knows, maybe the wax is breaking down in some way.

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no simple or common solution
That's because there is more than one cause for each of the 3 issues you brought up (polymorphism, hot throw and curing). Good testing procedures will isolate WHICH component of the system is causing a problem. Hot throw (curing is part of this) and polymorphism are two completely separate phenomena with distinctly different sets of causes and solutions. It's a bitch when the solution to one problem worsens another (ie. controlling polymorphism comes at the expense of hot throw).
If there was indeed a fix to this frosting issue that could be applied to commonly available soy waxes then this info would be clearly known but it is not.
Sorry, but it IS kinda complicated... no easy, one-size-fits-all solution. This issue is NOT black and white nor are the solutions to it.

OF COURSE the tips shared are user and wax specific - those are unique factors which have a direct bearing on the outcome of any technique used. That's why it helps to understand there are MANY tips so you can keep a trickbag full of ideas of what to do if the first one or two don't work well for you...

one of your ingredients can be changed by the supplier
We try our best to keep things stable by ordering from the same suppliers when we find a winning system (as do the suppliers as well), but it isn't possible for things to remain the same forever... That's life - stuff changes and doodoo occurs. Ya gotta learn how to roll with it...
Tips and tricks? I would hope that we could move beyond this and until some can explain what "curing" is and what is happening
How much farther "beyond" do you need to go? Information, tips and techniques are the "how" that people seek - the complex "whys," believe me, are not as much of a concern to most people... There is plenty enough information and tips in the threads here to help people make soy wax candles that are resistant to frosting and which have a great hot throw. If you want more, Google, then come back and teach the rest of us, please.
the question is becoming is it worth doing
Only you can answer that question.

How much time and effort one puts into their products is highly variable. The "tips and tricks" I use work for me, or I wouldn't bother doing them. Your mileage may vary. One learns what to do by testing. What works in my system may not work for yours. That's just the way it is - no short cuts, no easy answers. The question is whether it's worth it to YOU to discover your own way.

who knows, maybe the wax is breaking down in some way.
What proof or evidence do you have to support this hypothesis? Cases have manufacturing dates on them. FOs have manufacturing dates (although you will probably never learn this information) as do wicks...

To continue to insist that "maybe the wax is breaking down in some way" is without merit. No evidence has been presented that would point one in that direction. What data do you have that indicates the soy wax might be "breaking down" and from what cause(s)? Time? Oxidation? Molecular changes? Air pollution? Half-lives? Global warming? What?

This is the stuff from which internet "rumors" are made. To simply make that vague suggestion in a vacuum (without any supportive evidence) is not helpful nor should it be taken seriously. It also ignores the fact that many people DO make soy candles that have a pleasing appearance and great hot throw... Did they all just not get the stuff that's "breaking down"?

You sound very frustrated, and I can appreciate that. On the learning curve, that usually happens right before things really "come together" for one, so take heart. :) I'm not trying to be mean, honest, but the issues that are fueling your frustration are directly related to trade secrets and specific technical knowledge that is not readily shared by the developer community with the end users. That is not likely to change anytime soon. Don't let this slow you down.

Please remember: even without specific technical knowledge, MANY people DO manage to make soy candles with great hot throw and appearance. They studied, tested, kept careful data records and generally worked very hard to learn how to make consistent products of high quality. Many of their "secrets" have been shared in the threads right here. This is NOT an impossible dream...

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I have read and read the threads here and this, IMHO, sums up all of the issues, Nothing works and it All works it all "depends". So we have Voodoo, magic and black boxes followed by seasonal changes and if the A/C turned on or off during the process and so on. An impossible number of variables where the final solution (if there is one) is achieved completely by trial and error and is subject to change at a moments notices due to other unknown factors. I read the original thread of when 464 was first introduced and that shows pretty much that people's experiences produce variable results. So be it. Soy is not ready for us hobbiests who don't have expensive labs and environmentally controlled conditions. Even then, when the product hits the shops the dreaded polymorphisms strike. I have photos of commercially manufactured soy candles that look horrible. I am sure they left the manufacturer just fine but soy is unstable, can we just admit that. Why else are people continually adding stuff to it. Adding USA, CO, Crisco and whatever else you prefer, is just an attempt to control the instability. Seems that most people give up and add paraffin, plenty of threads like that. Not complaining mind you but that just the way I see it here. You say plenty of people DO manage to make soy candles, of course they do and some use techniques that I mentioned already such as no dye and frosted glass to hide the frosting, which is fine. Those that say they have a "process" never really reveal that process (which is their privilege) and point people to the thousands of posts here that do more to confuse folks than educate them. It's like constantly telling the student that are doing the math problem wrong but never showing them the correct way to do it. One does not learn by making mistakes, one learns from doing something correctly. As for soy, we may not have one, or any, correct formula for some one to try as there are too many waxes. CB-A seems to be a more stable product but at the cost of throw. Again, pointing to the fact that soy wax is a imperfect product for scented candle making. Soy candles are the tail that wags the dog, it tells you what colors it can be, what FOs you can use and waits for you to discover how to make it. People can't even agree on what temp to add the FO or pour, that tells me something about the product.

As for wax degrading, of course it does, it is an organic compound and is subject to breaking down like any other material due to everything from UV light to bacteria. If bacterial can eat vinyl records and crude oil I sure bet they can eat soy wax. The 3 year shelf life if probably for the pure slabs/flakes, once you start adding dye, cooking and scenting it who knows how that changes the life expectancy. I have no data but it's a fact of life, everything breaks down with time and it just doesn't start when the theoretical life expectancy is reached. Someone tell us all what curing is and what is happening, if no one can then its open to speculation. I don't have a lab, I can't measure moisture content or anything else that might play a role but you can't deny what you can't prove either. A breaking down of the crystal structure over time is just a plausible as any other hypothesis that has been floated here. Rancidity is just one from of degradation, I didn't mention that one.

Am I frustrated with soy, you bet I am and so are a lot of other people here. Maybe one day I will see a post with some concrete suggestions how to try to address these issues but I bet there will be another right after contradicting them, such is the nature of the beast we call soy wax.

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I'm sorry you are frustrated, but there are too many people out here making successful soy candles for you to deny. That YOU and some other folks have problems is not unexpected. That is true of ANY skill. As with most worthy ventures in life, one has to work hard for consistently good results. People here try their best to point folks having difficulties in directions which may help them. If it's too much for you, you do NOT have to use soy wax. You are entitled to your opinions, but understand that the many successful results of others contradict the failures of of a few.

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