Jump to content

Feel like I'm in over my head... what am I doing wrong?


Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I'm feeling really disappointed right now. I've spent over $100 gathering all of the supplies to make my own scented candles, and so far I have been unable to get even a whiff of scent out of any of them. Earlier tonight I was ready to give up and just buy candles from people who know what they are doing, but I've decided to wait and see if I can make this work.

I understand that this is a hobby that takes a lot of patience. I think I have reasonable expectations... I'm not expecting to have beautiful, high-quality, highly scented candles, but I was hoping that at least I would have something that would make a small room smell nice.

So here are the supplies I am working with, all from Candlewic.com (local for me, which means no shipping). Their website states that all of their scents are compatible with soy wax.

Golden Brands 464 Soy Blend

Lemon fragrance oil

EVO Highly Concentrated Liquid Dye

ECO-14 wick assemblies

16oz jar with 3.75" diameter

I have the metal pour pot and thermometer sold at Michael's. First I weigh out 1lb of wax using a digital kitchen scale. I melt the wax using the double boiler to 175* and mix in a small amount of dye. I then take the pour pot out of the water and place it on an oven mitt to cool. At 125* I mix in 1oz of fragrance oil and immediately pour into a room temperature jar. I use hot glue to adhere the wick before even melting the wax so that it is ready. I pour the wax in very slowly, staying close to the edge to avoid making bubbles. Then I prop up the wick with a pencil and let the jar sit.

So far, the result has been that the wax smells amazingly strong and wonderful while it is in the boiler. The CT is good, but the HT is nonexistant.

I am wondering what I am doing wrong. Am I using the wrong wick type or size? I did check and this wick is supposed to work for the size of my jar and for soy wax. What about the temperatures that I am using? Should I be adding the FO and pouring at a higher temperature?

I will admit that I have not allowed it to cure very long... only one day. However, I can't imagine that a candle that is producing NO scent after 24 hours will ever produce a STRONG scent, even if it sits for a month! Right? I am willing to be patient but I feel discouraged at this point. Please be nice... I need encouragement. :cry2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use 464 and i can tell you a few things, 1) add your FO at a higher temp, I use 180 and mix for about 2 minutes and pour at 160. 2) not every FO will work in a wax, the one you have chosen might not, I have not used that one, 3) The wick one uses will affect HT, before you decide on ECOs you may want to test some others. for 464 I use CD wicks. 3) Cure at least 48 hours but make a few tester candles and test 2 weeks and 4 weeks to get a better idea if curing works for that FO. That's just a few thoughts, other folks will add it them. Keep trying. For me Bird of Paradise form Peak's works well in 464 and Dragons Blood from Candle Science. If any of those appeal to you, give them a try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you! I will first try adding FO and pouring at a higher temp. I already have the 100 pack of ECO wicks and Candlewick has a no return policy on opened items, but hopefully the higher temp will be the trick and I won't have to ditch the ECOs. I read the descriptions for both of those FOs you mentioned and they sound great, plus they both have many good reviews which always helps. I'll give them a try as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto to what rjdaines said with some additional comments:

About the 16oz jar with 3.75" diameter... Anything much over 3" inside diameter is more difficult to wick; at 4", people start moving toward multiple wicks. You would be better served to stay around 2.5"-3" containers which contain no more than about 10 oz. of wax. First, because of the relative ease of wicking; and, second, because of the time and amount of materials it takes for testing the candles all the way to the end. Choosing a straight sided container whose height is the same or only slightly more than its diameter makes learning wicking a bit easier.

I already have the 100 pack of ECO wicks
Purchasing 100 wicks at first was a mistake. You would be better served to purchase sampler packs (containing 5 or so wicks of various sizes) to see which works best for you. Just because a certain size wick is recommended by anyone does not mean you can rely on that to work in YOUR candle system.
spent over $100 gathering all of the supplies to make my own scented candles
I know that is a lot of money, but many people spend far more in the learning process. Avoid buying a large quantity of ANYTHING until you learn a little more.
I can't imagine that a candle that is producing NO scent after 24 hours will ever produce a STRONG scent, even if it sits for a month! Right?
Wrong. Hot throw is not simply dependent upon the FO - it is also dependent on the wax and the wick used to burn the candle. I have had candles that had zero throw after 5 days turn into strong throwers after a couple of weeks. This is not the USUAL way things go, but it does happen with some FOs. Ideally, you should allow your candles to cure for at least 48 hours before testing to fairly judge the HT. By rushing, you may make other more costly mistakes in wicking or FO use that eventually will send you right back around to the beginning: let your candles cure for a reasonable amount of time for best results. Understand that if the wick type or size is not well-suited for the wax & FO blend, you may still not get a good hot throw until the wicking is adjusted.

Lemon FOs can be kinda picky sometimes. Some have a "fuel" smell; others have a heavenly CT and no HT to speak of... CW has a couple of strong throwers that are part of my stock FOs - Mango Cilantro and Ginger Frankincense. They are both listed on this page: http://www.candlewic.com/store/scent.aspx?q=c57&title=Extreme%20and%20Bold%20Candle%20Scent%20Oils I use 1 oz./PP. One could use less with good results.

I prop up the wick with a pencil
Propping up the wick will not hold the wick taut. As the candle cools, the shrinkage can pull the wick off-center and/or make it "bow" in the middle. Something as humble as a popsicle stick and clothespin can work more effectively. I personally prefer bowtie wick bars but any solution which holds the wick taut in the center of the candle will work fine.

Take heart & have patience - you won't learn all of this in a couple of days or even a couple of months, but soon you should be able to make a candle that is pleasing to you. Have fun! :smiley2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, the previous 2 posts are dead on...I've been working with 464 and it's a PITA to wick, but CD's do work much better than ECO's (you can get sample packs from WickIt for shpng only) as I've recently found out thanks to Stella and cure time is SO important. I do not test for scent throw until at least a 5 day cure time. CandleScience fo's never disappoint me-Hazelnut Coffee, Pumkin Souffle, Mistletoe are all standouts for me among many others. It's very rare to get any scent throw at all after only a 24 hr cure time...keep trying-it's worth it when you make that 1st good candle :yay:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right along the line of "what am I doing wrong?"...... I have a question.- 4oz tin, C3, eco 6, Doodlebug FO

I can get good HT in small rooms- bathroom, small bedroom. Very little throw in kitchen/dining which is bigger & more open. Is there any wick-tweaking that can make the HT better in bigger rooms or is this it for this FO possibly? I wasn't sure to measure this one a success or not, since throw is only good in smaller rooms. I made a jar as well, but haven't tested it yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right along the line of "what am I doing wrong?"...... I have a question.- 4oz tin, C3, eco 6, Doodlebug FO

I can get good HT in small rooms- bathroom, small bedroom. Very little throw in kitchen/dining which is bigger & more open. Is there any wick-tweaking that can make the HT better in bigger rooms or is this it for this FO possibly? I wasn't sure to measure this one a success or not, since throw is only good in smaller rooms. I made a jar as well, but haven't tested it yet.

Now that I've said that.... I'm letting burn to the end now (on the 3rd burn over 2 days) and now it's throwing in the kitchen :) Yea, does that mean I can count this as a success?? please, please, please...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right along the line of "what am I doing wrong?"...... I have a question.- 4oz tin, C3, eco 6, Doodlebug FO

I can get good HT in small rooms- bathroom, small bedroom. Very little throw in kitchen/dining which is bigger & more open. Is there any wick-tweaking that can make the HT better in bigger rooms or is this it for this FO possibly? I wasn't sure to measure this one a success or not, since throw is only good in smaller rooms. I made a jar as well, but haven't tested it yet.

You will have to match your scenting expectations to the size of the room and the size of the candle. My containers in the 2.5"diameter range would be for small rooms; air flow and ceiling height will also have an affect. How strong the FO is and the throw of the candle will play into the overall scenting ability too. To scent a larger, open room you may need a larger diameter candle and melt pool or just use multiple candles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that I've said that.... I'm letting burn to the end now (on the 3rd burn over 2 days) and now it's throwing in the kitchen :) Yea, does that mean I can count this as a success?? please, please, please...

If you are happy with the results then it is a success, sounds to me like you are. Take note of the burn though, flame height and temperature of the container. An overly aggressive burn in a small container will release more FO but it is not a desirable burn, so not a success. Pictures would help. The container should not get so hot as to burn when touch. Not saying that yours is, just pointing out some other info to keep track of. Tins don't crack but glass sure does and I won't make that mistake again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You will have to match your scenting expectations to the size of the room and the size of the candle. My containers in the 2.5"diameter range would be for small rooms; air flow and ceiling height will also have an affect. How strong the FO is and the throw of the candle will play into the overall scenting ability too. To scent a larger, open room you may need a larger diameter candle and melt pool or just use multiple candles.

Thanks.

Think I'll make a bigger one to burn in the same room to compare. But I need to buy more DoodleBug. And perusing FOs is a dangerous thing :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are happy with the results then it is a success, sounds to me like you are. Take note of the burn though, flame height and temperature of the container. An overly aggressive burn in a small container will release more FO but it is not a desirable burn, so not a success. Pictures would help. The container should not get so hot as to burn when touch. Not saying that yours is, just pointing out some other info to keep track of. Tins don't crack but glass sure does and I won't make that mistake again.

It's been burning for almost 6 straight hours & it's still not too hot to touch. I'll take a pic..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lmc, what makes 464 hard to wick? I didn't know some waxes could be harder to wick than others. Obviously I don't know much though, since I had no idea you had to hold the wick taut while the candle dries :P

My other question is for anyone. I've read a lot of conflicting information about this, but is soy wax harder to get a good scent throw out of than paraffin or other waxes? I'd like to find a wax that has good scent throw, short cure time, and preferably one that I don't have to use additives. I don't care at all about the appearance since I'm only using these for myself.

I am going to pour another candle later using my 464 and one of the other FOs I bought. I'll be sure to center the wick and keep it taut, and I will add the FO at 180 (mix for 2 minutes) and then pour at 160. Does it matter what temperature I add the dye at? I've read it's good to add after the scent so that you can see if the scent is mixed in so I guess that is what I'll try!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to find a wax that has good scent throw, short cure time, and preferably one that I don't have to use additives. I don't care at all about the appearance since I'm only using these for myself.

My I be so bold as to suggest a paraffin wax? Paraffin is easier to work with than soy, many more FO work with paraffin than soy and there are many paraffin wax blends available to suit a variety of needs. If you want to try making pillars I recommend IGI-4625 http://www.peakcandle.com/products/Pillar-Blend-IGI-4625-SLAB__PW1005.aspx; Votives with IGI-4794 http://www.peakcandle.com/products/Votive-Blend-IGI-4794-CASE__PW1011.aspx or containers with IGI-4630 http://www.peakcandle.com/products/Votive-Blend-IGI-4794-CASE__PW1011.aspx or 4627 http://www.peakcandle.com/products/Comfort-Blend-(single-pour)-IGI-4627-25-lbs__PW1018.aspx. There are many threads on this site that will give you an idea on wicks and wick sizes.

If you want to stick with soy wax then you will have a steeper learning curve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I am thinking that paraffin might be a good idea now that I see how difficult candle making can be! Thanks for those suggestions, if this next soy candle doesn't work I will probably try those ones.

EDIT: I just checked peakcandle.com and it would cost $45 to ship the wax which is $45... the shipping would double the cost. SO I am wondering if anyone can recommend a good wax from candlewic.com? This is where I purchased my supplies the first time because they are nearby and I can drive there to avoid paying anything in shipping. (Also don't have to wait! Hehe) I am also going to call tomorrow and speak with someone to see if they can recommend a nice, easy to work with wax that throws scent well.

Just looking over the paraffin waxes, I would think the Paraffin Wax 130 and Container Fill Wax - CF would be my best options. I'm tempted to try the 130 since it is cheaper and seems to be easier for a beginner (easy measuring, only one additive)

Edited by emahleem
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The waxes I mentioned were just suggestions, I don't use the CandleWic ones and. certainly, nothing beats no shipping costs. Try using the search feature on this site and see it you can pull up some info. You might also want to start a new thread about paraffin waxes in the General Candle Making sections as this one is devoted to veggie waxes. Another site I like for supplies is http://www.candlescience.com/ and they are in North Carolina so a little closer to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have no idea how to evaluate the ROC, lol.

RoC is rate of consumption per hour. You can measure in grams or ounces. The RoC may speed up or slow down during a burn which is why we look at it. You can also compute the RoC overall at the end of the candle. It's an interesting figure and some folks like to throw it around a lot, but it will vary from candle to candle, from FO to FO and from wax to wax, and any combination of the preceding, so pay attention to it only for YOUR purposes in YOUR candles. What is more important to me when testing is flame height, MP diameter & depth, total burn time, hot throw and heat of the container (not necessarily in that order).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I have been wondering... if you want to give a candle 5 days to cure, for example, does that mean you can't burn it at all in that time? Or is it okay to try after 24 hours... put it out and try again in another 24... etc. I don't want to burn it too soon and then not be able to see if it would have been better if I had waited longer!

Edited by emahleem
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need to make best friends with the search tool here and read, read, read. Lighting a candle then extinguishing it quickly leads to tunneling. I'm sorry, but there is a certain amount of patience, knowledge and experience required to make decent candles.

I'm sorry you have been encouraged to switch waxes before giving yourself a chance to learn from what you have. It takes time, a LOT of testing and repetition to learn the skill of candlemaking. No matter what wax you use, this is a requirement to learning ow to make good candles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I apologize if that was a repeat question. I was unable to find anything specifically addressing my question about cure time, but perhaps I was using the wrong search terms.

In terms of extinguishing and relighting later, how quickly is too quickly? Would it be okay to burn for an hour or so for the first time, and then try again after 24 hours has passed?

I do understand that patience, knowledge and experience are needed, there is no need to apologize for making that statement. :) I admire all of you who have put months and years into this art, and I am glad to have found this forum where I can learn from your experiences.

Oh, and I haven't made the decision to switch waxes just yet. I'll keep working with the 464 and see if I can make it work for me, because I really haven't tried much at this point. I'm just thinking that if paraffin is going to be easier to learn, I might want to switch while I'm still just starting out rather than invest a lot of time, energy, and money in soy only to end up switching to paraffin later. I hope that makes sense and doesn't sound like a cop out, ha!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In terms of extinguishing and relighting later, how quickly is too quickly? Would it be okay to burn for an hour or so for the first time, and then try again after 24 hours has passed?

No. Candles should be burned 1 hour per inch of inside diameter. Lighting and burning for a little while and then extinguishing will encourage the candle to tunnel. While you are waiting for your candles to cure (at least 48 hours, no cheating... I wait a week for best results), read up on how to test candles and what to look for.

It's never a "cop out" to try new waxes, but it's also not necessarily a quicker way to success. Arguably, paraffin is easier to work with, but it all depends on what suits you. My very best suggestion is to slow down a little and read the information in these forums. The site tool for searching isn't very good, but the Google site search usually comes up with a lot of information. Check out the stickies at the tops of the forums, especially in the general candlemaking forum where there's a lot of stuff for noobs - to get you started, here's the link to the instructions for using the Google site search tool. The abbreviations & supplier websites sticky is a BLESSING and will help you decipher who we're talking about when we talk about different suppliers and give you loads of places to look, read and drool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...