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Naturewax C-3 & Layered Candles


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I am fairly new to candle making and seem to have gotten it down so that I don't have a problem with frosting or wet spots. My wife thought of an idea for a particular triple layered candle design, but my experience with doing layered candles has been less than impressive. I use Naturewax C-3, and normally heat my jars before pouring, but of course I can't do this pouring with layers (at least not after the first layer). The ones I have tried have had terrible frosting and/or pulled away from the glass. Any tips on what I need to do to keep them from frosting or pulling away from the cold glass?

I have tried searching, but can't find anything about this particular wax.

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Oh my goodness! There are volumes written here about NatureWax C3, but in all fairness, the search tool for the site isn't too swift - try using the Google Site Search (instructions in the sticky at the top of the General Candlemaking Discussion titled "Helpful Links for Newbies", Board usage link, post #2). You may find more with the forum search tool by using the search term "NatureWax" or "Nature Wax" or "Elevance". C3 is too short of a term for the forum search tool to find... has to be 3 characters or more.

The layered candle in my avatar is NatureWax C3. You can quickly heat the interior of a container with a heat gun. The first "secret" to reducing wet spots is to prewash your glassware in HOT water with a grease cutter added, such as Parson's Sudsy Ammonia or original Dawn dishwashing liquid, to remove all manufacturing residue. Rinse well in HOT water and allow to air dry upside down. If you wash a bunch at once, after they are dry inside, store them upside down in the cartons from which they came. Try not to touch the inside of the containers with your fingers because of the oil on your skin.

Wet spots are also caused by changes in the environmental temperature. As summer rolls into autumn, the posts about wet spots will become more numerous and panicked. As spring turns to summer, the same thing happens. Interspersed will be posts about "sweating" or syneresis - again, abrupt temperature changes are to blame and honestly, there's not a lot you can do about this. You can cool your candles slowly, you can keep them at ideal storage temps, but when the inevitable temperature variations happen, doodoo occurs.

You did not mention what temp you poured your candles... C3 pours best when heated to about 180°F, prewarmed FO & dye added, then stir down to 165°F and pour. Some people report good results pouring C3 at the slushy stage, but I have not found this to be reliable in most conditions where I live. Certain FOs will cause frosting in C3 no matter what you do... Using 1 Tbsp. PP of USA will help stabilize the wax somewhat. Certain dyes and dye types frost more than others. Tempering the wax is also of benefit.

Getting back to pouring your layers: the technique I use for soy wax is somewhat different from paraffin because of differences in the properties of the two waxes. Remember that you don't have to warm the container much at all - just knock the chill off the inside of it. The first layer will go into the warm container. The wax will keep the container warm enough for the succeeding layers. The next layer is poured as soon as the one underneath it is rigid enough to support the weight and heat of the next layer. It does not have to be solid all the way through (depending on the thickness of the layer, of course). I do not raise the pour temp of each succeeding layer nor do I wait for each layer to cool to room temp. I want the layer onto which I am pouring to still be warm so the new layer will stick to it without melting through and mixing the colors. HTH & welcome to CS. Have fun!! :)

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Thank you very much Stella! You are right, the search leaves something to be desired. I found plenty on the C3 and layering, but nothing on layering the C3. :angry2:

I haven't really had much of an issue with frosting or wet spots in general (occasionally I get one that wants to act up). I heat to 180 and pour around 155 to 160. The only time is when I have tried pouring a second layer. I'm guessing I am allowing the bottom layer to cool too long before pouring the next layer. I know there are a lot of factors involving cooling rate, but on average how long does it take before you can start pouring a second layer?

I have a small butane torch i use for remelting the tops, but maybe I will look at a heat gun since the torch only covers a small area and might not be able to get all of the inside glass heated evenly at one time.

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There probably isn't much about layering C3 - that begins getting a little specific and not as many people layer or swirl soy container candles as make solid colored ones.

There is no average time... It depends on the size of the container, the thickness of the layer and the ambient room temp. You will have to play with this and develop your own techniques that work best for you.

A heat gun is a good thing to have, but, except for very minor flaws, I find they create as many problems on the tops as they solve. For simply heating the interior of containers, you could use a hair dryer... I envy your little butane torch - I gotta get one of those! Because they don't "blow" hot air, they are wonderful for "spot" issues... Good Luck!! :)

***puts torch on shopping list***

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