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What do you do with rejects? (Repost from the archives)


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I'm sorry to post this again but after searching for a discussion on this, the only one I found was archived and I have some questions. In my situation, I am wondering what to do in a situation where the problem is no ST. Many of the suggestions were to keep it and burn it yourself if it's just the appearance, but that wouldn't apply for me since I'm not selling any of them anyway so appearance isn't priority.

Anyway, I have a couple of questions about the other suggestions...

1. How do you "pull the wick out" of a candle that is already set? Maybe it's different for pillars and containers?

2. If you want to remelt the wax, how do you do that while it is in a glass container? Double boiler method? And just pull out the wick as soon as the wax is soft enough? Should you use a thermometer while doing this or just transfer the wax to a melting pot as soon as it's liquid?

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I use double boiler method..when wax is completely melted I pull out wick (or use a fork to loosen wick tab if its still affixed then lift out) then pour into other pot and you can always add a small amount of fo to it, stir, wait till pour temp then pour into new container.

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Hm... how do you attach your wicks? I've read that you can wait until the wax is starting to get slushy and then just push it in so it sticks to the bottom using wax, but I feel like I wouldn't have enough control over it... I've been hot gluing the wicks in prior to pouring. So I probably wouldn't be able to get them out to reuse the containers, but I could at least pour the wax out and add more FO.

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In my situation, I am wondering what to do in a situation where the problem is no ST
Before I decide that a FO has no HT, I scoop a couple of ounces out into a melter and see if it throws there...
1. How do you "pull the wick out" of a candle that is already set? Maybe it's different for pillars and containers?
With great difficulty... :laugh2: Seriously, I use pliers. How difficult it is depends on the depth of the container. It's way harder to pull wicks from a deep container than it is a shallow one... Because I use wick pins in my pillars, that's not too difficult... I hardly ever find a need to pull a wick...
2. If you want to remelt the wax, how do you do that while it is in a glass container?
What I plan to do with the wax dictates how I remelt it. I keep lots of small amounts of wax... I melt it in the microwave, or the oven, strain the wax and use the leftovers to pour into layered candles, votives, etc. for my own use.

If it's a full container, I scoop out as much of the wax as possible, then put the container into the oven set on about 180°F to liquify the rest. A warmer would work just as well. Usually there isn't much wax left to recover after I scrape the wax out. If I am remelting a candle to recover the wax to pour another full candle, I use a pour pot set into an old electric frypan with water in the bottom, or set the pour pot on a griddle... For that amount, I usually make tarts because I can amp up the FO a little bit if I don't have to worry about wicking...

I also just break up pieces to use in chunk candle projects for myself.

I don't use remelted wax to sell to customers. If I make layers, swirlies or chunkies for sale, I use new wax. The only exception is firestarters. If I am making firestarters, I use the Presto and melt down a bunch so I can dip the pinecones, etc. into the wax. The remainder, I pour over the firestarter materials.

how do you attach your wicks?

If I am testing, I may us wick stickers or a dab of hot glue. If I am making candles for sale, I use Permatex High Temp Silicon gasket sealer (red), available at auto parts stores.

I've read that you can wait until the wax is starting to get slushy and then just push it in so it sticks to the bottom using wax

The wick has to not only remain adhered all the way to the end of the candle, when temps are the highest, but it has to seal the bottom of the wick so that it can't suck liquid wax from underneath and continue burning past the top of the neck where the wick tab is supposed to cause the candle to self-extinguish. You do NOT want the wick wandering when the wax becomes liquid - it's a safety hazard.

{quote]I've been hot gluing the wicks in prior to pouring. So I probably wouldn't be able to get them out to reuse the containers

Nonsense. The stuff doesn't stick that well... I use a single edge razor blade, fork, knife, spoon, etc. to pry up the wick tab. Once the tab is loose, wash the container in HOT water and the hot glue will soften enough for you to remove it.

If you want to reuse a container for yourself or for testing, that's fine, but containers should NOT be reused for sale. READ up on candle safety here - there's a TON of information in the threads.

Edited by Stella1952
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Oh, and what does everyone think of testing like this, just to figure out if you're in the right ballpark before doing a full candle test? It's basically just try the first wick, if it doesn't work take it out and insert a new one, etc. Obviously you'd want to make sure you give each wick enough time, and also make sure the wax gets a chance to harden again before trying another one. I think it sounds like a good way to save time and wax, but what does everyone else think?

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I think that's a waste of my time. I know enough about wicking to have a pretty good idea what size wick to use BEFORE I put one in the candle to test. That comes with experience and you get that by seeing how candles burn when you vastly under or overestimate the wick size. Because I have a good idea where to start, I'll have to burn the candle all the way down, especially with container candles, to see how the wick performs. A container candle should be wicked for the last 1/2 - 1/3 of the container. And, no, you can't just pour half a candle because it doesn't burn the same as a full candle.

Short cuts are worthless when you are trying to learn because they don't teach you anything worthwhile, other than how to take a shortcut. You'll never know what would have happened if you had done it right.

Edited by Stella1952
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I guess my thought is somewhat in between. I have used this technique with pillar candles and it does help in getting you in the "ballpark" but for container candles I would not do it. Containers definitely have 3 or more stages of burn and it is valuable to note all of those. Observing the initial burn does not tell you about the candle at half or less and those are important stages. Pouring half a candle won't work either. Like Stella said, after you get some experience and study some of the data available on the wicks you use, getting in the "ballpark" will be easy. If you want to speed up the process make more candles (same container, same wax and same FO but different wicks) and burn them at the same time. You'll get your answer 3 times faster.

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