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Need help troubleshooting soy container candle surface


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Hello, I'm new to this forum, but very glad I found it! I've just started making soy container candles using the Golden Brand 646 wax. I've been having trouble getting the surface of the candles smooth on my tall 2"(w) x 7"(h) candles. The candles sometimes cool normally (smooth with sink holes). I fill the sink holes, but the surface of the candle is not smooth after that. I've read that many people have success with a heat gun for smoothing the candle surface, but for me this only seems to frost the surface and make it bumpy (almost granulated looking). I thought that maybe I wasn't mixing the fragrance oil in well enough, but I've also had trouble with non-scented, non-dyed candles also. I've also noticed that after a few days of sitting the candle has a lay of liquid on top. I originally thought this was oil that wasn't mixed in properly, but after further testing, I think that it might be moisture from the double boiler.

I've considered doing a double pour to smooth the tops, but when container wax is layered at 135 degrees into a clear glass, it leaves a visible line.

My questions are:

Is it normal to need to mix the wax fragrance in for 5-10 minutes?

Do heat guns damage the surface more than they fix it?

How do you deal with smoothing out the surface?

Is it common for moisture to get into the wax from a double boiler?

I could really use some advice for how to fix this. I've tried so many variations on using the heat gun on high and low settings, up close 1.5' away etc. I've gotten to the point where I've stop using it because it just makes things worse.

Please let me know if I forgot any information. Again, I'm new to all this so please have patience!

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FO's in general, only need to be stirred in for about 2 minutes and best to add between 170-185*

I only use a heat gun if absolutely necessary, much prefer doing a repour

Ive never had a problem with moisture getting into wax from double boiler

The liquid on top sounds like fo seepage (I still get it on occassion-pita-when I do, I zap the surface with heatgun and usually when it hardens back up its gone. You didnt mention how much fo you use...most suggest 6%, I prefer slightly higher, but you need to keep in mind how much your particular wax can hold..

The pour temperature has a lot to do with how your candle tops turn out...test at different temps to see whats best for you.

You mentioned your containers are 2"wide and 7" tall...just a suggestion but you may have better results using a container where the dimensions are more balanced...try the half pint jelly jars and see how it goes with them and then move on from there...hth

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464 does not like heat guns in my experience, so it has to cool right the first time, which is evenly. I get smooth tops pouring at 165 but I don't use a container smaller than 2.5 inches. Cooling too slow can produce ugly tops. The key is an even cooling to stop sink holes so place on a rack and don't nestle candle to close together. That said, a tall narrow container may present some challenges to cool evenly.

Stir FO for about 2 minutes. Double boilers don't add water into the wax as far as I can tell.

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Thank you both for the advice! I've been using about 5% fo in my wax. 464 can take a lot more, but I thought it was too strong when maxed. I usually mix it in at 185. It's pretty hot during the day here so I may end up trying to pour at night so the candles can cool faster. I'll try different dimensions and pour temps and see what happens. Thanks again!

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In some occasions, I have had water in my wax from the double boiler, but it will fall to the bottom of the pour pot. I use glass pour pots so it is easier to see the water than with metal pour pots. You can also tell if water ended up in your container candle because the frosting pattern will have uncommonly straight lines.

And for laughs, try pouring at 100-104F (right before the wax gets cloudy). It might solve a few problems for you, depending on the FO.

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464 used to give me trouble with tops too. When I fixed the initial top, other issues would crop up (like frosting). I'd seem to get everything perfect, then the top would go all rough after the first burn.

I don't like cooling candles too quickly as my own tend to develop air pockets. I'll take a rough top over an air pocket any day.

You could try Universal Soy Additive to stabilize the wax. I decided to just change waxes as 464 wasn't doing it for me.

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I personally like working with 464 but changed recently to 444 because it is hot in my area. I have had seepage very occasionally, esp. if candles have been sitting in hot car for a while. But it goes away. As far as bumpiness/craters, this is a normal part of 100% soy. I use a heat gun. But even between burning the candle, the bumpiness returns. The soy wax forms crystalline growth, and you really just can't help it unless you start wanting to add additives. I keep mine at 100% soy, no additives or dyes.

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rjdaines is right, coconut oil (76*-Louannes-Walmart) helps wax look creamy and smooth after subsequent burns...so does USA (suggest you dont use both, makes a mess), and tempering,imo, really makes a difference.

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