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I am hoping some one out there can help me with this...and I know we are all busy but I could really use some guidance here:
I basically produce CP soaps and body products for a few high end customers and they would like some container candles to round out their assortment.
Since I really push quality and natural products, I purchased Soy wax from Candlescience. I have Ecosoya CB 135 and CB Advanced. Then I purchased only fragrances with their 3-leaf rating for soy. I'm up to a 12% scent load (I started at their recommended 9%) and I'm really not getting any appreciable scent throw.
I purchased the best wick recommendation for my container and followed their instructions of melting up to 185 degrees, adding the fragrance, stirring and cooling to a pour temp of 125 degrees.
There must be a trick I am missing. A dear friend recommended adding some FCO, can't say it helped. Should I be mixing beeswax in to this blend? Palm Oil? I keep burning my candle from Linnea's Lights and the scent is amazing.
I truly and sincerely would appreciate help with this and if you would like to email me off-site, that's ok too.
Thank you so much in advance!
I want to know the same thing Merilyn:) I have scented and wicked up as high as I can and still my throw is weak. I was using container ecosoy and the 6 oz gold tins and I used to be known for awesome tinned soy candles and now many have complained the throw is weak. I have racked my brain trying to figure out what is different!?? I used the same tins, wicks , oils and wax, but now they are weak. I know many are reformulating the FOs to be phthalate free, and wonder is that part of it? I have since purchased a huge barrel of an unknown soy wax I got from a reputable supplier he got from a bulk deal, I want to use it, but afraid since my last batches of tins had a weak throw no one will want them. I did a small tin test for myself and the new wax has an excellent throw and also seem to have a bit of a harder surface once burned, so it could have some harder wax in there. Or is is better because the tin is smaller? I am wondering has the ecosoy changed at all? I can't tell by the package because it says it is a propitiatory blend of vegetable oils and that is all it says, but the last 50 lb box wax I made from candles from, seamed really syrupy melted and not burning hot or giving a good throw. . So I would like to know the " trick" to a strong throw soy candles as well , and if any others have experienced a change with the ecosoy. Thanks!
I am learning candles. Is there a different blend of soy for each type of container? For example, one blend for tin, one for votive, one for a tart, etc...? In soy wax, does the wick type make a difference as well?
When you see soy wax listed as "container wax" really all it means is that it is a slightly softer blend of soy wax and isn't suitable for free standing candles as it won't hold its shape. Pretty much any wax can be used in a container (with varying visual/aesthetic differences like how well it adheres to the glass), but not every wax can be used to make a pillar or free standing candle. Wick type and sizes will make a difference with EVERY wax, container size and added scent. Hope this helps!
Be careful to not add the fragrance or essential oil at too high a temperature as it can decrease the effective amount in the finished candle. Adding at a temp closer to your pouring temp will often ensure there is more in the finished candle. Be sure to stir well but gently so as not to add bubbles. Candle making is both an art and science, what works well for one person, their equipment, wax and scent can be totally different for the next person. Good luck!
thank you Kristin - I wondered if that was the case but was told that the FO needed the high temp to blend in to the wax.
Would love a little more insight in to this if you have a bit more time. Thanks!
You will hear different schools of thought but making sure the wax and fragrance are at suitable temps to blend thoroughly is very important. I have found that often that temp is lower than than some guidelines. We use only pure essential oils so it may be a bit different if you are using artificial fragrance oils though the principal is the same. Essential oils (and many fo's) are more delicate than carrier oils and the scent can change or diminish if heated too high as the volatile compounds evaporate off. Some general principles to keep in mind:
1. The type of wax will effect scent throw. Even different soy waxes will behave differently.
2. The type of scent and the percentage of scent in the candle will change scent throw. Be careful not to overload the scent, this is a common practice in the candle market right now. Folks seem to think "x% is great so more must be better!" Yikes, no. Not only can you have the EO or FO "bleed" out of the candle it can greatly alter how your wick behaves and how well you candle burns.
3. The wick is god. A good candle lives and dies by how well the wick is chosen and sized. I have a number of different essential oil blends I make in the same size container in the same base wax. My wick size isn't always the same as different EO's behave differently.
4. Each EO or FO you are going to use will require it's own unique percentage to get that perfect scent load. For example, I can use slighly less Ylang, Ylang than I can some Lemongrasses (by percentage) to achieve the same perceived scent strength.
5. Ambient temperature is a bigger factor than people think. Always make and test burn candles in a warm room. It can make a big difference to the look of the finished product as well as scent throw is better in a warm room and worse in a cold room. Pick an ambient temp for testing and use that each time so you have a consistent and clear perception of the final result. We sell every weekend at the Portland Saturday Market and we always have a test candle lit for passers by to smell. It is amazing how much further the scent throws when we are set up in the summer months as opposed to now when we are all bundled up and it is 40 degrees out. Yep, it is an outdoor market and runs all the way up to Christmas Eve. Brrr!!!
I wish I had an easy answer for you like "Use x% of the scent in x wax" but it really comes down to experimentation. Candle making is wonderful fun and deeply satisfying.
Now I am off to go make more of our Mele Kalikimaka candles for market tomorrow...
Your explanation was like an early Christmas gift!
Thank you soooooooooo very much!!
Happy to help!
Try hemp wicks, they burn hotter than cotton.
Sorry I'm a little late to this conversation. But I am having the same issues with Ecosoya's CB 135 & Advanced soy wax this year. When I test them 2 yrs ago it was great, much better than Cargill's C-3. But now the results vary with different oils that I didn't have issues with before. May be the manufacturer changed the formula. Now I'm using Golden Wax 464. The results seem to be more consistent.
Wicks: Test, test, test! Start with the supplier's recommendations but test a wide range that also bumps up a size or two, and try all the different brands. Heavier oils & darker colors may demand a bigger wick. If you're using a directional wick make sure it's embedded in the right direction. Get the wicks perfectly centered for the safest, most effective burn.
Wax: Different brands of wax behave better depending on season, weather and regional climate. Humid vs. arid will mean a different wick. I had to completely switch brands after moving from Virginia to Rhode Island! Also, soy mfrs will sometimes alter their formulas without telling customers and that can have a big impact on performance. You need to retest each new batch that you buy.
Fragrance: Everyone who spoke about not relying on an exact % is right. There is no right number, and too much can lock up the throw. Fragrance mfrs make different strength formulas, some more diluted than others. You have to test them all.
Cure: During the testing phases, allow a week or so for each candle to "cure." It makes a huge difference! Candles that are disappointing at the time of pouring may very well smell great a month later.
On the surface of things, candle-making is easy, but it gets tricky when you take into consideration the critical testing & re-testing at all levels. (You need to work some of that labor into your pricing too) It has been a good lesson in patience for impatient me!
As an aside, I always tell my customers to use candle holders even with pillars & votives because soy will puddle, even the "pillar" blends.
Another aside - I loved the tins but have stopped using them for candles. Many of the fragrances poured into tins go "off" after a while, and some of the fragrances will corrode the tins on the inside. All brands of tins seem to be prone to this, so I'm finding different uses for the tins...
thank you - the entire process is so much trickier than I could ever have imagined...my core business is bath and body products and I am not doing candle products justice as I just try to handle specific customer requests sho might want some thing to go with their bath/body lines...
YIKES! so - let me ask you, when you say 'test, test, test' are you 'testing' in the actual jar that you intend to sell in? I cringe when I think of sacrificing a container that is meant for wholesale, but I'm getting the feeling that it may be necessary...
what are your thoughts on the suitable temps for mixing the FO or EO and the wax...do you bring the wax temp down to the flashpoint of the FO/EO?