Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Better to light a candle, than curse the darkness....

So I've been threatening to make candles for ages now.  Who doesn't love a candle?!  A while back, after much research and brain frying, I settled on a soy paraffin blend and ordered up some supplies.  Tonight, the experimenting begins...

The vast choices of waxes will make your head spin.  Soy, paraffin, palm, mottled, beeswax, gel wax....and on and on.  Don't even get me started on wicks!  Much like the art of soapmaking, the more I research, the more questions one has.  I suppose that's part of the fun right?  The journey?  This is 25lbs of fun:




Try lugging this sucker up and down the stairs several times.  My next house will be devoid of all stairs, trust me when I tell ya.
I'm making container candles and tonight's jar is a pretty standard 8 oz. colonial.  I started by sticking my pre-tabbed wick into the jar with a glue dot and then warming the jar in the oven, on it's lowest setting.  This, they tell me, assures better wax adhesion to the jar wall and helps control wet spots.  I'll take their word for it.


First thing I'm noticing is that the heat from the oven is making my wick limp (insert joke here) and melting the glue dot.  Hmmm....maybe I should wick it after I heat the jar.  Next time.  Mental note.

Next, I scoop out 8 ounces of wax and put it into my metal pour pot in a pan of water, to act as a double boiler, and heat until melted.



Pardon that yellow cheese-like substance, above.  The handle broke off my pot almost immediately after I bought it, and I had the bright idea to Gorilla Glue it back on.  Do you see a handle in the picture?  Umm, no.  :)  The first run through the dishwasher and it fell back off, but left some hardened shmutz behind.  Don't worry though - the stuff wouldn't come off if you lit dynamite.

Anyway...

So after the wax is melted (stir, stir, stir) I added some color chips (stir, stir, stir).  I chose a light lemon yellow because I'll be scenting it with a lemon squares scent that will rock your sox.  Smells just like the real thing!  I poured in about .8 ounces of fragrance once I took the pot off the heat, and when the temps were about 175-185, I poured...




The melty glue dot problem made the wick tab come unstuck from the bottom of the jar and it began to float around a bit so I had to reattach it.  Not too big of a catastrophe but that's something I need to fix for next time.  I know some chandlers use glue guns so maybe I'll go that route. 



Ya like my wick holder?  I need to order some wick bars (or get some popsicle sticks) but this worked for now.  The main thing is that you get your wick centered and keep it from falling over while your wax cools.





Jack was highly intrigued...


And that's pretty much it.  I let it cool and popped a lid on.  I didn't have any major dimpling issues or anything.  Looks good, smells good.  Yay!
Now, however, comes the arduous and extensive testing process I always put my products through.  Once this cures 48 hours I'll test out the melt pool, the burn times, the sooting, the flame height, and all of the other things that can go wrong and tweak from there.  I'm pretty excited about adding them to my line though, eventually.  But never before they rock.  :)








Thanks for reading!

4 comments:

  1. So cool! I really enjoyed learning more about making candles. I bet they will all be awesome!

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  2. Very nice...a fun post for sure! I tried candlemaking once...didn't know much at all, and they didn't have enough of a smell. (I was really nervous about the whole process...) Hope yours functions well and passes your testing. Please keep us up to date! : ) ~Becky

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  3. Oh I know how long it takes to test waxes and wicks and it took me ages before I started selling soy candles. Even know whenever I make a new scent I have to test test test until it meets my standards. This one looks really good.

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