Candle & Soap Making Supplies
Wicks & Wax
© The Wooded Yard, 2013

Questions? Contact Us!

Candles 101
Candlemaking Questions & Answers
Do you need to use a different wick if you add scent to your candle?
If you are adding any scent to your candle, you usually find that you have to go up one size of  wick from what you would  normally use.  The extra oils in the scent, often need a larger wick to consume the extra ingredients.
How do you make your Gel Wax look like Champagne? The best way to give a consistent “bubbly” look to your gel candle is to use a wooden spoon or stirring stick when melting your gel wax.  If you use a metal spoon you won’t get the bubbles, but when you use a wooden spoon or stick you’ll have the bubbles forever!  Cheers!
Do candles improve with age?  Yes …because all  waxes are a  crystal structure and you need to give the crystals some time to re-crystalize after you have melted them to pour.  A minimum of 24 hours will give you a reasonable idea as to how well the candle burns, but another day won’t hurt.  If you think that sticking them in the fridge or deep freeze will help….guess again.  All you will do is stunt the crystal growth  and end up with more problems including star marks and fractures in your candle. Just be thankful you aren’t making candles from liquid salt!
Can I use crayons to colour my wax? Crayons are usually a pigment and not a dye…..and pigments won’t burn!….but they love to crawl up your wick and make black mushrooms on the top of your candle wick when it tries to burn.  Food colouring does not work either—it’s a water based dye.  For best results use a good oil soluable  food safe dye.
How do you keep your Gel Wax absolutely clear in the jar? This is an easy answer….use only a metal spoon for stirring and make sure that there is no paraffin or other waxes in your melt pot or stirring spoon.  Gel wax needs to heated directly on the stove to liquefy because of it’s high melt point…so stay with it…don’t get on the phone or on the computer when it’s melting or you could be in for big trouble!
How can I stop getting little bubbles on the outside of my molded candle? The big problem here is TEMPERATURE…you’re pouring at too low a temperature and the wax is hardening as soon as it touches the mold…. locking all the pouring bubbles to the mold and your candle when it is cold.  If you are using a metal mold, it helps to pre-heat  (to about 150 F) a 4” square piece of ceramic tile in the oven and just before you pour the wax, put this heated tile under the bottom of the mold to keep the mold warm and allow the bubbles to rise. You can also tap the mold GENTLY as you pour to shake the bubbles loose to rise to the top.  If you like the scrunge look just keep pouring at a low temperature!
When I pour wax into a mold, which is the top of the candle? This is not a trick question…we get asked this more often than you think!   Normally the top of the candle is resting on the table and the pouring end is the bottom of the candle when finished. ….remember your wicking direction when you load the mold!!(attach link to this answer)
How can I get rid of small imperfections on the surface on my candle? Most of the time the spotty complexion of your candle can be removed by polishing the candle with some old nylon stockings or panty hose. (If you can still get them!) Polar fleece works well too….especially the fine fluffy type.  If the imperfections are too severe, take a wire brush that you use for cleaning a surface befor painting and give the candle a good scratch….looks great!
Can I put my candle that I have just poured into the fridge to cool it down quickly? Yes ,you can but you won’t be happy!  Usually the candle will look good when you pull it out, but after a few days the wax comes alive and you start to see “star” marks and stress fractures emerging from the inside of the candle.  Patience, Patience….let it cool at room temperature.  Even a cold room when pouring a candle can cause grief. Candles like to be warm and cuddled while they cool.
Can I use paint pigment to colour my liquid candle wax? Many people have tried, but the colour will mix in and look good…but the flame will tell you otherwise. It will light… then go out…and it’s game over.  Back to the old clog up the wick with dirt problem.
Can I use glitter on my candle for decoration? Yes, but make sure you use polyester glitter and not aluminum based glitter.  If you use the aluminum based glitter, you’ll have the New Years Eve of  fireworks across you dining room table. The minute the flame heats the metal glitter …. it shoots like a firecracker sending sparks onto the table cloth.  The polyester glitter won’t be the life of the party as it just sinks into the burning pool and rolls around in the wax pool.  Fun to watch, but not nearly is exciting as the sparks flying.
What does the word “Votive” mean in candlemaking? The use of this word goes back to the late 1500 in France.  It is used when making a candle that is being offered or dedicated in fulfullment of a vow…..hence votive.   Peace be with you!
Can I burn a candle in the bottom of a deep vase? It will light and burn for a short time but as soon as it starts starving for air, you’ll see the struggle. Smoke will come off the flame as it shrinks and splutters just to breath.  Black carbon will start to line the outside of the top of the jar and progressively  darken the inside of the vase with carbon.  Such a sad ending for a little candle.  You’re better off to fill the vase with water and use a floater candle and give the candle a happy life.
Do you know what hugging a candle means? Hugging a candle is the action of folding the unmelted sides of a candle into the burn pool while the wax is soft and warm while burning. You can have the hug….just not the kiss!
Can I burn a candle in the bottom of a deep vase? It will light and burn for a short time but as soon as it starts starving for air, you’ll see the struggle. Smoke will come off the flame as it shrinks and splutters just to breath.  Black carbon will start to line the outside of the top of the jar and progressively  darken the inside of the vase with carbon.  Such a sad ending for a little candle.  You’re better off to fill the vase with water and use a floater candle and give the candle a happy life.
                        Candle & Soap Making Supplies
Wicks & Wax
© The Wooded Yard, 2013

Questions? Contact Us!

Candles 101
Candlemaking Questions & Answers
How do you make your Gel Wax look like Champagne? The best way to give a consistent “bubbly” look to your gel candle is to use a wooden spoon or stirring stick when melting your gel wax.  If you use a metal spoon you won’t get the bubbles, but when you use a wooden spoon or stick you’ll have the bubbles forever!  Cheers!
Do candles improve with age?  Yes …because all  waxes are a  crystal structure and you need to give the crystals some time to re-crystalize after you have melted them to pour.  A minimum of 24 hours will give you a reasonable idea as to how well the candle burns, but another day won’t hurt.  If you think that sticking them in the fridge or deep freeze will help….guess again.  All you will do is stunt the crystal growth  and end up with more problems including star marks and fractures in your candle. Just be thankful you aren’t making candles from liquid salt!
Can I use crayons to colour my wax? Crayons are usually a pigment and not a dye…..and pigments won’t burn!….but they love to crawl up your wick and make black mushrooms on the top of your candle wick when it tries to burn.  Food colouring does not work either—it’s a water based dye.  For best results use a good oil soluable  food safe dye.
How do you keep your Gel Wax absolutely clear in the jar? This is an easy answer….use only a metal spoon for stirring and make sure that there is no paraffin or other waxes in your melt pot or stirring spoon.  Gel wax needs to heated directly on the stove to liquefy because of it’s high melt point…so stay with it…don’t get on the phone or on the computer when it’s melting or you could be in for big trouble!
How can I stop getting little bubbles on the outside of my molded candle? The big problem here is TEMPERATURE…you’re pouring at too low a temperature and the wax is hardening as soon as it touches the mold…. locking all the pouring bubbles to the mold and your candle when it is cold.  If you are using a metal mold, it helps to pre-heat  (to about 150 F) a 4” square piece of ceramic tile in the oven and just before you pour the wax, put this heated tile under the bottom of the mold to keep the mold warm and allow the bubbles to rise. You can also tap the mold GENTLY as you pour to shake the bubbles loose to rise to the top.  If you like the scrunge look just keep pouring at a low temperature!
When I pour wax into a mold, which is the top of the candle? This is not a trick question…we get asked this more often than you think!   Normally the top of the candle is resting on the table and the pouring end is the bottom of the candle when finished. ….remember your wicking direction when you load the mold!!(attach link to this answer)
How can I get rid of small imperfections on the surface on my candle? Most of the time the spotty complexion of your candle can be removed by polishing the candle with some old nylon stockings or panty hose. (If you can still get them!) Polar fleece works well too….especially the fine fluffy type.  If the imperfections are too severe, take a wire brush that you use for cleaning a surface befor painting and give the candle a good scratch….looks great!
Can I put my candle that I have just poured into the fridge to cool it down quickly? Yes ,you can but you won’t be happy!  Usually the candle will look good when you pull it out, but after a few days the wax comes alive and you start to see “star” marks and stress fractures emerging from the inside of the candle.  Patience, Patience….let it cool at room temperature.  Even a cold room when pouring a candle can cause grief. Candles like to be warm and cuddled while they cool.
Can I use paint pigment to colour my liquid candle wax? Many people have tried, but the colour will mix in and look good…but the flame will tell you otherwise. It will light… then go out…and it’s game over.  Back to the old clog up the wick with dirt problem.
Can I use glitter on my candle for decoration? Yes, but make sure you use polyester glitter and not aluminum based glitter.  If you use the aluminum based glitter, you’ll have the New Years Eve of  fireworks across you dining room table. The minute the flame heats the metal glitter …. it shoots like a firecracker sending sparks onto the table cloth.  The polyester glitter won’t be the life of the party as it just sinks into the burning pool and rolls around in the wax pool.  Fun to watch, but not nearly is exciting as the sparks flying.
What does the word “Votive” mean in candlemaking? The use of this word goes back to the late 1500 in France.  It is used when making a candle that is being offered or dedicated in fulfullment of a vow…..hence votive.   Peace be with you!
Do you know what hugging a candle means? Hugging a candle is the action of folding the unmelted sides of a candle into the burn pool while the wax is soft and warm while burning. You can have the hug….just not the kiss!
Can I burn a candle in the bottom of a deep vase? It will light and burn for a short time but as soon as it starts starving for air, you’ll see the struggle. Smoke will come off the flame as it shrinks and splutters just to breath.  Black carbon will start to line the outside of the top of the jar and progressively  darken the inside of the vase with carbon.  Such a sad ending for a little candle.  You’re better off to fill the vase with water and use a floater candle and give the candle a happy life.