Frequently Asked Questions about Candle Wax
Visit the candle waxes and additives section of the Lone Star Candle Making University for answers to many more questions.
What is the difference when comparing soy and paraffin waxes?
Does wax have a shelf life?
Why are there so many different waxes?
Do I have to use a certain type of wax?
How do I cut my wax into more managable pieces?
My soy wax candles have a frosted look on the top. How can I avoid this?
Why does my soy wax crack on top?
Why do some fragrances not have a good scent throw in soy?
Why does the soy form air bubbles?
Why can I smell the candle before it is lit, but not when it is burning?
I can't seem to get a dark color in the soy no matter how much dye I add. Why?
Can I use the soy wax as lotion to rub on my skin when it is melted?
The differences in soy and paraffin are explained in our Candle Making University in the Waxes and Additives section.
Wax will last almost indefinitely if it is kept in a room temperature environment and if it is kept from getting dirty or dusty.
There are different waxes formulated for different types of candles; you can choose from container, pillar, or votive. Within each candle type, you may have a few waxes from which to choose. Each wax will have its benefits and maybe drawbacks depending on your preference. For example, within the container waxes we have, some are extremely soft and require only one pour, but there is one that is harder and requires a second pour. Within the pillar waxes, you have a choice of one with a more consistent color throughout or one that has a mottled effect. For more information on the different waxes we offer, please see our Candle Making University.
The wax that you choose will depend on the type of candle you are making. Container waxes will tend to be softer because they can adhere to the container they are poured into. Because pillar and votive waxes need to release from the mold, they will have a much harder feel. If you were to try to use a container blend wax in a mold, you would most likely not be able to remove it.
Cutting the container waxes is usually fairly easy. A putty knife or a brownie cutter work very well for being able to cut straight down through the slabs. The pillar and votive waxes are more difficult to cut through since they are harder; using a hammer and chisel is a common way to cut off chunks. You can also score the wax with a utility knife, and then break the scored area against a hard surface. (When doing this, be careful not to cut yourself, and make sure the hard surface that you use will not be damaged.) You can also try our Crafter’s Hot Knife as well.
This is a common occurrence in soy. Make sure you are following the temperature guidelines very closely. The pouring temperature is very important and can help reduce frosting. Sometimes even with following the temperature guidelines closely, frosting can still occur over time.
The pouring temperature may be too hot or too cool. Make sure they are not cooling too quickly; it may cause the top to crack more if you accelerate the cooling. When filling your container, make sure not to fill past the widest part of the jar. When you fill past the widest part, the top will tend to cool faster than the inside and may cause it to sink down more.
Fragrance testing is very important because some will perform better in soy than others. Even when using different blends of soy, you may get varying results.
You may not notice these as much when you pour the candles, but air bubbles can surface as the candle is burning. Small amounts of air may get trapped in the wax when the candle is poured, and when the candle is burning, it is able to release up through the melted wax.
This is why test burning your candles is important. Some fragrances blend better with soy than others, and being able to smell the fragrance before the candle is lit isn't a guarantee that it will smell the same when it is burning.
It is hard to get a dark color in with the soy because it does not accept the dye as readily as the paraffin wax does. Even if you add a large amount of dye, it will not darken as quickly as paraffin.
If making a lotion or massage candle, the CB-135 would be the best wax to use. It is cosmetic grade, dermatologically tested, and has a low melt point. Be sure to use fragrances and dyes that are also safe for use on skin.
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Most all of our containers and lids are sold separately so you can mix and match and create the look YOU want!