New to forum...candle questions

sudimariMarch 21, 2009

Okay, I currently make candles only for myself. I prefer 7 day candle jars...I usually have 1-2 burning constantly (go ahead with the lectures but I've already heard them I promise you! lol) Its a spiritual practice of sorts.

I'm having some issues with the supplies I am using (although due to budget and need to be very frugal I will continue with what I have until they are gone) and am hoping for some feedback/solutions/hints.

First off when I started I chose Bitter Creek to buy from and got advice from them.

I didn't find a wick in the sample pack that really worked right...I settled on 44-24-18 zinc core. Currently using AstorLite J223 wax. The wax is okay...easier to break apart that whatever was given to me & I used previously. BUT I don't like the grimy feeling it leaves on my hands and it seems to burn a lot faster in the candles.

My biggest issue is the smoky residue that is building up in the jars...it doesn't start smoking until about half-way through the candle. I've been told that is simply because I'm burning it too long at a time, but I suspect that I should be able to find a combination of wax and wick that wouldn't do it or at least would do it a lot less. Basically it's making cleaning the jars a pain in the @!&!

I like the 7day jars because I feel fairly safe that if something causes them to turn over they will put themselves out in the process. (Although I'm very careful to keep them in an area away from any clutter...and high enough the cats can't reach them).

I do NOT use any scents (my allergies just make it impossible to do). But do enjoy playing with liquid colors.

So...1) is there a simpler way to get smoke residue & wax out of the 7 day candle jar (currently I soak a LOT in purely HOT water) then use a sponge tool or bottle brush (which means I go through them FAST!)

2) is there a suggestion for what kind of wicks to look at? and a different kind of wax?

3) Any suggestions on some inexpensive jars that would be suited to the wick I have (100 ft give or take) if I find a more suitable wick?

4) Anyone know where I can get more empty 7 day jars? I have about 12....but with 2 burning at a time that only lasts me about a month.

Thanks in advance!

Suz

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sara-s

Correct me if I am wrong, but I am assuming AstorLite is a type of paraffin. I find that soy wax emits little or no soot, from top to bottom of the jar. So you may want to switch to a soy wax.

As for wicks, you don't specify the diameter of your jars and this is relevant. You can go to some sites such as CandleScience.com or PeakCandle.com. They will have guides that can help you pick out the right wick for your wax and jar. I have gotten good results from both.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 3:47PM
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sudimari

Thanks sara-s fo responding.

Yes AstorLite is a type of paraffin. I've only ever worked with paraffin...not sure if I would like soy. Also don't know how the process differs.

The 7 day candle jar (silly me I should know folks wouldn't automatically id them mentally) is 2.25" in diameter and usually 8-8.5" tall.

I actually received a lot of advice from Bitter Creek...chatted with their person on-line which is why I initally purchased the wick sample pack and did the trial & error thing. I guess I'm hoping someone will tell me if I switch from a zinc core to a pure cotton wick and get the right size that it won't smoke. The first time I made candles was with pure cotton, but it was sized for wider containers I believe, not sure since it was bought by someone else for a group craft gathering.

Still hoping for a brilliant short cut to get the residue out of the jar! I have several in the freezer to remove the remainder of the wax at the bottom (I guess I bought the wick holders with too high a whatchamacall it, lol). But then I have to face getting all that soot out...ugh!

Thanks again,
Suz

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 10:14AM
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sara-s

Soy wax is inherently less smoky that paraffin. And the right wick size will also reduce smoke. Your jars are around the same diameter as mine. I use Peak Candle C-75 wicks (with soy wax.) Any wick will also smoke less, if it is trimmed regularly.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:26PM
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simplemary

Candles smoke in long, narrow jars-- regardless of the wax-- because of air flow-- air has to get down to the wick & exhaust has to be able to "chimney" up the glass again. Guess what? No quick fix. Just test, test, test-- I finally figured out that to test tall containers, I only had to pour 1/2 a candle (ha!) to watch it burn from that point on. If you go with soy, choose a cotton-cored wick. Zinc will not burn properly in soy.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 2:06PM
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