Precision in melting soy wax?

alisonNovember 27, 2006

I thought I would make scented travellers candles in little tins for some holiday gifts, and I bought soy wax at the crafts store.

The instructions are very precise about temperatures -- "melt wax to 185, cool to 125 before adding color or scent*"

I don't have a thermometer for wax; is it neccessary to be that precise? To be honest, I had planned on melting the wax in the microwave in 30 sec increments until almost all melted, taking it out and adding a little essential oil, then pouring the wax in the tins with a wick.

Or is there a reason these little candles are so expensive? Do I need to be able to measure the temperatures?

*(Not sure if these are the temperatures listed; don't have the box in front of me.)

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terri_pacnw

It is imperative to practice making soy candles or any candle for that matter before you give them away.
Sure it's as easy as melting wax, adding fragrance oil, candle dye (if you choose) and pouring that into a container.
However, that's not safe. You have to know what wick to use, how to get a proper burn, how much fragrance oil your wax will handle, how much total additives the wax handles..
How hot a wax needs to get to open up to receive the additives you are mixing with it.

I've never used craft store wax. I'm sure you can make an ok candle with it. Or it wouldn't be able to be sold.
And yes you can melt the wax in the microwave, but it's not the most efficient or best way to do it.
What wick are you planning on using? How do you want this candle to burn?
What fragrance oil are you going to use? You need a scale, so that you are adding the correct amount of fragrance oil to the right amount of wax.
What size is the tin you want to use?

But most of all, yes it is imperative that you know the temps of your wax.
Time to head to the store and get a thermometer from the kitchen department.

You are giving someone something that is dangerous, and has high risks. It's your responsibility as the maker to make the safest product you can. It takes months to get it right, it takes years to perfect it.

It's not just another craft project.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 12:35AM
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alison

Yikes! Candles seemed so much easier when we made them in Brownies, when I was a kid!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 6:51PM
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terri_pacnw

If you want to make gifts, I'd suggest buying a kit from a reputable online candle supplier. Do a google search. That way all the guess work is basically done. You'll still need a thermometer and a scale.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 7:53PM
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alison

I've got the recommended wick and scents. So I'm going to go ahead and try the candles.

Probably will burn a couple down to the end before I give them to anyone, tho'.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 12:55PM
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terri_pacnw

very good idea.
I burn my testers in two ways. The recommened time allowance. 1 hr per inch the container is wide.
And then marathon burn. Lite it in the morning and let it go 10-12 hrs.
Most people who burn my candles, either burn marathon or not even the recommended time at each burning.
For a candle to burn optimumly, it should be lit and burned until the meltpool reaches the sides or has a tiny sliver of wax around the edges on the container. As the candle wax gets to the last 1/4-1/3 of it's original height, if not a bit sooner, the side wax should pull down from the heat in the container and the sides should be virtually clean.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 2:53PM
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