General Candle Making
Making a candle is a process of combining wax with dye, fragrance, container configuration and wick. All these components can have a dramatic effect on the wax and how the candle performs. Dyes and fragrances can react poorly with each other and cause problems with wicking. They can also react with the wax to produce undesirable effects in the wax.
Choose a container that you want to use for your candle. Pick and mix a dye with the wax that gives you the desired look, use a wick you think will burn well. Then choose a fragrance and add it to the container, wax, dye and wick combination. Check the look and scent throw (both cold and hot) of the candle. If the scent throw is poor, try a different type of wick.
Test Burn: Now check wicking. Test burn the candle for burn pool diameter and “mushrooming” after it has setup (cured or dried) for 48 hours. Mushrooming is when carbon and/or other substances build up on the end of the wick interfering with combustion. Mushrooming can cause sooting and off odours. Try different wicks until you have your desired burn pool diameter and a good clean flame. A general rule of thumb is to have a full burn pool ¼ to ½ inch deep, from side to side in about the same number of hours as the number of inches the diameter of the container.
Every combination of mold, wax, dye, fragrance and wick must be tested for burn quality.
If you experience a problem with your candle, try the following steps to isolate the cause. Whatever the issue may be it’s important that you test for only one variable at a time. This enables you to isolate the cause of your problem. Variables include but are not limited to the mold, wax, dye, fragrance, wick, pour temperature and even environmental conditions such as cooling temperature.
First make a candle in the mold with only the wick (no dye or fragrance). If it looks good then the wax is performing normally.
Then one at a time change a variable. Try adding the dye without fragrance to the wax and wick. If it looks good and burns well the dye is compatible with the wax.
Try adding the fragrance without dye to the wax and wick. If it looks good and burns well the fragrance is compatible with the wax.
Try the dye and fragrance together with the wax and wick. If it looks good and burns well the dye/fragrance combination is compatible with the wax.
If you are experiencing burn problems, try a different type or size of wick.
Other variables to try are different pouring and cooling temperatures and even different molds.
Be sure all equipment and materials are contaminant free. This can be a lot of work but you will find the cause of your problem. Be sure to record all your testing and results. When you do find the cause, substitute a different type or manufacturer of that component until you achieve your desired results.
The above suggestions are only suggestions, your results may vary. Testing and experimenting are the only way to achieve the effects and results you desire. Be sure to follow all safety precautions and directions recommended by the manufacturer of the tools, materials and equipment you use.