Candle Pour

Troubleshooting

Beeswax

Problem

Possible causes

Possible solutions

won't release from mold -poured too hot
-stuck to mold
-reduce pour temp; 150-160 F is recommended
-place mold and candle in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes
-use silicone spray
cracking -poured too hot
-cooled too fast or too much
-reduce pour temp
-allow candle to cool slowly, at room temp
-do not put candle in freezer
bloom
(dusty appearance on surface)
-natural beeswax phenomena -cannot be eliminated permanently
-rub candle with soft cloth, or heat candle gently with hair dryer or warm water to remove (temporarily)
-when making candle, use a cold water bath or cool in refrigerator to reduce/delay appearance of bloom
mold warp -poured too hot
-cooled unevenly
-reduce pour temp
-avoid drafts in cooling area
-use room temp water bath for more even cooling
*see Pillars for other molding problems, and Tapers for dipping problems

 

Burning - Wick

Problem

Possible causes

Possible solutions

smoking/sooting -burning candle in a draft
-wick too large
-too much scent/oil in wax
-wick too long
-unavoidable to some extent; a slight draft can cause the purest of candles to smoke
-burn candles in a draft-free environment
-use smaller wick
-reduce scent usage
-use wax with lower oil content
-trim wick to 1/4" before each lighting
dripping -wax formula too soft
-melt point of wax too low
-burning candle in a draft
-wick off-center
-wick too large (pillars)
-wick too small (tapers)
-lack of overdip (tapers)
-add hardening additives such as Vybar 103, stearic, Poly, etc.
-use approx. 140 F melt point wax for pillars and tapers
-burn candles in a draft-free environment
-center wick carefully when wicking a mold ; make necessary adjustments when dipping tapers
-use smaller wick (pillars)
-use larger wick (tapers)
-overdip in high melt point wax to make dripless tapers
extinguishing
(won't light or stay lit)
-wick too small
-wick not primed (waxed)
-wax formula too hard (too many additives)
-essential oil is clogging wick
-pigment is clogging wick
-air cavities around wick
-use a lighter to melt a small wax pool
-use larger wick
-use waxed wick , or soak raw wicks in melted wax before use
-reduce hardening additives
-only use scents made specifically for candles
-use dye instead of pigment for solid coloring; only use pigments for overdips
-poke relief holes to make sure all cavities are filled
sputtering -water in wax
-wick not primed (waxed)

-pour off melted wax and relight candle; remelt if that doesn't help
-wipe water off outside of melting pot before pouring
-use mold sealer liberally to prevent seepage from water bath
-dry candle thoroughly after dipping in water (tapers)
-use waxed wick , or soak raw wicks in melted wax before use

burning too fast -wick too large
-wax formula too soft
-air cavities around wick
-use smaller wick
-add or increase hardening additives such as Vybar, stearic, Poly, etc.
-poke relief holes to make sure all cavities are filled
wick drowning -wick too small
-candle not burned long enough
-wax formula too soft
-use larger wick
-burn candles for at least one hour per inch of diameter
-add hardening additives such as stearic, micro wax, Vybar, etc.
flame too small -wick too small
-wax formula too hard
-essential oil is clogging wick
-pigment is clogging wick
-use larger wick
-reduce hardening additives
-only use scents made specifically for candles
-use dye instead of pigment for solid coloring; only use pigments for overdips
flame too large -wick too large
-wax formula too soft
-air trapped in wax
-use smaller wick
-use additives such as Vybar, micro wax, beeswax , etc.
-pour wax slowly and steadily
-pour wax hotter
-tap mold gently a minute after pouring to release air bubbles
melt pool too small
(tunneling)
-wick too small
-wax formula too hard
-use larger wick , or multiple small wicks for candles over 4" in diameter
-reduce hardening additives
poor scent throw -melt pool too small -use larger wick , or multiple small wicks for candles over 4" in diameter
-reduce hardening additives
wax left hanging on container walls
(containers, votives)
-wick too small
-not burned properly
-wax formula too hard
-wax melt point too high
-use larger wick , or multiple small wicks for a full melt pool
-burn candle for at least 1 hour per inch of diameter
-use soft wax (for containers), or reduce hardening additives
-use approx. 130 F melt point wax or lower for container and votive candles
wick mushrooming
(carbon caps)
-wick doesn't bend and combust properly -unavoidable with cored wicks, which are recommended for containers and votives
-reduce impurities such as additives, dyes, fragrances, etc.
-use flat braid wick in pillars and tapers
wick forms ashes -too many impurities in wax
-non-treated or poorly treated wick
-reduce impurities such as additives, dyes, fragrances, etc.
-use only treated wicks made specifically for candles
wick falls over and drowns
(pillars)
-too much slack in wick
-melt point of wax too low
-pull wick taut when wicking mold
-use approx. 140 F melt point wax for pillars
wick falls over and drowns
(containers, votives)
-wrong wick type used
-lack of wick clip
-used cored wicks for containers and votives; they stand up better in the deep melt pools
-use wick clip to support wick during last hours of burning
wick corkscrews -braiding flaw in wick
-wick strands twisted before use
-inspect wick and replace if faulty
-take care not to damage raw wick

 

Containers

Problem

Possible causes

Possible solutions

"wet spots"
(wax pulls away from glass in some spots)
-wax formula too hard
-container too cold
-wax formula not tacky enough
-use softer wax made specifically for containers
-heat container before pouring, with hair dryer or in oven at 150 F
-add micro wax or beeswax
poor scent throw -wax formula too hard
-melt pool too small
-too much additive
-use softer wax made specifically for containers
-use larger wick , or multiple small wicks to maximize melt pool size
-use less additive (e.g. Vybar) to allow more scent to be released)
sweating -too much scent/oil
-not enough additive
-reduce scent usage
-use or increase Vybar 260
rings inside glass
(a.k.a. cold pour lines, jump lines)
-poured too cold
-container too cold
-raise pour temp
-heat container before pouring, with hair dryer or in oven at 150 F
mottling (snowflakes) -lack of additives
-too much scent/oil
-use formulated container wax
-add Vybar 260
-reduce scent
no mottling -use of formulated wax
-use of additives
-formulated "one-pour" type waxes will not mottle; use straight or blended wax
-do not use additives
bubbles -poured too fast -pour slowly and steadily
sink hole/shrinkage -wax contracts as it cools
-pour temp too high
-unavoidable to some extent, even with "one-pour" type waxes
-reduce pour temp; 160 F or lower is recommended for our 127 wax
colored layers bled together -repoured too soon
-repoured too hot
-wait until thick surface has formed on previous layer
-reduce pour temp of layers

 

Pillars

Problem

Possible causes

Possible solutions

mottling
(snowflake effect in wax)
-lack of additives
-too much scent
-too much oil in wax
-cooled too slowly
-use additives such as Vybar 103, Poly, or micro wax
-reduce scent
-use wax with lower oil content
-use cool water bath to reduce cooling time
no mottling -use of additives
-not enough scent/parol oil
-wax problem
-cooled too fast
-do not use additives
-increase scent /parol oil
-some waxes will not mottle; use wax recommended for mottling
-insulate or warm mold to extent cooling time, or use warmer water bath
sink hole/shrinkage -wax contracts as it cools -unavoidable to some extent; poke relief holes around wick and refill
-reduce pour temp
lots of repours needed
(3 or 4 is common)
-repouring too soon
-cooling too fast
-pour temp too high
-wait until previous pour has almost stopped shrinking
-insulate mold or use warm water bath
-reduce pour temp
repour(s) separated from candle after removal -repoured too late
-repoured too cold
-repour while previous pour is still warm
-repour at higher temp
pits -dirty/dusty mold
-dirty wax
-mold too cold
-pour temp too low
-lack of additives
-inspect and clean molds before use
-keep wax clean
-warm mold to at least room temp
-increase pour temp; 190 F is recommended for a smooth finish
-use or increase additives such as Vybar 103, Poly, and micro wax
bubbles -wax poured too fast
-candle cooled too fast
-mold not tapped
-pour temp too low
-lack of additives
-pour slowly and steadily
-cool at room temp, or use warmer water bath
-tap mold gently a minute after pouring to release air bubbles
-increase pour temp; 190 F is recommended
-use or increase additives such as Vybar 103, Poly, and micro wax
dark spots on top of candle -wax not stirred well enough
-dirty wax
-pigment used instead of dye
-stir melted wax thoroughly before pouring
-keep wax and melting pots clean; pour through cheesecloth to filter
-do not use pigments for solid coloring; use for overdipping only
poor scent throw -not enough scent
-scent not compatible with wax (e.g. essential oils)
-scent evaporated before pouring
-too much additive
-melt pool too small
-use more scent ; 1/2 to 1 oz. per lb. of wax
-only use scents made specifically for candles
-add scent only about one minute before pouring, and mix well
-use less additive (e.g. Vybar) to allow more scent to be released
-use larger wick , or multiple small wicks to make melt pool as large as possible
frost marks -candle stuck to mold
-pour temp too low
-mold too cold
-too much stearic
-use kemamide release powder and silicone spray
-increase pour temp; 190 F is recommended for a smooth finish
-warm mold to at least room temp
-reduce stearic percentage
sweating -too much scent/parol oil
-lack of additives
-reduce scent/parol oil
-use or increase additives such as Vybar 103, Poly, and micro wax; they allow wax to hold more scent/oil
won't release from mold

-lack of mold release
-repoured above original fill line
-wax did not contract enough
-wax formula too soft
-cooled too slowly
-mold is dented or misshapen
-candle is not finished cooling

-use kemamide release powder and silicone spray
-do not repour over original fill line
-use additives such as Vybar 103 and stearic to increase shrinkage and harden wax
-place mold and candle in refrigerator for 30 minutes
-heat mold and stuck candle in melting pot until released (last resort)
-throw mold away if damaged
-wait until candle has cooled completely before attempting to remove
cracking -candle cooled too quickly or too much
-candle too cold for repours
-allow candle to cool slowly, at room temp, or use warmer water bath
-insulate or warm mold prior to pouring
-do not put candle in freezer
-repour while previous pour is still warm
mold leaks -wick hole not sealed properly
-leaky seam
-use mold sealer liberally; pull wick taught or use new gasket for jiffy wicker
-use miracle seal to patch leaks
sides caved in -cooled unevenly
-surface not poked to relieve tension
-avoid drafts in cooling area
-use room temp water bath for more even cooling
-poke relief holes around wick before repouring
rings around candle
(a.k.a. cold pour lines, jump lines)
-poured too cold
-mold too cold
-raise pour temp; 190 F is recommended for a smooth finish
-warm mold to a least room temp, or heat with a hair dryer
colored layers bled together -repoured too soon
-repoured too hot
-wait until rubbery surface has formed on previous layer
-reduce pour temp of layers
colored layers separated -repoured too late
-repoured too cold
-wax formula not tacky enough
-pour while previous layer is still warm and flexible
-raise pour temp of layers
-add micro wax or beeswax to increase layer adhesion
single bubbly ring -water level in water bath too low -raise water level to wax level or higher

 

Tapers

Problem

Possible causes

Possible solutions

blisters -wax too hot
-candle too hot
-submersion time too long
-reduce wax temp; 150-160 F for paraffin, 160-170 F for beeswax and bayberry wax
-wait longer between dips
-dip candle in cool water after each dip
-reduce submersion time
lumps -wax too cool
-candle too cool
-dipped too fast or carelessly
-wick not primed properly
-roll candle on a smooth surface while still warm to remove lumps
-raise wax temp
-reduce time between dips
-dip quickly and smoothly, and remove slowly
-soak wick in wax for at least 30 seconds for first dip
layers not building up -wax too hot -reduce wax temp
poor layer adhesion
(air pockets between layers)
-submersion time too short
-candle too cold
-wax too cool
-room temp too cool
-wax formula not tacky enough
-increase submersion time
-shorten time between dips
-raise wax temp
-raise room temp
-add micro wax or beeswax
base of candle becoming tapered -wax too hot
-submersion time too long
-lower wax temp
-reduce submersion time
-dip bottom of candle only to build up extra layers
candle cracks when rolling or braiding -uneven temperature throughout candle -re-dip in wax or hot water until pliable

 

Novelties

Problem

Possible causes

Possible solutions

won't release/
stuck to mold
-poured too hot
-lack of mold release
-reduce pour temp
-use kemamide release powder (do not use silicone spray in plastic or rubber molds )
mold stained -use of dyed wax -use undyed wax in plastic and rubber molds , and overdip for color
mold deteriorating -use of scent
-use of silicone spray
-do not use scented wax
-do not use silicone spray; only kemamide release additive
-use miracle seal to plug small holes
mold leaks
(plastic)
-mold not sealed properly
-holes in mold
-use masking tape , mold clamps , and mold base to seal mold
-use miracle seal to plug small holes
*see Pillars for other molding problems

 

Storage - Display

Problem

Possible causes

Possible solutions

color fade -UV rays from sunlight and artificial light -add UV inhibitor to reduce fading
-overdip to restore color
-store candles in a dark place
color shift/discoloration -oxidation
-"burned" wax (chemical structure of wax altered if exposed to high temperatures)
-add BHT crystals to reduce discoloration from oxidation
-use double boiler method to prevent wax from reaching temperatures that will "burn" it
warping/bending -wax formula too soft
-candle not stored flat
-storage area too hot
-use higher melt point wax
-use hardening additives such as stearic, Poly, etc.
-store candles flat
-store candles in a cooler area; 44-70 F is ideal
chipping/breaking -wax formula too brittle
-inadequate packaging
-storage area too cold
-use less hardening additive
-add micro wax or beeswax for "toughness" and pliability
-store in heavy-duty cardboard boxes for protection
-store candles in a warmer area; 44-70 F is ideal

 

Votives

Problem

Possible causes

Possible solutions

mottling
(snowflake effect in wax)
-lack of additives
-too much scent
-too much oil in wax
-cooled too slowly
-use additives such as Vybar 260
-reduce scent
-use wax with lower oil content
-use cool water bath to reduce cooling time
no mottling -use of additives
-not enough scent/parol oil
-wax problem
-cooled too fast
-do not use additives
-increase scent /parol oil
-some waxes will not mottle; use wax recommended for mottling
-insulate or warm mold to extent cooling time, or use warmer water bath
pits -dirty/dusty mold
-dirty wax
-mold too cold
-pour temp too low
-lack of additives
-inspect and clean molds before use
-keep wax clean
-warm mold to at least room temp
-increase pour temp; 170 F is recommended for a smooth finish
-use or increase additives such as Vybar 260
bubbles -wax poured too fast
-candle cooled too fast
-mold not tapped
-pour temp too low
-lack of additives
-pour slowly and steadily
-cool at room temp, or use warmer water bath
-tap mold gently a minute after pouring to release air bubbles
-increase pour temp; 170 F is recommended
-use or increase additives such as Vybar 260
poor scent throw -melt point of wax too high
-not enough scent used
-scent not compatible with wax (e.g. essential oils)
-scent evaporated before pouring
-too much additive
-use approx. 130 F melt point wax
-use up to 1.5 oz. of scent per lb. of wax
-only use scents made specifically for candles
-add scent only about one minute before pouring, and mix well
-use less additive (e.g. Vybar) to allow more scent to be released
frost marks -candle stuck to mold
-pour temp too low
-mold too cold
-too much stearic
-use kemamide release powder and silicone spray
-increase pour temp; 170 F is recommended for a smooth finish
-warm mold to at least room temp
-reduce stearic percentage
sweating -too much scent/parol oil
-lack of additives
-reduce scent/parol oil
-use or increase additives such as Vybar 260 ; allows wax to hold more scent/oil
won't release from mold

-lack of mold release
-repoured above original fill line
-wax did not contract enough
-wax formula too soft
-cooled too slowly
-mold is dented or misshapen
-candle is not finished cooling

-use kemamide release powder and silicone spray
-do not repour over original fill line
-use additives such as Vybar 260 or stearic to increase shrinkage and harden wax
-place mold and candle in refrigerator for 20 minutes
-heat mold and stuck candle in melting pot until released (last resort)
-throw mold away if damaged
-wait until candle has cooled completely before attempting to remove
rings around candle
(a.k.a. cold pour lines, jump lines)
-wax poured too cold
-mold too cold
-raise pour temp; 170 F is recommended for a smooth finish
-warm mold to a least room temp, or heat with a hair dryer
*see Pillars for other molding problems

 

 

 

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