DIY Candle Making Frequently Asked Questions
We want to help all of you who are getting started with candle making or have questions about the process. If you have questions, which are not answered here, please let us know or go to our discussion forum and post your question.
Here is our video of how to make tea light candles with our kit
Q: Why would I want to use Soy Wax instead of traditional candle wax?
A: While you can certainly use a traditional wax (petroleum based paraffin), there are a number of reasons to consider using soy wax. First would be that soy wax burns slower (30-50% longer burning) and cleaner, so your candles will last longer and not have that carbon sooty burning smell. Another reason is that soy is all natural with no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants and won’t trigger allergies.
Q: What is the best way to balance my wick while pouring the wax?
A: We typically will include a glue dot or a wick balancer in our candle making kits. The glue dot is affixed to the bottom of your mold and then the wick is placed on top of the glue dot. The wick balancer is placed across the top of the mold and the wick is set into a slot to stabilize.
Q: What is the right amount of fragrance to add to my candle base before pouring?
A: This is a very subjective question and one that will have a different answer for every candle maker and recipient. Sometimes people find the fragrance too over-powering and at other times the candle maker will not be able to detect the fragrance. We recommend that you pour fragrance into your melted base, until it has a level of scent which you feel you can recognize, but is not over-powering. It may take some experimentation. Too much fragrance can cause color bleed, so try not to add too much fragrance.
Q: How can I know what the color will look like when the wax hardens?
A: Typically it will be very similar to the color you achieve in the melted wax. When you add the color chip and it is fully melted and stirred in, you can expect the hardened wax to turn a little darker, since it will be solid.
Q: How can I minimize or remove bubbles in my candles?
A: Most often air bubbles are caused by air trapped between the wax and the surface of the container. Some suggestions are: Preheat container: In most instances warm to the touch is all that is needed. Pour hotter: As the cold weather sets into your environment the wax can set up quicker. Raising your pour temperature by 5-10 degrees F.
Q: What is the benefit of a pour pot?
A: There are a few good reasons to use a pour pot. First, it’s reusable and can be dedicated to making candles, so no need to have to deal with a waxy pot to clean. Second the candle wax pour pot is designed specifically for the job. It has a deep base with a construction which can be used to melt the wax in a pot of hot water. The pouring spout is perfect for pouring your candles and simplifies the process, while helping to minimize errors in the pouring process.
Q: Is it okay to melt the base wax in a microwave?
A: We do not recommend using a microwave. It will lead to the wax melting in a non-consistent manner and can lead to problems with the wax and possible hot wax splattering in your microwave.
Q: I’ve read/heard that crayons can be used for colorant?
A: While it’s true that some people use crayons for colorants, it is less than ideal. The crayon wax can impair your wick from burning properly and create problems with your candles.
Q: What is the best way to clean the thermometer and pour pot?
A: We recommend that you clean the pot and thermometer while the wax is still warm and can be wiped off/out. You can reheat the pot to wipe the wax out. For molds the same things applies. Do not put them in the dishwasher.
Q: What are the types of wicks and when do I use which type?
A: Sometimes with the wick package you’ll see 3 numbers describing the wicks. The first number is the length, the second number is the diameter (thickness) and the third number is the temperature of the wax that should be used to coat the wick. There is usually a letter at the end which describes the core:
Z – Zinc Core
P – Paper Core
C- Cotton Core
H – Hemp
Q: Will essential oils work as well as a synthetic fragrance for my candles?
A: While essential oils can work well for soap and some other home made products, they don’t work well for candles. The problem is that the essential oil tends to burn off and the fragrance is lost. We recommend using a fragrance which is intended for use as in making candles.
Q: I’ve read that there are additives I can add to my candle making, which can improve the consistency and quality?
A: If you are using a Grow and Make candle making kit, do not add anything. Our kits are complete, proven and tested. We do not want you to experiment and end up with unanticipated results.
Q: Why is there some thick wax at the bottom of the pour pot from my last candle pour?
A: Typically this is because you did not thoroughly stir your wax while heating. Be sure that the wax appears to be clear through to the bottom of the pot.
Q: My jar pour has resulted in a pooling or sinking in the middle?
A: Be sure to do two pours for jar candles. The first pour must be completely cool before you do the second pour.
Q: Can I swap out wicks for my candles or are there specific wicks for specific candles?
A: You will want to make sure that you have a wick intended for the type of container or candle you intend to make. Different wicks have different properties which are specific to the application.
Q: Can I mix and match wicks, colorants, fragrances while using a Grow and Make kit?
A: While it’s certainly possible to be creative and explore, we can’t guarantee any results if you experiment. We are big advocates of experimentation and being creative in your candle explorations, but be aware that the result might be different than expected.
Q: How long can I store my candles and how should they be stored?
A: As long as you make sure to let your candles cool entirely before storing, they should be fine as long as they are not frozen. Also, be sure to store them in an unlit location. Light can fade the wax colorant.
Q: Why do my candles have rings around them?
A: Chattering or stuttering is the result of either the pouring temperature being too low or the mold/jar being too cold. Make sure to warm your mold/jar before the pour and that your wax is properly heated.