Benefit of Lids on Container Candles?

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makemineirish

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I got frustrated when my favorite candle company discontinued the xl jar candles that I had been purchasing and intend to make my own. I have done my research on the myriad of options regarding wax, wicks, etc. However, I am still a bit torn on the containers that I want to use. My dilemma rests with whether or not a container candle benefits from having a lid. Does anybody have any insight to share?

As always, thanks in advance for any help.
 

KristaY

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I think having a lid or not will mostly be personal preference. I happen to like lids on my jar candles because they keep dust out when I'm not burning them and I use the lid to snuff the flame. They're also easier to package up when giving as gifts. I think the lid helps keep the scent from fading too.

But on the other hand I found small, colorful metal buckets at Ikea a few months ago that don't have lids. Since they were cute and only about a dollar each, I decided to make citronella candles in them. If I ever gift any I'll probably make some kind of top like a heavy cardstock circle I can print on.
 

topofmurrayhill

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What Krista said, and also...

Everyone is surprised at the testing time and materials needed to design one type of candle in one fragrance so that it's safe, burns down well and throws scent. Do yourself a bigger favor than you can imagine and choose whichever container is easier to wick. Generally speaking, a smaller diameter and a less odd shape is easier. Get an assortment of wicks, meaning a range of sizes and preferably more than one type.
 

makemineirish

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I think having a lid or not will mostly be personal preference. I happen to like lids on my jar candles because they keep dust out when I'm not burning them and I use the lid to snuff the flame. They're also easier to package up when giving as gifts. I think the lid helps keep the scent from fading too.
I always bought jar candles with lids for the reasons that you mentioned. I had a difficult time finding containers that I liked. I ordered some squat apothecary jars with bubble lids that looked promising. When they arrived, the dimensions were not as stated on the website which meant that they were 1/4" too tall to fit on shelves where I intended to store them:mad: Beyond that, the glass was extremely thin/lightweight (probably why shipping was so reasonable) and the seal cheap plastic rather than rubber or silicone. (They are now posted on Craigslist in the hopes that I can recoup my money without paying for return shipping.)

I found some containers that I really love, but they do not have lids and am trying to figure out if this is a deal breaker. I burn candles regularly enough that dust is not a major issue and I am happy to blow out a wick. Fragrance loss is my primary concern.

It makes sense to me that cold throw would dissipate without an airtight seal, but it seems counter-intuitive that hot throw would be affected. Am I wrong?
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What Krista said, and also...

Everyone is surprised at the testing time and materials needed to design one type of candle in one fragrance so that it's safe, burns down well and throws scent. Do yourself a bigger favor than you can imagine and choose whichever container is easier to wick. Generally speaking, a smaller diameter and a less odd shape is easier. Get an assortment of wicks, meaning a range of sizes and preferably more than one type.
Thanks for the heads up. I was aware that testing would be required but am hoping that I did not underestimate how much. Thanks for the fair warning.

Since these are candles for my personal use, I am inclined to get containers that I love and figure out how to make them work. The ones that I am eyeballing are regular cylinders (no odd shapes), but larger in diameter (4"). I hoped that the larger size would limit the wicks available to try.

If all else fails, I am assuming that I can simply reduce the wick size and use three to get an even burn pool.:think:
 

dixiedragon

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Not a candle maker but an avid candle user! The benefit is that the lid keeps dust and pet hair from collecting in the candle. When you light that candle with dust and hair, it smells awful! I have 8 dogs and 2 cats, so that's a serious concern for me. I actually save my Yankee candle lids so that if a lid gets misplaced or broken, I have a replacement.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Thanks for the heads up. I was aware that testing would be required but am hoping that I did not underestimate how much. Thanks for the fair warning.

Since these are candles for my personal use, I am inclined to get containers that I love and figure out how to make them work. The ones that I am eyeballing are regular cylinders (no odd shapes), but larger in diameter (4"). I hoped that the larger size would limit the wicks available to try.

If all else fails, I am assuming that I can simply reduce the wick size and use three to get an even burn pool.:think:
For typical container wax your choices will probably be one or two wicks, as 3 would be way too hot. For a double wicked container the wick size would be relatively small. Sometimes you get into the conundrum that a single wick is too big but then, depending on the wax and fragrance oil, the smaller ones don't burn well or drown out. 4 inches is tricky.
 

makemineirish

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For typical container wax your choices will probably be one or two wicks, as 3 would be way too hot. For a double wicked container the wick size would be relatively small. Sometimes you get into the conundrum that a single wick is too big but then, depending on the wax and fragrance oil, the smaller ones don't burn well or drown out. 4 inches is tricky.
Thanks for this. I clearly did not realize how narrow the parameters are. I understand that fragrance oil can affect burn. Is it still useful to make a couple of test candles sans fragrance? That way I could re-melt and re-pour until I have an ideal burn pool. Even if the fragrance oil shifts the parameters, I assume that it still gets me close enough to narrow my options. I do not mind extra work, but prefer to limit waste to the best of my ability.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Thanks for this. I clearly did not realize how narrow the parameters are. I understand that fragrance oil can affect burn. Is it still useful to make a couple of test candles sans fragrance? That way I could re-melt and re-pour until I have an ideal burn pool. Even if the fragrance oil shifts the parameters, I assume that it still gets me close enough to narrow my options. I do not mind extra work, but prefer to limit waste to the best of my ability.
Many a person has remarked on what an expensive hobby candle making is. At least with soap you have a fighting chance of making something usable every time. With candles, if you aren't wasting a lot of materials you may not be doing it right. :)

FO can shift parameters a lot. But you can still level out the wax and poke in a different wick even if you use fragrance.

You will read some rules like it's the right wick if you burn for whatever time and get a full melt pool of whatever depth etc. That leads most people to over-wick because they put so much effort into getting a full melt pool from the very first burn. The reality is, the way the candle burns will change all the way to the bottom and there is no way to know how well a wick works until you burn an entire candle. Poking different wicks into a jar full of wax just helps narrow down the possibilities. Generally, getting a full melt pool at the top risks the burn getting hot and sooty at the bottom.

One tricky thing when designing a candle is that a lot depends on how people use it. Since you are making these for yourself, it's an advantage that you can test them the way you normally use them.

Get a heat gun. It's a candle maker's stick blender.
 

michealmike

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Not a candle maker but an avid candle user! The benefit is that the lid keeps dust and pet hair from collecting in the candle. When you light that candle with dust and hair, it smells awful! I have 8 dogs and 2 cats, so that's a serious concern for me. I actually save my Yankee candle lids so that if a lid gets misplaced or broken, I have a replacement.
I completely agree with you:)
 
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