Candles are Warping in containers

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upcyclejosh

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So, I bought some taper candles at the thrift store that appear to be all of the same type and I melted them in a chocolate dipper that works great to liquefy the wax. I am trying to determine what wick size will work best by trying different wicks (LX-20, LX-21, etc).

Anyhow, the wax starts out cooling normally and then 'warps' after the outer portions cool and draws the center inward and tilts the wick to 45 degrees! Here's a picture:




I was hoping to make some nicer candles for family for Christmas but I can't even get the wax to settle correctly - why is it doing this? :confused:

Thanks,
Josh
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lsg

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You can use wick stabilizers to hold the wicks in place. You might try using a hair dryer to heat up the top of the candle so it will even out.
 

Navaria

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I am not very experienced with candles, but if I remember correctly, tapers/pillars and jar candles are made with a different wax. Seeing this, I'm guessing tapers/pillars have a wax that cools faster with air exposure so the outside cools and shrinks way too fast causing it to draw in
 

topofmurrayhill

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Anyhow, the wax starts out cooling normally and then 'warps' after the outer portions cool and draws the center inward and tilts the wick to 45 degrees!
As lsg says, you need these to hold the wick centered and taut when making container candles. https://www.candlescience.com/equipment/wick-bar

But that isn't the only issue.

Taper candles are generally made of mostly straight paraffin wax. Paraffin shrinks more when cooling than practically any substance. What you are seeing is normal. Typically when you use this sort of wax to make pillar candles you would do one or more re-pours to eliminate the sink hole, and you even need to poke holes when the wax from the initial pour is almost cool to avoid having air pockets form inside the candles.

However, this kind of wax is not used to make container candles because of the shrinkage and melting properties. There is a special kind of straight paraffin (scale wax) that can be used for containers, though it still needs a re-pour to level it out. http://www.candlewic.com/store/product.aspx?q=c49,p516&title=Container-Fill-Wax---CF

Much more common is to use special container blends. With the blends on this page you can often make a candle with a single wax pour. https://www.candlescience.com/wax/paraffin-wax/paraffin-wax-for-container-candles-and-tealights

Do not try to use a hair dryer to melt wax or level the top of a container candle. With most of them the airflow is not nearly hot enough and is way too fast, so that any wax you melt is liable to splatter. For candle work you need a heat gun like this. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004TUCV/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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upcyclejosh

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Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the great advice! I had suspected that taper candles use a different kind of wax but wasn't sure - so thank you. I did hold the wick in place by winding it around a pencil, but it seems that the force of the contracting wax was simply too much. Thanks for your help. -Josh

So my candles are still shrinking, even with the container wax being used. I see several additives being suggested on the product page, such as Petrolatum and Astorlite C, and on another site, Beeswax.

Which would be the best additive?

Thanks,
Josh:mrgreen:
 
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