Soy / Soy+Parafin candle won't stay lit

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asw2s

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Made dozens of small metal tin candles using 100% soy and 75%/25% soy/parafin and no matter what I do the candles will not stay lit for more than 20-30 minutes. They burn out with tunneling, but that's the least of my worries! Standard cotton candle wicks used. Picture attached. Wax could be too hot when poured?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
- Alex
 

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lsg

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What type of wick are you using? Candle Science recommends ECO wicks.

 

asw2s

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I am using pre-waxed cotton core candle wicks. Thanks for the recommendation, I have ordered a bag.

Are the results I described common for the type of wick I used?

Looking forward to my next batch with ECO wicks, will update the thread with results.
 

jcandleattic

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Made dozens of small metal tin candles using 100% soy and 75%/25% soy/parafin and no matter what I do the candles will not stay lit for more than 20-30 minutes. They burn out with tunneling, but that's the least of my worries! Standard cotton candle wicks used. Picture attached. Wax could be too hot when poured?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
- Alex
You're using the wrong type of wick and also the wrong size. Tunneling occurs when the wick is either too big or too small. In your instance with the picture shown you are using a wick that is too small, so it will only burn to a small diameter, but the melt pool is too deep in the small diameter due to the size of the candle, so the melted wax is drowning the wick, which is causing it to go out.

You don't say what size wick you are using, just that it's a standard cotton wick.

My advice before making dozens and dozens of candles, only make a few and make sure they burn absolutely perfect for your application before making more. I would also recommend starting with 1 type of wax, 1 type of jar, no coloring, no scent. Get it to burn right and take copious notes on EVERYTHING you do up until the point of getting that perfect burn. Once you do, then introduce 1 thing at a time (either a colorant OR a scent) and take notes on that testing so you have a base as to what your candle should burn like, because every time you introduce something new, your candle will burn differently.
This is how candlemakers test their candles.

Candle Science is a good starting point and a good guide, but I always find that they recommend wicks that are a size or two too big, and you end up having to test for your application anyway. Just keep that in mind when ordering from them.

Good Luck.
 

Quanta

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You're using the wrong type of wick and also the wrong size. Tunneling occurs when the wick is either too big or too small. In your instance with the picture shown you are using a wick that is too small, so it will only burn to a small diameter, but the melt pool is too deep in the small diameter due to the size of the candle, so the melted wax is drowning the wick, which is causing it to go out.

You don't say what size wick you are using, just that it's a standard cotton wick.

My advice before making dozens and dozens of candles, only make a few and make sure they burn absolutely perfect for your application before making more. I would also recommend starting with 1 type of wax, 1 type of jar, no coloring, no scent. Get it to burn right and take copious notes on EVERYTHING you do up until the point of getting that perfect burn. Once you do, then introduce 1 thing at a time (either a colorant OR a scent) and take notes on that testing so you have a base as to what your candle should burn like, because every time you introduce something new, your candle will burn differently.
This is how candlemakers test their candles.

Candle Science is a good starting point and a good guide, but I always find that they recommend wicks that are a size or two too big, and you end up having to test for your application anyway. Just keep that in mind when ordering from them.

Good Luck.
That goes for different fragrances, too. Just because a test candle burned OK with one kind of fragrance, doesn't mean the same wick and wax combo will work with a different fragrance oil.
 

asw2s

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Thank you both for sharing your experience, my wick size (ECO 2) was too small and I will approach additions of fragrance and color as you suggest once I have the correct wick size.

Much appreciated.
 

jcandleattic

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That goes for different fragrances, too. Just because a test candle burned OK with one kind of fragrance, doesn't mean the same wick and wax combo will work with a different fragrance oil.
Yes, that is what I said. Every time you introduce something new (including a new fragrance, or the same named fragrance but from a different supplier) it can change the way your candle burns. Sorry I wasn't as specific as actually stating that, but in my mind, I thought it was implied.

I will approach additions of fragrance and color as you suggest once I have the correct wick size.
Keep in mind that the addition of these new elements can/will cause the wicking to change and you may have to go up or down depending on the addition. It's never a one-size fits all situation, unfortunately.
 

Quanta

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Yes, that is what I said. Every time you introduce something new (including a new fragrance, or the same named fragrance but from a different supplier) it can change the way your candle burns. Sorry I wasn't as specific as actually stating that, but in my mind, I thought it was implied.
You knew what you meant, and I knew what you meant, but someone new to this might not think of it. I certainly would not have when I was new to candle making. I thought all fragrance was pretty much the same. Experience has taught me otherwise.

I'm sorry if I stepped on your toes.
 

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