Container candles are among the most popular for home and small business enthusiasts, but are they easy to make? You just insert a wick and pour melted wax in, right? No! The truth is, making candles successfully and safely takes time and money. The mantra of experienced chandlers is, “Test, test, test.”
First, choose which wax you wish to work with. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so read up on the choices to make your decision. Note the temperature at which to add color and scent and to pour, as well as the maximum usage rate for the fragrance you select. Make sure your fragrance is compatible with your wax, as well.
Choose the Correct Wick
First, research which wicks are appropriate for the type of wax you choose. More than one type is usually acceptable, and unfortunately, testing out various types Is the only way to determine which type you prefer. Obtain a wick that is recommended for the diameter of your container, but purchase several wicks smaller and larger, as well, because the perfect wick will vary with each scent and color.
Testing how the candle burns with the wick size is imperative. Burn the candle one hour for each inch of the diameter of your candle. For instance, if your container is two inches across, you should see an even melt pool after two hours of burning. If not, adjust the wick size. If it burns down quickly, too close to the edges, the wick may be too large and you need to select a smaller wick. If the candle burns down the middle and the melt pool does not reach the edge of the container, you need a larger wick. Chandlers commonly make three candles, each with a different size wick, and test burn them at once to save time.
Once the candle passes this test, burn the candle half way to continue testing, especially if the container is not straight up and down.
If it burns well, you might think you are now ready to sell or give away your candle, but not yet. You have one more step to complete. Burn the candle down entirely as you would expect the recipient to do. If it burns correctly, you know the wick is correct for your container, wax, scent and color.
You are now ready to present someone with a well-made, safe candle.
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Candles & Cosmetics