Wax Melt Tutorial – donated by one of my lovely customer’s – Amy!
To start you will need to weigh out your wax and place it into your double boiler (alternatively 2 old saucepans will do, place wax in the smallest one, and water in the largest one, stand the smallest one on an old cookie cutter inside the largest one to keep the wax from touching the heat source directly) and heat your wax to the required temperature. The temperature will vary with different waxes so check manufacturers advice before hand, but it is generally 80-85c.
Once the wax has melted, add your dye if required. Stir well.
Allow the wax to cool down to somewhere between 50-60c and add fragrance oil. Most people use 10% fragrance oil, but you can use a little less if your test results are good.
Stir the fragrance oil for at least 2 minutes! This step is important to allow the fragrance to bond with the wax.
Secure your wick to the centre of the container, ensure it is as straight as possible and as central as possible, this will make sure your candle has an even burn. You can buy sticky wick tabs to hold them in place, or a dab of hot glue will work just as well, clothes pegs, chopsticks etc are handy to hold the wick in place whilst your candle cools.
Allow the wax to cool to approx 45c to pour into your container. If you do pour too hot you may find your wax will sink a bit, you can do a repour over the top if this happens.
Now to wait… soy wax needs approx 2 weeks to cure, parrafin wax only a few days. Once it is cured you can light it and see how your candle performs.
Which wax? There is a lot of waxes on the market, and most do different jobs. To make a container candle you will need a container wax, which is stickier than pillar blend waxes to help it adhere to the sides.
Personal choice comes into which type of container wax you prefer, some people like soy, others paraffin, then there are different manufacturers versions of both. The only tip I can give here is to buy small amounts first, then if you find you don’t like it you haven’t wasted too much money.
Which wick? Again there are plenty of wicks to choose from, and each brand of wick will come in different sizes. They might not look much different to others, but they can make such a big difference to your candle! Have a look on the suppliers website and read what each wick should do, some will be designed to work with a specific wax, some will be more versatile. The suppliers should offer a guideline on which size to use, pick which you find may work for your candle then usually it’s a good idea to buy 1 size above, and one size below as well.
Testing: this is the most frustrating part of candle making, your candle may look amazing, smell amazing on cold throw, but when you light it so many problems can arise. This is nothing to worry about, there is usually a solution.
Tunnelling: (when your candle doesn’t burn to the edges of the candle) you don’t want your candle to leave a lot of wax on the sides, a few mm’s is ok, and usually disappears as the candle burns longer, but anymore than that and you should try the next wick size up.
Candle melting very fast: the aim is to make your candle last as long as possible, especially if you are selling them as customers want long lasting candles. Try a wick size down.
Lots of smoking: this usually means there is too much fragrance oil in the candle, lower the percentage you add, but it can also be the wick, you may want to find an alternative type.
No scent throw: this can be many things, was the wax melted to the correct temperatures, is the wick type too hot (you may want to try another brand) the wax might not agree with the oil, was it stirred long enough, did you use enough oil (between 8-10% is generally the norm) did you use too much oil (this can have the reverse effect sometimes)
And sometimes, a fragrance just simply does not work in a candle, as much as you try, it’s not meant to be!
The testing stage can be very disheartening, you may have to try several wax & wick combinations to finally get one you are happy with, but the feeling you get when you know you have got it right is amazing! It can be very frustrating, (and expensive) but once you have that recipe correct, it’s yours forever! And your customers will continue returning because your candles will perform a lot better than some of the big brands