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Craftovator Academy

5 Common Candle-Making Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Hannah Smith 06 Jun 2024 0 Comments

Candle-making is more of a science than many realise—it's not just about mixing ingredients in a jar and hoping for the best. For beginners, the process can seem daunting. To help you get started on the right foot, we've compiled a list of common candle-making errors and tips on how to avoid them. 


1. Choosing the Wrong Ingredients: 

Candle-making involves trial and error, but proper research can save you headaches and money. Avoid using inappropriate materials like crayon wax or glitter in your candles, often suggested by misleading DIY advice. For reliable candle-making supplies and a guide to starting, check out our detailed blog: How to Make Your First Scented Candle. 

2. Incorrect Fragrance Oil Measurement: 

The balance of fragrance oil is crucial—it varies depending on what level of strength you will wish to achieve. Most waxes hold up to 10% of fragrance oil, however, just by simply adding 10% will not actually mean that the scent will be stronger.  

A lot of testing is required to ensure the right balance. Exceeding the recommended percentage for your wax type can affect your candles' burn quality and safety. Learn more about the specific requirements for different waxes here.


3. Neglecting Proper Testing: 

Testing candles thoroughly ensures quality, safety, and customer satisfaction. Start by testing various wicks to find the best match for each wax type and container, providing a clean burn and proper melt pool. Conduct burn tests to observe burn consistency and identify issues like tunnelling or soot.  

Evaluate both the cold and hot throw of fragrances to ensure they are pleasant and effective throughout the candle's life. Safety tests are essential to check for excessive container heat and appropriate flame height.  

Monitor the longevity and burn time of your candles to ensure they perform well over time. Additionally, maintaining detailed records of all tests will help troubleshoot and refine the candle-making process. For a comprehensive testing guide, download our free test sheet: Conduct a Candle Burn Test.


4. Not Centring Wicks Correctly: 

Not centring wicks correctly in candle-making can lead to several issues that affect both the aesthetics and functionality of the candle. An off-centre wick causes uneven melting, leading to a lopsided wax pool that can expose more of the wick on one side, increasing the risk of a larger, uncontrollable flame.  

This uneven burn not only wastes wax but can also cause the candle to burn faster on one side, potentially overheating the container and posing a safety hazard. Proper wick placement ensures that candles burn evenly and safely, maximising their lifespan and performance.  

Using a wick-centring tool during the setup and curing process effectively maintains the wick's position, ensuring a more uniform and enjoyable burning experience.


5. Rushing the Curing Process 

Adding fragrance oil to candle wax at the correct temperature is crucial for optimal scent throw and overall candle quality. If the wax is too hot, typically above 185°F (85°C), the fragrance can evaporate, resulting in a weaker scent.  

Conversely, adding fragrance when the wax is too cool, below 140°F (60°C), can prevent proper mixing, leading to uneven scent distribution. For best results, add fragrance oil when the wax is between 175°F and 185°F (79°C to 85°C). This ensures efficient mixing and minimises evaporation, producing a candle with a strong and consistent fragrance.  

Candle-making requires patience, precision, and practice. Even with experience, you may still face challenges. For tips on troubleshooting common candle issues, visit Candle Making: How to Handle the Most Common Issues. 

Embrace the learning process and remember that every mistake is a step towards mastering the art of candle making!

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