Are you whipping up a batch of new candles? You have to be efficient and quick to get the best results. A slight delay could mean you have to start over because candle wax dries very quickly and can leave a mess on your hands.
Candle wax dries fast due to several reasons, such as The temperature of the wax has reached below its melting point. You’ve used additives and ingredients that increased the drying speed. You can slow the drying speed by adding more fragrance oil, adding more moisture, or keeping the temperature high.
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Candle wax drying is complex, and scientists are still trying to understand how it really works. But we do know that certain conditions make it dry faster. In this blog post, we’ll explore some reasons why candle wax dries so fast. We’ll also provide tips on prolonging your candles. So if you’re curious about why your candle wax dries so fast, read on.
Do All Types Of Candles Dry At The Same Speed?
When you take a look at the different types of waxes available for candle making in the market, you will discover that they do not dry at the same speed. Some candle waxes may take longer to dry than the rest, and it is mostly because of their ingredients. It is also possible to find quick dries with some waxes, but you should remember that this can also affect the quality.
How Long Does It Take For Candle Wax To Dry?
First things first, when you begin your journey of candle making, you need to understand how long it will take for your candle wax to dry. The answer to this is it depends on the type of wax you wish to use. There are several options at your disposal. However, three kinds of wax are primarily used these days, and their drying times vary.
Paraffin is used in candle making more often than you think and is a petroleum byproduct. It is also cheaper compared to the other types of candle wax and takes at least 24 hours for the wax to really ‘set’ and dry.
The next option you can explore is soy, and it is quite popular because it expels less soot, is natural, and does not have any toxins. It is a bit more costly than paraffin and takes about 4 to 5 hours to dry.
The third type of wax you will find is called beeswax, which has limited availability. It is considered a metabolic resultant of the honeybee and takes about 6 hours to dry.
It is important to note that while candles will dry fairly quickly, they also have to be ‘cured’ for a specific time period. This process is believed to give the candle’s overall hardness a better burning rate and also gives the fragrance a chance to properly bind with the candle before you use it for the first time. Candles should not be used before they are cured because they will not burn properly.
Why Does Candle Wax Dry So Fast?
Candle wax dries very quickly because of the melting points. The additives and ingredients determine how quickly they dry. If the temperature goes below this melting point, your candle becomes solid.
Candles that are made of paraffin have a low melting is 99°F, and a high melting point is 130°F.
The candles made with soy wax will have a melting point of 120°F.
Candles made with beeswax will melt at a temperature of 145°F.
If you want the wax to remain liquid, it has to be near the flame and not go below these temperatures.
How Do You Keep Candle Wax From Hardening?
If you don’t want your candle wax to harden quickly, there are several things you can do to help that:
- Add more fragrance oil.
The first thing you can do to keep your candle wax from hardening is to add some extra fragrance oil. Fragrance oil will not solidify, even though wax does become semi-solid when it reaches room temperature. This means that when you add some more fragrance oil, you will have wax that does not turn solid. Most waxes had a 10% wax load, which means that every pound of wax can have 1.6 oz of fragrance oil. If you surpass this limit, your wax will not harden right away.
Just be careful not to add too much fragrance oil, or you’ll end up with an overwhelming scent, which can even make the nose itchy.
- Add more moisture
Another way for you to ensure that your candle wax does not harden is to add more moisture. Not letting it reach 185°F is one way to ensure the moisture does not evaporate from the wax. As long as the wax has excessive moisture, it will not be able to harden.
However, you might end up popping or crackling candles with this, so I would suggest doing some tests to see what works.
- Keep the temperature high.
Keep the room temperature higher than its melting point, I know it sounds like you need to make your candles in a sauna, but a little hotter inside could help. If you are making candles in a room with a temperature of 90°F, it will take a very long time for the candle wax to harden. As long as you maintain this temperature, you will not have to worry about it hardening right away.
- Type of fragrance oil
There are a variety of fragrance oils in the market, and not all fragrance oils mix well with wax. If you want to prevent the candle wax from hardening, the key is to use these exact fragrance oils.
Why Does My Candle Wax Dry Weird?
There are a variety of reasons why you might see your candle wax dry weirdly, and some of them include:
- Not enough fragrance oil
As mentioned earlier, there are a plethora of fragrance oils that you can find in the market that are used in candle-making. But, you have to be very cautious about the quantity of fragrance oil you use because there will be problems if you use too little or too much. Your candle wax will dry weirdly, and its scent throw will also be impacted.
- Poor quality of fragrance oil
The quality of fragrance oil can also vary, as some of them are manufactured to be stronger than the rest. Likewise, their ingredients can also be different, as some have lower amounts of solvent or natural ingredients. If you use poor-quality fragrance oil, your candle wax will dry as it is supposed to because it may not be able to blend with the wax properly.
- Not adding fragrance oil at the right temperature.
Temperature plays a very important role in the candle-making process. You will notice that your candle wax dries weirdly because the temperature is not right when you add fragrance oil to it. The fragrance oil will burn off if you add it at a very high temperature, and adding it at a low temperature will not allow it to bind with the candle wax uniformly. This results in the candle wax drying weirdly.
- Not letting the candle cure properly after pouring.
Curing is a very important stage of the candle-making process and one you should not skip or shorten. Not allowing the candle to cure properly after pouring will see it to dry improperly. Curing means the candle is drying, which will help extend its life by allowing it to burn longer and give it a good throw, which means it will smell nice.
Along with these reasons, you will also find that the type of wax used, a problem with the wick size or an improper wick could also be the reason why your candle wax dries weirdly.
How Can You Make Candle Wax Dry Faster?
When you want to speed up your candles’ drying process, you have some options at your disposal. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide what to do.
- Use a water bath
The first thing you can do to speed up the drying time for your candle is to use a water bath. It requires a container that is taller and wider than your candle mold. You can use buckets, mixing bowls, or even waste paper baskets. Whatever container you choose, fill three-quarters of it with cool water, which should be about 59°F. Make sure it is not any colder, or your candles will crack. You can add a bit of boiling water to ensure the water is at the right temperature.
Put the candle in the water bath and weigh it down with a heavy box, book, or anything that will keep the mold steady. Add more cool water to the container until it reaches the mold’s top. Leave it to dry for about half an hour or an hour, depending on the weight of the candle.
- Put it in the fridge.
The second option you can explore to make your candle dry faster is to put it in the fridge. You can refrigerate the candle when it has become lukewarm and is no longer a liquid. However, it would be best if you did not put them in the freezer because this will result in cracking.
Unless this is the effect you are after, it is best to avoid it. The material of the mold will determine how long you have to refrigerate it. You need only 20 minutes if the mold is made of polycarbonate or plastics, while metal molds need an hour.