Why Is My Candle Sweating?


So, have you ever noticed that when you place a candle in your home or office, it starts to sweat? You may be wondering why this is happening and what’s causing the problem. If so, don’t worry; it’s not such a big deal, and here is why.

Generally, candles sweat due to the following reasons. Excess oil was used in the mixture, or the candle went through a temperature change. It may also be because of exposure to heat or humidity, and lastly, you did not add fragrance oil at the right temperature.

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This blog post will go over what causes candles to sweat, what the signs of sweating candles mean, and how you can tell if your candle is just too hot or has other issues like wax pooling on the side. We’ll also show you some tips for avoiding sweaty candles in the future!

Why did my candle sweat?

Extreme temperature changes are the most common reason why candles sweat, but there are a few other reasons this can happen, ranging from excess oil to exposure to heat or humidity.

  1. Excess oil

It’s common for people to use oils, such as essential oils or fragrance oils, to incorporate scents into their candles. But too much oil can cause sweating. You can clearly see it because your wax will start to curdle when it’s set. 

On the other hand, some waxes already have oil content – like soy and coconut wax. Therefore, they will sweat occasionally, but it won’t cause any performance issues for the candle.

  1. Temperature

Temperature change is another major factor that can cause your candles to sweat. Moving your candle from one place to another where the temperature is very different may lead the candle to sweat. 

  1. Exposure to heat or humidity

The third most common reason for candle sweating includes hot or damp conditions. If you tend to keep your candles in hot or humid environments, you’re increasing your candle’s likeness to sweat. If you wouldn’t like this to happen, you can choose to place your candles in neutral areas where direct sunlight or any other heat source cannot reach them.

  1. Incorrectly added fragrance oil or essential oil.

Last but not least, fragrance oil and essential oil need to be added to the mix while the wax is at a specific temperature – usually between 180ºF and 185ºF. However, if you add it while the wax is at a lower temperature, don’t stir the mix as much. Choose an oil that can suit the wax type you’re using. 

It’s also possible that you’ve utilized too much oil (as we’ve discussed above). The scented substance won’t wind fully to the wax. As a result, the candle will start sweating.

If you’ve purchased your candles from someone else…

Don’t blame the manufacturer for the reasons explained above. However, please note that some wax types can be susceptible. Hence, as explained in the third point, they can react this way when exposed to harsh temperature changes. This happens because the oils detach from the wax, which ends up being noticeable as “sweat” in your candle.

This isn’t necessarily the manufacturer’s fault, as evidenced. It does not mean that your candles have low quality or won’t have a strong scent throw. All you need to do is clean the excess oil so you can burn the candles safely and enjoy their scent. 

Please note that it is recommendable to identify the reason for the sweat so you can avoid it next time you make candles. If you’ve purchased your candles from a different person, perhaps they’re made of sensitive wax, and fluctuant temperatures cause the problem. In these cases, the best you can do is leave the candles in a balanced area where they’re not in contact with direct sunlight or any other heat sources. 

Additionally, a candle that sweats isn’t necessarily low-quality. Hence, you can be sure that they will continue to give off a pleasant scent after you’ve appropriately cleaned them before burning

Do candles sweat when lit?

Candles sweat due to one of the three reasons mentioned above, which can continue when they’re lit. However, please note that it is not recommendable to light your candles if you observe that it has been sweating. 

Please don’t burn the candle if you suspect that the issue is caused by the incorrect addition of essential or fragrance oil. Remember that these substances are flammable – hence, when exposed to naked flames, they can pose a serious fire hazard.

On the other hand, it is 100% safe to burn your candles if the issue is related to the temperature. However, it is strongly advised to wipe out your candle with a paper towel to avoid any potential problems. 

Paper towels work best to clean off the excess oil from your candles, especially if you’ve utilized dye for them. Try not to touch the candle sweat if you’ve used a dye – it can cause stains.

What does a sweating candle look like?

It’s easy to spot a candle that sweats. It’ll be oily to the touch when it comes to soy wax and has a “spongy” texture. Furthermore, it’s also likely for you to notice oil at the bottom of the container or maybe oozing at the top, perhaps both simultaneously.

Likewise, if you’re utilizing palm or paraffin waxes, they will mix with the dye you’ve used for the candle and will sweat or bleed out of it whenever there’s excess oil. However, you can avoid this problem by adding about three percent of Stearic Acid before pouring the melted wax into the container. Doing this will help you retain all the oils together with the mix.

Still, again, if you notice that your candle is sweating, please restrain yourself from burning it without wiping it. Remember that oils are flammable; so, if they come in direct contact with a flame, you’ll have created a fire hazard. Should you use a candle that is sweating? 

As mentioned above, candle sweating is a common problem, but it isn’t something that can cause a potential accident if you’re aware that it is happening.

If you’ve noticed that your candles have been sweating, try to clean them off before you lit them to avoid the oil from coming in contact with the wick’s flame. Oils are flammable liquids, which means that your candles can be a high fire risk when you light them this way.

How to fix candle sweating

If you’ve noticed that your candles are sweating, don’t give up hope yet because there are easy ways to “fix” this problem. You can even avoid it, which we will discuss later in this article. 

Is it possible to fix candle sweating?

First, it is recommendable to identify the reason why your candle may be sweating – which may include the reasons explained above. Even if you’ve identified the cause, there’s not much you can do to fix a sweating candle except removing the excess oil from the surface with a paper towel. 

The main reason to identify the problem is to avoid it in the future – especially if the problem occurred during the production process.

Here are some things you can do that will help with a candle that is sweating:

  • Don’t burn the candle if you believe the incorrect addition of fragrance oil is the cause of sweating. It can become a high fire risk in little time due to the flammable properties of these oils.
  • If you notice that your candle is sweating, use a paper towel to clean all the excess oil – including the one that’s all around the container.
  • You can try to store your candles in a place with an even temperature, where it isn’t exposed to heat. Then, once the candle has returned to an optimal temperature, you have nothing to worry about.

How to avoid candle sweating?

We’ve already mentioned the causes of candle sweating. However, even though you can’t really stop the sweating or bleeding, you can somehow “fix” the problem in a finished candle. 

But what you really should focus on is avoiding sweating by first identifying the problem and then taking action during the candle-making process. But if you haven’t identified it, which most likely is the case for most people, there are some things you can do that would help avoid it.

  • Determine if the fragrance oil or essential oil can be utilized in the wax you’ve chosen. For example, soy wax and beeswax aren’t exactly known for being the best choices for scented candles. Hence, try to double-check the oil before purchasing to make sure it is suitable for these wax types.
  • You can also ask your supplier about the optimal amount of fragrance or essential oil. For instance, when it comes to soy wax, it’s recommendable to keep the fragrance levels at 8-10 percent, based on the size of the candle. If you add more than the recommended amount, it is more likely to sweat.
  • You can experiment to figure out the optimal quantity of fragrance oil, so your candles don’t sweat. This way, you can also determine the perfect percentage for your preferences.
  • You can also avoid sweating by choosing oils with lighter viscosity. These oil types tend to bind with ease with the wax. On the other hand, utilizing heavier oils – like those high in vanilla content – may require you to use a fewer percentage to prevent the candle from releasing when exposed to higher or fluctuant temperatures.
  • Stearic acid (about 3%) is a useful addition to the melted wax before pouring. It will help retain your oils.
  • Again, please keep your candles in fresh areas where they can remain at a steady temperature.

What candles are more likely to sweat?

Soy and coconut candles are more likely to sweat due to their nature. However, if you’ve purchased your candles from someone or have made them yourself, it has nothing to do with the process – that’s just how these waxes act.

  • As for soy wax, it usually has a higher oil content than other waxes, specifically hydrogenated soybean oil. This substance makes the candles semi-solid, which can cause them to “sweat” when exposed to fluctuant temperature changes.
  • Coconut wax also has a different composition from other waxes. It has a low melting temperature, besides the low melting temperature. This behavior regarding the temperature causes them to be more challenging to “mix” with the fragrance or essential oil. Hence, as it happens with soy wax, they’ll likely sweat after being exposed to fluctuant temperatures.

In summary, natural candles are more likely to sweat due to the high oil content they have.  This is because they’re made of hydrogenated vegetable oils, which, combined with a low melting point, make them more likely to sweat when exposed to higher temperatures. 

Please note that soy and coconut waxes are not the only wax types that are likely to sweat. This list also includes palm wax candles and any other wax that comes from a natural material.

Is candle sweating dangerous?

Some users get surprised if they see that their candle is releasing liquid. Even though it is considered a fire hazard,  you should know that there’s nothing to worry about despite the concern – a sweating candle is not as dangerous as one may think. It doesn’t pose a hazard as long as you wipe them off before lighting them up. 

Candle sweating safety tips

Now, there are a few tips you can have in mind to make sure that you’re utilizing your candles safely if you’ve noticed that they have been giving off oil.

  • Please, don’t burn the candle if the reason for its sweating is not temperature-related. Remember that oil is a flammable substance, which can cause a serious fire hazard when lit up.

    Before lighting up your candles, use a paper towel or a tissue to clean them. This way, you will prevent the oil from being in direct contact with the flame – plus, it will keep the candle as good-looking as it is.
  • Some fragrance oils and essential oils can produce skin irritation in certain individuals. Try not to touch the oil with your bare hands.
  • It can be quite challenging to get rid of these scents if it has already penetrated through your clothes. Do not use any fabric to dispose of it. Paper towels or tissues should be enough.
  • If you’ve forgotten the candle in your car and then it gets in contact with harsh temperatures, be it cold or heat, please try to place them in an area where they can stabilize before lighting it. If your candle is too hot, lighting it up will only cause it to melt rapidly, and consequently, it will end up mushrooming and producing soot. Contrary to this, cold candles pool irregularly. In addition, combining cold and hot temperatures in a candle can worsen its sweating.

Other problems related to sweating candles

Besides the issues mentioned above, sweating candles don’t pose a threat for you – so this section is dedicated to the effects that “sweating” causes on the object. Hence, keeping in mind the following signs will make it easier can make it easier for you to point out what’s wrong quickly and act on it.

  1. Your candle will feel greasy.

When the candle is exposed to harsh temperature changes or if too much essential oil or fragrance oil has been utilized in the making process, it will sweat out either of these substances. If you’ve used soy wax or a similar option, it can also release its natural oils. Your candle will feel greasy to the touch as a result of it.

  1. Wax melts sweat too.

Wax melts and candles are similar products with different usages. Still, they both have practically the same structure, and that’s a factor that makes them vulnerable to the same issues. Therefore, when you expose your wax melts to temperature swings or too much heat, they will start sweating. This is more likely to happen with hydrogenated oil-based wax.

Besides giving off oil, wax melts can become quite soft in higher temperatures due to the high amount of fragrance oil in their structure. Therefore, it is important to use the correct percentage of the scented substance of your preference to avoid potential problems when the wax melt or candle is ready to be utilized.

Conclusion

Sweating candles are not a threat for you or your family. You shouldn’t have a problem if you make them for your consumption and not try to sell them to anyone else – otherwise, you will run out of business quite quickly. All you need to do if you notice that your candle is sweating is to wipe it off with a tissue and then light it up as usual. 

There are plenty of reasons for candle sweat to happen, but if you’ve utilized natural waxes to make your candles, it probably has happened due to the wax’s structure and behavior – it may not be your fault. On the other hand, try to figure out whether it is actually natural oil or if it’s the fragrance or essential oil you’ve utilized during the process.

It is essential to utilize the optimal percentage of fragrance or essential oil based on the size of the candle. Otherwise, your candles may end up sweating due to incorrect incorporation during the making process, which includes adding too much fragrance oil or maybe adding it at the wrong temperature.

Either way, most sweating candles are safe to use, but again, it’s recommended to wipe all the excess oil off to avoid any potential problem from happening.

For the last piece of advice, please try to store your candles in a place with a steady temperature. If you don’t, the candle will present sweating problems and burn at an irregular pace.

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