Common Candle Problems and How To Solve Them

When making candles, you will, at times, notice that your candles are not exactly perfect from a visual standpoint.

Other common problems include having trouble releasing the candle from the mould.

This page talks about some common problems and how to solve them.

Problems Releasing From The Mould

This is a rather common problem that many will experience at one point or another. A simple solution to help release the candle from the mould is to simply put the candle into the freezer for 10 to 20 minutes.

The cold of the freezer helps to shrink the candle wax. Then, all you should have to do is simply gently tap the mould and the candle should come out.

If you continue to have problems releasing your candles from the moulds, then perhaps you may want to consider getting a silicon spray or another type of releasing agent. You apply these releasing agents to the inside of the mould before pouring the wax. This will help with the release of the candle, however, this method simply increases your expense.

One thing you always want to do is simply keep your moulds clean. Keeping your moulds clean will substantially help your candles release from the moulds more easily. However, when you clean your moulds, do so very gently. Any scratches on the moulds will appear in your candles.

Read the manufacturer’s directions regarding the best way to clean the mould. If no directions are provided, then contact the company you got the mould from to see if they can help you.

Wax Appears On The Side of Your Candle

Okay, this is a rather interesting problem.

What happens is after you soak your candle in water to cool the wax, the wax will shrink causing a well in the bottom. At this point, you add some more wax to fill the well and to make the candle flat.

Some will fill the well and some won’t… because let’s face, the well is at the bottom where no-one can see. But nonetheless, some will fill the well and if you do, you need to be careful that you don’t fill the well too much.

If you fill the well with more wax than it can hold, what happens is the wax will essentially begin to slide down the inside of your mould. This creates a film of wax which you won’t to avoid.

So if this happens to you, simply do not overfill the well. Only top it up to its natural and original height. Do not over fill.

Pitted Surface

If your candle has a pitted surface, it simply means that your wax was probably too cold when poured.

The solution is to make sure you always use your thermometer and pour when the wax has reached its proper pouring temperature.

For suggestions on pouring temperatures, please refer to the beginning of the candle making chapter. On this page will be a discussion about Pouring Temperatures.

Air Bubbles

My favourite problem!

When you see air bubbles in your candle it usually means that you didn’t tap your wax hard enough before placing the mould into the water bath.

Tap harder! Don’t be afraid!

Tap with your finger or use a spoon.

It should be noted that although this problem is usually caused by weak tapping, this problem can also be caused sometimes as a result of wax being poured too fast. Therefore, if you continue to get this problem after tapping the mould harder, try decreasing the rate at which you pour the wax into the mould.

Flame Problems

If the flame is unusually big, then this usually means that the wick you used is too big for the candle you made. This can also mean that your wick is too long. If your wick is too long, simply make it shorter.

If your flame is too small, then try making your wick bigger. A small flame can also be caused by impurities in the wax which are preventing the wick from burning efficiently. If you add powdered herbs to your wax, then it is possible you added too much but if you added no powders and your wick is a good height, then the wax itself probably has impurities.

If the wick won’t light, then the obvious question is “Did you prime the wick?”

Make sure the wick is primed as this helps the wick burn.

Multi-Color Problems

When making a multi-colored candle, you will sometimes notice white lines at the point where the two colors meet. If this happens, it usually means the temperature of the second wax was too low when poured.

My Candle Spits At Me

This can happen when you make the ice candle. What this means is that there is some water trapped inside the wax. If the problem continues to happen then simply extinguish the flame, then carefully tip the wax on an angle to drain any water.

Wax Hisses or Bubbles

It’s quite possible that you will encounter wax that hisses or bubbles when heating it in your double boiler.
This is an indication that the wax has impurities in it.

Additionally, the hissing or bubbling can indicate that there is water in the wax. So if you are sure that no water got into the wax then chances are it means your wax does in fact have impurities.

If your wax has impurities then you will want to change suppliers.

You can still use the wax with impurities, but it just won’t be as good.

Kandall Wick Says:

One of the great things about homemade candles is that they are homemade.

Homemade candles are not always perfect, but that’s part of the charm that homemade candles provide. Many great inventions have been made as a result of mistakes. So if your candles don’t turn out the way you always want them to, don’t worry… and as my good friend Bobby McPheron once said…¬†be happy!