Candles are loved by everyone and trending worldwide due to the heavenly aroma and aesthetic effect created by them. Either it’s a formal event or casual home routine, lighting candles gives a very pleasant soothing effect along with some warmth. Due to the increasing trend of candles, there are different types of candles available depending upon the types of wax, wick, dyes, scents and containers used. One of the most recommended candles is soy candles because of the natural soy wax processed from soya bean oils.
Soy candles are trending as compared to the rival candles in the market due to the following features
- Natural soy wax is extracted and processed form of soybean oil. It provides the perfect balance between ease of use and consistent results.
- Non-toxic as it does not release any carcinogen so ensure no health hazards.
- It produces 90% less soot compared to others as it burns cleaner. So it won’t ruin your furniture or walls.
- Less indoor pollution
- Burn slower thus lasts 50% longer as compared to other competitors.
Although because of its non-toxic effects it is the most recommended candle worldwide but it also comes with some problems like lumpy tops, wet spots, hole by the wick, frosting and hollowing or sinking.
Soy candles are always preferred but some serious problems like frosting is undeniable. Making candles is an art, the incorrect technique or negligence in making soy candles can lead to such problems. Frosting is the unique and natural by-product of natural vegetable waxes especially soy due to polymorphism trigger by temperature fluctuations. It is considered the trait of 100% soy wax and changes the color of soya candle to white or causes the appearance of white spots on cooling.
The texture and moisture content of the wax changes at high temperatures. This change in the state of wax is the main reason behind white spots or frosting of soy wax. Research on soy candles reveals that the frosting is the tiny crystals growth of vegetable oil wax at cold temperature. The vegetable wax tends to regain its natural form leading to white crystallization. This white coating is either around the slides or on the top of wax giving an unpleasant appearance.
Studies show that over time, most of the soy wax candles undergo frosting to some extent. The main two reasons that trigger the frosting process are time and temperature fluctuations. Over-heated soy wax can also lead to the frosting. If the soy wax looks grainy or shiny it means it is due to frosting or crystallization. The size of crystals and their appearance also varies as the smaller crystals give a shiny appearance while the larger crystals appear grainy. However, frosting is more prominent in the case of colored candles.
The frosting is a common and serious problem in soy candles but it is not at all dangerous. It is just an aesthetic issue and doesn’t even affect the performance like its burning, fragrance or the quality of soy candles. So if a candle is frosting, there is no need to discard it. As pure soy wax enhances the frosting so it is also considered as the mark of purity and quality.
Tips to Avoid Frosting
The frosting is a natural process but as mentioned is triggered by inappropriate techniques used in candle making or usage. So to avoid the unpleasant appearance caused by frosting and to make natural soy wax candle-friendly, here are some tips to be followed
Use Soy Blend Wax
Temperature plays a vital role in to smooth, blemish-free color in the case of 100% pure soy wax. To avoid frosting, one of the most recommended solutions is the use of soy blend wax as it offers greater stability and flexibility. Blends reduce the chances of frosting to a greater extent. Other than soy blend wax, different others are also available like chemical-free or paraffin-free blends. Modification is also available in which soy wax is blended with paraffin that brings stability and performance.
“Para-soy” blends are trending especially in small candle markets. Pre-blended mixtures are also available in the market to resist frosting. Mixing coconut oil with soy wax is also suggested to get the desired blend. It is recommended to keep testing variations of blends until you get a satisfactory result.
Cure in a Stable Environment
As already mentioned one of the main factors that trigger crystal formation is temperature fluctuations especially in the first stages of candle life. This is one of the reasons for irregularities found on the surface of recently-burned soy wax. As the melted wax hardened again thus keeps on changing the crystals on the surface of soy candle wax. To avoid drastic changes take care of the following steps in candle making
- While making soy candles, heat the wax slowly. It is recommended to use the microwave for one minute or less to ensure even and gentle heat.
- Avoid overcooking or excess heating of wax. Remove the melted soy wax from the heating element as soon as it is melted enough to pour in candles.
- It is recommended to preheat the glassware to avoid extreme temperature changes as much as possible. It can be done easily by preheating glassware on the lowest settings in a warm oven. Avoid preheating glass up to 100°F and handle carefully.
- Pour candles at as cool temperature as possible as it prevents crystal formation. Starts pouring temperature from almost 5°F
- Let poured soy candles cool more slowly at room temperature. Make sure the area is free from drafts. It is recommended to use a wire cooling rack for even cooling of candles as it prevents retaining any excess heat. If the room temperature is too cold for cooling down the candles, give some heat and drop temperature gradually over time.
- Prefer to keep your candles inside to keep them warm overnight as soy wax needs stable temperature or if necessary gradual changes in temperature.
Prefer candles with incredible consistency
One of the reasons for frosting can also be the dyes or fragrance oils that can upset the unstable structure of pure soy wax. Other than that container and environment also has an impact on the frosting.
- Additives can be added to wax to make it stable but most people prefer all-natural wax to avoid any health hazards. There are different types of soy wax available in the market by addition of additives to resist frosting and crystal formation. For example
- Cargill Natural Wax C-3 soy wax
- Cargill Natural Wax C-6 soy wax
- Golden Brands 444 soy wax (AAK)
- Golden Brands 464 soy wax (AAK)
The additives in it increase the performance and allow more oils to reside in it.
- As already mentioned that frosting is more prominent in colored candles so to mask the effect, one of the most recommended tips is to leave the wax in its natural color. It is not easily visible in the colorless blend. Similarly light-colored blends also helpful in making frosting appear less intense.
- The container used for the candle also plays its role. If you want colored candles but don’t want the frosting to appear on edges, it is recommended to use darker containers. One of the most common options is a frosted glass container.
- It is suggested to keep away the candles from direct sunlight. Some candle makers also recommend adding 1-2% of a UV inhibitor to protect from light effects especially in summers.
- Chances of frosting enhance with time so avoid prolong storage of soy candles. It is advised to use soy candles within 6 months to a year after purchase. As soya wax hardens over time thus triggers crystallization with time. Thus frosting can appear during shipping, wholesale storage or even in the customer’s care.
Remove Soy Wax Frosting Temporarily
Soya wax continues to harden throughout life but the first two weeks after pouring is the main time in which most of the hardening occurs. If candle has a frost and you can lessen the frosting effect by using a handy heater gun or blow dryer. Hold it on top of the candle until surface is melted again. It helps to give a smoother finish to the candle wax. The techniques applied while using a heat gun is simple and as follows
- Slowly heat the areas of the candle with frosting
- To release air bubbles trapped inside, melt a small layer of wax on the top of the candle
- Ensure consistent and gentle heat across the candle to promote even cooling
Candle making is an art and when it comes to soy candles; it needs mastery due to variations in natural wax. As frosting is the natural effect of vegetable wax so to overcome crystallization is not easy. But it is possible to avoid or prevent frosting by following the above-mentioned tips in candle making and its usage.