Candle making additives
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Dyes

Candle dyes are used to color a candle. Together with fragrance oils, they are the most popular of candle additives. They come in different forms (liquid, flakes, chips, blocks). I have discussed more on the types of candle dyes and how to use them in Chapter Eight, under the heading ‘Different Ways to Dye Candle Wax.

Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils are used to scent candles and make them smell nice.

There are different flavors of fragrance oils. The important thing about using fragrance oils is to not use too much and to ensure that the instructions that come with each package are followed. You will find information on how to use fragrance oils in Chapter Eight, the section: How To Add Fragrance Oils To Your Candles.

Stearin

Stearin (a mixture of some fatty acids) is the most popular candle making additive apart from dyes and fragrance oils. Some of its uses are:

Stearin is a release agent when used in making pillar candles. It shrinks the wax a bit so that it can be released from the mod easily.

Soft waxes can be used to make pillar candles (ordinarily, they cannot) when stearin is added which gives it rigidity.

It lengthens the lifestyle of candles.

It can be added to any type of wax so that the color (candle dye) would be more vibrant. It also ensures even dispersion of color with powdered candle dyes.

Use only three teaspoons of paraffin per pound of wax. For vibrant colors, mix it with the dye beforehand.

Vybar

This is an alternative to stearin that is recently gaining popularity.

There are different types: Vybar 103 is for standalone candles; Vybar 260 is for container candles and Vybar 343 (newer) is for molting. It serves most of the purposes of stearin and a little more.

It is a binding agent for fragrance oils, making them bind well with the wax for a better scent throw.

It helps in reducing the appearance of air bubbles.

Use half to a quarter of a teaspoon per pound of wax. You may try a few times before finding the right amount.

UV Light Inhibitor

It is also known as UV stabilized, UV absorbent, etc. The color in colored candles fades over time due to UV rays from the sun. it affects some none-colored candles too whose color changes from white to yellow for the same reason. UV Light Inhibitor ensures the colors of your candles last longer before they fade.

Use a teaspoon or less per pound of wax and ensure the wax is at about 185°F before adding it.

Petrolatum

This is the same as petroleum jelly. It gives the wax a creamy look and makes it softer. This is important too as it ensures better adhesion of the wax to the sides of the container. You should use between 5 to 30% but would have to try a few times to find the right amount for your candles. Using too much would affect your candle burn and so you should start with a lower percentage.

Microcrystalline Wax

This is related to paraffin wax and petrolatum; they are all crude oil products. There are two main types: hard (170-180°F melting point) and soft (150 – 160°F). The hard type is used to harden the wax and thereby extend the burn time. The soft one is like petrolatum, ensuring better adhesion. Use between 1-10% for the best results.

Crisco Shortening

Also known as vegetable shortening, it is a less popular additive. It is common in cooking but was meant as a candle making additive.

When used with paraffin, it reduces the chances of having wet spots in container candles. It also ensures a longer-lasting scent throw. Use 1 or 2 ounces per pound of wax.

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