Candle Wax Discoloration After Burning [How To Fix It]

From relaxing baths to romantic candle dinners, candles can make any occasion special. Many people love making scented or unscented candles for personal and commercial purposes. You may have made your first batch of candles that you are proud of. But after burning them, you find they are discolored. So, why does candle wax discoloration after burning happen?

Candle wax can discolor before or after burning for several reasons. Your candles may yellow or turn brown because of the vanillin or citrus in the fragrance. Also, candles turn yellow because of excessive UV ray exposure and overheating during the making process.  

Fortunately, the discoloration problem can be solved by taking the necessary steps before and after making the candles. You will learn all about candle discoloration and solutions from this article. So let’s get into it!

Common Candle Discoloration Issues

Different reasons cause different discoloration problems in candle wax. You may find your candles are yellowing or browning either on the bottom or on the top after burning. Tiny oily or yellow spots may also appear on the surface of the candle.

Furthermore, the candles may appear to be the correct color immediately after being made, but their color may fade over time. Cloudy wax is another coloring issue that needs to be avoided if you want to have vividly colored candles. These are the most common discoloration problems that beginner candle crafters have faced.

You may also have seen a white coating appearing on the side or top of your colored candles. This discoloration is commonly known as “frosting”.

Why Does Candle Wax Discolor?

Making candles might be easy, but it requires some resources and time. You definitely do not want to see all your hard work wasted because of some minor mistakes. Therefore, it would be wise to learn the causes of candle wax discoloration before you make your candles.

So here are some of the most common reasons candle wax can discolor before or after burning:

1. Fragrance Oil

Many people love to use scented candles. So, candle manufacturers or crafters add various types of fragrance oils to the candle wax. Now, the fragrance can cause discoloration in different ways.

If you use any fragrance that contains vanillin or citrus, there is a high chance your candle will turn yellow or brown after burning. The contents of the fragrance oil react under heat and cause the discoloration of candles. 

You may have seen yellow spots on the surface or a puddle of yellow fragrance oil under the candlewick. So, why does this happen? This happens when you do not mix the fragrance in time with the wax. You may have mixed the oil before the wax reached the right temperature.

Hence, the fragrance oil accumulates on the top of the candle or at the bottom. 

2. Wax Mixing and Heating Issues

As mentioned above, not mixing fragrance oil with the wax at the right temperature causes discoloration. Wax mixing problems can also cause frosting on top of the candle or side of the candle.

Making candles before letting them reach an ideal temperature of 185 to 200 degrees F can cause the candle wax to get cloudy. 

The frosting is common for soy wax candles. In fact, it often proves the candle’s authentic use of natural elements. Any soy candle can have a little to a lot of frosting. Even the white or colorless soy candles have frosting, but it blends with the candle color. However, frosting on dyed candles, like red, blue, purple, green, etc. is easily noticeable. 

3. Sunlight Exposure

Has your uncolored candle turned yellow after some weeks of making it? Before assuming it is because of the chemicals in the fragrance, consider where you have placed the candles. Are they exposed to direct sunlight? If so, then the discoloration is because of the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

The UV rays can cause any white-colored object to turn yellowish after days of exposure. On the other hand, the dyed candles will slowly fade away at the touch of UV rays.

It occurs for the same reason when you burn your candle. If the fragrance oil has a high amount of vanillin and citrus, it will react to the sun’s heat and UV rays. Thus, the candle wax turns yellowish under constant exposure to the sun. 

4. Overheating 

Overheating the wax and fragrance oil is another reason for the discoloration of the candle. It can cause the candles to undergo oxidation. The heat may not be evenly distributed, which will cause discoloration, cracking, and excessive frosting. Moreover, overheating hampers the scent of the candles. 

5. External Contamination 

When you make candles, you may use metal or iron objects at some point. These metal objects may have rusted. When you prepare the candle wax, rust or other external contamination may have found its way into the candle mixture. 

As a result, the wax gets oxidized, and the color of the candles can eventually turn yellow or brown. Contaminants can also affect the candles after they are made and discolor them. 

Ways To Prevent Candle Wax From Discoloring After Burning

Not that you know the reason for candle discoloration, take proper prevention measures. Simple steps can help you avoid wasting your time and money. If you do not want your candles to discolor after burning, here is what you need to do:

1. Less Use of Fragrance with Vanillin and Citrus

The cause of candle wax discoloration after burning is the excessive use of scents containing vanillin and citrus. So, you had better avoid using too much fragrance oil to make candles. You will find your candles in excellent condition after a few weeks.

Again, you must mix the fragrance oil well with the candle wax so that it does not accumulate on the top or bottom. For that, you have to continuously mix the fragrance oil with the wax until the wax and oil are bonded.

2. Protect You Candles from the UV Rays 

Since UV rays can severely affect the color and quality of the candles, you should avoid keeping the candles in a sunny place. Many candle manufacturers use UV inhibitors to keep the candles away from the heat and UV rays of the sun. 

3. Use of Ivory Dye

You may not be able to avoid using fragrances in the candle mix. Therefore, to avoid yellowing, you can add a bit of ivory dye to the wax to minimize the discoloration of uncolored candles. 

4. Know the Temperature 

Low heating and excessive heating cause your candle to discolor. Hence, you should avoid putting the wax under direct heat. You have to heat the wax mixture evenly. When the heating and mixing are done properly, you will not find your candle discoloring too soon.

So, learn the ideal temperature for melting wax. There is a wide range of heating equipment on the market that can help to evenly distribute the temperature for making high-quality candles.

5. Avoid Oxidation 

You have to protect your candles from oxidation. Many times, external contamination like rust can cause discoloration. Hence, you should be careful about the storage container for the wax and fragrance oil. They shouldn’t be made of copper, brass, or other alloys.


Hopefully, you have learned extensively about candle wax discoloration after burning. Candles are amazing pieces of art. It has a high aesthetic appeal. Therefore, you must know how to avoid discoloring candles.

Always take measures to prevent discoloration of candle wax and create beautiful candles with a sufficient amount of scent. 

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