Curing means continuous hardening of the candle. Essentially, it means letting the candle rest for a specific period after pouring. Curing makes sure all the fragrant oils disperse equally throughout the wax. So, one might wonder if the process is exclusive to scented candles. In other words, do unscented candles need to cure?
Curing is essential when you are making a scented candle. Otherwise, the scent won’t be distributed equally. Curing also contributes to other aspects of the candle. For example, hardness, burning and melting. This determines how the wick performs. So, it is important to cure candles to get accurate results in burn tests.
The following discussion shall shed more light on this matter. And then you can understand by yourself whether or not you need to cure unscented candles.
Do Unscented Candles Need To Cure?
Unscented candles need to cure. Otherwise, you might get false-positive results on the burn test. In other words, you won’t be able to judge the performance of your candle’s wick correctly.
To understand this, you need to know what curing is and what curing does in the candle-making process. Let’s consider the incidents that happen after pouring a candle.
First of all, the candle turns into a semi-solid substance from its liquid state. At the same time, the fragrance oils become attached to the wax. Since the discussion is about unscented candles, only the hardening process is of concern here.
Here, the problem starts with vegetable waxes. Such as soy wax or other ‘green’ and climate-friendly waxes that are gaining more popularity every day. These waxes are polymorphic.In other words, they tend to undergo crystallization throughout their lives. As a result, these candles can become harder over time.
Suppose, you are pouring a candle on the first day of the week. When you examine it on the second or third day, it will look as if the candle is done hardening. However, if you again check on the fifth day, you will find that the candle is harder than before.
As a result, the candle on the fifth day requires more thermal energy to melt compared to the third day. Suppose you had put in a wick on the third day of hardening. That wick will not perform the same way on the fifth day.
Plus, this polymorphic effect is not limited to wicks only. For example, in March, a candle might require a bigger wick to generate the thermal energy for melting the wax than in January.
Now, put this knowledge into a real-life business perspective. Perhaps you are making candles in your home and selling them online. And the customer is buying them based on your reputation. This means they haven’t tested your candles on the spot.
Because if your customer lights the candle right away, it will perform just as well as you had hoped.
However, delivery takes a few days. Or what if the customer uses the candle after a week or two? The wick wouldn’t be able to generate the necessary thermal energy. As a result, the candle would fail to perform properly. Eventually, this will damage your reputation as a candle maker.
This is why, after pouring the candle, you need to cure it properly according to the kind of wax it is. So that you can get the exact results regarding the performance of your candle.
If you don’t let it cure, thinking that it’s an unscented candle, you run the risk of selling a candle that is no good after a few weeks.
How To Cure Your Candles Effectively?
So, there’s no doubt you have to cure your candles. It doesn’t matter whether they are scented or not. But how can you carry out this important step in candle-making flawlessly? Well, first make sure the poured candle is left undisturbed. Do not move it during curing. And secondly, you have to know your wax.
Let It Rest Peacefully
The curing process essentially lets the new candle rest peacefully. So, after pouring the candle, wait. Don’t remove it immediately from the workstation. Instead, let it settle for a while. Take it to the new spot only when you notice it has slightly hardened.
After that, move it to a location, from which there is the least chance of movement. For example, if you keep your fresh candles on the table or countertop where you often sit down for activities, chances are great that you or someone else will move them.
So, keep it aside in an undisturbed corner. Plus, make sure that the place is dry. The length of time it takes to cure your candles is determined by the type of wax used.
Curing Period For Various Waxes
Curing time varies greatly based on the kind of wax that went into making the candle. For example, a paraffin-based candle is good to go within 24 to 48 hours.
However, many climate concerned people are seeking a greener alternative to paraffin. The reason is that paraffin comes from wood or coal. So, it has a greater carbon emission rate.
A popular alternative to paraffin candles is soy-based candles. Because these candles create a significantly lesser amount of soot when they burn. Moreover, they last longer than paraffin candles. The curing process of soy candles is lengthy. It takes around 10-14 days for soy candles to properly settle.
Another popular wax among candle makers is Parasoy. These are made with 50% soy wax. The rest of it is some paraffin and other additives. As a result, it takes less time to cure compared to soy, which is 7-10 days. This wax is great for making wedding candles and pillar candles.
Coconut wax is another healthy means of making candles. The wax is derived from cold-pressing coconut meat. It is also created by mixing coconut oil with soy wax. Unscented coconut wax is devoid of odor and color. If you make a candle from coconut wax, cure it for at least 14 days.
How To Test Your Candle’s Wick?
Well, you need to yield accurate results in burn testing. Or the test to assess your candle’s wick. So, let’s see how to conduct the test.
Start with the candle wick trimmed to half a centimeter. Light the candle. Keep a record of the time of the lighting period and let the candle burn for two hours. Keep in mind that you cannot leave the candle unattended.
At the end of the two hours, note the melt pool. In the case of a container candle, it should be exactly up to the edge of the glass. If the pool hasn’t reached that diameter, then your wick might be too small for your candle.
Wait for another two hours. After that, blow the flame away. The melt pool should be half an inch thick now. If it goes deeper than the wick, it is most likely too large.
At both recording intervals, you should also check the condition of the wick. If you notice any soot or mushrooming on the wick, then the wick is not performing well.
After blowing off the candle at the end of 4 hours, allow it to rest for 5 hours. Then again, repeat the steps. Keep repeating this until the whole candle is burned in its entirety to ensure your customer receives exactly what you expected.
Do unscented candles need curing? Hopefully, you got the answer to that question. In short, if you don’t want to get false results in the burn test and eventually destroy your reputation as a candle maker in the market, then you must cure your candle, irrespective of whether it is scented or unscented. Thanks for stopping by!