Who does not love a good scented candle? In fact, the demand for scented candles only seems to be rising. Many beginners in candle-making ask, what happens if you don’t cure a candle? However, the scent-throwing ability depends on how well you have cured your candles.
Basically, the process of curing adds fragrances to the candles. It also hardens the wax of the candle. If you don’t cure your candle, chances are your candle won’t have any particular fragrance and will melt quickly. It will affect the burning time of the candle!
If you are a candle enthusiast, you should definitely understand the importance of curing a candle. Also, you should know that the time for curing varies according to the type of wax. In this article, I will discuss it in detail. So, to have a brief overview of the matters in question, please read the entire article.
Why Is It Necessary To Cure A Candle?
To be fair, hardening is really a big issue in the lifetime of any candle. A candle would melt into the wax without hardening, with just a few burns! Curing will harden the wax and, therefore, increase the burning time. Also, it imparts scents on candles!
Now, you may or may not be familiar with curing candles. For this purpose, you need to understand the basics of curing first. Read the next part to find out in detail.
Actually, curing is a process to make some chemical changes in the candle’s wax. The waxes that we use for making candles are soft and do not have any inherent smell. They burn faster and melt too soon.
But this won’t be nice for your candles overall. So, your job is to make it harder and impart some fragrance to it. That is the whole purpose of curing!
You can easily spot the difference between a cured candle and a non-cured one. Say you made a fresh batch of candles just now and already sent out another batch to your customers a week ago.
In this case, the ones you have made just now will burn quicker than the ones out on delivery. Also, the present ones won’t smell the same way as the others when you burn them!
This is because the time is taken for curing (a week in this case) has modified the structure and nature of the wax. It has made certain chemical changes that led to the wax’s hardening and increased the burning time.
Also, the addition of fragrances, which is an essential step in curing, has led to the sweet aroma you can smell when the candles burn!
What Happens During Curing?
Basically, all waxes, natural or artificial, are hydrocarbons. If scented, then they are either aromatic hydrocarbons; or fragrances are imparted in them during the manufacture.
Waxes are semi-solid substances. There is a common myth that waxes are solid. But they are semi-solid as per the state of bonds in their structures.
When you add in fragrances, you have to add oils, a liquid. During the heating of the wax, the semi-solid structure melts, and the bonds within are open to taking up new atoms. This is when the fragrance liquid gets incorporated within the rigid structure of the wax.
Later, the structure hardens back to its semi-solid form when the wax cools down. The wax solid now contains the liquid molecules of the fragrance oils in between its semi-solid structure. For this, heating it at the correct temperatures and cooling it down for the exact period is essential.
So, after this, the structure changes more when you leave the candles out for curing for a week or two, or even just two days. The time will vary as per the type of wax. Ultimately, the candles become harder and have this sweet aroma whenever you light them.
If the candles are not made to sit for this time period, they usually don’t have this scent. They lose their fragrance after one or two burns. Even though they may have a particular smell before you light them, the scent will disappear after you light the candle.
So, Do You Need To Cure Your Candles?
If your purpose for making candles is to have a scent throw, then yes, of course, you must cure the candles in the right way. Also, even if you don’t need the smell, you will need to harden the wax. For this, you must cure them as per their time period.
Some waxes, probably the vegetable ones, can keep hardening for as long as possible. However, the curing time usually yields the final outcome for waxes like paraffin, and it doesn’t harden further after that. So, allowing the candle to rest will help you have the perfect semi-solid candle!
Do All Kinds Of Candles Need Curing?
Actually, yes, all kinds of candles need curing. It doesn’t matter if it’s natural beeswax, soy, rapeseed, or paraffin; you must cure them as much as possible!
The time period for each kind of candle is different. Of course, a candle made of beeswax won’t require curing for the same amount of time as a candle made of paraffin. Basically, the difference in this time period occurs due to the differences in their chemical structures and bonds.
Every candle has different melting points and its own unique state of bonds. All these are strong covalent bonds that can weaken on heating and then reverse on cooling. Look at the following table to see how long each candle needs curing.
|Type Of Wax||Time For Curing|
|Beeswax||A week. Best to wait for ten days.|
|Paraffin wax||3 to 5 days|
|Soy wax||Two weeks|
|Coconut wax||Two weeks|
|Para soy wax||7 to 10 days|
|Palm wax||A week. Best to wait for ten days.|
All these waxes have more or less the same semi-solid structure. If you add the fragrance oils, they will incorporate these fragrance molecules in the same way in their structures. Eventually, you will have a better scent throw!
Usually, the candles attain their highest state of hardness after this time. So, you must let the candles sit for this time period. Otherwise, you will produce very low-quality, non-commercial candles!
Some Easy Tips To Follow While Curing
Now, curing is not as easy as it seems. Of course, there are several steps in the process where you could go wrong! Some tips may help you prevent these mistakes.
But there are two very important steps that you need to remember. Here’s what you should do-
- Adding Fragrances At Correct Temperatures
It would be best if you used a thermometer for this. When heating your candle wax, you must make sure you are adding fragrance oils at the correct temperatures. Even if you don’t know the temperature setting for your candle, try to add the oils at 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
For palm wax, the temperature is a bit higher. You need to add the oils at 200 degrees Fahrenheit here. The molecules won’t incorporate appropriately if not added at the right temperature.
- Always Test Your Candles
It is a very common mistake not to burn candles. The candles will not have the same scent or burning time after a week as they have now. So, you must check beforehand.
Test your candles and always burn them. The burning times will differ too before and after the curing.
- Do Not Use Perfumes
Some people tend to use perfumes instead of fragrances. It is absolutely wrong. For one, perfumes are alcohol. When you heat them, they have a high tendency to evaporate. So, your candle wax won’t be able to hold the fragrance for long.
Secondly, fragrances are basically oils, and there are several of them now available on the market. You need to add these oils to improve the scent throw. So, simply pick your favorite! But be careful not to use too much of it.
Sweet-smelling candles can change the atmosphere of any place! These scented candles need curing just like soap or any other fragrant substance. To be fair, curing will improve the quality of your candles. And by now, you know what happens if you don’t cure a candle. So, I hope you will cure all your candles from now on!
I hope this article helped you to understand why you should cure candles in detail. Thank you for reading the entire piece with patience. Have a nice day!