Whether you are doing it for a DIY project or are planning on starting a small business with it, knowing the right techniques for candle pouring is important. Since wax is so temperature-sensitive, overheating your wax can often ruin the result. So what happens if you pour candles too hot?
The color might change, you might ruin the chemical composition of it, the wax may separate, and you might even get that burnt fragrance. Especially if you are making scented candles, the wrong temperature can completely ruin the smell.
So not only is pouring candles too hot a bad idea for the result, but it’s also a fire hazard. You should be very careful not to overheat your wax when making candles, especially at home. Let’s find out how overheating can ruin your candle pouring and what temperature is too hot.
What Happens if You Pour Candles Too Hot?
The right temperature is essential in candle making. You can overheat your candle wax and cause a lot of issues for yourself. Your wax might not be heated evenly, you might have a hard time getting the wax out of the mold when it cools, you can get frosting, or your candle is turning white.
When making candles, troubleshooting is a skill you need to have. Analyze the results and then you will realize what went wrong in the process. If you notice these signs, then you probably poured the wax on your candles while it was too hot.
If you overheat your wax or pour the wax while it’s too hot, you might see that your candle is tunneling when it burns. Tunneling refers to the wick burning through in a tunnel and going straight down.
A regular candle should have wax that pools as it burns. This means you see a small pool of liquid wax, as the wick burns, and then it dries out again and the candle burns evenly down. Though tunneling can also be due to wick issues, pouring your candles too hot can cause this problem.
Especially when you are making scented candles, the temperature at which you pour in the fragrance and the overall temperature throughout are very important.
While your wax needs to be extremely hot to lose its fragrance and get burnt, it can happen. Sometimes, overheating for long periods can also make the fragrance evaporate.
But more commonly, the fragrance is either very weak or doesn’t feel right when you pour hot candles. The temperature makes the oil hard to mix with the candle wax properly, so you might get an uneven smell from your candle.
The amazing part about candle making is that you can pretty much make any kind of design out of wax. You can imitate real-life objects or just simply decorate your candle in hundreds of ways. Pouring your candle too hot can often ruin your decorations in the final product.
It can cause discoloration and an uneven color throughout the candle. Your decorative accessories might get burned, or melted. You might even notice frosting on your candle.
This is when your candle begins to turn white. The discoloration is not only bad for the aesthetics, but it also makes a very weak candle that doesn’t last long. It won’t burn well either.
- Container Cracks
This one is a bit more obvious. If you pour in candle wax that is too hot, your container might not be able to withstand the heat and can crack under pressure. If you are using plastic containers, for instance, they can melt away as well. This is why it’s always better to use glass or tin containers when making candles.
If you are using molds or trying to create different shapes with your candles, then pouring them too hot might make it difficult for them to set properly. This will make it harder to take the candle out in front of the mold, as the edges will be sticking to the sides and you won’t get an even peel.
- Rough Tops
Overheating your wax or pouring your wax when it’s too hot can ruin the texture of your candle. It might give you a rough top. This is where the top surface becomes hardened a little too much and forms a layer. It looks off and can often ruin the candle when burned.
The ruined texture can also cause cracks within the candle, or on the top. Especially if you plan on selling these candles, cracked candles are not a good look.
- Fire Hazard
Though very rare, your wax can catch fire if you overheat it. This doesn’t usually happen when you are pouring the candle, but rather when you leave it in the heat for too long. If the temperature is too high, it might be dangerous.
If it ever does, then you should never try to put it out with water. It will just spread. Instead, turn off the heat source and put a pan or lid on the fire to cut off oxygen. A damp cloth will also work well. Since the wax does hold its temperature for a while, give it enough time to cool off properly before removing anything.
What Is the Right Temperature For Candle Pouring?
So now that you know how important it is to keep an eye on the temperature while candle making, the next question is what temperature is too hot and what is the ideal temperature you should keep your wax at?
For soy wax, you should pour it between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and for paraffin, aim for about 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
When heating the wax, if your temperature is reaching higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s probably overheating. You can also get uneven temperatures in the candle, so try to move the pan to distribute the heat properly. Try to maintain an even temperature and let your wax cool down if it does get too hot.
You can also run the risk of overheating with wick placement. If you don’t place the wick correctly in the middle, you might notice that there is localized overheating along with the wick. This will mess up the temperature of the whole candle, and it won’t set evenly.
No matter what temperature you heat your wax at, you should always wait a while before pouring. Let it sit and distribute the heat and calm down before you start pouring the wax. The perfect temperature to pour soy wax is about 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
But remember not to leave it for more than 5 minutes, because that might be too cold. It might begin to harden if left alone for too long. You can always reheat it a little if this happens.
So it’s usually better to have colder wax rather than wax that’s too hot. Once it’s overheated and the fragrance or composition has changed, it’s hard to fix the wax.
Using a double boiler pot is therefore best when it comes to candle making. There’s much less chance of you overheating the wax, and you can control the temperature better as the heat doesn’t directly hit the wax.
If you are making larger batches, though, you can try out wax melting blankets or large-scale malting tanks.
So there you go. I hope now you know what happens if you pour your candles too hot. Too hot or too cold, both of these issues might cause problems with candle making. Getting the temperature right in the beginning can be a bit tricky. But with more practice, you’ll get the hang of it.
I hope this will come in handy on your candle-making journey!