Troubleshooting Container Candles

Posted by Administrator on 8/1/2013 to How To

Example of Candle Burning Problems Making container candles can be a frustrating experience when things go wrong. Paraffin candles have different challenges than soy candles. It is important you get to know the wax you are working with, and some of the inherent issues that go with it.

Some brands of wax will have more issues than others. If you are having a lot of problems with one brand, try switching to another. Often times, that will resolve some of the issues you are having.

Here are some of the most common issues we are contacted about, and our recommendations for solving them:

Problem Cause
There are jump lines on the inside of the glass.
  • The container wasn't preheated. Heat the container in a warm oven (130-150°F) before pouring.

  • The wax was too cool. Try increasing the temperature at which you are pouring.

There is wax left on the sides of the container.
  • The candle was burned for short periods of time. Burn the candle for at least 1 hour per inch in diameter.

  • The meltpoint of the wax is too high. Use a wax with a low meltpoint suitable for containers, such as Ecosoya CB135 or NatureWax C-3. Be sure you are using a container blend and not a pillar blend. Pillar Blend (or PB wax) is designed for free standing candles, like votives and pillars.

  • The wick is too small. Use the proper sized wick for the diameter of the container. Most wicking tables are designed for Paraffin candles. Be sure to upsize your wick, when you are selecting a wick for Beeswax or Paraffin.

The candle has white snowflake-like spots.
  • The wax has a high oil content or too much fragrance oil was added. Vybar 260 will help the wax hold more oil, if you are using paraffin wax. Do NOT add Vybar to soy! If you are using soy wax, decrease the amount of fragrance oil you are using.

  • Not enough vybar was used. Depending on the amount of fragrance oil used, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of vybar 260 per lb. of wax. This is ONLY for paraffin candles

  • If you are using Soy wax, this can also be a function of the brand of soy wax you use. Some manufacturers pride themselves on this look -- they consider it to be an "antique" look. Some candle makers actually prefer it. if you do not, try different brands.

The flame burns a tunnel down the center of the candle.
  • The wick is too small. Use the proper sized wick for the diameter of the candle. Remember to upsize for natural waxes, such as soy, or beeswax.

  • Too much or the wrong type of additives were used. Use the least amount of additives necessary for the desired effect. Do not use additives that will harden the wax. Additives are not recommend for soy waxes.

The wick smokes excessively.
  • The wick is too large. Use the proper sized wick for the diameter of the candle. Drop down a wick size.

  • The wick needs trimming. Keep the wick trimmed to ¼".

  • There is a draft. Don't burn the candle in a drafty area.

  • You may have added too much fragrance. Be sure you are sticking with the recommended amount of fragrance per pound of wax.

The wick drowns in melted wax.
  • The wick is too small and won't consume the melted wax quickly enough. Use the proper sized wick for the diameter of the container.

The flame is small and dies out.
  • Too much dye or fragrance oil was used. Solids in some dyes and fragrance oils may clog the wick if too much is added.


Date 3/31/2016
Matthew S
Dear group I was wondering if a could have your kind help? I am really having problems with mushrooming from carbon buildup having trouble finding correct in order to prevent future occurrences. Is there any way you could give me your professional advice on what diameter wick might be best suited for the below? 8.5 inch diameter 3 inch tall 6.4oz (filling to about 5.5oz) glass jar. Nature wax C-3 Soy container wax-0200 Premier 700 series (700 to 795)candle wicks are a flat braid cotton core wicks. I thank you in advance for any assistance that you are able to give. Kind Regards Matthew

CierraCandles Admin: Hey Matthew! There are a couple of things that could be in play here - one you are using too much fragrance, this can cause sooting of the wick. It is also possible you are using the wrong sized wick. But I think it is more a function of the wick. Cotton core wicks by their nature tend to ball up and get big. We prefer the HTP wicks and they are considered to be "self-trimming". Meaning they will ball up, as you've described. You need to instruct your customers, or if you are burning the candles, be sure you break off this ball before you relight the candle. That will help the sooting. However, this is normal for a cotton wick. They are the best wick for soy and will give you the best scent throw and hottest burn. But the downside is the big ball at the end and if you don't trim it, then you get the sooty residue.

For a candle of that big of a diameter, if you change wicks, you will probably need to, at the very minimum - double wick - and most likely triple wick the candle. The LX wick series - here would be the next option I would recommend. I would start with 3 - LX 22 wicks spaced evenly from the sides, in a triangle formation. They will not burn as hot, but they will also not ball up like the cotton wicking.

Hope that helps you!!
Date 5/5/2016
Gayle Schrader
Hi. I am having trouble with my soy candles separating. On pouring they look beautiful and after cooling all of the color has sunk to the bottom and off color wax is on top. I am not talking just a little frosting. All of the color is in the bottom 2 or 3 inches and the rest is light off color. What causes this?

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