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Soy candles are known for being stubborn when it comes to getting a good cold and hot throw, but it is possible. Cold throw is the scent of the candle while unlit, and hot throw is while it is burning. Both of these are very important, as the cold throw is what makes people want to buy your candles and the hot throw keeps them coming back.
Here are a few guidelines that we follow to ensure that our candles burn properly and remain highly scented at the same time.
1. Adding the fragrance oil at the correct temperature
Adding fragrance oil to your soy wax at the correct temperature is a critical step in the candle making process.
I experimented with a number of different temperature variations, and found that for our wax (GB 464) hot/cold throw was optimal when the FO was added at 185 °F and stirred for a full two minutes.
If the flashpoint of your fragrance is lower than 185 °F, I still recommend adding it at this temperature or it may not bind properly with the wax.
You do not need to worry about "losing all your scent" by adding at this temperature. The flashpoint represents the temperature at which the oil could combust if exposed to an open flame, not at which it evaporates.
2. Using the proper % of fragrance in your soy wax
The amount of fragrance that your wax can hold depends on the type of wax you use.
We use GB 464 for our soy candles, which has a maximum fragrance load of 10% per pound of wax, although we have found it best not to overload the wax with the highest amount though.
Adding too much oil can actually hurt your cold/hot throw, and cause issues with wicking (how your wick burns) and candle appearance. You will see oil droplets (pooling) form on the top of you candle when burning it if there is too much fragrance oil in the wax. This can also cause a potential fire issue if too much oil pools on top.
There reaches a certain point where adding more fragrance oil does not contribute to a stronger scent. I know this is a hard concept to grasp, but it is true.
Finding the perfect balance of fragrance oil/wax is a trial and error process, but we suggest following your FO manufacturer's guidelines at least to start.
The standard amount of fragrance oil is typically 1 oz / 1 Lb of wax, which equates to a little over 6%, but you may need to adjust this based on the strength of your fragrance.
A highly scented candle is possible with the fragrance oil at 6%.
8% fragrance load seems to be the optimal amount for 464 Soy Wax. This is around 1.3 OZ of FO/Lb of wax.
4. Using Fragrance Oil designed for Soy Wax
Some types of fragrance oils do not work well with soy wax. Make sure that the fragrance oil(s) you are using have been rated and tested for use in soy wax.
I recommend only use high quality fragrance oils from reputable sources.
After testing many different fragrances, I have found that some FOs are just relatively light smelling. This comes again down to testing to find out which ones can really fill up a room.
3. Choosing the right wick
Choosing the right wick for your soy candles is again something that may take a few tries and can be somewhat frustrating.
Using the incorrect wick can result in:
- Poor fragrance throw
- Uneven burning
- Smoking/Excess soot
It is important conduct a burn test with several types of wicks to determine what works best for your candles.
The perfect wick should exhibit the following characteristics:
- Flame should be 1/2" to 1" when lit and not flickering excessively
- After around 2 hours of burning, the melt pool of the candle should extend all the way to the sides of the jar
- The melt pool should be around 1/4" - 1/2" deep
- The wick should not be smoking or creating black soot.
Be sure to test your candle for an entire burn session (i.e. wax all the way down to 1/4"). I recommend doing this in 4 hour increments. This will allow you to ensure that your wick burns correctly and safely throughout the entire use of the candle.
See image above for an example of a sufficient wax melt pool.
4. Allowing your candles sufficient time to cure
It is important to give your candles enough time to cure so that the soy wax and fragrance oil have enough time to bond together.
Candles should be cured with their lids on, away from sunlight and in a space that is around room temperature.
The minimum cure time can range from 3 days to several weeks.
I have found that the longer they cure, the stronger the hot throw. I aim for at least a full week (7 days) before burning/selling.
5. Jar Size
It's important to set expectations when evaluating the hot throw of a soy candle as well. An 8 oz single wick candle will perform well in a bathroom, smaller room or kitchen, but will most likely not fill a large open concept room. We've made three wick candles that outperform anything we've bought in stores because of the large amount of melted wax and fragrance being released. So, if you're candle isn't quite throwing enough scent, I suggest trying a larger container with 2 - 3 wicks for optimum scent throw.
Hopefully these tips will help your soy candles smell stronger.
If you'd like to try one of our highly scented soy candles, you can view them here!