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Candle Making F.A.Q.

Candle Making Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I reuse old candles?

A. Yes. Placing the wax in an old nylon stocking before melting will help strain out large debris. The molten wax can then be poured through a paper towel or coffee filter to remove small particles of dirt.

Q. Why do my candles always sink in the center?

A. Wax expands when heated. As it cools, it shrinks. The amount of shrinkage depends on the additives used and the pouring temperature. It is this shrinkage which allows candles to be removed from molds easily. During the cooling process, holes should be poked near the wick to relieve the tension. This helps keep the wick straight, prevents trapped air bubbles, and keeps wax from shrinking away from the wick and mold sides. The void is then refilled. On large candles, it may be necessary to repeat this process two or more times. See Wax Shrinkage for more information.

Q. My candle is stuck in the mold, how do I get it out?

A. Place the mold in a refrigerator for 30-60 minutes and try to remove. If that doesn't work place it in the freezer for 5 - 30 minutes. If that doesn't work allow it to return to room temperature, then pour hot water over it until it releases. Under no circumstances should you try to pry or carve the wax out - it will destroy the mold.

Q. Can you recommend a supplier?

A. No. To maintain impartiality, and prevent conflicts of interest I do not endorse any suppliers. If you would like recommendations, try asking other visitors on the forums.

Q. Why do I get "mushrooms" at the tops of my wicks?

A. This problem is commonly encountered with wire core wicks. The core prevents the tip from curling into the hottest part of the flame allowing carbon to build up. This was also a problem with all wicks in the days before wicks were braided and mordanted. Using string as a wick can also cause this although the most common cause for this is too large a wick. I have also had this occur from some scent oils. A little trial and error with smaller wick sizes will usually reduce or eliminate this problem. See this previous feature for a detailed discussion of diagnosing and preventing Wick Mushrooms.

Q. How can I print out pages on this site?

A. Some browsers seem to have difficulty printing out my pages due to the site design.

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