In order to successfully make homemade candles, you want the pouring and hardening of wax to be as smooth and even as possible. Issues such as sinking in the middle, as well as uneven or bumpy tops, can result from pouring under the wrong conditions.
In this article, we share our tips and methods to avoid these issues when your candles are cooling. Keep reading to learn how to get a smooth top on soy candles.
Reasons That Candles Don’t Cool with Smooth Tops
Before we look at ways to avoid this problem, let’s start by assessing the causes. Candlemakers most typically experience lumpy or bumpy tops on their candles when working with soy wax, in particular.
The primary reason that soy wax exhibits lumps or unevenness is that it is polymorphic, meaning it will crystallize as it cools from its liquid to solid-state.
The more time that elapses in the cooling process, the more likely you are to get crystallization in the wax and thus, bumpiness.
Ways to Get a Smooth Top
Now that you’re aware of the reasons why wax candles get bumpy, let’s take a look at the solutions. You can either take measures to prevent this problem, or you can treat the problem.
Treating a bumpy candle top is kind of like the last resort if all preventative measures have failed. It’s pretty difficult to make a candle top smooth by fixing it after it has hardened, but you can try.
One way you can attempt to smooth out the candle top is by using a heat source. Heat guns made for crafting are a good option since they target one specific area.
You should only heat the top until it melts a little bit (about ⅛ of an inch). Then, wait for it to cool naturally in the open air.
This may or may not fix your polymorphic problem since each time soy wax cools and hardens, it runs the risk of crystallizing again.
It’s easier to prevent crystallized wax than it is to treat it. One preventative measure you can take is to test your wax before you do an official pour for your candle.
Testing the wax at different wax temperatures, room temperatures, candle jar temperatures, and humidity levels in the room will show you how the wax reacts under different circumstances.
Once you find a specific set of temperature and moisture conditions that result in a smooth wax surface from cooling, you have a guide.
You can follow this guide and recreate these conditions when you officially pour your candle.
Other preventative measures include mixing your soy wax with other types of wax (like paraffin) and eliminating fragrance or color additives from the wax.
Mixing in paraffin will help create a more smooth and stable cooling process. Further, removing additives can help to eliminate uneven mixtures that might mess with crystallization.
When making homemade candles, the hardening of soy wax often results in lumpy tops due to the polymorphic nature of the medium.
There are several ways candlemakers can achieve a smoother candle top, including preventative measures like temperature tests, as well as treatments such as heat treatment.