Soft wax and gooey wax can be a nightmare for a candle maker. When it happens, you know something did not go quite right with the fragrance oil and candle wax mixture.
Sometimes it can be a mistake made during the candle-making process, however, sometimes it is something outside of your control. Let’s take a look at what can cause oil and wax mixing problems.
Why is my fragrance oil not mixing with wax? Fragrance oil does not mix properly with candle wax when the difference in temperature between the two is too extreme, or when the fragrance oil is old and should be discarded. Candle-making supplies do not last forever, and at a certain point, they stop performing as well as they should.
In addition, low-quality oils, blends, or “watered down” oils can also cause problems when making candles.
Fixing Unmixed Oil And Wax
When you experience mixing problems there are a couple of things you can do to try and salvage the situation.
What do you do when fragrance oil won’t mix with wax? When the oil and candle wax is not mixing, bring the temperature back up to about 165 to 170 in a double boiler and adding a small amount of vybar, about one gram per pound of wax. Stir the mixture together for 3-5 minutes and then pour your candles.
Keep in mind that vybar can also harden your wax and decrease your scent throw if you use too much. So the goal is to use a very small amount. I would not use over 1 gram per 1 pound of wax when it comes to blending issues.
Fragrance Oil And Wax Mixing Technique
There are a few things you can do to help increase the success of a fragrance oil and wax mixture when making candles.
First of all, before you begin making candles, it can sometimes be helpful to sit your fragrance oil bottle into a bowl of warm water. This will reduce the chances that you will get oil and wax separation.
How do you mix fragrance oils with wax? Mix fragrance oils with candle wax once the wax has reached a temperature of at least 175°F. Stir the wax and oil combination thoroughly, yet gently. You want to keep a constant swirl in the melting pot, however, you do not want to be so rough the mixture begins the inclusion of air bubbles.
The word I would use to describe the stirring technique for fragrance oil and candle wax is “smooth”. You want to sir the mixture together without splashing it around.
How long do you stir fragrance oil into wax? Stir fragrance oil and candle wax together for a minimum of three minutes. The goal is to stir thoroughly, yet gently. You want to keep mixing the oil and wax combination without splashing it around. If you begin splashing the wax around it can create air bubbles, which can be a problem.
As mentioned above, if you go crazy stirring the mixture together and it starts splashing around it will begin to build up air bubbles within the wax. These air bubbles can cause problems after you pour your candles and the wax starts cooling.
What Affects Oil And Wax Mixtures
If you are trying to troubleshoot what went wrong in your specific situation, here is a list of reasons to start with. Some of the reasons why you may be struggling to mix fragrance oil and candle wax together.
Reasons Fragrance Oil and Candle Wax Are Not Mixing
Too much fragrance oil. If you have too much fragrance oil in your mixture, then you will have problems getting the oil and wax to bond properly. Wax is only capable of bonding to so much wax, this percentage is called the “load”. Suppliers and manufacturers will provide a load % for each type of wax sold. Never exceed that limit.
Low-quality fragrance oil. Low-quality oil or a low-quality oil blend is another reason why wax and oil might not mix properly. Essential oils and fragrance oils do not last forever, at a certain point they will begin breaking down and not working as they should. Always make sure you get your fragrance oil from a reputable supplier.
Not mixing thoroughly. The issue may be that the fragrance oil and candle wax was not mixed thoroughly enough. Keep in mind that thoroughly mixing the fragrance oil and candle wax does not mean furiously mixing it. If you mix it too rough, it will begin to include air bubbles.
Temperature differential. The wax may have been too cool when you dumped in cold fragrance oil which can cause the two to not bond properly. You need to make sure that if you are mixing the fragrance oil and candle wax at a lower temperature that you warm the fragrance oil container in a warm bowl of water first.
Fragrance oil and wax combination. The hard truth is, that sometimes fragrance oils and certain candle wax blends are just not compatible, no matter how well you mix them or what precautions you take. If you find a combination that isn’t working, try to find a replacement oil or wax.
This is something I have experienced as a candle maker, and I have even witnessed other people experience the same problem through online groups and candle-making communities.
Sometimes, no matter how precise we are in our measurements and mixing procedures, the materials we have just might not be compatible.
If you want to learn more about fragrance oils and essential oils when it comes to candle making then be sure to check out our article titled How Much Fragrance Oil For Candle Making.
Frequently Asked Questions
When fragrance oil sinks to the bottom of your candles it is a sign that you have used too much fragrance oil. Candle wax can only bind with so much fragrance oil, and when it becomes over-saturated, the oil will begin sinking to the bottom of the container.
Adding fragrance oil at too cool of a temperature can cause separation between the wax and oil. This will cause the oil to either sink to the bottom of the container or rise to the top of the candle. It will leave the wax gooey and wet looking making the candle unuseable.
Add your fragrance oil to 464 soy wax when the wax has reached a temperature of at least 180°F. Sir the mixture together for several minutes and then let cool before pouring.
Air bubbles could have been included in the candle wax during the mixing or pouring process. If you pour at too low a temperature or mix the fragrance oil and wax together too vigorously it can begin including air bubbles into the mixture.
In conclusion, sometimes mixing fragrance oil and candle wax can be tricky, but sometimes the results are outside of your control. When you purchase fragrance oil from a candle supplier, you often do not know when the fragrance oil was manufactured or who it was manufactured by.
All you can do is trust that you are dealing with a reputable supplier that will make sure you are getting quality candle-making materials that are not beyond their suggested use-by date.
Just remember where you buy all of your materials, and how those materials performed for you. If you are new to candle making then join the subreddit, Facebook group, or a forum such as Craftserver and ask around.