Any problems that occur when making candles can be disheartening given the time and the money required to make candles as a hobby or business. One common problem is candle wax that sinks in the center as it cools. There are a few reasons that this happens, so let’s take a look at why your candle wax is sinking in the middle.
Candle wax sinks in the middle when the wax along the outside of the container hardens faster than the wax in the center of the container. Candle wax takes up more space as a liquid than as a solid, which results in a concave-shaped surface.
Several options are available to prevent this from happening with various degrees of difficulty or expense.
However, if you are running a candle business it is almost required to solve this problem if you want to provide your customers with the best products possible.
If you do not provide your customers with the best product possible in the age of social media, then word will travel fast. You will quickly see negative reviews on sites that you can sell your candles. In addition, you will start to gain a bad reputation in forums and on Facebook groups.
Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at this problem, prevention, and some possible solutions.
Concaved Candle Surface Explained
Reasons Candle Wax Sinks In The Middle
- Room Temperature
- Wax Temperature
- Container Temperature
- Wax Type
If the room temperature is too cool then it will cause the outside edges and the bottom of your candle to cool much faster than the center.
When this happens the wax hardens on the outside edge of the container and causes the center of the candle to sink in.
If your wax is too hot, the center will stay hot longer. This will increase the chance that when the candle cools the center will become concaved.
You need to pour your wax at a temperature that will encourage the candle to cool in a uniform way
Similar to room temperature, container temperature is a large factor in the type of finish you get on your candles.
If you just pulled your candles containers out of storage from the closet, under the stairs or the basement they might be cooler than the rest of the air in the room which will only encourage the wax on the sides of the container to harden faster.
This scenario can lead to candles that are sinking in the middle.
Some wax is simply meant to have two pours to help limit the development of any surface flaws.
You can look around on different wholesale candle making suppliers and see options for single pour or one pour waxes.
If you are struggling with wax sinking in the center of your candles then you may want to consider trying one of these single pour waxes.
Preventing Candle Wax From Sinking In The Middle
Ways To Prevent Candle Wax From Sinking In The Middle
- Warmer Room
- Cooler Wax
- Warmer Containers
- Proper Wax Type
Try keeping the window closed and the air conditioner off when you are pouring your candles. Ideally, you want the temperature to be around 80°F, but the warmer temperature you can manage, the better.
This will allow the outside of the candle containers to cool more slowly and reduce the amount of dip in the center of your candles.
Let the wax cool off just a little bit more before pouring your candles.
The ideal range to pour candle wax, depending on the type and blend is about 140°F +/- 5°F for soy wax. This number will go up or down depending on the type of wax you are using.
Warm up your containers in the oven on its lowest setting with the door open or by pointing your heat gun in to each container for several seconds prior to pouring your candles.
This will keep the wax from hardening on the sides of the container so quickly, which will also reduce the dip in the center of your candles.
Proper Wax Type
Make sure the type of wax you are using is designed for containers. In addition, if all else fails give the single pour wax blends a try.
Keep in mind that these waxes are more creamy and can be more messy and harder to clean up.
Fixing Candles That Sink In The Middle
Fixing Candles With Sinkholes
- Heat Gun
- Second Pour
Every candle making should own a heat gun.
Not only can you use a heat gun to warm your containers before pouring your candles, you can use them to smooth out surface flaws in your candles.
Just slowly work the heat gun around melting the surface of the candle until enough wax has been melted that the surface will be completely smooth upon cooling.
If you do not own a heat gun you can place your candles in the oven just long enough that the wax begins to melt and smooths out the tops.
This method is not ideal but if you do not have a heat gun you have to work with what you got.
This is another common method to fix concave surfaces among candle makers. You pour your candles normally, and just as they begin to harden you do a second pour of a very thin layer on the tops of the candles.
This second layer is hot enough that it melts into the first layer to blend the two types of wax. However, it is not so much wax that it recreates the issue with wax cooling too quickly on the sides of the container.
Different Setups Bring Different Results
Different setups bring different results.
What do I mean by that?
That means the exact same wax and fragrance oil formula you use in a tin likely won’t give you the same results in a jelly jar.
I make the majority of my candles in tins and I almost never see candles with wax that is sinking in the center. I believe this is because the thin tin containers easily warm to match its temperature to that of the wax being poured into them.
So do not expect the same results with every candle you make, and be ready to adjust accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you keep candles from sinking in the middle?
This is a similar concept that we are describing in this post with a little different phrasing, just make sure to pour at the right temperature range and make sure to preheat your candle containers. Check back on the rest of this article if any more clarification is needed.
How Do You Fix Sinkholes In Your Candles?
Melt the surface wax surrounding a surface hole with your heat gun and poke it with a chopstick to ensure the entire hole has opened up. Fill the hole with molten wax and then melt the rest of the surface of the candle.
Once the surface is flat with molten wax, let the wax harden as normal and your candle will have a perfectly flat surface.
How Do I Get A Smooth Top On My Soy Candles?
Pre-heat your candle containers and start pouring the wax when it is within +/- 5°F of the suggested pour temperature, make sure to pour very slowly and tap on the sides of the container as you are pouring and after. This will make sure there are no bubble inclusions in your wax, helping ensure the smoothest top possible.
In conclusion, candle wax sinking in the middle has a few causes that can be the culprit, but it also has several solutions. Ideally, you will use all of the preventative measures in conjunction and it will save you from having to go back and attempt any fixes with a heat gun.
However, a heat gun is something you should really consider buying as a candle maker because the occasional mishap will occur when making candles. When these things happen, a heat gun will make your life a lot easier.
Ultimately your goal should be to get everything right on the first pour so that you do not have to go back and spend any more time on a batch of candles once it is poured. This is time that could be spent starting on your next batch of candles or something else associated with your business.