What is gel wax?
Gel wax is a mix of oil and a polymer. The gel wax from the candle craft center consists of medical white oil - with
DAB-approval for medical use – and binders whose use is allowed for cosmetic purposes.You can also find gel wax which is made with lower-quality oils. Products of gel wax
from the Far East sometimes even smell like fuel oil!
What is Paraffin?
Paraffin is extracted from petroleum. There is liquid, soft and hard paraffin. Due to the process of a hydrolysis under high pressure nowadays we are able
to extract paraffin without any health risk. This paraffin even is DAB (German version of USA-FDA) -approved for medical purposes. Our paraffin is one of those. Another older
method is the fractional distillation. This means that different kinds of paraffin are distilled off from the raw slack wax.
What is Stearin?
100 years ago stearin was extracted for the first time thanks to the chemical splitting of vegetable or animal fat. Up to this discovery different fat and
oil which produced soot or stank had been used for oil lamps. It became a cheaper alternative for beeswax. Vegetable, renewable product. Stearin is used to 10 to 30 % with
paraffin for better colours of the candle. It is quite difficult to burn down candles only made of stearin without any soot production.
What is beeswax?
Beeswax is a natural and very odoriferous product. It tends to clog the wick due to the natural defilement – some people try
to oppose it with a bigger wick but this ends in a soot production if the wax actually is clean.
100% pure beeswax must be really 100% pure, otherwise it would be fraud. The candle craft center buys beeswax which is 100% pure and it is sold to a
third person without any additional treatment. If it contained any other kind of wax our furnisher would be in a lot of trouble. With the perfume it is different as this can
evaporate. The beeswax perfume can also be influenced by very high melting temperatures. What is more, there is no “standard bee”. Thus, a certain fluctuation of the
intensity and the kind of perfume is normal.
Gel wax becomes cloudy
The reason might be: defilement due to hard wax (paraffin etc.), water or unsuitable, too highly concentrated fragrance
oils. Defilements of less than one percent are sufficient for blearing gel wax. In some rare cases the polymer in the gel wax is not dissolved entirely. The tarnish disappears
when you heat the wax quite a lot.
Cooled wax contains bubbles
Please have an eye on the right temperature (not too cold!) and make sure that your moulds don't contain any air.
Which wax should be used for dipping candles?
For dipping candles you have to dip the wick a couple of times into wax. During each dip a bit more wax clings to the wick – until the candle
becomes as thick as you wish.
Actually you can take all types of paraffin from www.candlecraftcenter.com for dipping candles. The type 62C (freezing point = 62 degrees) has the advantage that very much wax clings to the wick thanks to the high freezing point. Consequently you can work with it a little faster than with other wax types. The wax is quite brittle and inapplicable to form it belated. Hard wax (about 2%) raises the freezing point – more wax clings to the wick. The wax keeps being brittle.
Very suitable is type 54C. It is used for dipping machines and is much more elastic than the wax mentioned above. In comparison to type 62C it is shapeable as long as it is warm. If you use hard wax with type 54C it also becomes a little brittle. In dipping machines an “endless” wick is dipped in a wax bath during a constant process. At the end of the machine an extremely long candle comes out very slowly which must be cut and sharpened.
The casting temperature is very important for the success of the casting of candles. It depends on the wax, the wished surface and on the shaped material.
Learning by doing. If the wax is too hot when it’s poured in the mould it will cling to the wall of the mould, be difficult to form and it might destroy the mould finally.
If the wax is too cold when it’s poured in the mould – a quite thick film forms in the mould – it will be formed easily and will have a rustic and interesting
surface. As a rule of thump you can take 90 degrees.
In contrast to water you can’t see when wax becomes very hot. In a double boiler it does not become hotter than 100 degrees. By melting the wax
without a double boiler it can become so hot that it steams. Those vapours can be harmful and in extreme cases they can even catch fire! It does not require any ignition spark to
ignite steaming wax!
Wax bars for Danish flower candles
For Danish flower candles you need special wax bars, which are moulded at the side of the candle, parallel to the wick. If you are very strong
you’ll be able to cut those bars directly from the plate with a sharp and short knife. But for that you really need much strength. It is easier to build a suitable flask and
to pour the wax. If you watch for the right moment you’ll be able to cut the cooling wax into the wished form.
How do you clean wax?
This is not easy when it should be well done. The easiest way is to start with new,
industrially cleaned wax. If this is not possible, however, heat the wax in a undercut free container until it’s very hot, then insulate it very well and let it cool very
slowly without moving it. The slower, the better. It can even take several days (this of course, only makes sense as long as the wax remains liquid...) This allows heavy
components to sink, while lighter ones come to the surface…
Once the wax has set and you've removed it from the container, you'll be able to scrape heavy
contaminants from the bottom and lighter deposits from the top. It is extremely unlikely that you will find contaminants which weigh exactly the same as the wax.