Homemade Candles

A month or so ago, we decided to try to recycle a bad candle (too big, would extinguish itself). We boiled it down (*always use double boiler method) and used washed juice containers (the ones for frozen juice) for the molds, with leftover waxed linen cord for the wick.

They turned out fine, but what surprised us was, when they cooled, the middle sunk in. This happened throughout. Can you please explain why this happened, and how to prevent it? Do all candles do that, and they just cut off that part?

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I don't have a digital camera, but it looks like a small volcano with the sunken center. Thanks for the help, we're interested in this phenomenon.

By Davidicdancer from Spokane, WA

July 24, 20090 found this helpful

I also recycle candles that don't burn well and I have noticed the sunken candle effect also. I just burn them that way, it's not a problem. You might try reserving some wax and filling up the sunken area once the original candle hardens if it bothers you, but to me it's not worth the effort.

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July 24, 20090 found this helpful

They all do that. Wax shrinks when it cools. The correct method is when you pour your candle, you save some of the wax back. After it is cooled and hardened, you then fill in the center. You may have to do this twice. When completely finished, you trim the wick last.

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Anonymous Flag
July 24, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you both for the explanation and help! I'm glad to know it's a normal effect. We will try filling up after it hardens again.

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July 25, 20090 found this helpful

Best way I have found to recycle candles, cut them into large pieces and place them in a candle burner (electric). it will smell great can be used several times, after the smell has gone, let it cool back to wax, then place the container in the freezer, the candle wax will pop out when it gets real cold. Enjoy.

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July 25, 20090 found this helpful

You are asking for trouble if you don't deal with the cavities properly! Especially when you use large molds, you often wind up with hollow spots, that make the candle very unpredictable and dangerous. Pros amongst candle makers use a hot spike or long drill to lance the center, after the candle has cooled, insert the wick then and pour hot wax down the hole. That fills all the cavities

and makes the candle safe.

If you use bees wax for that finishing pour, the candle will smell like an expensive beeswax candle, even if the first pour is just cheap paraffin wax.

As a rule of thumb, if the candle is more than 2 1/2" diameter, always lance the center and do a second pour.

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