When you are whipping up a batch of new candles, it pays to be quick and efficient for the best results. A little bit of a delay can sometimes mean that you’ll want to start over, so in today’s article we’ll talk about why candle wax dries so quickly.
It’s all about your melting point for the candles. The melting point is when your wax becomes a liquid and when the temperature goes below this, then your candle is considered a solid again. We’re going to explore the different melting points of the most commonly used waxes to give you a better idea of the time to expect.
After this, we’ll also talk a little about ‘curing’ and what it does for your candles, and talk about ways to slow down the cooling and about additives you can use to harden your candle more effectively. Without further ado, let’s talk about waxes and drying times!
Why Does Candle Wax Dry Quickly?
The relatively fast drying time of wax is all about it’s melting point. Different types of wax will have different melting points, such as 145 degrees for Beeswax, 120 degrees for Soy candle wax, and Paraffin ranging between 99 and 130 degrees, depending on the paraffin which is used (with those being the ‘low melt’ and ‘high melt’ variety).
With these melted points being this low, the wax is able to quickly cool down and solidify in very little time. Simply put, when your wax is not at these melting point temperatures, then it’s not a liquid anymore, but rather it’s a solid.
To check the current price and availability of Paraffin Wax, click here to view the listing on Amazon.
How Long Does It Take for Candle Wax to Dry?
How long your candles take to set is going to depend on the type of wax which you are using. Paraffin candles, for instance, will generally not be ‘set’ until 24 hours have passed. Beeswax and Soy candles are much faster, with Beeswax taking up to 6 hours to cool and set effectively and Soy taking only 4 – 5 hours.
While the candles may dry fairly quickly, many candle makers will also ‘cure’ their candles for a specific amount of time as well. This is believed to get a better burning rate, overall hardness, and it allows the fragrance to bind properly with the candle before it is burned for the first time.
Curing times vary based on the wax, with paraffin consider to be cured after 3 – 5 days, Soy being cured within 10 – 14 days, and Beeswax curing in approximately 10 days. This is a subject that you will get many different answers on, however, every candlemaker has their opinion on exactly how long they like to cure their candles.
There seems to be something to it, however, as vegetable waxes such as soy do form crystals in their structure that builds over time, hardening up the candles over time, though not all waxes are like this, Paraffin, for example, cures rather quickly, so ultimately the actual time for the candle to dry should consider the curing time included as well.
To check the current price and availability of Soy Wax, click here to view the listing on Amazon.
Why Does Candle Wax Harden?
Candle wax hardens as it cools, although the melted wax when burning a candle is a lot more pliable than it was before. Curing also hardens candles a bit, though the curing times may vary quite a bit from candlemaker to candlemaker.
Curing is the process of leaving the candles alone for a specific amount of time in order to better harden the wax and to get a better distribution of the fragrance infused inside. In the case of curing, there is definitely some truth to this, with popular waxes such as soy actually hardening on their own as time goes by.
Candle wax may also be hardened with additives, such as Stearic acid. Stearic acid has been used for more than 150 years for hardening items such as candles and soaps and it’s one of the most common means of making candles longer-lasting and much more durable than they would on their own.
An alternative hardening agent which some candle makers like to employ is called Vybar. Both Vybar and Stearic acid are excellent additives to use for your candles and well worth trying if you have not used them yet.
In short, it all depends on the additives and the time!
How Do You Keep Candle Wax From Hardening?
If you want your candles to take longer for the wax to try, one method is setting the cooling wax in a container with hot water. As long as you make sure that you don’t get any water in your candle, this method will slow down the drying time quite nicely as the temperature of the water is keeping the wax warmer.
Other, less-deliberate factors that can keep candle wax from hardening are the overall room temperature, expired wax, or the use of too much fragrance oil in your candles. Moisture in the wax can also keep a candle from hardening, but if you want to produce a slow-cooling wax effect then the hot water is one of the best and easiest ways to do it.
Today we’ve talked about why your candle wax dries so quickly and it’s all about the melting point. Once your candle is no longer at that temperature, then it’s gone from a liquid to a solid state, but be sure not forget about curing.
Curing your candle can add additional hardness to the wax and is believed to better permeate fragrance oils that are inside the wax. Certain waxes like soy will indeed harder, but it is less useful for paraffin which cures relatively quickly.
Finally, if you want your candles to dry more slowly, you can place them in hot water and this will slow the time down appreciably. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to be careful to avoid getting water in your cooling candles. With a little practice, you’ll be drying those candles perfectly in no time flat!