Whether you are making candles for friends or to sell professionally, it’s only natural to wonder about their safe storage. Will candle wax melt in the sun? Are certain waxes more vulnerable to sunlight than others?
While brief exposure periods of sunlight should be fine for your candles, there are important factors to consider. For instance, the additional heat inside an area such as your car, or candles such as soy candles with a lower melting point might we be vulnerable to melting in the sun.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at the things that you need to know about your candles and sunlight, so that you can better be prepared to keep them safe, fully-fragrant, and looking their best. Let’s take a look at sunlight and your candles!
Is It Bad to Leave Candles in the Sun?
In general practice, yes, storing your candles in an area where there will be direct sunlight is not a good idea. If you do need to store candles outside, just consider carefully the effects of the sun later in the day in the area where the candles will be stored.
While it might seem okay to store candles in a car, for instance, temperatures can get as high as 130 degrees or more in cases of extreme weather. Your candles have a delicate blend of waxes, herbs, oils… all intended to be utilized through the slow burning of the wick.
Many of these ingredients will be more sensitive than others to direct sunlight or heat, as well, and so ultimately the best practice is that your candles should only be stored in a cool and dry place.
Do Candles Melt in Hot Weather?
Yes, candles can certainly melt in hot weather, especially in states that have higher summer temperatures, such as Texas and Arizona. If you need to keep your candles in the car for a brief time, for instance, how fast it can happen depends on a number of factors:
- Where is the vehicle parked? – If your car is parked in the shade, then it will certainly take longer to heat up to temperatures that will be bad for your candles with the lack of sunlight but it can still heat up.
- Are the windows tinted? – Some window tinting has UV resistant properties, which can also slow down heating.
- What is the temperature outside? – If it is between 80 and 100 degrees outside, then your vehicle may heat up quickly in hot weather.
- Colors inside your vehicle – Certain colors attract more heat, such as blacks and red.
Candles outside in a shaded area will generally be fine, but then it becomes a matter of the types of waxes and ingredients, and the outside temperatures. Paraffin, for instance, is going to be more susceptible to heat than a beeswax candle and definitely should not be left for long in a car.
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At What Temperature Does Candle Wax Melt?
The type of wax is going to be the most important factor where melting outside is involved. Paraffin wax, as we mentioned before, is the weakest as it has the lowest melting point range. For paraffin, it’s going to be between 99 degrees and 130 degrees.
Soy wax is next on the list and it is a little more durable, with a base of around 120 degrees and up as it’s melting point range. Beeswax is going to be the most durable, as it has a hearty base of 145 degrees for its own melting point.
The next factor is going to be the size, as a smaller candle definitely has more chance of melting than a larger candle. Finally, consider the packaging and any protective elements that this might include. With all of these things to consider, the best thing to do is to simply avoid leaving your candles outside at all when you can avoid it.
How Do You Keep Candles From Melting in the Sun?
When it comes to keeping your candles from melting in the sun, the first factor to consider is simply going to be shade. If you are vending candles in an outside venue, then you will definitely need a shade tent to help protect your wares, but you can definitely take things a step further.
There are also additives that can help to protect your candles, with the first one being Stearic acid. Stearic acid can raise the melting temperature to 150 degrees, and also comes in a vegetable-based version called Palm Stearic.
UVLA’s, or ‘Ultraviolet light absorbers’ are also quite useful, as they are commonly added into candles to make them more resistant to the absorption of light. Microcrystalline waxes can be useful as well, just keep in mind that if you start using some of these additives that you experiment a bit to still ensure proper look, burn, and fragrances.
A simple and final recommendation is that if you are vending candles outside, you can keep a fresh stock stored away well out of the light and in a box, so that when a customer chooses a ‘display candle’ to purchase you can get them a nice, fresh one from the box below.
Today we’ve talked about the likelihood of your candles melting outside and as you can see, it’s a definite possibility. Factors like the interior color of your car, packaging, and the size of the candles being stored also need to be watched, as well.
Thankfully, additives like stearic acid and ultraviolet light absorbers can definitely help, just be sure to test out your new candles to avoid any unintentional performance surprises. They are used in quite small amounts, so effects should be minimal, but you always want their candles at the best.
Finally, shade is paramount to avoid too much light exposure and you should consider keeping some candles boxed away for your customers. The best advice of all, of course, is still always going to be the same: keep everything in a cool and dry place whenever you can!