Saponification? Burned wax? Or just dirty wax?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    sturgeon county, alberta, canada
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    Default Saponification? Burned wax? Or just dirty wax?

    I keep reading about saponification in beeswax. Not sure if that's what this is or not. .
    When I melt my wax I keep the temperature under 180F and pour once it cools to around 158 F. I'm able to pour about 4-5 candles from the 3 pounds of melted wax, then the wax sits warming for sometimes up to an hour. After the wax has been sitting in the pouring pot kept warm - 160 F, it will sometimes start to form pockets of what looks like cloudy wax floating/suspended. If I stir the wax it will dissipate but then reappear once it sit for 10-15 minutes or so. 've been reading and reading and reading, trying to find the answer to this murky looking wax. I'm not able to use it, it clogs up my wicks and The beeswax that is poured from it is flecked with that brown looking stuff. I tried triple washing the wax even filtering it through a one micron filter. I thought I had it figured out, but that curdled look came in after the one micron filtering. What's Happening!?! Am I burning my wax somehow? Maybe heating it for too long? Is their honey in the wax that is caramelizing? Or is this the saponification that I've read about happening?
    Am I the only one with this issue? Someone has the answer.

    I'm using all 10/8 stainless steel pour pots and SS melting pots. The wax temp is kept under 180F - usually 165F. And it is kept melted for sometimes up to 3 hours at that temperature.

    And I have had a headache every day now for weeks. Can't figure this out!!!

    Please see photos

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Saponification? Burned wax? Or just dirty wax?

    If your headaches coincide with the manufacture of candles it may indicate that you are sensitive to some component of the fumes from the wax. If so better ventilation is indicated.
    Bill

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    sturgeon county, alberta, canada
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    Default Re: Saponification? Burned wax? Or just dirty wax?

    Lol. the headaches are from the stress of trying to solve this problem

    that is not the correct answer

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    Default Re: Saponification? Burned wax? Or just dirty wax?

    If you let your wax cool to solid and touch/taste the brown stuff, you will know if it is honey or not...............sticky or sweet.

    I wonder why you have to keep your wax melted for an hour when you don't seem to be using it all the while???? You don't need to get the wax up to 180* F. either.

    What color is the water after you "wash" the wax? I assume the wax is melted and in the water and you call that washing. Is the wax you get from the other guy sticky at all?

    A wick that clogs while burning the candle indicates dirty wax.
    Is it summer yet?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    sturgeon county, alberta, canada
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Saponification? Burned wax? Or just dirty wax?

    If you let your wax cool to solid and touch/taste the brown stuff, you will know if it is honey or not...............sticky or sweet.
    The brown stuff is the same texture as wax, not sticky. Just went down to candle room to have a taste of the latest rewashed block. It doesn't really have any taste to speak of. Def not sweet. It chews up almost like gum - not sticky, stays together. It did seem to leave a very slight soapy aftertaste - something?

    I wonder why you have to keep your wax melted for an hour when you don't seem to be using it all the while???? You don't need to get the wax up to 180* F. either.
    The wax is kept warm in the melting pot in order to have melted wax to top up the candles as they cool. As a rule, the wax is usually kept under 170 - but has been 'known' to creep up towards the 180 mark

    What color is the water after you "wash" the wax?
    The colour of the water is a transparent light tan/yellow colour. Best I can describe it. The water is a clear see through colour though, not dark.

    I assume the wax is melted and in the water and you call that washing. Is the wax you get from the other guy sticky at all?
    No, the wax from the apiary seems very nice. Looks like I shouldn't even have to 'wash' it. But, when I do there is at least 1/8 " of brownish gunk on the bottom of the 3-4 lb block after it has cooled. I should mention that that murky brown stuff, once gone through a 'wash' again seems to incorporate itself into the wax itself. Still on the bottom of the block, but not a separate layer by itself like it is when I do first wash, cool, scrape. I hope I'm sounding clear. I'ts hard to put these descriptions into words.
    Thanks for responding. I don't feel quite so alone


    A wick that clogs while burning the candle indicates dirty wax.
    I agree, it's something in the wax. Just not understanding what it is. I filter with 5-6 layers of an 80 micron mesh - bought from a bee supply store. I've also filtered with a 1 micron filter bag a few times. Both times after filtering through the 1 micron the wax still 'curdled/clouded.'
    Last edited by chickabee1; 11-28-2016 at 08:45 PM.

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