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Discussion Starter #1
Forgive me if this question has been asked before on the forum - I couldn't see it anywhere. I'm making beeswax candles with coconut oil (1 cup coconut oil to 1 kg wax). I'm pouring them into candle jars, and I'm trying to make it so the wax either sticks completely to the jar, or else pulls away completely, without leaving any wax at all on the jar.

So far I've tried heating the jars, leaving them in a tray of hot water while cooling, or leaving them in the closed (off) oven to cool slowly after heating the oven to about 70 C. Also tried doing a second pour (disaster) and...various other disasters that I won't mention. Whatever I do I can't get the wax to stick completely to the jar - it always shrinks away, or if cooled slowly in the oven it's the messiest result, with some messy wax sticking to the jar, but mostly pulling away.

Generally the wax is poured somewhere around 65 C.

I did read of one article where they're using a 50:50 ratio of beeswax to coconut oil, and they don't seem to have the problem, but I don't really want to use that much oil myself.

If I can't get it to stick, the other option is to get it to not stick, in a neat way. Okay, I'm a perfectionist, and I'm bugged by the little specks of wax or whatever it is that stays on the glass, just making it look smeary.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any advice? I'm a candle-making newbie, so 'scuse my lack of knowledge :)
 

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Watching to see what advice you get from others.

Sorry I cannot help- I use only 100% beeswax in my candles. I don't make jar candles, but I do make teacup candles. Have never had a problem with the wax not "sticking" to the cup.
 

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Only thing I know about pouring wax into jars is to pour it at the lowest possible temperature. Lower temp less shrink.
 

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Only thing I know about pouring wax into jars is to pour it at the lowest possible temperature. Lower temp less shrink.
Exactly what I found. I heat the wax up in the microwave and wait for a ring of wax to solidify around the upper edge of the Pyrex 5 cup measuring container once it's molten to tell you it's ready to pour. As soon as it shows I spray non-stick and I start pouring slowly. It still pulls away when it cools but it does so consistently and with no cracks. Beeswax apparently substantially expands and shrinks as it heats and cools. Working with it in as cool as molten state as you can helps minimize this.
 

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Exactly what I found. I heat the wax up in the microwave and wait for a ring of wax to solidify around the upper edge of the Pyrex 5 cup measuring container once it's molten to tell you it's ready to pour. As soon as it shows I spray non-stick and I start pouring slowly. It still pulls away when it cools but it does so consistently and with no cracks. Beeswax apparently substantially expands and shrinks as it heats and cools. Working with it in as cool as molten state as you can helps minimize this.
you should make a youtube video of this process I'm a visual learner :D
 

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You might also try re-pouring once the initial pour starts to cool and shrink. I always go back and top off the molds when I make candles. Depending on the mold, I might pour a total of three times to keep the level where I want it.
 

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Heating the empty jars in the oven usually fixes that issue for pure beeswax. Never tried a mixture of waxes. Might try spraying some mold release in jars prior to pouring to get a consistent release.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Exactly what I found. I heat the wax up in the microwave and wait for a ring of wax to solidify around the upper edge of the Pyrex 5 cup measuring container once it's molten to tell you it's ready to pour. As soon as it shows I spray non-stick and I start pouring slowly. It still pulls away when it cools but it does so consistently and with no cracks. Beeswax apparently substantially expands and shrinks as it heats and cools. Working with it in as cool as molten state as you can helps minimize this.
That sounds like a good thing to try. I have this electric double boiler wax melter, which is really great, but the wax in the tap tends to solidify and block up if I have the temp below about 65. Maybe I'll try pouring it into a jug and letting it cool a bit there.

What's the non-stick spray? Is it like the mold release that GaSteve is talking about?

Thanks everyone for the great advice! :)
 

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Don't know about candles but on wax blocks - I find it I cover them with a plywood cover - they don't crack - the block stays solid - without a cover they really crack bad - maybe releasing the heat to quickly?
 

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What's the non-stick spray?
Yea, mold release. My poor use of terms.

sakhoney, I've found cooler the wax when you pour it and the slower it cools the less it's prone to crack.
 

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D Coates - I have found this as well - slow down the heat release - but as I stated - this is in my wash tub molds. should work as well in something smaller
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Covering it seems like a good idea too. I did think of putting the wooden candle lids on while they cool, but trouble is the wick is still long, and I don't like to cut it until it's set. Will think.

Has anyone tried a light smear of vegetable oil in place of mold release? Just that I live on an island where it's probably not available, so would need to get it online, but need some sample candles by Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, here's a little update. I tried a couple of things that you people have helpfully suggested.

Test one (intending to stick):
Heated glass in the oven - cooled wax before pouring - covered only with a paper wick holder
Result:
Candle partly stuck to sides, partly pulled away. Wick was stuck to glass with wax, so came unstuck when melted in the oven.
Next time:
I'll try taking the glass out of the oven right when I need it (it may have cooled a bit while I messed around).
Will try making a wick holder with thicker stuff for better insulation (simply a glass-width square with centre cuts for wick).
Will stick wick to glass with a dab of silicone instead of wax (duh Fred, should have known!).

Test two (intending to pull away without any residue):
Used tiny smear of vegetable oil - cold glass - hot wax.
Result:
Yeah okay, bad idea. You can see the oil, and it looks gross!
Next time:
Don't do it.

Test three (intending to pull away completely):
Four cold glasses - hot wax - covered again with paper wick holder
Result:
The ones where the wax was hottest when poured came out good - unstuck completely with little residue on glass.
The ones where the wax had cooled a little while I messed around were quite messy with some wax residue on glass.
Next time:
The wax needs to be kept hot while mixing in coconut oil and scents (easier with a big batch, harder with single tests).

I shall keep trying, in the faith that one day I will get it right. In the meantime I have lots of candles to burn :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Try re-pouring to refill the mold after the wax starts to cool and shrink.
I had a go at that - what happened was the wax didn't go all the way down the gap, and then it still pulled away again, just with a smaller gap. It might be okay if I was pulling it out of the mold, but with the glass every little imperfection seems to be magnified.

Thanks for your helpfulness :)
 

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I had the same issue with my small candles in jam jars. After they cooled the first time I put them in the oven at just over melting temp. I did not do a full melt but when it got soft I did a pour over the top. The wax went down and filled the gap between the jar and the wax (and filled the cracks that I had in the center of the candles). I place mine in a cardboard box with the top closed for a slow cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That sounds like it would work. Good thinking warming it up again - yes for me the wax didn't go all the way down because it was too cold and set before it reached the bottom.
 
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