Candle frosting is a common problem with candles, where the surface of the wax appears to be covered in frost. This can be caused by several factors, such as incorrect wick size, drafts, or too much heat. But don’t worry, you can do a few things to prevent this from happening! This guide will go over the most common causes of candle frosting and how to stop it.
The white crystals on the surface of soy and palm waxes are referred to as frosting or blooming. This is caused due to these waxes being polymorphic, that naturally causes crystals to form due to temperature changes in the waxes surrounding environment.
This article will address ways to reduce the appearance of frosting within your candles. We will also discuss the effects of frosting on your candles and which waxes are impacted by this common occurrence.
What is candle frosting?
Candle frosting is a common occurrence with vegetable waxes, where the wax surface appears to have a white crystal formation on the outside of the candle surface. This is a natural occurrence in vegetable waxes, especially soy wax, and has no impact on candle performance.
What causes candle frosting?
Soy wax and other vegetable waxes are polymorphic, meaning they can exist in more than one chemical form.
The process of crystallization happens when the molecules of a substance arrange themselves into a regularly repeating three-dimensional pattern. The molecules in a liquid constantly move, but as the temperature decreases, they move more slowly. At some point, they will move slow enough that the attractive forces between them will allow the formation of a crystal lattice.
The crystallization speed depends on many factors, including the wax type, the molecule’s size, and the temperature. Soy wax is made up of long-chain molecules, making it more likely to crystallize. The lower the temperature, the slower the molecules move, and the more time they have to interact with each other and form a crystal lattice.
What are the main types of candle frosting?
The three main types of candle frosting are:
1. Surface frosting: This is when the wax on the candle’s surface appears to be covered in frost. It is caused by the slow cooling of the wax, which allows the crystals to grow on the surface.
2. Internal frosting: This is when the candle’s wax appears frosted throughout the candle. It is caused by the rapid cooling of the wax, which doesn’t allow the crystals to grow on the surface.
3. Overall frosting: This is when the entire candle appears to be frosted. It is caused by the wax’s slow and rapid cooling, which allows the crystals to grow on the surface and inside the candle.
What impact does frosting have on your candle?
Candle frosting is purely cosmetic and does not affect the candle’s performance. The frosting has no impact on the performance of your candle but can be seen by some as an annoyance or poor surface finish.
Our take on candle frosting is that there are no issues with frosting other than appearance, and it provides a unique selling point as it is proof that your wax is a pure plam or soy candle. Frosting will present an issue in coloured candles far more than in white candles, so it comes down to personal and customer preference.
What waxes frost?
Frosting can occur in all-natural waxes but is most prominent in soy wax. The waxes below can be susceptible to the frosting to varying levels:
- Soy Wax.
- Palm Wax.
The below waxes do not frost or have a significantly reduced chance of frosting becoming present.
- Paraffin Wax.
- Coconut Wax.
- Rapeseed Wax.
Wax blends with additives to reduce frosting
Adding other wax types less susceptible to frosting will reduce the amount of frosting you experience. If you do not want to stick with 100 percent soy wax or palm wax, this is the easiest method to reduce the chance of frosting within your candle.
You can either test your own blends or buy pre-bought wax mixtures that have been specifically designed to stop the appearance of frosting. We have listed several waxes below that have additives that reduce frosting, and we have added several blends if you do not want to stick with pure soy wax candles.
If you want to blend your own waxes, you can check out our ultimate guide to blending candle wax.
We also surveyed 80 candle makers and their favorite waxes that you might be interested in. Check it out to find out which waxes came out on top – the above waxes made the cut!
Additives for Frosting
Stearic acid and beeswax are the two most common additives used to stop the formation of frosting.
Stearic acid is a fatty acid found in many plant and animal oils. It works by coating the soy wax molecules, preventing them from coming into contact with each other, and forming a crystal lattice.
Beeswax is another common additive used to reduce frosting. It works similarly to stearic acid by coating the soy wax molecules and preventing them from coming into contact.
You can purchase these additives separately or buy pre-mixed waxes that already have them added. These additives will help reduce the frosting in your candle blends but will not altogether remove the natural formation of frosting.
How to remove candle frosting?
You can use a heat gun, hair dryer, or another heating element to remove surface frost. You can try remelting your candle if you have overall or internal frosting. Be aware that using this method will only remove the frosting temporarily. The frosting will return.
How to prevent candle frosting?
There are a few things you can do to prevent candle frosting from happening:
- Preheat your candle containers – if you are using glass containers, preheat them in a warm oven for about 10 minutes before adding the melted wax. This will help keep the wax from cooling too quickly and prevent frosting.
- Use a lower pouring temperature – pouring the wax at a lower temperature can also help prevent frosting.
- Stir your wax for longer – stirring the wax for a more extended period will help distribute the heat more evenly and prevent cool spots from forming.
- Cure your candles in a stable environment – curing your candles in a cool, dark, and dry place will help prevent frosting.
- Cure your candles for the correct amount of time – allowing your candles to cure for the recommended amount of time will also help prevent frosting. You can check out our candle curing guide to learn why this is so important.
- Document your process correctly – recording the correct details of your strategy can help you replicate successful batches and prevent future problems.
- Hide the frosting – the frosting is eventually inevitable with natural waxes like soy, so if you sell your candles, make sure to package them so that the frosting is not visible.
- Blend your wax to mitigate the issue – by adding other types of wax to your soy wax; you can help reduce the amount of frosting.
With these tips, you can prevent candle frosting and enjoy your candles without worry!
While candle frosting is a common problem, there are a few things you can do to prevent or reduce its occurrence. By preheating your containers, using a lower pouring temperature, stirring your wax for longer, and curing your candles in a stable environment, you can help reduce the amount of frosting. You can also try blending your wax with other types of wax to help reduce the amount of frosting. With these tips, you can prevent candle frosting and enjoy your candles without worry!