Why Do My Soy Candles Turn Spotted White?

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When making soy candles, reduce "frosting" by carefully controlling tempatures.
When making soy candles, reduce "frosting" by carefully controlling tempatures. (Image: candle light image by Krishna Das from Fotolia.com)

Soy wax is a natural, nontoxic material that lends itself well to candle making. However, incorrect technique can cause soy wax to turn white or form white spots as it cools. This unintended and often undesired effect is commonly referred to "frosting." To reduce the likelihood of frosting, pour candles at as cool a temperature as possible or consider a soy-blend wax.

Frosting

High temperatures change the chemical state of the soy wax, causing variations in the moisture content and texture of the wax as it cools. This state change can lead to "frosting" (white spots) as the wax cools. According to CandleDance.com, the frosting on soy candles is actually a crystal growth of vegetable oils.

Significance

The white "frosting" that occurs when soy wax is over-heated is in no way dangerous. In fact, because pure soy wax so easily frosts, many buyers consider this a mark of purity and quality, according to CandleDance.com. Frosting blooms on a soy candle do not effect the burn quality of a candle, either its fragrance or the way it burns.

Soy-blend Waxes

When using 100 percent soy wax, temperature is the key to smooth, blemish-free color. If you're frustrated by white "frost" effects and having trouble controlling the process, you could try a soy wax blend. Blends offer greater stability and flexibility. They are far less likely to frost, according to the Candle Soylutions website. There are a variety of paraffin and paraffin-free, chemical-free blends available.

Solutions

To avoid frosting blooms when making soy candles, you should heat the wax slowly. Microwave in one-minute-or-less intervals or consider using a double-boiler, as this provides an even, gentle heat. You should also remove the melted soy wax from the heating element as soon as it is melted just enough to pour. Even a little over-cooking can lead to frosting or scorching, according to CajunCandles.com.

To avoid frosting on soy candles that are already cooled, candle owners should keep the candles away from direct sunlight or fluorescent lights and out of extreme changes in temperature, according to CandleDance.com.

Benefits

Frosting blooms are one way of telling that the candle is made out of all-natural, pure soy wax, according to CandleDance.com. In addition, some candle designers actually like the unexpected variations and patterns that emerge when soy wax "frosts." If your candle frosts during production, don't discard it. It is still useful and may be just the look someone is seeking.

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