Wet spots can even be found on any store-bought candles despite going through a rigorous quality and assurance procedure before finding their way onto store shelves. This is due to wet spots occurring during the various processes of candle making from curing to shipping. Sometimes, it is just impossible to prevent them. Wet spots most often occur during the pouring and cooling process, but other factors can come into play.
Maybe you are new to candle making or maybe you are just coming across water spots far too often when you are making your candles. Stick with us as we discover why wet spots occur and find the best ways to remove them or even avoid them all together.
Use clean, moisture-free containers and minimize the temperature change during the curing process by heating your container and pouring your wax at a lower temperature. Attempting to remove wet spots once a candle is set is just likely to cause more. Wet spots are cosmetic and often unavoidable.
Why does my Candle have a Wet Spot?
Whilst we call them wet spots or water spots what we see are in fact air bubbles. These are caused by the wax pulling away from the glass as it cools. During the candle-making process warm, or hot, wax is poured into its container and as it cools, it shrinks. This is what causes it to lift from the glass and look like a wet spot.
The science behind the process is simple. Hot wax expands and cold, or cooling wax, contracts. They are largely aesthetic but should they be extensive they can cause the candle to fall out of its unlidded container if it is tipped. They shouldn’t affect the burning of the candle.
Are Wet Spots on Candles normal?
Quite simply yes, whilst there are steps that can be taken to avoid them they are a perfectly normal occurrence in the candle-making process. They can happen during the pouring and cooling stage, during storage, or for commercial manufacturers even during shipping.
Generally, they happen as the wax begins to set again during the cooling process and it draws away from the container. The more dramatic or quicker the temperature change the more likely these air bubbles, which we call wet spots, will occur.
As temperature changes can happen organically this can also cause wet spots during transit or storage. Transporting using ice packs can help to prevent wet spots from appearing and optimizing storage solutions with limited temperature change will help to avoid them whilst in storage.
How do you remove Water Spots from Candles?
Prevention is preferable to cure when it comes to the water spots in your candles. Follow our Top Tips for the best results to mitigate any problems.
You can, in theory, use heat to get rid of any wet spots that have occurred whilst making your candle. You will need to heat the area of the wet spot and adjoining areas so that the wax can melt and then adhere to the glass. The problem with this is that you can create further wet spots in the process.
This can also cause your candle wax to change color and trigger frosting. Frosting occurs, again due to intense temperature changes, when the liquid oil contained within the wax begins to crystalize. This generally happens over a longer period and is more common in soy wax.
The most important thing to note though is that wet spots are completely normal, very common, and most often unavoidable. Whilst it can be disheartening for your project not to turn out perfect or exactly the way that you wanted it to, they are entirely cosmetic and will not affect the burn.
Can I fix a sweating Candle?
Whilst sweating is completely different from wet spots it is caused by the same issue, temperature change. Sweating occurs when the oils within the wax, both natural and added, separate from the wax itself. When this has happened, you will see the pools of oil sitting on the top of your candle.
If the ratios of essential or fragrance oils are not quite right or are not added at the correct point, when making your candles this can also cause excessive sweating when they are burning. Soy candles are most likely to sweat due to their sensitivity to temperature change.
Keeping your candles in rooms where the temperature change is limited is one way to avoid sweating. So, no drafts and no direct sunlight. However, as with wet spots, prevention during production is the best way to avoid sweating.
Mix your essential oils well with the wax and ensure that they are added at the correct temperature. Ratios can be advised by your wax manufacturer to ensure that you don’t add too much essential oil. Some oils will also react with certain waxes, do your research to make sure that both are compatible.
What happens if Water gets into Candle wax?
Candle wax is much less dense than water so should the two be added together the water will sink to the bottom of the container you are using. However, should you find that there is water in the candle you are burning this is likely to soon evaporate due to the high temperatures the burning wax rapidly reaches.
One very important thing to remember when it comes to candles and water is to never use water to extinguish your candles. A snuffer or a lid is the best way to put out your candle. Water can all too easily cause the hot wax to splatter which can in turn become an explosion risk.
Tips to avoid Wet Spots in Candle
- Ensure that your glass (or aluminum, or ceramic) container is clean and completely dry with zero moisture.
- To avoid dramatic temperature changes, make sure that the room in which you will be cooling down your candle is not too cold.
- Don’t put your candles in the fridge to cool them, the temperature change is way too intense.
- Preheat your container with a heat gun.
- Pour your wax at a cooler temperature.
- Use a wire rack to stand your cooling candles on over a solid surface.
- The more adhesive your wax, the more likely it is to stick to the container as it cools. Beeswax, soy, palm, and paraffin all have excellent adhesion.
- Store your candles in a cool, dry place to avoid any temperature changes before use.
- Remember, it is impossible to stop wet spots altogether!
Wet spots are practically unavoidable. There are steps that you can take when making your candles to alleviate issues but ultimately there is always a fair chance some wet spots will appear. The good news is that they will not affect the efficiency of your candle and are purely an aesthetic dilemma.
Should you follow all the steps to avoid wet spots yet still have them once your candle is set it is best just to chalk it up to experience. Attempting to remove them is just likely to cause further issues. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and embrace the occupational hazard of a candle maker.