Creating the perfect candles for your product range can be tricky. We all want our candles to exhibit a stunning appearance, emit a enticing fragrance to draw in your customers and most of all, burn properly and safely.
Testing candles and the different components you are thinking of using to make them up is a vital step in order to properly develop your product range. Testing your candles will ensure the candles will burn properly, creating a flame that gently melts the wax all the way to the edge of the container at a steady pace. It can also help you check to see how your candles reset after burning. After making observations chandlers can re-test or make modifications to their products to help improve the product performance and quality.
We always recommend noting down all the different components you use to create a product and recording how they burn to help inform your future testing and so that you can always go back and check for accuracy.
It is important to understand a couple of different factors that will influence your testing before commencing. First of all, you should only ever test one variable at a time. The performance of a candle is dependent on a number of different factors (i.e. container size, wick size, fragrance type and loading, additives, wax etc.) and if you try to test more than one variable at a time, you will not be able to obtain clear insights from your data.
We suggest pouring at least 3 different versions of your product, that have all there variables constant besides the choice of wick. Create your first version of the product using whatever wick your supplier has recommended. Now you can create two other versions, one a wick size up and one a wick size down. Once you have created the test candles you can burn them next to each other so that visual differences are more noticeable.
How to Conduct a Burn Test
- Prepare your Testing Environment - you need to find a location for your testing that is away from draughts, ceiling fans and any air currents as this will affect the burn. Find a flat, heat resistant surface and place the candles at an equal distance apart (at least 10cm apart). You need to have constant visibility of this area while the candles are burning. Ensure no children or pets are in the area.
- Clearly label each candle and the different components you have used to create them. Ensure all the wicks are trimmed to an equal length of 5mm.
- Light the candles and record down the time. You need to periodically return to the candles to check for any differences in the burn.
- After every hour that elapses note down details about the flame, the melt pool, wick appearance and any other findings. The flame produced from the candle wick should not flicker excessively, soot, mushroom or produce a lot of smoke.
As a benchmark, we always conduct our testing with the aim of trying to get our candles to create a full, even melt pool that reaches the edges of the container after around the 1 hour mark. This is based on experience with some of the biggest candle companies in Australia.
- Continue to note down any details every hour. We usually conduct our burn tests for a maximum of 3 hours total, noting down details after ever 1 hours elapses.
- Allow the candle to cool and reset and note down details about the wax appearance once it has solidified again.
- Now you can repeat steps 3 - 6 until the candle has completely depleted. It is common to notice differences in the quality of the burn each time you burn it, so it is important to test the candles until they are completely finished to ensure a proper burn the whole way through.