Protecting Your Candles from the Sun
As the warm summer sun ushers in the fun days of outdoor activities and bright warm days, candle makers everywhere are out and about selling their candles. Unfortunately the same sun, which brings us the beautiful days of summer, also causes havoc on our candles. Candle makers everywhere are forced to hide their beautiful masterpieces in an effort to keep their candles from fading or melting in the warm heat. There are a few simple tips and additives that can help protect your candles from the damaging rays from the sun, resulting in an increased shelf life as well as raise your candle’s marketability as a premium product.
Ultra Violet Light Absorbers (UVLA’s) were designed to reduce the fading of candles that are displayed in natural or artificial light. Think of them as sunscreen for your candles. Ugly fading (photo degradation) can be caused by a variety of factors, but nearly always can be avoided by the addition of UVLA. Usage levels vary greatly depending upon application, but a general rule of thumb for large batch lots is to use about 45 grams per 100 pounds of wax. Smaller batches use 1/2 teaspoon to 10 lbs of wax. Some testing will be required for different colors to maximize effectiveness. Some candle makers view UVLA as an unnecessary increase in the cost of materials while others realize the value of UVLA as an extremely simple way to increase the shelf life of their candles. On average, UVLA only costs about 4 or 5 cents per gram, which equates to less than $2.25 per 100 pounds of wax (just over 2 cents per one pound candle). You can even announce the added value protection on your label and charge an extra 50 cents per candle. That is over 2000% mark-up on investment!
There are simple additives that can be used to increase the melt point of your candle for the warm summer months.
Candle makers have been using Stearic Acid for well over 150 years as a way to increase the melting point of lower melt point waxes. With a melt point of 150 degrees F, it is a fatty acid that is available in two types. Regular Stearic Acid is great for paraffin candles, while its vegetable counterpart Palm Stearic is great for using in Soy Waxes. Another popular additive is Micro 180, which is a microcrystalline wax. Used anywhere form 2% to 10%, Micro 180 can help eliminate saggy candles in real hot weather. A word of caution: any additives you introduce to your candles may alter the appearance or burn properties and proper testing must be performed.
This last tip is 100% free and 100% effective. As the old adage states, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Quite simply, keep candles out of light whenever possible. Many of our Libby Branded Jars are shipped to you in a sturdy reusable box that makes a great protector for your finished candles. If you are selling your candles in an outdoor venue, purchase a shade tent to keep you and your candles out of the sun. On really sunny days, consider keeping fewer products out on the open table, and when a customer makes a purchase, you can give them a candle that was stored below in a box. For those of you who ship your candles to retail stores, a quick chat with the store owner to explain the importance of displaying the candles away from the windows will save you a lot of money in returns. Some dedicated shop keepers have even gone as far as having their windows lightly tinted to help ward off the damaging sun, not to mention the energy bill decrease by having less stress on the air conditioner.