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Soy Wax Troubleshooting Guide

We love that soy wax delivers a cleaner burn, longer burn times and less soot than traditional waxes—but unfortunately, it also has its drawbacks!

We’ve compiled some common issues that you may encounter when making soy candles and have various recommendations to help you resolve the issue:

Weak scent

For tips on how to get the strongest scent throw possible from your soy candle, check out our blog post:  
How to Get the Strongest Scent Throw

Rough or uneven surface

Don’t worry, rough and uneven surfaces are really common with soy waxes and happen to even the most experience candle makers! As candles cool, the wax forms into solid crystals. If the wax cools too fast, too slow or contains air bubbles, the crystals won’t form uniformly and you won’t get the smooth, creamy top you were hoping for.  


  • Avoid over stirring or vigorously stirring your wax, which can produce air bubbles
  • Cover imperfections with another thin layer of wax
  • Re-melt the top layer with a heat gun or blow dryer (we recommend using HIGH HEAT and LOW SPEED or a diffuser attachment to avoid splashing wax everywhere).
    NOTE: Avoid heating the wax for too long or you could burn away the fragrance in the top layer of wax (known as a “dead candle”, which has little scent when cold, but once the top layer burns off, the rest of the candle is fine)

    Holes near the wick (AKA “Sink Holes” or Air Pockets)

    Sink holes are air pockets within your candle that occur because the wax at the bottom/sides/top of the candle cools faster than the wax in the centre. As the interior wax cools, it shrinks and the extra space results in air pockets near the centre of the candle.

    Unfortunately, sink holes are very common with 100% soy wax. They are often marked by small holes near the wick, but sometimes what looks like a small hole can actually lead to much larger air pockets below the surface! When your wick reaches an air pocket or tunnel, it will burn down very quickly often leaving the wax along the sides untouched (this looks similar to tunnelling).


    • Check your ambient temperature — the ideal temperature for candle making and candle cooling is 66-77°F
    • Use a chopstick to poke 2-3 relief holes near the wick, then either do a second pour or re-melt the top with a heat gun or blow dryer (see above) to fill in the holes

    Wax pulling away from the glass (AKA “Wet Spots”)

    Surprisingly, "wet spots" are not actually wet, but are actually a mark of poor glass adhesion.  Wax shrinks as it cools and wet spots are formed when uneven cooling results in some of the wax pulling away from the glass, while other parts remain adhered. Wet spots are purely aesthetic and don’t affect candle performance. 


    • Cover wet spots with a sticker or label!
    • Clean and/or pre-heat your glass containers (in an oven at ~100°F) so that the wax cools more slowly
    • Space candles out (at least 4” apart) to allow enough airflow so that candles can cool slowly and evenly

    White, chalky coating (AKA “Frosting”)

    Frosting is the white crystalline layer that forms on the surfaces of natural waxes such as soy and palm. All soy wax will frost over time, but it is purely an aesthetic issue and has no impact on candle performance. 


    • Avoid over stirring or vigorously stirring your wax, as it can speed up the crystallization process
    • Keep your wax its natural color since colored candles make frosting more noticeable
    • Pour wax at a lower temperature (reduce by 5°F at a time)
    • Let your wax cool more slowly by preheating your glassware (in an oven at ~100°F), or letting them cool at room temperature

    Oily Surface (AKA “Fragrance Leaching”) or Darker Layer at the Bottom

    If your fragrance does not bind properly, it can begin to separate from the wax and can either rise to the surface or settle at the bottom of your candle. This can be the result of adding too much fragrance oil, or adding it at too low of a temperature. 


    • Ensure you mix the fragrance oil at 185°F. This temperature is hot enough that the fragrance oil can fully bind to the wax, but not overly hot that you will be losing fragrance oil to evaporation.
    • Stir gently for the full 2 minutes
    • If all else fails, reduce the amount of fragrance (check the maximum fragrance load for your selected wax)


    Candle tunnelling occurs when only the centre area of wax melts but the sides remain untouched. Common causes are (1) sink holes (see above), (2) using a wick that isn’t large enough for the size of the candle or (3) the timing of the first burn. 


    • Read above to determine if the tunnel was the result of a sink hole
    • Choose the next wick size up if you are testing new vessel / fragrance oil / wax / wick combinations
    • For your first burn, burn your candle long enough that the melt pool of your wax reaches the sides of the container. Soy wax has a memory, so if you create a tunnel on the first burn, it can continue to go deeper leaving unmelted wax around the edges.
    • Try the foil method. Light the candle and place a tent of aluminum foil on top (leaving a hole in the centre so smoke can escape). This reflects the heat back onto the candle, melting the wax along the edges as well. This works best if the tunnel isn’t too deep or the melted wax can drown the wick. 
    • If the tunnel is already quite deep, you can just enjoy what’s left of your candle and use the leftover wax in a new candle!

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