Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reed Diffisers

As we bring in 2014, I keep thinking of all the wonderful scents I love to have around me all winter. For me, it's warm comforting scents, scents that remind me of the crisp outdoors and spicy scents! 

This months blog is on how to turn this into an all day, every day scent by making Reed Diffusers! Unlike wax melts that require electricity and candles that require a flame or even a room spray that only lasts so long, Reed Diffusers are a full time fragrance option! Great for your office, bedroom, bathroom, dorm room or anywhere you want scent!

Here is what you will need to make the Reed Diffusers:

Window Front Bags

4 oz Bullet Bottle PET with Black Flip Cap
Reed Diffuser Base
8 oz Mason Jar
Vented Daisy Lid
Aroma Flex Wands
Fragrance Oil

First, measure out the amount of fragrance you want. Recommended use is 20-40% fragrance. I used 40% or 1.6 weight oz of fragrance for mine and the remainder of 2.4 oz Reed Diffuser Base. Blend these two items together in your PET bottle. Next, place the jar with the lid on, inside the bag and the reeds. I find they fit best if you "pre-twist" the reeds around a pencil and place them in the jar, then place the oil next to it in the bag. Simply place directions for use on a paper inside the bag and label the bag with your business label.

Reed diffusers are best placed in areas with good airflow to carry the fragrance through the room. A bottle of reed diffuser can last up to several months, depending on the size of the bottle, and the number of reeds used. Make sure the bottle or jar you use is short enough to allow the wands to "fan" or spread out for the best fragrance diffusion. We also recommend labeling your product with a caution to place in an area out of reach of children and pets, where it is least likely to be knocked over, as the oil can stain or damage some surfaces and can be harmful to children or pets if spilled on them or ingested.

Our Reed Diffuser Base is formulated to blend with most fragrance or essential oils. Reed base is VOC compliant. It is a clear, odorless, low viscosity liquid designed to easily "wick up" or absorb into the reeds without clogging. This allows for complete dispersion into the air for maximum fragrance throw. Simply mix this unscented base with any of our fragrance oils or your favorite essential oils! Recommended usage is 20% fragrance, but up to 40% fragrance can be used. You will need to test small batches to determine the best results. Adjustments may need to be made depending on the strength and viscosity of the fragrance oil being used (thicker oils may need a higher dilution ratio in order to facilitate proper reed absorption and diffusing, clarity and thorough blending). Our base is alcohol-free and has no detectable odor or color. A tiny drop of liquid candle dye can be added to color your diffuser oils for a more exciting look in clear glassware. Be aware that fragrance oils often have a color of their own, which can affect the finished color once dye is added.

Measuring Examples: 20% fragrance load = .8 oz FO to 3.2 oz Base = 4 oz total bottle 30% fragrance load = 1.2 oz FO to 2.8 oz Base = 4 oz total bottle 40% fragrance load = 1.6 oz FO to 2.4 oz Base = 4 oz total bottle.

Reed diffusers make a great flameless alternative to candles for those who prefer not to use flame or electric warmers. They can also be accessorized to make a beautiful decoration! Try adding small sea shells, colored glass marbles, small river rocks, etc to the bottom of your diffuser bottles! Sets of 6 to 12 diffuser reeds, 4 to 16 oz reed fragrance and a diffuser bottle/vase currently retail in the marketplace for anywhere from around $29.95 or less in chain stores, and up to $76.00 in upscale boutiques! Lots of room for great profits!

Happy Crafting!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Test Burning Jar Candles

This is a subject that is often hotly debated by candle makers. What is the criteria for properly testing your jar candles burn? This blog will help you to determine how to most effectively burn test your candles for the proper wick size, proper burn and also for the best possible scent throw BUT it also addresses specific testing criteria set forth by the ASTM for SAFETY!!!

For my test, I will be making a paraffin blend container candle. When using paraffin wax, you must cure your candles at a minimum 24 hours before burning to ensure the wax is properly cured, for soy, soy blends and palm, a 48 hour minimum is required. Keep in mind that contrary to popular belief that scent in paraffin candles and ALL candles may also take up to two full weeks to cure. But to test the burn, not the scent throw, you can test starting at 24-48 hours post production. This candle is made using the IGI 4630 Paraffin Blend (Formerly Astor J-50) wax. 

My first test is always to test a four complete hour burn and look at what I have. Be certain always to time this. (To test, don't test more or less, just the four hours exactly at first.) I examine the melt pool depth and width, the flame height, how hot the glass feels on the outside of the candle and of course if it has fully cured two weeks, the scent throw of the candle.

After the first burn, and during the last moments of the burn cycle I evaluate several things. First, how does the melt pool look? Is it edge to edge? If not, how much wax is left on the glass? Is it in just a few spots? Is it less than 1/8"? If so, the first burn is promising and it appears my wick is correct. If there is more than 1/8" all the way around the jar, I would likely replace the wick using one size larger the next test. If it is correct, I wait at least 6-8 hours and repeat the process. I am also of course in this time evaluating the scent throw (Specific to the diameter jar I am making of course). I will burn 4 full four hour burn cycles exactly like this before determining if the wick is indeed correct. 

With each test burn I check the following:
What is the length of the charred wick? Be sure to always trim it before each burn. If using a paraffin wax, it should be 1/4" if using soy, 1/8".

How deep is the melted wax against the glass? It should be at least 1/4" but no more than 1/2" for both optimal scent throw and safety. 

What is the height of the flame at the beginning and

end of each burn cycle? This you will read more about with the ASTM standards below. I like mine to be around 1/2" and just a hair over 1" at a maximum at the end of the burn cycle.
Did the melt pool reach from edge to edge?
Was there any smoking at all? Dancing flames?
Was the scent throw poor, good, great or outstanding?

If indeed based on the four test burns my candle is performing to my expectations I then move on to burning the rest of the candle fully to be certain that the life of the candle burns as well as the first four burns. This is not really something that should be skipped. It is a fire, you are placing it in someone's home. Safety First!

Below are the ASTM fire safety standards for testing candles. Once you have your candles burning to what you feel is correct, evaluate it using the exact standards as outlined below:
Per the ASTM, this is the standard for test burning candles. Every person/company testing should use the same criteria without exception.


•Burn Test parameters:

– Candles burned in 4-hour burn cycles until end of
useful life except tea lights and gel candles
– Wicks to be trimmed to manufacturer’s label instructions
– Burned in laboratory with minimum draft
– Laboratory temperatures between 68°F to 86°F
– Candles spaced a minimum of 20 cm apart
– Flame heights observed at periodic intervals and recorded at the end of each burn cycle


•Maximum Flame height requirement

– Candles intended to be burned outside are exempt

• No secondary ignition

• No container failures

• For pillar candles no flame impingement of flame on the supporting surface at end of life



• Initially candles must remain stable when tilted to 10* off level

• Tilt stability of candles while in test

I hope that this has given you all a bit more insight on test burning candles. It isn't something that should ever be skipped. Your testing now for safety of your product will prevent possible fires in the future!

Happy Candlemaking!