Friday, June 30, 2017

How to use the SUN to bleach candle wax.

Happy Friday candle friends!  Are you tired of me complaining about the heat?.... even I"m tired of me complaining about the I decided it was the perfect time for a positive ball of fire post, aka the sun.

Did you know that you can bleach your candle wax using the awesome rays from that big ole burning orb up in the sky?  And it's totally easy too and by golly we sure have a whole lot of sun here in the south west.   I've been putting it to good use.

Quick note; my wax formula is pretty simple, it's a plain ole food grade paraffin with additives, epolene or vybar to make the wax opaque and UV inhibitor to help the color not fade.  I know what your thinking, but don't worry the direct sun ignores UV inhibitor completely.

All you need is a metal baking pan, I use an old cookie sheet with sides, some waxI use scrap wax and lots and lots of sunshine!  

Step 1.  Melt your scrap and pour a thin layer in to your metal pan.  An 1/8 inch is ideal.  The thinner your layer the quicker the sun can work its magic and bleach out that color.

Step 2.  Choose an area outside with lots of direct sunlight.

Step 2. Wait.

Step 3.  Binge watch something on netflix or prime.  The first season of The Expanse was amazing!

Step 5. Wait until the sun has removed all the color.

This pan had been sitting in the sun for several days, the pan in the top right corner was in direct sunlight for over  5 days, it looks white in the photo but still had a light pinkish hue.   It took close to a month to become fully bleached in April.

It could take a few days to a few weeks.  When I did this in April, I set out 6 pans and it took close to a month to fully remove all the color.  (my scrap consists of a rainbow of colors all melted down) We also had a bit of rain that month and I had to sprint outside to retrieve my pans.

The last week of June, however was much quicker. It took only three days for a pan of reddish wax to bleach out to a pale translucent-ish/white.

If you have plexiglas or plates of glass to put over your pans that could be very helpful in keeping out dust and other debris that blows around outdoors.   I don't have any of that and my pans do accumulate debris from my yard.  I have to filter the wax afterwords.

Sadly I don't have a lot of images to share of the process. it was after the fact that I thought it would make a nice blog post, but I promise the next batch I bleach I'll document it better and update it here.

Have a great weekend and wonderful 4th of July. :)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Shipping candles in the summer.

Happy weekend candle friends!  Oh my word.. is it HOT outside.  Are you feeling it?  I sure hope it's cooler where you are and if you can, send some cool thoughts my way. 

The high is climbing to a scorching 109 degrees and we'll be experiencing 120's by Tuesday.  My poor poor garden is a sad sight indeed, droopy and struggling for life even with the shade canopy we built last month.   I don't know if I should just give up or continue to baby them through the rest of the summer......It's even too darn hot to be in the pool, can you believe that! When it's this hot out the pool is't very refreshing when the sun above in flambeing your skin.   So I'm curled up inside, grateful for the invention of the air conditioner and worrying about packages that I shipped out today; so very nervous that my customers may open a box of goopy waxy mess.  Actually, I haven't had a complaint of melted candles in years, stopped typing to knock on wood  but I still worry...I'm a worrier.  

I wrote a post way back when this was a candle making blog about shipping candle in the summer heat.  Figured it was the perfect time to update and share it.    

First up..The faster the better.  It's the whole ground vs. air debate.  One may be cheaper but the other is super duper fast and I've come learn something very important about transit time.  The faster your items travel, the risk of your candles melting during transit decreases significantly.   Sure the cost is more but if your giving out refunds or sending replacements you're loosing money. 

Trucks aren't air conditioned....but neither are planes.  Just remember, the air is cooler way up there.  And planes are FAST. 

The United States Post Office offers relatively affordable prices for air mail.  Using Priority Mail or First Class (under 16 ounces) can get your candles to your customers in 1-3 days.  And as a bonus you can order FREE Priority Mail boxes from the website.  They'll even deliver them for FREE to your door.  But you don't have to use those boxes if they aren't the right fit for your business. Although the Priority Mail boxes you order from USPS are exclusive to the Priority Mail rate, the Priority mail rate is inclusive.

Ground shipping can be slower, anywhere between 3-10 days. But that doesn't mean its impossible to get your candles to their destination safely.  When I first started shipping candles in the early 2000's I used DHL and FedEx and boy did I learn a thing or two or three......or four

Regardless of the carrier, even when shipping airmail, at some point your candles are going to be sitting in the back of a steaming hot truck.

When shipping ground during the summer months consider scheduling your pick up time so that it's your drivers last stop.
 Last on the truck = first off the truck. Keep those boxes moving!

Make arrangements with your carrier that you want your packages to ship low in transit,  hot air rises.

Ship during the beginning of the week.  Mon-Wed.  You want to limit the amount of time your candles are riding in the back of that truck.

The next thing to really consider..or perhaps reconsider is marking your boxes.

I've been shipping candles for over 18 years, I learned early on that marking your boxes makes them a target.  

I've used fragile stickers, I've written in big bold black sharpie "leave in shade on porch"  I've custom made stickers specific for candles and I even purchase stickers that were specific to sun sensitivity.   I use to pay to have my candle company printed in beautiful script on every box I ordered.  I've come to learn that all those markings are food for a contentious shipper.
The less that I marked my packages, the less complaints of damaged items I had.   I now ship in plain ole non de-script boxes.

Well, I guess that about wraps it up....If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments down below I'd love to hear from you.

Oh and a quick shout out to all those incredible Dad's out there.  Happy Fathers Day!  I'm so blessed to be married to one the worlds best DAD's