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How to Make Candles Without Air Bubbles

Air bubbles on the surface of a paraffin wax candle

What causes air bubbles in candles? Candles develop holes in them, when you pour the wax at too-cool temperatures, or when you pour hot wax into cold moulds.

Invest in a good candle making thermometer, to get accurate readings. Follow the temperature guide below, and prevent those unattractive pits, hollows and tiny holes on the outside of your homemade candles.

At What Temperatures Should You Pour Candle Wax?

Candle wax gets heated up to different temperatures for different types of molds. Here are the best wax pouring temperatures, given in Celsius and Fahrenheit:

  • Metal moulds: 93°C (199.4°F)
  • Polycarbonate moulds: 82°C (179.6°F)
  • Two-sided plastic moulds: 80°C (176°F)
  • Latex rubber moulds: 88°C (190.4°F)
  • Acrylic moulds: 88-93°C (190.4 - 199.4°F)

What do you do if the mold manufacturer suggests a different temperature? Follow their instructions and recommendations instead.

Working in chilly conditions? Warm the mould up before pouring the wax: run warm water over the sides of a metal mould. Likewise for polycarbonate moulds. I use my hairdryer to warm up 2-sided plastic moulds. Use the dryer on a moderate setting and gently move it over the mould for about a minute.

Heat the wax up to the temperature recommended above. Then, pour the wax in slowly. Leave for 2 minutes, and tap the mould sharply.

Why are My Candles Caving in?

Cross-section of candle 
marred by air bubbles

Bubbles forming on the inside of a setting candle pulls the wax out of shape. You end up with a misshapen candle, caved-in on the sides, and with the wick pulled skew. Or a porous candle, riddled with cavities around the wick. This causes the candle to stop burning when it reaches areas with no wax.

Proceed as follows, when making your candles: heat the wax up to the correct temperature. Then, pour the wax in slowly. Leave for 2 minutes. Tap the mould sharply.

Leave a double-sided mould for 30 minutes...a one-piece mould for one hour. Take a wicking needle or bamboo skewer stick, and prick the candle wax all the way down, and around, the wick. This action dispels the air pockets forming around the wick.

Re-heat the wax, and fill the candle up again.

Repeat these last two steps, until the candle needs no more topping up. Leave to set.

Follow this step-by-step procedure everytime you make candles, and fix both the issues of surface air bubbles, and the disfiguring sinkholes, pits and cavities within your candles.