What Causes Candles to Sweat (How to Stop)

Candle sweating is when oily residue accumulates on the surface or bottom of the candle, giving the appearance that the candle is sweating.

There can be various reasons why your candle is sweating. As a candle maker, you want to determine if the sweating is from natural causes or a miscalculation in your candle-making process.

In this article, we’ll cover when the causes of sweating are no big deal, when it’s a sign to be concerned about, and what you can do to prevent it in the future.

What Causes Candles to Sweat?

Heat Exposure

Exposure to high temperatures will cause candles to sweat.

Candles sweating in heat is expected and is not concerning.

Candle Wax Type

Natural waxes such as 100% soy and coconut wax are more prone to candle sweating.

Candle sweating in waxes like these is because the natural oils within the wax can easily separate under temperature changes. This separation of oils is a natural occurrence and not something that will affect the candle’s performance.

Fragrance Oil

Fragrance oil can cause sweating in multiple ways, and as a candle maker, you’ll want to address it since it can affect performance and possibly the safety of the candle.

If you add too much fragrance oil, the fragrance oil may start pooling at the bottom of the candle or rise to the surface.

Fragrance oil that is not thoroughly blended can cause issues with the wax and fragrance binding together, causing it to separate and sweat.

And finally, fragrance oil added at incorrect temperatures can also lead to issues with the wax and fragrance properly binding.

How to Stop Candles from Sweating

Fragrance Temperature

Make sure you’re adding the fragrance oil to your candle wax at the recommended temperature for the candle wax you’re using.

If you add the fragrance oil to candle wax at too low of a temperature, the candle wax and the fragrance will not correctly bind together.

Properly Blend the Fragrance

When adding fragrance to your wax, thoroughly blend the two to allow them to combine fully.

Gently stir the fragrance and the candle wax for 2-3 minutes. It’s important not to stir too vigorously to avoid creating air bubbles in the wax.

Avoid Using Too Much Fragrance Oil

Every candle wax has a max load of fragrance it can handle before you start running into problems. The manufacturer will list the max, which can be anywhere from 3-10+% fragrance load, and you should not exceed this limit.

You may want a strong-scented candle, but that doesn’t necessarily mean using as much fragrance oil as possible. There are other ways to achieve a strong hot throw for your candle, like properly curing the candle before lighting it.

It’s best to give yourself some breathing room and start testing with a fragrance load below the max threshold, properly cure the candle, and adjust accordingly based on your results.

Try Using a Wax Additive

If you’re using the correct fragrance load and the wax still has problems retaining the fragrance, then you can try using vybar.

Vybar is a wax additive that can allow you to use more fragrance oil. It will help evenly distribute the fragrance throughout the candle wax and also help retain the fragrance oil within the wax.

There are multiple types of vybar, so make sure you use the suitable additive for your specific wax.

Proper Storage

Keep your candles in a cool and dry environment and out of direct sunlight.

Look Into Other Wax Types

You could look into soy or other blends if you’re not married to 100% natural wax.

There are blends of wax formulated to prevent candle sweating. For example, soy waxes are often blended with paraffin or other waxes to help address the common issues with 100% natural wax.

Can You Burn a Sweating Candle?

Yes, but there are some steps you should take first before lighting the candle.

First, use a dry towel to dab the candle’s surface to remove any residue before lighting.

Second, if your candle is sweating from extreme heat conditions, it’s best to wait until it has returned to an average room temperature.

If the candle is too hot, the rate at which the wax melts can be too fast for the wick to handle, leading to a mushrooming wick which can cause burn quality issues.

Is Candle Sweating Bad?

Yes and no.

Candles sweating from high-temperature environments or candles sweating from the separation of oils in 100% soy or coconut wax are typical.

This will not affect your candle’s quality or performance; remove the residue from the candle with a towel and use the candle as you usually would.

However, if you have a candle sweating from too much fragrance oil, you have a problem.

If fragrance oil is pooling on the surface of your candle and comes in contact with the flame, it could catch fire, creating a risky safety hazard that we all want to avoid.