One of my 2022 resolutions was to be more active in writing blog posts. Not only does it help our customers find us better, it also gives us an avenue to get out some more information. It’s tough trying to condense your whole life story into an Instagram post while still trying to get people's attention. Now, it's halfway through March and I've barely made a dent in this resolution.
It’s crazy to think that March is almost over, that’s a quarter of the year almost done!
This month, we sent out our Copper and Silver candles. Every now and then we have some issues with our candles. We like to be transparent and discuss them as much as possible. After all, we are all only human and we all make mistakes. The more we talk about these things, the more information there is online which can hopefully help someone else one day.
This month we had some issues with our wicks we used for our Copper candle.
The past few weeks we’ve had some crazy weather variations. When we arrive in the morning, the sun will be shining and by the time we go to have lunch, it looks like a great flood has occurred. Along with the temperature variations, the humidity also varies a lot. We’ve found that often when it’s very cold, or very humid, we have issues with our stickers. Whether that’s the candle’s warning label, the front label on the candle, or the stickers we use to stick the wicks to the jar. It’s as though there’s too much moisture in the air and the moisture just prevents them from sticking. We’ve tried so many things to no avail. Wiping the jar with a cloth, hoping to absorb the extra moisture. Applying the stickers and rubbing them down to make sure they don’t come up. So many methods and none seem to work very well.
When it came to making the Copper candle, we assumed nothing would be out of the ordinary and the wicks would stick as per usual. We tried a few and they seemed fine, it wasn’t until we tried to apply our wick holders that we noticed the wicks were pulling up, out of the jars. I’m glad we caught this issue after roughly ten jars and not a hundred. Whenever something like this happens, the natural instinct is to panic. To think that everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. Most of the time the best solution is to step back, take a minute and try and think of some solutions.
One of the staff suggested using a hot glue gun to apply the wicks. It’s not often that we dust off and whip out the hot glue gun, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Now, lots of candle makers use different methods to stick their wicks down, and you may be reading this thinking to yourself
‘Why not just always use the hot glue gun?’.
We tried. And we tried, and tried. Every time we tried, we just ended up with more issues than it was worth.
It’s hot, it’s messy and it’s inconvenient. When using the hot glue gun, you almost have to perfect the technique of a little wrist flick after applying the glue.
Squeeze, Flick, Twist, Press.
Squeeze the glue out, (But not too much, don’t want it oozing everywhere! Hot glue hurts a lot to get on your skin. Trust me on that one)
Flick the glue gun, to try and get the tail of glue to stop coming out.
Twist. Now, this is the hard part. Trying to get that perfect twist so that you don’t end up with strands of glue everywhere. (We like to call these spiderwebs)
Press the wick into place and hope that it stays in place.
Not only is the glue gun hot, it’s also not very mobile. Having to stick wicks into a few candles is okay, but when you’ve got tables on tables of hundreds of candles, it’s hard to reach the candles in the middle of the table. Hot glue dangling over delicate candle glass is a recipe for disaster. Between hot glue dripping onto other candles, and dropping wicks into places they shouldn’t go (Man, I'm really writing myself up on this one), the hot glue gun was just not successful.
Majority of the time we use wick stickers. They’re a small circle sticker of double sided foam. When we use these wick stickers, we’re able to prepare them in advance so we have them ready. Much safer, cleaner and honestly quicker than using the hot glue gun. Only downside is their greatest enemy - the humidity.
After all this, you’re probably wondering - In the end how did you fix it?
The one solution we’ve found the best, is running an old air heater and facing it towards the jars. The warmth hitting the jars seems to dry them out just enough to get the sticker to stick. Now, this is really nice in winter when you’ve got cold hands and feel like you’ll never be warm again. BUT… on a hot, humid day, it’s not very nice having to work next to a heater that’s blasting hot air in your direction.
I’m thankful we found a solution in the end, no matter how sweaty it may get.
Do you make candles? Have any suggestions on how we can work it out next time? Let us know!