Candle gel, paraffin and soy wax: Candlemaking made easy for everyone
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Fragrance Oils and Candle gel

Penreco, inventor of Candle gel So you want to start making gel candles? That's a great idea!
You'll find more and more projects dedicated to gel candlemaking on HowtomakeCandles.info

But before you start, there are several important things you need to know anout the fragrance oils/candle gel relationship.



For general informations, please read the article about candle gel.


Flash point

As we've seen in the previous article about fragrance oils, the Flash point is an essential data to take into account when adding fragrance oil to paraffin.
It's even more true with candle gel. There is one golden rule you need to remember:


Never use a frafrance oil with a Flash point lower than 170░F (76.7░C) in candle gel


This proves once again that it is essential to know the Flash point of a fragrance oil before using it, be it with paraffin or with candle gel.



Polarity

If you're a chemist, I don't need to tell you what polarity is. If you're not, believe me, you don't want me to tell you. I couldn't, anyway...
Nevertheless, here's a beginning of explanation, feel free to follow the accompanying link if you feel the need to learn more about it...


The following is an excerpt of the article, published by Ron Kurtus, titled "Polar and Non-Polar Molecules"
For the full article: click here


"The arrangement or geometry of the atoms in some molecules is such that one end of the molecule has a positive electrical charge and the other side has a negative charge. If this is the case, the molecule is called a polar molecule, meaning that it has electrical poles. Otherwise, it is called a non-polar molecule. Whether molecules are polar or non-polar determines if they will mix to form a solution or that they don't mix well together."


So, to make a long story short, let's just say that candle gel is a non-polar substance.
Birds of a feather flock together, they say. In our case, it means you should add only non-polar fragrance oils to candle gel.
Every fragrance oil has a different chemical formulation so you'll encounter both polar and non-polar fragrance oils.

What happens when you add a polar fragrance oil to candle gel?
There are two possibilities:
Complete Separation: After mixing, the blend immediately separates into two layers. This is an indication the fragrance being tested has a large amount of incompatible (polar) components being used. When these types of fragrances are mixed into a Versagel C product, immediate turbidity or cloudiness could be seen or the fragrance could separate from the gel over time. Penreco does not recommend the use of these types of fragrances in gel candles.

Cloudiness: After mixing, the blend becomes cloudy, but sometimes will turn clear when exposed to elevated temperatures. This in an indication that the fragrance being tested has some incompatible (polar) components that are insoluble in mineral oil. When these slightly soluble fragrances are mixed into a Versagel C product, they may produce a clear gel; however over time they will turn cloudy and separate from the gel. The time it will take for the mixture to turn cloudy cannot be predicted. This may occur within days, weeks or months, depending on the actual fragrance ingredients, their concentrations and environmental conditions. Penreco does not recommend the use of these types of fragrances in gel candles the fragrance oil may not mix at all with the gel and form two distinct layers; or the fragrance oil might cloud the gel (more or less, immediatly or after a few hours, days or weeks)
Quoted from Penreco's Gel candle Safety Factors



Polarity test

Penreco, inventor of candle gel, devised a reliable and fairly simple polarity test.
To perform this test, you will need mineral oil.

The test will be held in two phases. For both phases, use a clean, clear glass container, ideally a test-tube.

Phase 1
Pour 3 parts of the to-be-tested fragrance oil and 1 part of mineral oil in the test-tube.
Cap the tube and shake vigorously for at least two minutes.
If, while you're shaking, the mixture turn cloudy but immediatly becomes clear again, it could be a good sign. Allow to sit for 5 minutes then recheck the appearance.
If the mixture is cloudy (even very lightly): the fragrance oil is polar and should not be used together with candle gel.
If fragrance oil and mineral oil form two distinct layers in the test-tube: the fragrance oil is polar and should not be used together with candle gel.
If the mixture is clear (and remains clear), the first phase of the test is successful. Proceed to phase 2.

Phase 2
In phase 2, the proportions are reversed: use 1 part of fragrance oil and 3 parts mineral oil.
To avoid wasting the previous mixture, just add 8 parts mineral oil to match the proportions and repeat the shaking process.
If the mixture is cloudy (even very lightly): the fragrance oil is polar and should not be used together with candle gel.
If fragrance oil and mineral oil form two distinct layers in the test-tube: the fragrance oil is polar and should not be used together with candle gel.
If the mixture is clear (and remains clear), this fragrance oil successfully passed the polarity test. You can use it in your gel candles.


proportions to use

Penreco distributes the VersaGel™ candle gel in three different grades: CLP (Low Polymer), CMP (Medium Polymer) et CHP (High Polymer).
Each grade accepts a different amount of fragrance oil.
  • CLP: from 0 to 3% fragrance oil
  • CMP: from 0 to 5% fragrance oil
  • CHP: up to 5% fragrance oil

  • Good to know!

    Adding scent to a gel candle should not be done without precautions
    Adding scent to a gel candle should not be done without precautions

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