Understanding Wet Spots in Jar Candles

When you light up a jar candle to infuse your space with a warm, inviting fragrance, you may notice a wet spot on the side of your candle. These  blemishes are a common occurrence in jar candles and can often puzzle candle enthusiasts leaving them to feel ripped off because the candle doesn't appear to be full.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the phenomenon of wet spots in jar candles exploring their causes and how, if at all, they effect the candle. 

What are Wet Spots?

Wet spots, also known as adhesion issues, are those unsightly patches that form along the sides of a jar candle, typically between the wax and the glass container. They appear as translucent or opaque areas where the wax has pulled away from the glass, leaving a gap that looks wet. Wet spots are more noticeable in glass vessels due to their transparent nature, making them more apparent to consumers.

How Do They Occur?

Understanding the formation of wet spots requires a grasp of the science behind candle-making. When candles are poured into jars, the wax starts to cool and solidify from the outside in. However, as the wax cools, it contracts, creating tension between the wax and the container. This tension can sometimes cause the wax to shrink away from the sides of the jar, leading to the formation of wet spots.

Several factors contribute to the occurrence of wet spots:

  1. Temperature Fluctuations: Rapid changes in temperature during the cooling process can exacerbate the tension between the wax and the glass, increasing the likelihood of wet spots. Additionally, during the shipping process, fluctuations in temperature can further exacerbate this tension, causing the wax to pull away from the jar. Since candles aren't typically transported in temperature-controlled trucks, they're susceptible to these environmental changes during transit, especially during the winter months.

  2. Quality of Ingredients: The quality and composition of the wax used in candle-making play a significant role. Waxes with poor adhesion properties or those prone to excessive shrinkage are more susceptible to wet spots.

  3. Pouring Technique: The manner in which the wax is poured into the container can influence the formation of wet spots. Pouring the wax too quickly or from too great a height can create air pockets that contribute to adhesion issues.

Effects on the Candle

Wet spots do not directly affect the performance of the candle in terms of fragrance throw or burn time and you are receiving the exact amount of wax that is advertised on the package.  The only negative effect they have is that they can detract from a candles aesthetic appeal. 

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