Small Melt Pools: What’s the Story?

There’s no one right way to tell a story.

Soy candles, it turns out, are the same: so long as you end up with a fragrant, consistent burn, you really can’t go wrong.

But the key word, there, is consistent.

Though our hand-poured, soy wax candles are crafted with care, once they’re helping you illuminate the blank page, you might discover you’re confronting an unexpected, additional foe: the dreaded small melt pool.

So let’s explore the ins and outs of the small melt pool: what it is, why it happens, and what can be done to minimize the possibility of finding yourself—or, well, your candle—swimming in one.

A candle with a small melt pool

Hold on—what’s a melt pool?

For starters, a full melt pool means the melted wax has reached the edges of the container and is about 1/8” to 1/4” deep.

By way of contrast, a small melt pool is when the wax does not melt to reach the edges of the container. 

Why do small melt pools happen?

Small melt pools can arise for a few reasons. To minimize the possibility you find yourself with a small melt pool, ensure you reach a full melt pool on your candle’s first burn. Ordinarily, this will mean burning your candle for more than three—but no more than four—hours.

Again, never burn your Kill Your Darlings Candle Company candles for longer than four hours during a single burn, initial burn or otherwise.

What can I do to keep my candles from having small melt pools?

Aside from achieving a full melt pool on your first burn per the instructions above, attend to your wick on subsequent burns. When you light your candle, make sure your wick is 1/4″ long. This may require you to trim your wick from time to time during the course of your candle’s life.

Think of this trimming like another round of revisions. There’s always something to tend to, and in this case, it’s a pretty easy matter to address! You can use a scissors to do this trimming; just make sure your wick has cooled before giving it this haircut of sorts.

We’ve said it elsewhere and we’ll say it again here: embrace the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi with our soy candles. If you have any questions about your candle’s performance, however, please let us know.