Pillar Candle FAQs

What are pillar candles?

Pillar candles are self-supporting candles that are typically tall and sturdy and are created with moulds rather than jars or containers. They use denser wax, which provides a longer burn and can be scented or unscented. With a range of sizes, thicknesses, colours, and scents to choose from, there is a pillar candle for every preference.


What is the best wax to use for pillar candles?

Pillar candles require a specific type of wax known as pillar wax. This wax is different from the wax used in container candles and is stronger, with a higher melting point. When properly cured, pillar wax will easily contract and release from the moulds. Some of the best waxes for making pillar candles include soy pillar blends, paraffin, beeswax, and palm wax.


How do I choose the correct wick size?

There are several factors that determine the correct wick size for a candle, including the type of wax, amount of fragrance oil, and type of color dye. Personal testing is essential to ensure that you choose the right wick size. When selecting a wick size, it is always best to choose one that will create a smaller melt pool than the diameter of the candle. For example, if your candle is 10cm in diameter, choose a wick that creates a 9cm-9.5cm melt pool.


How do I wick silicone moulds?

Use a thin needle to pierce a hole where you want the wick to come out of. If using cotton ply wicks, thread the wick through the hole with a craft needle or wicking tool. Secure the wick with a wick holder to keep it rigid and centred.


How do I wick acrylic PVC moulds?

Acrylic/PVC moulds come with an existing wick hole. Push your wick through the hole and seal it with blu tack to prevent leakage. If using cotton ply wicks, use a skewer to force the wick through the hole to the other side. Secure the wick with a wick holder to keep it rigid and centred.


Why does my candle have white spots or patches?

These 'spots', also known as frosting, generally appear on coloured candles and is a result of crystallization of the wax. This is more common in colder months and can occur as soon as the candle is set or after being stored. Frosting does not affect the performance of the candle.


Why does my candle have jump lines?

Jump lines are caused by pouring the wax at too low of a temperature and/or when the mould is too cold. It occurs because the wax is congealing immediately and it is setting as more wax is poured on top of it, thus forming the horizontal lines or rings. To prevent this, heat your moulds with a heat gun before pouring in wax. Increasing the pouring temperature will also help.


Why does my candle shrink?

Pillar wax is designed to shrink and contract as it cools. This is to ensure that your candle releases from the mould. Do a second pour to top up the mould and level out the candle.


Why is my mould expanding?

Due to the soft and flexible silicone, moulds can sometimes bulge or expand when wax is poured into it. This is more common in moulds that are tall or wide. To help a mould maintain its shape, put flat supports on the sides, such as books or pavers.


How do I use two-piece moulds?

Line up the two pieces and secure with rubber bands to prevent it from leaking. They should be spread out evenly over the mould and firmly hold both sides together without being too tight or too loose. Acrylic moulds will have slots to place rubber bands around. Ensure you have wicked the mould beforehand.


Do I need to use a mould release spray?

No. If left for a sufficient amount of time, your candle should easily slide out of the mould. If you are having difficulty getting your candle out of the mould, try leaving your candle to set for a little longer. Alternatively, try placing the mould into a refrigerator or freezer for around 10 minutes before unmoulding.


How do pillar candles burn?

Unlike container candles, they are not designed to burn the full diameter. Instead, they should burn down the centre and leave a 5mm to 10mm outer shell.


Why are my candles turning yellow?

Discolouration can occur when using fragrance oils that contain vanillin or when exposed to sunlight. Most websites will state in the description whether or not a fragrance contains vanillin.


For more information on pillar candles, we recommend enrolling in Candle Making Academy's Pillar Candle Course,  a comprehensive online course designed to provide you with all the knowledge and skills you need to take your candle-making to the next level.