What is that white stuff on the top of my candle?

What is that white stuff on the top of my candle?

Candles and wax melts are loved by everyone and enjoyed wordwide thanks to the delightful aroma and beautiful aesthetic effect created by them.

Candle-making is equally enjoyable thanks to the creative and artistic options available through the making process.

Thanks to the rise in love for candles and melts, we have a vast number of options available when it comes to making or purchasing them. Consider alone the many types of wax, wicks, dyes, scents and containers.

When I first started my candle-making journey, I wanted to find products that produced good smelling and aesthetically beautiful candles but I also wanted to offer a safe, non-toxic and environmentally friendly product.

After extensive research and experimentation, I landed on Soy wax. It far outweighed the other options for these reasons but did not come without its challenges.

Soy candles

Soy candles won my affection for the following reasons

    • Natural soy wax is an extracted and processed form of soybeans. It provides the perfect balance between ease of use and consistent results.
    • Non-toxic as it does not release any carcinogens so it ensures no health hazards.
    • It produces 90% less soot compared to others as it burns cleaner. Ever experience candle soot on your walls or curtains? Not pretty. 
    • Less indoor pollution. 
    • Burns slower thus lasts 50% longer as compared to other competitors.

    So what’s not to love and just what is that ‘white stuff’ I see sometimes on top or sides of my soy candles?

    Despite soy being the ideal selection for environmental and health reasons it also comes with some aesthetic problems like lumpy tops, wet spots, holes by the wick, frosting and hollowing or sinking. Yikes!

    I’m pleased to say that the vast majority of these issues can be fixed during the candle making process by experienced candle makers, However, there is one of these issues that can plague all soy wax candle makers and that is what’s called ‘frosting’  


    Frosting is the unique and natural by-product of natural vegetable waxes, especially soy, due to polymorphism triggers created by temperature fluctuations. It is considered the trait of 100% soy wax and changes the color of soya candle to white or causes the appearance of white spots while cooling.

    The texture and moisture content of the wax changes at high temperatures. This change in the state of wax is the main reason behind white spots or frosting of soy wax. This white coating is either around the slides or on the top of wax giving, what some consider, an unpleasant appearance.

    Studies have shown that over time, most of the soy wax candles and melts undergo frosting to some extent. The size of crystals and their appearance varies as the smaller crystals give a shiny appearance while the larger crystals appear grainy. However, frosting is more prominent in the case of colored candles and melts. This is the primary reason I only color my melts and not my candles, and begrudgingly so.

    With all of this said, it’s important to remember, frosting is actually a unique and natural effect of using vegetable waxes, especially soy. The wax is trying to return back to its natural form and as a result it begins to crystallize. It doesn't affect the performance of the candle in any way and also means your wax is 100% natural.

    So now you know what ‘that white stuff is’ that occasionally shows up on your melts! The easiest way for me to avoid frosting on my melts, while still committing to soy wax, would be to leave the wax in its natural color. If you prefer your melts without the appearance of frosting, be sure to let me know you’d prefer no coloring!

    Candle making is an art, and like all arts, keeps the artist on our toes as we seek to offer the best quality, best looking and longest lasting product we can. I’m thankful you’ve joined me in this process! Now….back to making more candles and melts!



    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.