Lab Notes: EcoSoya Quantum Soy Wax - CandleScience

When testing a new soy wax, it can be challenging to find the right process. To help you get the best results out of NGI's new Quantum soy waxes, we're sharing our lab notes. Follow along and see how we arrived at our findings. And as always, please contact us with questions. We're happy to help.

Our Process

We divided our testing into three parts:

  • Aesthetics: We tested for adhesion, frosting, and color issues.
  • Fragrance Performance: We looked at solubility and cold and hot throw performance.
  • Burn Performance: We tested various wick series and sizes to find the best burn.

For the fragrance testing segments, we used Apples and Maple Bourbon, Cranberry Marmalade, and Very Vanilla fragrance oils. They have very different densities, viscosities, and ingredients. We hoped the variation would reveal potential solubility and burn issues.

Fragrance Load Note: NGI states these new waxes can hold fragrance loads up to 18%, but we recommend using less. Also, we found specific fragrance loads worked better for each wax based on the application. See our notes below for more details.

Ecosoya Q210 Soy Wax
ECOSOYA Q210 SOY WAX

Application: Container candles and tealights

Recommended Fragrance Load: 6-9%

General Overview

This wax comes in small pastilles, which makes it easy to handle and measure. We found that it takes longer to melt pastilles than wax flakes, so expect longer melt times when heating to 185ºF.

We didn’t test for cosmetic applications. But this is a cosmetic-grade soy wax and can be a viable replacement for CB 135. It’s also a suitable replacement for CB Advanced soy wax due to its similar aesthetics.

Q210 isn’t a great choice for making tarts or wax melts. Our test melts and wax tarts were too soft for proper storing and handling. Even removing them from our molds caused damage.

Aesthetics

Surface and Glass Adhesion
Our candles poured at 160ºF had excellent glass adhesion, with almost no signs of wet spots. We did notice that some of these candles had an uneven surface around the wick. The test candles we poured at 150ºF or lower were more prone to wet spots but did have smoother tops. Our test pours at 130ºF or lower produced air bubbles in the liquid wax. But the bubbles dissipated on their own and left a smooth surface after the wax cooled. While we conducted our tests, we didn’t take any steps to prevent wet spots from forming. For best results we recommend starting your test pours at 170ºF and adjusting as needed.

Frosting
We checked for signs of frosting 24 hours after pouring, a week after, and again at 15 days. We didn’t see any signs of frosting. We also checked for signs of frosting after our wick testing. We did notice a few of the candles had minimal crystal formations on the surface after burning.

Coloring
We tested two usage levels of red liquid dye for our candles: 6 drops per pound of wax and 12 drops per pound of wax. The dye mixed in easily at 185ºF. Six drops produced a light red color slightly more vibrant than other soy waxes. 12 drops produced a rich Christmas-red color that we've only been able to recreate with dye blocks. The liquid dye odor was noticeable in our finished candles. In most cases, adding fragrance will mask the scent of the liquid dye. Or you can use dye blocks or dye chips to avoid this odor.

Fragrance Performance

Solubility
Apples and Maple Bourbon and Cranberry Marmalade at 6% to 12% mixed without any issues in the melted wax. There were also no signs of sweating in our finished candles.

Hot and Cold Throw
We created test candles using Apples and Maple Bourbon and Cranberry Marmalade with 6%, 9%, and 12% fragrance loads. We checked for cold throw performance at 24 hours, one week, and two weeks. Initially, the cold throw was very weak for all our test candles. After the candles cured for 15 days, we noticed the cold throw improved to a 2 out of 3 on our soy wax scale.

At the two-week point, we began our burn tests. We burned the candles for two hours before examining the hot throw. Our candles with 6% fragrance loads rated a 1-2 out of 3 on our scale. We noticed slightly better results for the candles with 9% fragrance loads. We tested again at three weeks, and the hot throw improved for both percentages to a consistent 3 out of 3 rating.

For best results, we recommend fragrance loads of 6% to 9% and cure times of at least three weeks.

 

Burn Performance

Wicking
We started our wick testing with our recommendation for CB Advanced. Surprisingly, the ECO wick series produced flames that were too large. We also noticed significant carbon buildup (mushrooming) around the wick. The HTP wick series yielded similar results. Unusual mushrooms formed in larger diameter candles. The LX wick series produced the best results, with even flames and minimal mushrooming. We also observed that different candle dyes and fragrances affected the burn. As always we advise testing candles with your desired fragrance and dye before making a large batch.

SHOP Q210 SOY WAX

Ecosoya Q220 Soy Wax
ECOSOYA Q220 SOY WAX

Application: Container candles and tealights

Recommended Fragrance Load: 9-10%

General Overview

This wax comes in small pastilles, which makes it easy to handle and measure.

A melting point of 117ºF helps this wax stand up to the summer heat, especially when shipping finished candles. The higher melt point also makes the Q220 an excellent wax for container candles and wax melts.

We found this wax to be a suitable replacement for CB Xcel and CB Advanced wax due to its higher melt point and aesthetics.

Aesthetics

Surface and Glass Adhesion
Pour temperatures below 145ºF produced smooth tops with minimal shrinkage around the wink. Our temperatures at 150°F and higher did have more shrinkage on the surfaces of our test candles. You might find a second pour necessary when making your candles. We also noticed wet spots at all pour temperatures. To avoid this, we recommend heating your clear glass jars before pouring.

Molding and Melts
We poured votives, clamshells, and tarts between 165°F and 175°F. All our test votives and wax melts contained fragrance loads of 6%. We had a little trouble releasing the wax from our metal votive and tart molds. But once out, the wax produced a smooth finish with no oily residue. Our clamshell melts released easily from their molds and snapped apart without crumbling. Finished votives and melts were a little soft to the touch and prone to scratches. We wouldn’t recommend using this wax for pillars.

Frosting
We checked for signs of frosting 24 hours after pouring, a week after, and again at 15 days. We didn’t see any signs of frosting. We also checked for signs of frosting after our wick testing. We did notice a few of the candles had minimal crystal formations on the surface after burning. These formations didn’t occur in the wax used in a tart warmer. Overall, this wax exhibited virtually no frosting.

Coloring
We tested two usage levels of red liquid dye for our candles: 6 drops per pound of wax and 12 drops per pound of wax. We also examined the vibrancy of one lavender dye chip per pound wax. Both the liquid dye and dye chip easily mixed in at 185ºF. Our color results were similar to the vibrant colors seen with the Q210 soy wax. The dye chip produced a beautiful light purple shade that was more vibrant than what we see in other soy waxes. Like the Q210, this wax also struggled to mask the scent of the dye in finished candles. In most cases, adding fragrance will mask the smell of the liquid dye. Or you can use dye blocks or dye chips to avoid this odor.

Fragrance Performance

Solubility
Apples and Maple Bourbon and Cranberry Marmalade at 6% and 12% mixed without any issues in the melted wax. We also tested Very Vanilla at 9% and 12% without any issues. There were also no signs of sweating in any of our finished candles.

Cold and Hot Throw
We created test candles using Apples and Maple Bourbon, Cranberry Marmalade, and Very Vanilla at 6%, 9%, and 12%. We checked for cold throw performance at 24 hours, one week, and two weeks. Initially, the cold throw was very weak for all our test candles. After two weeks we noticed improved cold throw for Apples and Maple Bourbon and Very Vanilla at 6%. We rated them 3 out of 3 on our soy wax scale. But Very Vanilla at 12% was slightly weaker, suggesting we added too much fragrance. We noticed a shift in the odor of Cranberry Marmalade. The candle lost a lot of the cranberry notes and smelled more of spice. It also had a weaker throw at 6% (2 out of 3 on our scale).

At the two-week point, we began our burn tests. The hot throw of each fragrance at 6% was very weak (a 1 out of 3). Fragrances at 9% were much stronger, closer to a 3 out of 3. For best results, we recommend using a fragrance load of 9% to 10% and allowing your candles to cure for at least two weeks.

Burn Performance

Wicking
We tested the Q220 soy wax for wick compatibility with our recommendations for CB Advance. We found that the ECO and HTP wick series had flames that were too large. The ECO and HTP wicks had significant carbon buildup (mushrooming) in our test candles with 9% to 12% fragrance. The LX wick series produced the best results—even flames and minimal mushrooming. Dye and fragrances affected the burn, so we encourage you to test your fragrances before making a large batch. As always test your fragrance and color combinations to get the best results.

SHOP Q220 SOY WAX

Ecosoya Q230 Soy Wax
ECOSOYA Q230 SOY WAX

Application: Container candles and tealights

Recommended Fragrance Loads:

  • Pillars and Votives: 9% or less
  • Wax melts: up to 18%
  • Containers: 6-12%

General Overview

This wax also comes in small pastilles, which makes it easy to handle and measure. It takes longer to melt pastilles than wax flakes, so expect longer melt times. We also noticed a slight odor with this wax that increased with heating. But we didn’t detect the smell in our finished candles.

This wax is a replacement for the PB Pillar Blend wax and makes beautiful pillar candles. But we also found this wax to be suitable for almost all types of candles.

Aesthetics

Surface and Adhesion:

For Pillar Candles
We tested this wax in pillar candle molds with wick pins and pre-wicked setups. We poured test candles at temperatures ranging between 135°F and 175°F, and let them sit overnight. Candles poured at 170ºF and higher had significant shrinkage around the wick pin or cotton wick. They required a second pour to get a level bottom on the candle. Pillars poured at 160°F or lower had less shrinkage around the wick, but unmolding was a challenge. Candles made in molds with wick pins unmolded with little effort as long as the molds were clean. Molds with residue from previous candles were significantly more challenging to unmold. Those pillars had noticeable imperfections on the sides of the candles.

Pre-wicked candles were difficult to un-mold as the wick easily pulled out of the candle. We recommend carefully shaking the candle loose from the mold so that you don’t risk pulling out the wick.

The finished candles were softer than pillars made with Ecosoya PB. The softness made it much easier to nick or dent the surface of the candle. We recommend using additional packaging to protect the pillar candle until it’s ready for use.

For Votives and Clamshells
We poured our votives and clamshells at 170°F. After allowing the wax to cool overnight, they set with smooth surfaces. The votives were much firmer than the votives made with Q220. Both votives and clamshells removed from their molds with little effort. Our clamshells also broke cleanly without crumbling.

For Container Candles
We test poured one container candle at 135ºF. The finished candle had a smooth top, but large wet spots on the side. If you are using this wax for container candles, we recommend using solid color containers to cover any wet spots.

Frosting
We didn’t see any signs of frosting 24 hours after pouring, a week after, and again at 15 days. After burning the candles, there were still no signs of frosting, and the wax set back with a smooth finish.

Coloring
We tested two usage levels of red liquid dye for our candles: 6 drops per pound of wax and 12 drops per pound of wax. We also examined the vibrancy of one lavender dye chip per pound wax. The liquid dye and dye chip mixed in easily at 185ºF. Our color results were similar to those of the Q210 and Q220. The dye chip produced a beautiful light purple shade of color that’s more vibrant compared to other soy waxes. This wax struggled to mask the scent of the dye in finished candles. In most cases, adding fragrance will mask the smell of the liquid dye. Or you can use dye blocks or dye chips to avoid this odor.

Fragrance Performance

Solubility
Apples and Maple Bourbon and Cranberry Marmalade at 6% to 12% mixed without any issues in the melted wax. We also tested Apples and Maple Bourbon at 18% in a metal tart mold with the same results. There were no signs of sweating in our finished candles.

Hot and Cold Throw 
We tested with Apples and Maple Bourbon and Cranberry Marmalade at 6% and 12%. We also created clamshells with a 6% fragrance load. We checked for cold throw performance at 24 hours, one week, and two weeks. Initially, the cold throw was very weak for all our test candles. After two weeks, the cold throw improved to PB Pillar Blend levels (nearly 3/3) with most fragrances.

At the two-week point, we began burn and melt tests. We burned the pillar candles for two hours before examining the hot throw. The pillars rated a strong 2 out of 3 in hot throw performance. We allowed our melts to heat for one hour before examining the hot throw. The hot throw was barely 2 out of 3, leaving some room for improvement. We recommend using a 9% to 12% fragrance load for optimal throw with wax melts.

Burn Performance

Wicking
We tested the Q230 soy wax with our LX series for pillars, votives, and containers. All three burned well with the LX series. For pillars, we recommend under wicking to minimize the risk of blowouts. For containers, we suggest wicking up from the recommended size to get a melt pool that reaches the edges of your container.

SHOP Q230 SOY WAX

 

WRAPPING UP

We plan to continue testing and will share any new insights with you as we learn more. As always, we strongly recommend that you test these waxes with your fragrances and dyes for best results. And remember, we’re always here to help with questions. Call 1-888-266-3916, email support@candlescience.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.