Candle Mold Sealer

red pillar candleMost candle molds have a hole in the bottom where the wick runs through. Since melted wax is quite liquid, that hole needs to be adequately sealed to make the mold functional. That’s where candle mold sealer comes in – it seals the hole. While the concept is simple, you need to pay attention to some details to keep the mold from leaking and making a mess. Believe me, once you’ve had a significant mold leak (and most candle makers will at some point) you become very interested in getting a good seal.

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There are three main types of sealers: putty, plugs and magnetic. I use putty and plugs so I’ll talk about those here. I’ll mention magnetic  but I have no personal experience with magnetic sealers.

Candle mold putty is a soft, flexible slightly sticky material that can be molded and used to seal the hole in the bottom of a candle. It can also be use to seal a leaky seam in a mold or the joints in a multi-piece mold. The most common use is to seal the wick hole in a mold.

The main reason a mold leaks if you’re using putty is that the outside surface of the mold isn’t completely clean. The slightest amount of dirt or oil can keep the putty from adhering properly and will cause a leak.

Even more challenging that dirt is wax. Obviously, it’s not surprising that candle molds often have some waxy residual on both the inside and outside. A thin layer of wax on the bottom of a mold might not be noticeable and the putty will bond to it. However, once you pour hot wax into the mold, that thin layer of wax will melt, break the seal and the mold will leak.

So the main tip? Keep you molds scrupulously clean, at least where you intend to use putty.

Given a clean mold, using the putty is pretty straightforward. Put the wick through the hole, attach to the wick holder at the other end. If your mold comes with a wick screw, you can use it (BTW – a wick screw can do a fairly good job of sealing the hole, but I wouldn’t count on it alone). With or without a screw, coil a tight spiral of about an inch of wick on the bottom of the mold and apply the wax over it.

Another tip: if you find that the putty discolors the wick and you want to avoid that you can cover the spiral of wick with a small bit of masking tape. Just be sure the putty extends beyond the tape to make a tight seal with the mold.

The other type of mold sealer is a plug. It seals the hole in the mold like a cork seals a bottle. The advantages of plugs are that they are quicker to apply if you are doing production runs of a lot of candles and the bottom of the mold doesn’t have to be as clean – a bit of wax won’t hurt. You just have to be sure there’s no debris in the hole itself that might interfere with getting a tight seal.
To use a plug, position a wick as usual, then press the plug into the hole next to it.

One difficulty that might arise is that if the wick is large relative to the hole, there may not be room for the plug. I think the best answer in that situation is to use putty.

Magnetic sealers are magnetic sheets that cover the hole and adhere to the bottom of the mold by magnetic force. Obviously, they can only be used with molds that a magnetic will adhere to (plastic need not apply). Since I have no experience with them, I really can’t comment more than that.

Efficient and effective candle mold sealing is one of those small points that differentiate a beginning candle maker from someone with more experience. With the tips you learned here you’ll be able to avoid the messy spills that too many beginners have to deal with as they gain experience.

 

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