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3 Possible Formats: Slabs, Flakes, & Beads
While there are many soy wax products to choose from, we can help ease the burden of deciding where to begin by first establishing which format is best for a beginning candle maker. There are 3 main formats of soy wax. Slabs, flakes, and beads.
By far the most common method of packing soy candle wax, flakes, as the name implies, are small, irregular flakes of wax. They are generally packed in bags 50-pounds at a time and boxed. Soy wax flakes are almost always produced in food-production facilities with highly automated packing equipment that is specifically designed for making food products. The flat, wide flakes have a great deal of surface area, which helps them melt faster. All that surface area, however, has one major disadvantage: condensation.
Soy wax is water-loving. In most cases, we love this feature. It makes it easy to clean with soap and water. However, condensation can be absorbed into the flake while it is being made. Put that moisture-laden flake into a plastic bag during the production process, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Water trapped in flakes has no place to go once that box is sealed.
This humidity, if not fully cooked out of your candle wax, can ruin your batch, cause undesirable “wet spots,” and burn issues.
Flakes are easier to measure than slabs since they can be scooped from the box with any common pitcher or scoop. You’ll want to use a scale, though, as the weight of a scoop of wax can vary scoop-to-scoop due to the random sizes of the flakes.
Flakes will take a bit more room to store than slabs, and with larger boxes, you’ll generally have more wasted packaging.
Born from the need for an easier solution for candle makers, soy beads were created to provide an easier way to measure, an easier way to melt, an easier way to store, and an easier way to use their soy wax.
The soy bead flake contains only 20% of the surface area of a flake, reducing the condensation issue by 5 times. The small, scoopable size of the beads provide an easy way to consistently measure wax from batch to batch.
Bulk-packed in 45-pound paper bags, waste is reduced in the manufacturing process. Because boxes are not required in bulk storage, the space needed to store your stock is also reduced.
An additional format is available for this product in 25-pound boxes with handle, which makes transport and use much easier for small manufacturers and hobbyists.
Slabs are generally 10-12-pound blocks of wax in a rectangular form. These are typically packed 5 or 6 slabs per box, which is lined with a plastic bag. Often produced in large facilities with little to no humidity controls, this format can often trap moisture in the box, which can create candle-burning issues if the moisture is not allowed to “cook” out of the wax.
This format can also be the most difficult to measure, as any measurement less than the slab weight will require the user to cut or beat the slab into smaller, inconsistent chunks for measuring.
Because of the reduced surface area of the slabs, they generally take longer to melt in a melter.
The slabs DO require less space to store than most other options, though that benefit is offset by the additional packaging of a bag and box of waste when the wax is consumed.
We recommend soy beads for their versatility and ease of use.
For beginners, the ability to easily measure and evenly melt beads results in perfect candles from the very first try. For advanced candle-makers and those using larger quantities, the ease of loading larger melters and reduced waste makes soy beads the perfect choice.
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