Aroma Candle Gel
Gel Wax for Candle gel
Wick - metal Core - Zinc
Essential oil fragrance
Embed / Fantasy Gel
Start making Candle gel
History of Aromatherapy
What are Essential Oils?
Is All the Hype True?
Tips for Beginners
4. FRAGRANCE / Essential Oils
part is very important! Please read carefully! In
order for a fragrance oil to be safe for use in gel, it
must be non-polar, and over 170 flash point.
Non-polar means that the fragrance is miscible (will mix well) in
mineral oil. There is a way to test for this, and I strongly
recommend testing any fragrance you plan to use before using it in
much to use:
Penreco recommends using no more than 3%
(1/2 oz per pound) in Low Density gel, and up to 5% (3/4 oz per
pound) in Medium or High Density gel. Measure your fragrance
by weight, not liquid volume. I suggest using an accurate
Make very sure to completely and thoroughly
mix your fragrance oil in the gel! This cannot be stressed
enough. Even when using the right kind of non-polar 170+ FP
fragrance, it is still imperative that the oil be mixed in well to
avoid any possible separation. Stir stir stir, for at least
2 full minutes! And when you think you've probably stirred
enough, stir as much again just to be safe!
to get them:
I recommend buying fragrance oils that are specifically
formulated for use in gel, and buying from only reputable sources.
If a fragrance company does not specify their fragrances to be
safe for gel, you will need to get MSDS sheets on them and
determine the flash point, and then test them for polarity. Even if a company simply labels them "gel safe", be sure
to question them on how they determined this, and verify that they
have been tested properly. It is still a good idea to test a
small amount from each new batch you get just to double check,
even if it is stated as safe by the supplier. Manufacturers
can make mistakes sometimes too and there can sometimes be
variances in batches, so it's best to be responsible for the
testing yourself and leave no doubts.
to test for Polarity:
This is a
simple test that was developed by a lab so that the home user
would have an easy,
and accurate method of testing fragrances.
One: First make sure your glass is clean, dry and clear
clearly see through). Some glass
can have flaws in it and may not give you
a good clear view. We use scientific grade test tubes, but you
small, clear glass oil bottles.
2) Take 3 parts fragrance oil and mix it with 1 part white mineral
3/4 tsp. to 1/4 tsp.). Eye droppers (pipettes) or syringes with measurements
on them will
work for this. The correct type of oil to use is a straight cut
with a viscosity of about 230 SUS@100F and a flash point of
The food grade
mineral oil you can get at your local
pharmacy will work fine. You
cannot use baby oil, as it already contains
fragrance, and will not give you
an accurate result.
We use only Penreco mineral oil in our testing.
3) Mix the oils thoroughly (put it into a clear glass bottle with
cap, and shake
well). If the mixture clouds for a second as you mix it, but then clears up as
that may be ok. Let it sit for no more than 5 minutes.
If it stays cloudy no matter how much you mix, it
is polar & unsafe. If there is
any separation line or beads, it is polar & unsafe.
remains clear and
there is no separation, then do the second part
of the test below.
Two: The next step is to reverse the proportions and do
the test using
1 part fragrance and 3 parts mineral oil.
It is important to do it both ways
sure there is no clouding or separation in either mixture.
The easiest way to do this is to add 8 parts mineral oil
to the mixture you
already have in the bottle and shake very well.
Let it sit for no more than
minutes. If there is any clouding or seperation, then it is polar & unsafe.
If the mixture is completely
clear with no hint of cloudiness, beading or any
seperation line, then it is non-polar, and therefore safe to use.
I find the best way to see really clearly is to hold the bottle up
to a light,
this way you can see any
fine lines or beads. Sometimes they can be
difficult to see!
are a couple of examples of polarity tests I did in clear glass
test tubes. In this example, the oil on the left clouded up
and proved to be polar. But the oil on the right remained
perfectly clear with no separation or clouding at all and proved
to be non-polar.
gel safe Non-Polar:
Why is Polarity so
Gel is a non-polar substance, therefore it will only mix
completely with other non-polar substances. It can sometimes
appear to mix with some polar substances, but looks can be
deceiving! Even though it looks as though it's mixing well
now, the likelihood of separation down the road is greatly
increased. Due to the wide variety of ingredients used in
fragrance oils, the end result is a wide range of polarity levels
in the finished products. Some oils are more polar than
others, some more non-polar than others. In order for a
scent to mix properly with gel it needs to be as non-polar as
possible. Polar fragrances can cloud the gel, which is a
sign of separation. They can also form pockets, or "
pool". Pooling can occur anywhere throughout the
candle, not just on the top where it can be easily detected.
It can sometimes take months for separation and pooling to occur.
If you burn a candle that has "pockets" of fragrance oil
that have separated, once the flame reaches that oil pocket it
will likely flare up, causing possible injury or fire damage!
Polar fragrances also lower the overall flash point of the gel to
a greater degree than a non-polar fragrance with the same flash
|Penreco's Stance on
The following is information posted by Edward from Penreco in
answer to the recent questions about polarity testing.
There has been quite a lot
of talk recently about the polarity test. Who came up with it? Is
it accurate? Why do it? What does it really mean? I will try to
keep this short and simple. The test was developed by our labs
with input from fragrance houses to design a simple test for the
polarity of fragrances with mineral oil, the predominate material
in candle gel. Polarity and flash points of the fragrance oils
have been identified as the main cause for candle gel fires. We
have been able to produce candles that flare in our labs and have
conducted reviews of the remains of candles given to us that
flared. Polarity and over scenting were the main culprits. The
tests of one part fragrance oil/3 parts mineral oil and 3 parts
fragrance oil/one part mineral oil is conservative, simple and
accurate test for polarity. This is what we wanted, to design
something anybody could do. If the fragrance you are testing
separates or creates haziness in either of the two blend ratios,
then there is a chance that there is some polar structure to it.
For safety reasons we wanted a conservative, simple test and that
is why it is done with mineral oil, not gel. Fragrances themselves
are complex chemicals and there are numerous vehicles that are
used as carrier oils. A simple test for a complex chemical needed
to be designed and that is what the polarity test is. Obviously
Penreco wants to see this market continue to grow, we have
committed capital and resources to our gel business for 10 years
now. We have been producing and marketing gels for over 9 years.
We feel the candle gel market is no fad, and we plan on supplying
candle gels for many more years to come. Because of this we are
committed to the safety of the consumer. A fail proof polarity
test is part of the overall package of safety factors that we feel
needs to be passed on to the industry. There are a number of
companies that have been started to serve and supply this
industry, that is great and we applaud and welcome their efforts.
But the safety information that we pass on has been developed over
several years and with help from many. If you want to see more on
the safety and handling of Penreco candle gels you can visit our
web site at www.penreco.com.
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