Votives: What You Definitely Need to Know

July 18, 2022

Is a votive a container candle, or a pillar?

Do you love votive candles but rarely have the same burn experience with each one you burn?

Here's Why: Votives are a Container Candle and Not a Mini Pillar

Have you ever burned a votive candle on a candle plate and have it melt down into a puddle of wax and be ruined? Or have you put a votive candle inside a very large candle holder and watched the votive tunnel down the middle or turn into a pool of wax at the bottom?  If you did, it's probably because you saw pictures on the internet of votive candles sitting prettily on a candle plate or inside a large holder and thought that was the correct way to burn a votive. The reality of votives is that they are a containter candle and need a very particular kind of glass holder for them to burn correctly. 

Container Candles Vs Votive Candles

If you love candles, you have probably burned your share of container candles and enjoyed their ease of use. You just had to light the wick of a container candle and watch as the candle wax melted across the top, creating a liquid pool of wax. Container candles burn so evenly because the wax was poured directly into the container when it was made. Votives, however, are made without a container and  packaged all by their lonseome, without a container. It's the customer that selects the container for which the votive will burn inside. Selecting the right container for your votive is key to a great candle burning experience.  

Votive Container Size is Very Important

Because votives ARE container candles, they need to melt across the top to eventually create a liquid melt pool (just like regular container candles do.)  If the votive is in a glass container with a big gap between the votive and the glass, then the votive will burn out towards the edges, spill down the sides and eventually create a melt pool towards the bottom. The smaller the gap between the votive and the glass votive holder,, the quicker the candle can creat a melt pool more towards the top of the glass holder. The issue for all of us votive lovers is that no glass votive holder company uses the same width for their votive holders. One votive holder company may have wider dimensions than another. Here at Big Moon Beeswax, we had purchased the perfectly sized, US-Made votive holders that created the perfect melt pool and then that company changed their manufacturing and made the holders wider. They still work fine, but the wax falls down the insides before creating a lovely wax pool along the middle of the holder instead of the top. Sigh.  

So, What Should You Do?

When shopping for votive holders for your votives, look for ones that provide as snug a fit as you can. Every brand is different, so if you find votive holders that fit your favorite votives snuggly, then stock up becaue manufacturers are always changing their equipment and even where they make their holders. Just know, the bigger the gap between your votive and the glass holder will determine when that candle will form a liquid melt pool. 

Know That All Votive Holders Vary in Width

Your votive will develop a melt pool sooner, if the votive holder side is close to the votive candle. The larger the gap between the votive and the glass, the longer it will take to develop a melt pool. This does not affect the quality of the burn, it just produces different looks while the votive burns. 

Thanks for taking a minute to read our blog, we hope you found it helpful.

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