Candles have been used for centuries as a source of light, warmth, and scent. However, traditional candles made from paraffin wax can release harmful toxins and pollutants when burned. This has led many candle enthusiasts to seek out alternative options, like soy wax candles. Not only do these candles provide a cleaner burn, they also have a longer burning time and produce a stronger scent throw. If you're interested in making your own soy candles, then you've come to the right place! In this beginner's guide, we'll walk you through the process step-by-step and share helpful tips and tricks to ensure your candles turn out to be beautiful. So, let's get started and light up your life with the natural beauty and fragrance of soy candles!
What is a Soy Candle?
Soy candles are a genius alternative to their paraffin wax counterparts. They are made from natural soy wax extracted from soybean oil and are renewable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly. Soy wax is a clean-burning, non-toxic, and long-lasting material that makes it a popular choice among candle enthusiasts looking for green options. The fragrances and essential oils used in soy candles are also often all-natural and made from plant-based sources. Scented candles with essential oils give off a warm and cozy glow and possess a delicate aroma that adds to their allure. Soy wax scented candles are incredibly versatile and manifest in various sizes, shapes, colors, and fragrances, making them a favorite among beginner and seasoned candle makers alike.
Why Do You Need to Make Soy Candles?
Soy candles have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Not only do they provide a natural, eco-friendly alternative to traditional paraffin wax candles, but they also offer a range of benefits that make them a worthwhile investment. Soy wax is derived from soybean oil, making it renewable and sustainable. It burns cleaner and longer than paraffin wax, releasing less soot and pollutants into the air. Furthermore, soy candles have a lower melting point, which means they can be burned for longer periods of time without losing their fragrance. DIY candle making allows you to personalize your scents and create a more sustainable, toxin-free environment in your home.
What Materials and Tools Do You Need to Make Your Own Candles?
Candle making is an enjoyable and satisfying experience. However, before starting the process, you need to ensure you have everything you need. The materials required to make soy candles include wax flakes or blocks, wicks, essential oils, fragrance oils and candle jars. Soy wax is eco-friendly, and it burns slowly, making it perfect for candles. You can find wicks made from cotton or wood; you need to ensure it fits the size of your jars. Fragrance oils come in different scents, and you can choose the ones that appeal to you. Additionally, you will require a pouring pot, a thermometer, a heat source, and a stirring tool to complete the process. You can also add a gold-plated candle lid for a luxury touch. With these materials and tools, you are ready to make your own soy candles!
How To Make Soy Candles- Step-by-Step
Choose the Right Wax
To make soy candles at home, choosing the right wax is crucial. Soy wax is made from soybean oil, a vegetable-based wax that burns cleaner and longer than other traditional waxes. It is environmentally friendly, renewable, and biodegradable, making it a natural and safe choice for your home and family.
When purchasing soy wax, make sure to opt for high-quality, 100% pure wax. Avoid blends that contain other waxes or additives, which can affect the quality of your candles. Soy wax is available in flakes or blocks, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Soy wax flakes melt faster and are easier to measure, whereas blocks melt slower but have a longer shelf life. Whether you decide soy wax flakes or blocks, make sure they are 100% pure to avoid any issues in making soy candles.
Wash Your Candle Jars
Before pouring hot wax into your candle jars, it is essential to wash them thoroughly. Not only does this ensure that your candles are clean, but it also prevents any contamination that could affect the quality of your candles.
Start by washing your candle jars with hot soapy water, then rinse and dry them completely. You can also polish them with a lint-free cloth to give them a shine. Avoid using jars with any cracks or chips, as they can break during the pouring process. Additionally, make sure the jars are room temperature to avoid any temperature shock when pouring the hot wax.
Melting the Wax
Melt your soy wax flakes or blocks in a double boiler, which is a pot inside another pot of hot water. This ensures that the wax melts evenly and does not burn. Heat the wax to the recommended temperature, which is usually between 170°F-185°F. Use a thermometer to check the temperature, and never leave the wax unattended while melting.
Remove the melted wax from the heat and add in your desired fragrance and color. Mix the melted wax and fragrance oil well to ensure the fragrance and color are evenly distributed throughout. Let the melted wax cool for a few minutes before pouring into your prepared candle jars. Be careful not to pour the melted wax too quickly, as this can cause air bubbles. Allow your candles to cool completely and harden before trimming the wick and enjoying the beautiful scent and ambiance of your homemade soy scented candles.
Select the Right Wick
Choosing the perfect wick for your soy candle is crucial to its burning time and performance. The correct size of the wick is essential to ensure your candle doesn't burn too quickly, excessively smoke or tunnel through the center. Opting for a wick with a thicker diameter may help if your wax has a higher density, while a thinner wick is preferable for lower-density waxes. The length of the wick is also essential to regulate the wax burn rate. Using a wick that is too long will result in an uneven and quick burn time, while a wick that is too short may result in wax left over after use.
Add Fragrance to Candles
Adding fragrance to your soy candle can enhance its appeal and create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Fragrances derived from plant sources are essential oils and can significantly enhance your candle's appeal. Prior to adding fragrance, ensure your wax has cooled to between 130°F to 150°F to avoid altering the scent. If you are wondering how much fragrance oil to be added, then the recommended usage rate for fragrance oil is 6% of the total candle wax weight. Overloading the candle with fragrance oil may cause scent-on-surplus, smoke, or even decrease the strength of the fragrance oil once the candle is cooled. You can choose from a range of essential oils to create the desired feel.
Pouring the Wax
Properly pouring the wax is a necessary step to ensure your candle sets correctly. Pouring soy wax at temperatures exceeding 180°F will result in indents or holes in the middle of the candle. It is recommended to pour wax at not more than 160°F to achieve the ideal texture. It is also important to pour the wax slowly while keeping it at a constant temperature and avoiding sudden movements of the candle. Pouring too quickly can increase the chances of air pockets or uneven distribution and may cause the candle to crack once it has cooled.
Let the Wax Harden Overnight
After pouring hot soy wax into your chosen container and adding your preferred fragrance and color, it is important to let the wax harden overnight. This will allow the candle to set and will also prevent any cracks or air pockets from forming. It is best to cover the candle with a cloth or towel to avoid any dust or debris from settling on the surface. Patience is key here, as waiting for the candle to fully harden will ensure a beautiful, smooth finish.
Trim the Wick
Before lighting your soy candle, it is important to trim the wick to 1/4 inch. This helps prevent excess smoke and soot, as well as allowing for a clean burn. Trimming the wick also helps prevent any flame buildup and ensures your candle burns evenly throughout its use. Use a small pair of scissors or a specialized wick trimmer to trim the wick before each use. To extinguish the flame you can use a candle with a gold-plated lid and ensure a mess-free candle experience.
Enjoy Your Candle
After letting the wax harden and properly trimming the wick, it's time to enjoy your handmade soy candle. Light the wick and allow the fragrance of essential oils to fill the room, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Always place the candle on a heat-resistant surface and never leave it unattended while burning. With proper use and care, your soy wax candle will provide hours of enjoyment and relaxation.
How much soy wax do I need to make soy candles?
Soy wax is a versatile and eco-friendly option for candle making. The amount of soy wax you need depends on the size and quantity of candles you want to make. Typically, one pound of soy wax can make about 4 medium-sized candles. So, if you are planning to make, say, 16 candles, you will need 4 pounds of soy wax. Always measure your wax by weight, not volume, and account for any extra wax needed for testing and topping up. Similarly measure the essential oils to add to your candle.
What size wick should I use?
Choosing the right wick size is crucial for the optimal burning of your soy wax candles. The size of the wick depends on various factors such as the diameter of the container, the type of wax, and the fragrance load. A wick that is too thick can cause the candle to emit smoke and burn unevenly, while a wick that is too thin can result in a weak flame and poor scent. As a general rule, choose a wick that is about one size larger than what is recommended for paraffin wax. Test different wick sizes until you find the perfect fit for your soy wax candles.
In conclusion, making soy wax candles is a fun and creative activity that can not only provide a calming ambiance in your living space but it's also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Soy wax is a more environmentally-friendly option compared to traditional paraffin wax, and it's also a renewable resource. By following these simple steps, you can have homemade soy wax candles that not only smell divine but are also safer for your health and the planet. So next time you want to indulge in some crafting, give soy wax candles a try and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of this delightful activity.