This is a step-by-step guide to make soy candles for beginners
Soy wax candles are an excellent alternative to traditional paraffin candles because they're made without petroleum products, which can cause air pollution and contribute to global warming. They also burn cleaner and last longer than other types of candles.
You'll need a few supplies before you start making candles. Some of the listed items are optional, so feel free to skip them.
- GB464, 100% soy wax - 1lb
- Wick Stickers
- fragrance oil of your choice - 1oz
- Fragrance oil measuring cup
- Color dye (Optional)
- Pouring pitcher
- ECO14 wicks - 2
- Wick holders - 2
- Digital kitchen scale
- Stirring tick or spatula
- 8oz Olii Craft candle tins - 2
- Heating source
- Double boiler (Optional)
- Wick centering tool (Optional)
Please be advised that the steps below are based on the combination of container, wax, and wick suggested, which is a tested and proven recipe.
If you choose a different style of container, wick, or wax, you will need to perform additional research and calculation based on your chosen combination.
Let’s get started
We will be using a 100% soy wax blend GB464 in 8oz Olii Craft candle tins with an 8% fragrance load in the following practice making!
Step 1: Melt the wax
Place the pouring pitcher on the digital kitchen scale, and tare to zero.
Then add the wax until the scale reads the exact weight of the wax needed.
In our case, we need 11.11 oz of wax.
Then place the pitcher on the heating source or in the double boiler as in the pictures below.
If you choose to melt the wax directly on a heat source to prevent, you need to pay close attention to the melting wax in order to prevent chance of scorching.
Double boiler method is always recommended as it is a safer option, and the temperature of wax doesn't go up as fast as when direct heat is applied.
Melting the wax by placing the pouring pitcher in boiling water allows the heat to be evenly distributed throughout the pouring pitcher, which eliminates the chance of scorching.
Step 2: Prepare Your Containers
While your wax is melting, you can prepare your containers by placing wicks. If you have decided which wick to use, apply the wick sticker on the bottom of the wick tab, and place the wick right in the center of the container.
In our case, we will be using ECO 14 wick, which was proven to be an excellent performing wick for the type of candle and container used.
It is very important to place the wick in the center since misplaced wick could lead to the substandard performance of the candle overall.
There is a wick-centering tool easily available in the market, but you could also use containers with prebuilt wick-centering guidelines to assist in perfect wicking.
Step 3: Add Dye and Fragrance Oil
Once your wax is fully melted, and the temperature is above 185°F, remove the pouring pitcher from the heating source, and you can add the dye at this point and stir until the dye is fully dissolved.
Dye is completely optional as the natural color of soy wax is already beautiful.
Adding an appropriate amount of dye and fragrance oil is extremely important for the following reasons.
- If too much dye is added, it could clog the wick, and the candle might not burn properly.
- Adding more than the allowed amount not only reduces candle performance but could potentially be a fire hazard.
It is every candle maker’s responsibility to calculate the maximum fragrance oil load and add only up to the allowed amount to practice safe candle making.
Once the wax temperature cools down to 185°F, add the fragrance oil and stir it for at least a full minute.
In our case, we need 0.89 oz of fragrance oil in total. You can mix different fragrance oils to make your own special scent.
Step 4: Pour the wax
Wait for the wax to cool to 135°F, then carefully pour the wax into the containers.
Then place the wick holder on top of each container, and make sure the wick is secured straight up from the center.
Step 5: Trim the wick
Once the candle is completely cooled, and solidified, remove the wick holder, and trim the wick to ¼ inches long.
Before you lit your candle…
Your candles should look amazing by now, but there is one last thing needed to be done before you light the candle, which is called curing.
Curing is the unseen process of the wax continuously hardening and spreading the fragrance oil evenly throughout the blend. Without the curing process, your candle will only provide minimal or no scent at all when burning.
Curing time varies depending on the type of wax used. Most of the 100% soy wax types including GB 464 need at least 2 weeks of curing time before the first burn to maximize their burning performance.
After the first burn…
When you first light the candle, make sure to keep it burning for at least 2 hours to evaluate its performance.
A good candle should meet the following.
- The melted wax pool should reach all the side surfaces of the container after 2 hours mark.
- Should give a nice scent throughout the area where the candle has been burning.
- Wick should not form mushrooming.
- The candle should be burning smoothly without the flame getting too big.
Two hours mark has been mostly used by candle makers to test and see the performance of the candle, and getting the right size of melt pool within the time is the most desirable outcome.
Candle-making can be a very complex hobby, and it takes time to learn in depth.
As a beginner candle maker, it could be a bit overwhelming to make the first candles, but the process gets easier after every batch.
Besides the above steps, there are many factors that you can play around with when creating a candle recipe, which include the type and size of the wick, fragrance load, fragrance oil adding temperature, wax blends, type of container used, etc.
Each combination is unique, and finding your ultimate recipe is what makes candle-making a lifetime hobby!