Candles are not a new item to have lying around the house. In fact, in some parts of the world, candles are mainstay in almost every home. And for the rest of us, we cannot seem to decide if candles are meant to be as emergency tools stored and kept for rainy days or items used to decorate the home.
And this leads up to the reason why many ask themselves questions about justifying the purchase of an item that doesn’t often last long.
Which is why when the lockdown hit, scented soy candles and how to make soy wax candles were among the top items searched for the most on google. Scented soy candles are quick and relatively cheap to make and the process even gives room for creativity, meaning you have the ability to create the candle you truly desire.
This article is a step by step break down on how to make scenting soy candles. To begin, please note that you can pick up supplies at any supermarket near you.
What You Need To Make Your Own Candles
Before we begin to make our scenting soy candles, let us take a look at the items that would be needed to make the perfect scenting soy wax candles.
- Soy wax flakes
- Glue – it could be superglue or hot glue
- A candle container
- Already tabbed wicks
- Mixing spoon
- A scale
- A thermometer
- Masking tape
- Fragrance oils (Optional)
- A pot
And if you are using fragrance or essential oils for your soy candle, do not forget to get a container to measure the quantity you would be requiring.
How to Make Soy Wax Candles: What You Need to Know
Before, we begin making the perfect scented soy wax candles, here are some things you need to take note of first.
Selecting the right candle container!
You have no restrictions here! Candle makers have used tins, drinking glasses, jars and so on as the ideal container for their candles and you should be no exception. If you are looking for something stylish and artsy, consider thrift stores or search for candle container on google. The only requirement here is that your container must be heat-safe which means it has been proofed against extreme heat.
If you are re-using an old container, all you need to do is immerse the container in water until any wax that is left is melted away. Subsequently, clean the container with your towel and remove any wick that is left.
Figure out how much wax goes into your candle;
In making the perfect scented soy wax candles, you need to know the exact amount of wax needed to fill your container. A quick and easy way to do this is to fill your container with water and pour the water into a measuring cup. This way you can immediately know the quantity of wax needed to fill your container and you don’t have to perform any mathematical equations.
What Wick size should I use?
Choosing the right wick size is not as straightforward as lining up wicks against your container. To select the best wick size, you need to factor in the type of wax you’re using, size of your container and the quantity (if any) of fragrance to be used. Today, wick producers have created online charts that help candle makers factor in all these variables and know the exact wick size to use. A large wick would lead to a candle that is difficult to extinguish and a small wick size creates a melted pool that doesn’t reach the edge of the candles. There is no room for error here!
Steps To Make Scented Soy Wax Candles
Now that we have our items checked off and we have gotten the right amount of wax, proper wick size and selected our favorite container, let us proceed.
Melting the wax:
Put your pot on the scale, reset it to zero and weigh the right amount of soy wax flakes. Remember, for every 1-ounce fluid of wax volume your container will hold, you need to 1 ounce of soy wax weight.
To melt the wax, all you need to do is to fill a large pot with water and let it simmer. Place your wax inside the melting pot inside the pot and allow the wax to melt whilst stirring it from time to time. This might take a while so grab a book to keep you busy!
When the melting process is done, your wax should look like olive oil and it should be about 180o. All you need to do now is allow the wax cool down to about 140o and we can move to step 2.
Prep your containers:
As we wait on the wax to reach the optimal degree, now is the best time to get those containers ready. It is important to clean out and dry out each container before we begin to pour wax into them.
After you have cleaned and dried them out, put glue on the bottom of your wick and place it at the bottom of your container. If your container is very wide, you might want to place more than one wick to ensure the candle burns evenly.
Introducing the fragrance:
Before you pour the wax into the container, it is time to get the fragrance ready. Depending on the type of fragrance you are using, you need to watch the ratio of fragrance to wax. An acceptable ratio is 1 ounce to a pound of wax. But it is important to note that if you are using essential oils, you might need to experiment over time because essential oils are not as predictable as fragrances.
Once your wax has hit the optimal 180o temperature, you can introduce the fragrance to the wax and stir it gradually. Also, it is important to note that oils smell stronger in melted wax than they do within dried, burning candles.
Pouring our wax:
Now that your wax has hit the right temperature, it can be poured into the container. Now it is not a fixed rule that you need to pour out at 140o. You are encouraged to pour out at different temperatures in order to know what works best for you and your setup.
Whilst pouring out the wax, be gentle and look to avoid hitting the wick and the tape. Pouring gently ensures you do not create air bubbles which will lead to an uneven surface.
Now that your soy wax has been poured into your container, you need to leave it to cool off for at least 24 hours. A common mistake people make is to introduce the cooling wax to an extreme cold situation thinking it would speed up the process. You might end up compromising the integrity of your container or messing up your candle so let it cool off on its own.
Cleaning up is not a huge hassle as long as you begin whilst the wax is still in liquid form. All you need to do is wipe it off all the utensils you used within your creation process before washing each one normally.
Once your scented soy candles are formed and hardened, you can remove the tape and cut the wick to ¼ of its original length. You will need to continue trimming the wick to this length every time you need to use the candle to prevent the wick from smoking and turning into a ‘mushroom’.
The next steps are pretty standard candle burning regulations. Keep it out of reach from kids, pets or anything combustible. Ensure your candle is always on a stable surface and do not leave it unattended while burning.
Pro-Tip: Whilst burning your scented soy wax candles, you should be aware enough to match your burn times to the size of the candle. Simultaneous and repeated short burns can cause tunnelling which means the wax melts only in the middle of the candle rather than going all th way to the edge. When lighting a candle for the first time, allow it burn long enough that the entire top is liquid. And if you want to keep short burn times, make candles inside smaller containers
Making candles are fun and it is something that can easily be turned into a personal hobby or a shared hobby between partners. And the best part is you can turn this hobby into an excellent side business as well!
If it feels like all of this is a lot, do not be discouraged – every candle maker had to start from somewhere and we all had to go through a few lumpy candles before achieving perfection. Enjoy the journey, experiment with scents, wick lengths, containers and so on. As you do this, you will discover you are on your way to figuring out what works best for you and your candles.