Making a perfect candle is a combination of several factors including dye, fragrance, containers and wick. All of these components can react in different ways with each other causing undesirable side effects in your candle or upon burning. After following these simple steps below, you may have to test and re-test
to find the correct combination of ingredients.
What you need:
Container Soy Wax 464
(will start melting at approx. 40°C)
Pyrex jug / aluminium pouring jug or double boiler saucepan
Glass candle thermometer
/ Tea Light containers
(If you want to colour your candle)
- Choose an appropriate heat safe glass container for your candle. Container soy wax adheres to the sides of the container, whereas votive and palm pillar wax is designed to release from the mould.
- Estimate how much wax you will need using the grams of the container as a guide or determine the mls the glass holds & simply convert this to grams ie: if the container holds 100ml, measure out & melt 100g of wax. It doesn’t matter if you melt too much wax. This can simply be left to set and then re-melted next time.
- Place the wax in a double boiler on the stove. You can use a stock pot & a Pyrex jug but make sure the Pyrex jug doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. It is ideal if the handle will fit over the pot edge. Heat your container soy wax on low heat to about 80-85°C until melted. The wax will start to melt around 40-45°C so check the temperature often.
- While the wax is melting, wick your glass container or tin. Attach your wick sticker to the bottom of the wick tab on the wick, place the wick in the centre of the container and press down firmly. If you don’t have a wick sticker, dip the tab end of the wick into the melted wax then place it on the bottom of the glass or use glue from a glue gun.
- Once the wick has adhered to the bottom of the container, thread the wick through the hole in the middle of the wick holder & place the wick holder so that it spans the diameter of the glass, making sure the wick is centred. Bend the wick over the wick holder. This will hold it straight as you pour in the hot wax.
- Using your thermometer, measure the temperature of the wax and at approximately 80-82°C add your fragrance or essential oil. Gently stir in well for at least 2 minutes. Fragrance load can be anywhere between 6% and 10% depending on the strength of the fragrance and your objective. It is essential the oil is blended thoroughly. All fragrances affect the way a candle burns so experimentation with fragrance load is a must. You may be able to load a candle with 10% of one fragrance without adversely affecting the burn but not with another.
- If you choose to colour your candle, this would be added to the melted wax now. Add small shavings from the dye block as the dye are highly concentrated. Drip some wax on to a white surface to view the final colour. Add more dye for darker shades.
- Let your wax cool to approximately 60-65°C, pour into your heat proof container. Allow it to set at least 24 hours before burning. For larger candles leave for a few days to allow the wax to cure properly. In many cases the longer you cure a candle the better the burn and fragrance throw.
- Room temperature can affect the finished product of your candle, so make sure the room is neither too hot nor too cold. You can carefully warm your glassware in the oven or microwave before pouring if you wish to help with the curing process.
- Sometimes the top of your candle does not set smoothly because of various factors. This is easily remedied by carefully re-melting the top 2-3mm of wax with a blow dryer. Use a diffuser on your dryer if you have one, otherwise be very careful.
- So that's it really. Candle making is both fun and rewarding, but is both an art and a science. You must test every combination of wick, wax, fragrance and dye to ensure correct burn. Guidelines are given as starting points, the rest is up to you.
If you experience trouble with your candle it is recommended to make a candle using one variable at a time:
Make a plain candle using only a wick. If it looks and burns well then the wick is the correct choice.
- Now try changing one variable at a time. Add fragrance to the candle and if it looks and burns well then the fragrance is compatible with the wick.
- Add dye to the candle without the fragrance and again test burn. If it looks and burns well then it is compatible with the wick.
- Lastly add both dye and fragrance to the candle.