Candle Making Tips
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CANDLES
The cottage industry of Homemade Candles is becoming more and more popular. A simple and natural way of scenting your home for a fraction of the cost of High Street prices.
Soy candles are made from soy wax, which is hydrogenated soybean oil. Soy wax was invented in 1992 by Michael Richards who was looking for a cheaper alternative to beeswax. As he entered the candle industry he realized there was a growing demand for natural wax candles.
Handmade soya wax candles are all natural. They are cheaper to make and longer lasting than other candles and produce 90% less soot, which makes them a healthy alternative to regular candles. Soya candle wax can be cleaned up with hot soapy water.
DO YOU NEED TO PRE-HEAT YOUR GLASSES/CONTAINERS?
This is a personal preference and is not necessary. But we would recommend that your glass containers have been sitting at room temperature for 30 minutes prior the pouring. Room temperature plays an important factor when making your candles and will determine how slow or quickly your candles set. Ideally you want you candles to set slowly to get a good end result. Setting too quick can cause sinking, holes & a poor finish. Ensure that your candle glasses/containers are on a suitable surface before pouring.
MAKING SOYA WAX CANDLES
Making soy candles is easy. Items you will need include a measuring jug, soy wax flakes, fragrance oil, a glass container, thermometer, spoon for stirring, warning labels, wick centring tool, wax glue and a wick.
Preparation:- Ensure your container is clean, then attach the wick to the bottom of the glass making sure the wick is in the centre by using a wick centring tool.
DON’T NOT MELT THE WAX IN A MICROWAVE. This can be very dangerous!
Instead, use a heavy duty pan or a double boiler. Add your wax and melt on a steady heat (do not exceed the melting point of the wax you are using – please see melting points listed below). Just before the wax has melted, add the fragrance oil and stir carefully to blend for approx. 2 to 3 minutes to ensure the fragrance oil and wax blend together. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly higher than your pouring temperature. Decant into your pouring jug check temperature and when the wax reaches the recommended pouring temperature, slowly begin to pour the wax into your container. Slow and steady is the correct method. Pouring quickly can cause the jar to break and cause air pockets to form.
Allow your candles to set and cure for at least 24 hours before lighting, ensuring the room temperature remains moderate.
Finally clean the container removing any drips and trim the wick to approx. 1/4″, add warning label and your candles are ready to sell!
What size wick do I need?
Using the correct wick is important to ensure your candle burns evenly without sooting or mushrooming. The diameter of the container determines the size of wick you should use but this can vary depending on fragrances. It is important that you carry out tests prior to going into full manufacturing to make sure you have got it right. We have given some recommendations on each wax type which wicks we would recommend. If you need any further advice please get in touch.
1. Why do frosting/wet spots appear on my soya wax candles?
Certain aspects can affect your finished product but the fact is that soya wax is a natural product and is susceptible to temperature changes. Frosting is a natural characteristic of soy and is part of the soy experience! It is not a flaw and it is strictly unique to pure soy candles. Frosting does not affect the scent throw or the burning properties of the candle.
To minimize frosting, initially pour the wax at the correct temperature, this can vary depending on the container and fragrance you are using.
Try to keep your candle out of direct sunlight and fluorescent lighting. Even changes in the weather can cause additional frosting. It is almost impossible to stop the soy wax from frosting/blooming. It’s just one of the beautiful and natural features of this wonderful wax.
Even some of the most expensive brand candles on the market show signs of frosting!
2. How long should I burn my candle?
First of all, soy wax has a memory and should be allowed to achieve a full melt pool on it’s very first burn. If it is extinguished prior to allowing a full melt pool, all subsequent melt pools will not go past the first one.
Once your candle has reached it’s full burning pool, we recommend burning your candle for no longer than 4 hours.
3. Why is the Wick Mushrooming?
The usual problem for mushrooming can be either the wick is too big or too much fragrance. We would recommend carrying out a test by firstly reducing the wick size and if the same problem occurs reduce the fragrance level.
4. Why is my candle leaving so much wax on the sides of the container?
The usual problem is the wick being the wrong size but it can also indicate that the wick is not centralised depending if there is wax on one side of the container and not on the other.
If there is wax on one side of the container and not the other, it would indicate that the wick is not in the centre. The simple solution would be, when the candle is burning or when you extinguish the candle, to gently push the wick into the centre using the end of a spoon.
If you choose to extinguish allow the wax to cool slightly but not set, using your thumbs when the wax is still warm press gently on the raised edges to level the candle, ensuring the wick stays in the centre. Now it’s ready for the next time you re-light.
5. What causes sweating and what to you do?
Soya wax will sometimes release excess oil, especially during significant temperature changes. This often happens after shipping across the country. Generally, a small pool of moisture will form on the top of the candle.
This will not affect the candle in any way and will not usually reappear after the initial burn.
To remove the oil, use a paper towel to gently wipe it clean. And always remember to store your soy candles in a cool place, out of direct sunlight.
6. Fragrance Weights and Measures Guide
Working out the percentage of how much fragrance oil should be added to your wax can sometimes cause a little confusion. Especially when fragrance oil is liquid and wax initially is solid before melting. Hopefully this simple conversion explanation will help assist you.
Fragrance oils can vary in weight depending on consistency. As a normal rule we refer to liquid measurement in fluid ounces and not grams and working out the percentage can be confusing.
All fragrance oils have a recommended maximum percentage that should be added when making candles which can be between 5 to 10%, depending on the fragrance strength. We do recommend that you carry out your own tests to ensure your finished product meets your requirements.
The figures below are shown as a general guide, which we’re sure you will find helpful. These figure are based on 5% to 10% just as an example:-
5g (1/4 Fl oz) = 100g Wax Equivalent to 5%, 10g (1/2 Fl oz) = 200g Wax Equivalent to 5%, 10g (1/2 Fl oz) = 100g Wax Equivalent to 10%, 20g (1 Fl oz) = 200g Wax Equivalent to 10%, 30g (1 1/2 Fl oz) = 300g Wax Equivalent to 10%