The Making of a Soy Candle
Step-by-step instructions for making the perfect soy candle.
Candles made from soy wax have become much more popular over the past 20 years, mainly because of the eco-friendly properties of soy wax. Soy wax is biodegradable, supports the North American farmer and is a much cleaner-burning candle than traditional paraffin candles. Soy wax is still our favorite wax for clean-burning candles, even though it has some drawbacks:
- Frequent testing is required to find the perfect wick and wick size since every fragrance and color combination may require a different wick. If you have found the perfect wick for a purple soy candle scented with Lavender FO and you later decide to make another soy candle with no dye or a Lavender FO from a different supplier, you will need to do another test.
- Because of its soft nature, it is nearly impossible to make a stable pillar candle without combining the soy wax with a much harder wax such as paraffin, palm or beeswax. There are “pillar blend” soy waxes on the market; however, the ones we have tested have not produced an acceptable pillar candle. They have made some pretty awesome votives, though!
When testing your recipe (wax, container, wick, color and scent), you want to look for the following attributes:
- The hot throw (the fragrance emitted from the candle when burning) was acceptable.
- The candle burned evenly, leaving no wax residue on the inside wall of the jar.
- The wick did not “mushroom” while burning. (A black “mushroom” shape appears at the end of a burned wick. This is caused by carbon buildup.)
- There was no soot buildup in the jar.
- The melt pool was less than ½” deep.
The recipe used in this article has been tested by the above criteria and performed well.
What You’ll Need
- 8 oz CB-Advanced Soy Wax
- 0.5 oz Energy Fragrance Oil
- CD-12 Wick
- Yellow Liquid Candle Dye
- 8 oz Square Mason Jar
- Antique Pewter Lid
- Warning Label
- Glue Gun & glue stick
- Wooden Spoon
- Wooden Skewer
- 16 oz Glass Pyrex Measuring Cup
- UV Light Inhibitor (optional)
- Wick Holder (optional)
Before starting out, gather all your equipment and supplies and have them ready at hand. There is nothing worse than getting started and realizing (at a crucial step) that you don’t have what you need!
Step One: Affix warning Label
Affix a warning label on the bottom of the jar.
Warning labels can be purchased from most candlemaking suppliers or you can print your own. If you don’t have the text, go on-line and search out the appropriate wording for the area in which you live.
Step Two: Place the wick.
Place a generous amount of glue to the bottom of the wick tab. Center it on the bottom of the jar and use a skewer to press it into place.
Step Three: Melt the wax
In 16-ounce Pyrex container, weigh 8 ounces of soy wax. Place in microwave and heat on 30-second bursts until completely melted. Stir often.
Step Five: Pour
Pour wax mixture into square mason jar.
Step Six: Stabilize wick
Affix wick holder to keep the wick centered. Note: The skewer can be used as a wick holder by winding the wick around the skewer. Set aside and allow to cool completely – we allow ours to sit overnight.
Step Seven: The dreaded clean-up!
Although soy wax is water soluble, it is best to clean as much wax out of your Pyrex container as possible. While the wax is still warm, simply wipe it out with paper towels. If it has already hardened, reheat it for a few seconds in the microwave. Wash with soap and warm water. (Note: Consider using your wax soaked paper towels to make fire starters.)
Step Eight: Trim wick.
After the candle is completely cool, remove wick holder and trim the wick to 3/8” – 1/2”.
Step Nine: Cover.
Use the Antique Pewter Lid to cover the candle.
If this is your first soy candle, we congratulate you! It was our very first product and we still love making them today!
This article is brought to you by Julie & Tom Koenig, owners of KreativeKraftwerks LLC (www.kreativekraftwerks.com) and Absolute Soap (www.absolutesoap.com). Julie and Tom have been making candles, soap and cosmetics for 14 years.