As The Soy Burns - Easy DIY Soy Candles To Make (and Burn) at Home
Soy, Natural Soy!
Soy candles seem to be all the rave, but why? It just so happens that the soy wax that makes those gorgeous, creamy, opaque candles are made from hydrogenated soybean oil. This means that soy candles, when they're not combined with inferior additives, are all natural. When you combine all natural with beautiful, you have to admit, that's a great combination. That's not all. As a natural alternative to burning candles, soy candles have other great benefits that you may just fall in love with.
Soy wax is processed differently from the more traditionally used paraffin wax. Its beans are primarily harvested by working farmers who send the harvested beans to go through the hydrogenation process. This process creates a solid or semi-solid wax form, which is soy wax. Soy wax can also be mixed with other wax forms, including paraffin to create great 'parasoy' candles; however, fully engineered soy wax is used to create stand alone, 100% soy wax candles that offer many benefits.
Some of the benefits of choosing wax made from soy for candle making include:
- A candle with less black soot than a paraffin wax candle
- A wax that's easier to clean up on non porous surfaces (and even wash out of fabric)
- A candle that burns 50% longer than a paraffin wax candle
- A candle that is less likely to trigger allergies.
As a candle maker, myself, I use soy wax for a number of my bakery candles and dessert candles because of the smooth, creamy consistency. Now, it's your turn, so let's get ready to make candles.
The Candle Supplies You'll Need
Making your own soy candles is probably easier than you think, but first things first. You'll need a number of supplies, some that you may already have on hand, and others that you can purchase from a local craft store.
You should have an old pot large enough in diameter to place another pot into it. The larger pot will be for water, and the smaller pot will hold your wax. Another alternative is to purchase a pour pitcher from a craft store or use a double boiler, if you have one. You'll also need some wax paper to cover your counters (to make clean up a zip). Purchase high quality soy wax, like Ecosoya container wax, which comes in an easy to manage flake form. You'll also need wax paper, wicks, a candy thermometer, heat resistant glass containers (such as mason jars), and some essential oil.
Preparing to Make Your Own Soy Candles
First line your counters with your wax paper. Place a small amount of hot glue on the bottom of your wick tab, and attach the wick to the bottom inside of your jar. If you're using glass jars, you'll first need to place them on a cookie sheet in a warm oven of no more than 170 degrees. We do this to make sure there are no cracking or exploding jars as a result of the immediate change in temperature from the hot wax making contact with cool temperature of the glass jars. So, be sure to keep your jars in a warm oven until you're ready to pour. If you're using tins, you'll skip this step and put the tins aside until you're ready to pour.
Heating Things Up a Bit
Soy wax doesn't require as much heat as paraffin wax to melt. In fact, you'll find that warm summer weather may cause soy candles to soften, considerably, if they're allowed to sit in warmer temperatures. In candle making language, we refer to the temperature at which the wax begins to melt as the candle's 'melting point.' So, since soy candles have a lower melting point than paraffin wax, you'll find that the soft texture of soy flakes enables soy wax to melt more evenly under less heat.
Now that the basics about heating the candle wax have been covered, let's get to how to actually make the candles.
Instructions For Making Candles From Soy
- To melt your wax, you'll heat it over a double boiler until the wax reaches 185 degrees. Do not remove from the heat.
- Add one ounce of essential oil per pound of wax melted, and keep the temperature of the wax at 185 degrees for about one minute while stirring the scented wax continuously. This helps bind the fragrance to the wax.
- After a minute of stirring, remove your melted wax from the heat and allow it to cool to 122 degrees. Remember, it's still going to be pretty warm, so use caution when you're handling your wax.
- Once your wax has cooled down to 122 degrees, you're ready to carefully pour it into your jars. You may need to hold your wick with the hand opposite of your pouring hand to keep it from sinking into your container as you pour the warm wax.
- After it's all poured, take your popsicle stick and place it over the rim of your jar or tin, and rest your wick over your popsicle stick to keep it centered and stable until your wax begins to cool.
- Allow your candles to solidify completely (about two to three hours per jar. The amount of time will depend on the temperature in your home.
- Once your wax is firm, trim your wick to about 1/4".
- Place a lid on your jar, and allow it to stand for about three to four days, minimum, to allow them a proper curing time. The longer the curing time, the better your candle will smell when you burn it.
Other Container Candles To Make With Soy
Now that you know how to make soy candles in glass jars and tins, you can try a few other easy projects, such as making tea light and votive candles, or a more unique style candles, such as eggshell candles. Tutorial below, shows how you can use soy candles to recycle your empty egg shells.
Now Was That So Hard?
As you can see, making candles from soy wax is not a very complicated process. If you follow these basic instructions along with a few simple safety rules, you can make candles that you can enjoy, give as party favors and gifts, or even sell for profit.