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Soy wax has grown to be one of the most popular types of candle making wax. And how to make soy candles have been the question of many. Though not as widely used as paraffin wax, soy wax is a sustainable option for many who prefer a natural alternative. It is gotten from soybean oil and is not toxic like paraffin. Besides, it provides clean burn.
For many, soy wax has become the ideal choice. While you can purchase soy candles at stores, this article is about how to make soy candles yourself. You will also find that it addresses the major problems faced in making them. Making soy candles, you are about to learn, is not a difficult process. But one has to be careful to follow the instructions properly.
Soy candle making supplies
The materials you will need are as follows:
- Soy wax flakes
- Candle wax dyes and scented oils (optional)
- A double boiler and stove to supply heat
- Containers. You can buy a container or use empty glass jars at home but whatever container you use should be heat resistant.
- Wick stickers and wick stabilisers
- A pair of scissors
- Cleaning materials: paper towels, an old rag
How to Make Soy Candles
Make sure your materials are ready before you begin. You do not want to go looking for materials in the middle of your work.
Step One: When your materials are ready, prepare the surface you want to use. Make sure it is clean and remove any unwanted objects. Measure the wax needed too. Fill your container with wax, then double that amount. That is the amount of wax you would need.
Step Two: Pour your wax into your double boiler, set it on the stove and turn on the heat then let it melt. This would not take a long time. You can use your thermometer to gently stir the wax flakes as it melts. While the wax melts, take the opportunity to set your wick in the container. Your wick should be a few inches longer than the height of your container. It should be centred so that the candle will burn well.
Use a wick sticker to attach your wick to the bottom of the container. Alternatively, you can simply dip the tip of the wick into the melting wax and quickly attach it. The wick needs to be straight when you pour the wax into the container. Wick stabilisers are made for this. If you have none, you can gently wrap the wick around an old pen and place it on the top of the container. It also works fine.
Step Three: If you want to colour your candle and add fragrance, you need to do so too as the wax melts. Add colour and fragrance sparingly. As they are very concentrated, a little goes a long way. Soy wax holds fragrance well.
Step Four: That done, then you need to pour in the wax. Turn off the heat when the temperature is about 185°F. Use your thermometer. Leave it to cool for some time. Pour it into the container at around 140°. Pouring at a higher level will give your candle sinkholes. If you are pouring into votives, a pouring pot should come in handy for this. However, do not fill the container to the brim with wax. Leave about an inch of space.
Step Five: After pouring in your wax, it will start to harden immediately. Leave it to cool for about three to four hours. During this period, you can do anything but just leave the candle alone to cool. When this is done, trim the wick with a pair of scissors to about a quarter to half an inch. Always trim the wick before use.
However, at this stage, your candles are still not ready for use. You still have to let them harden completely. This should take no more than twenty-four hours and the candles can be left overnight. Once this is done, your candles are ready for use or you can even package them as gifts for others.
Next, I will be treating common problems people (especially beginners) encounter in making soy candles and how to deal with them.
Soy Candle Making Problems and Solutions
Frosting on Soy Candles
This is very common to vegetable waxes, especially soy wax. When frosting occurs, you notice white coating around the sides of the candle. It is not very noticeable with white candles but the reverse is the case for coloured ones. The frosting does not affect the candle performance in any way and it even points to the fact that you are using an all-natural soy wax.
If you see this on your candles, there is nothing you can do. They only way against this is to prevent it from happening. This means you make your candles at an ideal room temperature of about 70 degrees. Besides, old soy wax flakes (with more than a year of being manufactured) have a higher tendency to frost. Keep these in mind when making your next soy candles.
This happens when the candle cools too quickly. In that case, the wax on top dries while the one beneath is still warm and soft. This makes the wax press down on itself as it dries. To remedy this, keep a little-melted wax aside before pouring in. Then after the candle has cooled, heat up the little wax and use it to top off the candle to achieve an even surface.
You have found a wet spot if you notice a patch looking like an air bubble between the wax and the glass. If you see this, it means the wax did not adhere well to the surface of the glass. It happens especially when the candle temperature is not stable so the wax expands and contracts. Like frosting, there is nothing you can do to this and it does not affect the candle burn. But it does affect the beauty of the candle. To prevent this, make sure you are using a glass jar with great adhesion.
Off Centre Wicks
Your wick should sit straight and centred in the container. Off centred wicks will not make the candle burn well. You can correct this before the candle cools by quickly readjusting the wick after pouring the wax in. Learn more about different ways to center a candle wick.
With this guide, you should be able to make your own soy candles in no time. Well, there may be mistakes here and there as a beginner, but it gets better with practice. Soy candles are great.