When making candles, you can choose from many different types of wax, but soy wax is one of the most popular and versatile waxes.
You can use soy wax for candlemaking, body care products, and crafting. Soy wax comes from soybeans and is biodegradable, which is a plus.
If you are trying to make your own candles, soy wax is a good choice, as it is easy to work with and provides a long-lasting burn.
What is a Soy candle?
Soy candles are candles made from soy wax, which is a processed form of soybean oil.
They are usually container candles, because soy wax typically has a lower melting point than traditional waxes, but can also be made into pillar candles if certain additives are mixed into the soy wax.
What is Soy wax?
Soy wax is made by the full hydrogenation of soybean oil; chemically this gives a triglyceride, containing a high proportion of stearic acid.
It is typically softer than paraffin wax and with a lower melting temperature, in most combinations. However, additives can raise this melting point to temperatures typical for paraffin-based candles.
The melting point ranges from 49 to 82 degrees Celsius (120 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on the blend. The density of soy wax is about 90% that of water or 0.9 g/ml. This means nine pounds (144 oz) of wax will fill about ten 16-oz jars (160 fluid ounces of volume).
Soy wax is available in flake and pellet form and has an off-white, opaque appearance. Its lower melting temperature can mean that candles will melt in hot weather. Since soy wax is usually used in container candles, this is not much of an issue.
Some soy candles are made up of a blend of different waxes, including beeswax, paraffin, or palm wax.
Sоу candles dіѕtrіbutе frаgrаnсеѕ and ѕсеntѕ slightly less than paraffin candles. Paraffin is usually added to make a ‘soy blend’ which allows for a better scent throw and works better in hotter weather conditions.
Soy is often referred to as a superior wax in comparison to paraffin but in reality, there is very little difference in soot production and carcinogenic compounds released by both waxes. The low melting роіnt trаnѕlаtеѕ to сооlеr burning longer-lasting саndlеѕ in temperate areas.
It also results in a larger-sized liquid wаx рооl, whісh then helps in disseminating еѕѕеntіаl fragrances into the аіr. Soy wax is 100% biodegradable in comparison to paraffin which is not.
Candle Fragrance Terms
What is the candle fragrance term cold throw? It describes the amount or strength of fragrance that is emitted from a candle when it is unlit.
What makes a candle’s cold throw important? If you are giving a candle as a gift or selling candles the first thing anyone does is smell the candle before it’s ever been lit. And if they can’t smell anything or it’s a really weak scent, they are likely going to assume it won’t smell any differently when lit (even if that’s not true).
What does hot throw mean? This candle fragrance term describes the strength of fragrance that is emitted from a candle when it is burning.
A hot throw is the part of a candle that is enjoyed the most. Striking a match to light a candle that will fill your home with moody musks, rich spices, or fresh florals can lift your mood and truly transport your senses. So, it’s important to get this candle making step right.
What does candle sweating mean? Sweating is characterized by little beads or sometimes pools of fragrance gathering on the top of a container candle or seeping out the sides of a pillar candle.
There are many reasons candle sweating can occur, but it has a lot to do with the fragrance load.
What is a fragrance load? The fragrance load of a candle correlates to the percentage of fragrance used in candle making. It will determine the scent throw of the candle which includes the cold and hot throw.
How much fragrance should you add to a homemade scented candle? 6% is the most common fragrance load. All though some waxes can hold up to 12%. However, there are several things to keep in mind when you want to make strong scented candles at home.
PARAFFIN VS. SOY WAX
Making these candles is particularly easy because soy wax is not nearly as sticky as the paraffin used in most commercial candles.
Soy wax washes right off of everything. If you google paraffin vs. soy wax, there are lots of people out there who will tell you that soy candles burn cleaner than paraffin, but to me, the biggest advantage is how easy and clean these are to make at home.
Reasons to Learn How to Make Scented Candles at Home:
- Homemade scented candles cost less than store-bought.
- Choosing candle containers is just the beginning of the fun.
- Creating your own blend of fragrances is inspiring and you can easily control the strength of the fragrance to make strong scented candles or lightly scented candles.
- You can also go green by upcycling containers such as glass yogurt jars or coffee mugs.
- If you like to decorate for the seasons, you’ll love creating candles for each season.
- Did I mention homemade scented candles make great gifts for any occasion?
- And you can make candles at home to match your decor and style from the container to the scent and even color.
SOY CANDLES – How To Make Them
In case you ever wondered what $15 worth of soy wax and 30 minutes in the kitchen will get you…
This is one of the easiest crafts projects around, and these little beauties make awesome gifts.
It all starts with a bag of soy wax.
You would be shocked to know how fast we blow through candles around here. I mean fast. I think it’s the coziness factor.
Thanks to all that candle-burning, my collection was looking pretty haggard
But then, I discovered that making soy candles is super easy.
About a month ago, I had friends over and we experimented with making soy candles in all sorts of sizes and “flavors” (using essential oils).
They all worked great, although they don’t project aroma as much as most commercial candles. (Purchasing special oils designed for candles helps to increase the intensity of the scents.)
It doesn’t cost a lot of money to make soy candles. All you need are these totally affordable, basic tools.
I often use mason jars like those linked above (especially if making these for gifts), but any jar will work. Candle wicks (also found on Amazon), a wooden skewer (or pencil), scissors, and double-sided tape (or glue) are also good to have around.
Basic Supplies for Making Soy Candles
- 2 cups soy wax flakes for container candles (available at your local craft supply store)
- Glass bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Candy thermometer
- Essential oils (lavender, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, etc.)
- Wick sized to fit container
- Glass jar or other containers
Optional Supplies for Making Homemade Soy Candles
- Wick holder
- Candle putty
8 STEPS ON HOW TO MAKE A SCENTED SOY CANDLE
1. Melt 1 lb of GB 464 (16 oz.) using a double boiler. Heat wax to 185 F. (It is also a good idea to pre-heat the glass jelly jars to about 125 F to avoid “pull away.”)
2. Break the canary yellow dye block in half, add to the melted wax, and stir. If you ever see little specks of solid color in the bottom of your candles, try adding the dye block at a slightly higher temperature.
3. Add fragrance. We’re using 1 oz. of Honeysuckle Jasmine fragrance oil. When adding fragrance, stir well and remove from heat. Do not let fragranced wax continue to heat as the fragrance will evaporate out of the wax.
4. While the wax is cooling, place a wick stickum on the bottom of the pre tabbed CD 8wick and center the wick inside the 8 oz Jelly Jar. Repeat this step for your second jar. Note: You will have some leftover wax. You can use it in smaller containers such as tealights or save it for your next batch.
5. When the wax cools to 135 F, carefully pour the wax evenly into the 2 jars.
6. Place the wick bar with the center peak facing up on top of your jar. Pull wick taut and gently press the wick into the opening of the wick bar. This will keep the wick straight and centered while the candle is cooling.
7. For best results, let the candles cool at room temperature overnight.
8. Trim wick to 1/4 in. before lighting (do this each time you light it) and enjoy your candle.
Congratulations, you just made your first soy candle!
When you sit back and light it for the first time take pride in the fact that you just made an eco-friendly candle from an American grown, renewable product. If it’s just for your personal use tell your friends about it. If you are selling your candles make sure you really market them as an environmentally responsible product.