Kitchen Crafts 'n' More

Friday, March 17, 2006 Soy Candlemaking 101

Soy Candle Making 101
By Erika Meiser of

Consumers are demanding safer alternatives to the traditional paraffin wax candle. Soy candle wax has been introduced into the marketplace and is the biggest thing to hit the gift market in decades. Soy wax comes from US soybean farmers and is a natural renewable resource, unlike its petroleum-based counterpart. Soy wax also offers wonderful benefits such as longer burn times and less soot emission. For this reason, soy candle making has become the newest home-based business opportunity. Many people around the nation are busy making and selling custom soy candles in their hometowns and on the Internet.

Several candle supply companies offer soy candle making kits. Be sure to pick one that offers a soy blend that has natural vegetable and soy wax. There are several soy-based waxes on the market that are a blend of soy and paraffin and these are not recommended. Be sure to purchase a kit that comes with the basics. Your kit should include soy wax, fragrance oil, color chips, cotton wicks and containers, along with caution labels, at a minimum. Most kits will come with additional supplies, but this will get you started. Additional needs for candle making will include a kitchen scale, candy thermometer and small pourer.

Each soy wax has different flash points and temperature recommendations. Always follow the manufacturers recommendations for heating your wax. I currently use NV’Soy wax and could not be happier. This is a true one-pour wax that will give you wonderful scent throw and smooth tops. Once you have found the right wax, it is time to start making candles!

Prepare your candle containers by cleaning them out with a damp cloth. Insert your wicks into the jars, being sure to center them. Be sure to select the proper wick by measuring the widest point of your container. If your wick is to small, then your candle will tunnel. If the wick is to big, then it will burn fast. I find the wick stickers helpful in securing my wicks. At this point, you may begin melting your wax.

Use your pourer and measure out one pound of wax. Soy wax will weigh the same in dry and liquid form. You can melt your wax using a double boiler, or by using a wax melter. Be sure to have your thermometer handy, so you do not overheat the wax.

After melting the wax at 125-140 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from the heat and add the fragrance oil and color chips. Recommended use for fragrance oil is 1.5oz-2oz per pound of wax. Slowly stir both the chips and fragrance together until completely blended. Insert the thermometer into your pourer and let the mixture cool to 100-125 degrees Fahrenheit. Candle making is not a science, but an art. You will need to heat and cool at the recommended manufactures temperatures to find what works best for you.

Once the wax cools down to 100-125 degrees Fahrenheit, it is time to pour. The soy wax will begin to look milky and you will know it is time. Stir the mixture once again to ensure it is mixed well. Begin pouring the wax mixture into the containers, slowly. The slower your pour, the better the wax will adhere to the sides of the container. Center the wicks with a pencil or tool and let them harden. Most soy candles require a curing time of 48 hours or more before burning. This gives the candle the chance to absorb the fragrance and will produce a better candle. Once your candle has cured, it is time to trim the wick to ¼" and burn it!

Congratulations, you have just made your first soy candle! Candle making is addictive, fun, rewarding and can be enjoyed by anyone. I encourage you to look into purchasing a sample candle making kit so you can be a part of the soy candle revolution.

Posted by HappySlob :: 7:14 AM :: 0 comments

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