Making your own soywax candle is a pretty easy project to do but there are tricks to it.
First, start off with a good bag of soywax. Some soywax comes in flakes. Ours comes in off white buttery pellets. Temperature, scent throw, burning time and hardness all depends on the type of wax you pick, so pick well and start with small batches.
Here are some of the basic things you’ll need to get started. A candle jar, wick with metal base (sustainer) and some fragrance oil blends. Here we use Eco-wick 14.
Eco-wicks are ideal because they were designed specifically for soywax. They burn well, create less soot and carbon deposits. They burn with a controlled consistent flame and also works well with other natural waxes to ensure an even burn. Eco-wicks are made from natural flat cotton threads interwoven with paper threads that produce a rigid structure for easy pouring. It does not contain lead or zinc.
The size of the wick depends on the size of the candle diameter. Make sure you pick a good sized wick. Eco-2 are for smaller candle diameters and the larger wick sizes suit wider diameters. Trial and error is how you pick the right wick.
Glue the base of the wick to the middle of the jar. Make sure you only use glass jars. Plastic jars are a huge no-no since they will melt and produce toxic fumes. Centering the wick is also very important because an off-center wick will create an uneven burn.
Here we use transparent glue dots to glue the wick down. This means you can reuse the jar again once the candle is all used up, just peel the glue dot off and reuse the jar. For a more permanent attachment, we like using the E6000 adhesive glue. It holds well and is a clear strong glue that does not show at the bottom of the jar.
To centralize the wick so that it stays upright, we tie the end of the wick to a stick (chopstick here) It can be a little tricky to do as the wick base will tend to dis-attach from the base.
The easier way is to use a bow tie clip, as seen below. This tool helps you slot in the wick easily and the sides are designed to rest well on at least 4 different candle jar diameters.
Melt the soywax in the microwave. To be honest this is the lazy crafter’s way of melting wax. the better way is to slowly melt soywax in a double boiler. This way you can control the heat of the wax.
So only use a microwave if you know exactly how your microwave settings work. We don’t want to over boil the wax.
Here we zap the soywax a few times under low temperature in short 1 minute bursts.
The common question we get asked is much soywax do you melt ? As a general rule of thumb, if your jar is 100ml, melt 100g to 120g of soywax. Don’t worry, if you melt more, you can always keep the extra wax and remelt for the next time.
Once the temperature gets down to to 40 degrees Celsius, add in your essential oil or fragrance oils. We use 8% oil to the weight of the wax. Scents are tricky for soywax. Some fragrances are strong and lingering. Others are weak and fleeting. It is best to do a small batch test before confirming the scented oils you need to make a larger batch. Always remember, soywax can be very picky with its fragrances.
It is known that essential oils won’t leave a lasting scent so many crafters blend their essential oils (natural) with fragrance oils (synthetic). The first is to have a therapeutic claim on their candle (lavender aka calming / lemon aka uplifting) and the later oil to create a stronger more lasting scent.
After adding and stirring the essential oil in, gently and carefully pour the hot wax into the jar. Be careful not to move the wick and even if you do, just reposition the wick after pouring to make sure the wick is always in the center of the jar.
By this time, the wax temperature would have dropped below 40 Celsius. The reason why we would recommend you add your scented oil under 40 Celsius is because scented oils in wax that is too hot will tend to evaporate fast. So keep the temp low when adding your essential or fragrance oils.
Once cooled, do not be amazed if you see the wax surface looking like the photo above. It’s quite normal for soywax. To avoid this uneven surface, you can add a wax blend of paraffin or beeswax. However, if you want your candle to be 100% soywax, you can add up to 10% soywax additive that will help stabilize the wax.
Soywax additive is a great addition to soy wax candles because they add firmness to the candle, imparts a smoother pour and eliminates the trouble of a surface top-up or post pour maintenance.
Candle additive also helps the candle burn longer and improve the scent throw and fragrance retention. Also, because the price of additive is slightly cheaper than pure soywax, adding up to 10% wax additive can help reduce the overall price of your soywax candles.