Making your own Soy Candles is easy, cheap and fun!
I have discovered that making anything yourself is really satisfying and my new favourite pastime. It started with the Homemade Beauty series now I want to keep going. Admittedly I have made my own soy candles for a few years now. I picked up a handy little beginners kit from Eroma and have not looked back. I was not satisfied with what you can buy in stores and I like personalising the candles to smell and look how I like.
And since starting my organic and cruelty-free journey I have discovered that Paraffin wax, that most store bought candles are made from, is quite harmful. Paraffin wax is a derivative of petroleum and is made by removing the waxy substance from crude oil. So it is a petrochemical by-product but an immensely popular candle wax as it is very efficient at releasing the fragrance oil due to its molecular structure. When you burn a paraffin wax candle, it is a fact that you are filling your home with toxic chemicals and contributing to indoor air pollution. The soot and fumes released by paraffin wax are similar to those released from a diesel engine.
Until this morning I thought soy wax is a better alternative, which it is to a degree, but it still is not fantastic. Apparently all soy for soy candles is commercially farmed using high intensity commercial farming practices with fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and chemicals, and all from genetically modified GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds.
So I make no false assumptions that I am not still learning my way to an organic and cruelty-free life. I am feeling my way around and am still in the dark about a lot of things. But if you have come to my page then you probably are too, so we can learn together!
I am still going ahead with my post as I do not have the best alternative for wax (beeswax) and like I said it’s still a better alternative than paraffin!
What you need:
- Glasses or Containers – I already had some medium size Oxford glasses but in my efforts to re-use, recycle and repurpose where I can, I also used an old jam jar and a baked beans tin!
- Soy Wax – I used EcoSoya brand, read about the brand here…
- Wicks – make sure the wicks you get do not contain lead wire to keep the wick straight. Needless to say that burning lead is really bad for your health.
- Wick stickum’s or plain old tape.
- Fragrance Oil – essential oils are a better alternative as fragrance oils are artificial, but using essential oils in candles can be quite tricky from what I understand.
- Something to hold your wick in place. As you will see from the pictures I have a paddle pop stick with a hole in it and a peg.
- Mercury Thermometer.
- A double-boiler.
- A 1 litre wax pouring jug.
- Bamboo stick.
- Wick trimmer.
You can use dyes to colour the wax, but I prefer my candles as natural as possible and those dyes are releasing harmful toxins into the air while burning.
Step 1 – Place a wick stickum or doubled up tape on the bottom of your wick and press firmly onto the bottom of your glass/container. Make sure your container is really clean and dry as those little suckers do not want to stay put if it isn’t. Centre the top of the wick using the paddle pop stick, pull slightly to straighten the wick and secure it with the peg.
Step 2 – Place your soy wax into a double boiler and melt on the stove. Ensure the wax reaches the right temperature, once molten pour into wax pouring jug. The right temperature differs for each type/brand of soy wax. It will usually tell you what temperature you need on the packaging or on the website you bought it from.
Rule of thumb for how much soy you need: Take the volume of the container X 0.85 (ML to Grams conversion) X Number of containers = Soy Wax in grams
Step 3 – Mix in the fragrance at the required temperature. Pour the candle to a level that is around 1cm below the top of the glass/container.
Rule of thumb for how much fragrance you need: Soy Wax in grams X 0.06 – 0.10 (0.06 for heavy scents & 0.10 for lighter scents) = Fragrance oil in grams
Step 4 – Remove the wooden stick and peg after an hour or so. Trim the wick to approximately 1cm above the wax. Allow to cool down for 24 hours before burning.
That is it. It is so simple! The biggest problem I have is trying not to burn myself when I am handling the double boiler.. But I am pretty un-coordinated!!
And it’s cheap, each candle works out to be about AUD$4.50 or USD$3.36. It will be even cheaper if you reuse old jars and tins! I will be making my old jam jar and tin candles look slightly more appealing in the next couple of days. So keep your eyes peeled on Facebook and Instagram to see how I pretty them up!
In the coming weeks I will give beeswax candles a go as it is the safest and most natural wax and has the added bonus of purifying the air. Beeswax also emits negative ions to help reduce the positive ions created by electric devices!
So have I convinced you to start a new hobby? A hobby that will give you a great smelling house!