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How To Make Soy Candles - 100% Soy Wax
A free step-by-step guide to soy candle making
This is soy candle making at it's best. It took us well over a year to compile these instructions and supplies so that you can make the very best 100% pure soy candles on the market today. Following these simple step-by-step soy candle making instructions you will make soy candles that will rival and beat any on the market today. No longer do soy candles have to discolor, flake, frost, crack and split apart.
Before we start with these soy candle instructions I want to take a moment to remind you that if you haven't read "Getting Started - Our Guide To Candle Making" and our "Beginner's Guide To Candle Making" you might want to read those first. They're both packed with valuable information that will make your candle making easier and you'll get a better understanding of some of the terms used in this soy candle making guide.
How To Make 100% Pure Soy Votive Candles
Figure 1Step#1 - The first thing you will need to do is decide how many soy wax votive candles you want to make. Each soy votive will take 2 oz of soybean wax. For ease of these instructions we are going to make 8 votive candles which will require exactly 1 LB of our NatureWax P-1™ 100% pure soy wax flakes. Measure the wax carefully using a reliable digital scale. (See figure 1)
- One piece of equipment that you will need is something to melt your soy wax in. You can go out and buy an expensive wax melter if you want, or you can do what I did and go to Walmart and buy a Presto Kitchen Kettle for about $20. We melt our soy wax directly in the kitchen kettle. Another way to melt wax is to use the double boiler method. We've used the kitchen kettles for about 10 years to melt wax and we've never had an incident or problem. Without a doubt, the double boiler method is absolutely the safest way to melt wax, but it is also the slowest. However you decide to melt your soy wax just be sure that you always regulate your temperature with a reliable thermometer and NEVER
leave melting wax unattended! (See figure 2)
One thing I will warn you is to never melt wax, including soy wax, on your stove unless you are using the double boiler method. Never melt any wax on or in anything that does not have some form of temperature control because wax does have a flash point and will burst into flames without warning once it reaches that point. Depending on the wax the flash point may be between 290 - 380 degrees.
Figure 3You don't have to have an expensive wax melter to make great candles either. As I said earlier, I recommend you purchase a Presto "Kitchen Kettle" from your local hardware or Walmart store. I've seen them in just about every Walmart I've ever been in and they're only about $20.00! Just be sure you are getting the "Kitchen Kettle" there are many variations but the Kitchen Kettle comes with a numerical temperature gauge. (See figure 3) Never melt any wax, including soy wax, in anything that doesn't have a numerical temperature gauge. Never use a melting pot with just high, medium and low settings.
Figure 6Step 3 - As your soy wax begins to melt this is a good time to clip your thermometer onto the side of the pot so that you can regulate your temperature accurately. (see figure 4) Once your soy wax is melted and your temperature is between 170 - 180 degrees you can add your dye. Since we are using an apple strudel fragrance in these candles we want to color the wax a nice red color. This will only take 12 drops of Cajun's red candle dye. Be sure that you shake your dye bottle vigorously before adding the dye to the soy wax. (See figure 5 & 6). Now you'll need to stir the soy wax so that the dye you just added will bind properly with the soy wax. For stirring, we recommend using a flat bottomed wire whisk, we have found this does a superior job of binding ingredients and/or additives with the soy wax. If your candles will be subject to UV-light, such as florescent lighting or sunlight you may want to add U-V-Inhibitor to your soy wax at this time.
Only use a dye formulated for the purpose of coloring candle wax. Do not use crayons, paint, etc., the pigments in those products will clog your wick and the flame will keep extinguishing itself. Do not use food coloring or soap making dye in your candles. Those dyes are water based or glycerin based and will damage your candle and wax. The candle dye from Cajun's Candle Supplies works great with soy wax, it is very concentrated and only takes a few drops to get a brilliant color. Always add your dye slowly, you can always add more but you can't remove it once it's in the wax. Be sure to stir your dye in the wax for 2 full minutes so the wax and dye can bind properly together. For stirring, we recommend using a wire whisk, we have found this does a superior job of binding ingredients and/or additives with the wax. We have a color chart so you can view the color we recommend for each candle fragrance.
Figure 7Step 4 - Now it's time to add your fragrance oil (see figure 7), you'll also want to keep an eye on the soy wax temperature and regulate it accordingly. You want the temperature of the wax to be around 175 degrees. Soy wax will hold fragrance oil better than paraffin wax so we can use 1.5 oz of fragrance oil per LB of wax for a stronger scented candle. Stir the fragrance oil in the soy wax for 2 full minutes.
Figure 8Use the wire whisk, it will help bind your fragrance oil evenly throughout the soy wax so that the fragrance is evenly distributed (see figure 8).Your soy wax temperature should be no lower than 170 degrees when you add your fragrance oil and no higher than 185 degrees. If your wax is too cool, the fragrance oil will not bind with the wax. If the wax is too hot, you will burn off most of your fragrance and your candle will not be very strong. Soy wax can scorch if the temperature gets too high. Always keep the temperature under 200 degrees.
Step 5 - You're almost ready to pour your soy votive candles. This is one of the most important steps to ensure your soy candle making is a success. Reduce the temperature of the wax to between 150 -155 degrees. Use a reliable thermometer to gauge the proper temperature.
You will want to pour into a slightly higher than room temperature mold. If you pour into a cold mold you will see what is called drag lines along the sides of your votives once they are finished. The best way to warm your molds is to put them in your oven on "keep warm" at least 10-15 minutes before you need them. Leave them in the oven until right before you pour your soy wax into them. Be careful handling the molds out of the oven because they will be hot. One thing you can do to eliminate handling the hot molds is to line the molds up on an old cookie sheet before putting them in the oven and then when you're ready to pour all you have to do is use an oven mitt to remove the cookie sheet with the molds ready for the pouring process. The molds can remain on the old cookie sheet until it's time to remove your candle, as long as your cookie sheet remains flat and level.
Figure 8Step 6 - If your soy wax temperature is around 150 degrees you're now ready to pour your votive candles. Using a pour pot (a pyrex measuring cup works great also) fill each votive mold all the way to the top. (see figure 9) note: it works best if you slightly heat the pour pot before dipping it into the melted wax, this prevents the wax from hardening on a cold pour pot. You can put it in the oven on "keep warm" with the molds. FYI: If you are melting 1 LB of wax, you will make 8 soy votives. 1.5 LBS of wax will produce a dozen soy votives and so on.
When using our NatureWax™ V-1 100% soy wax for making your candles you will be happy to know that it is a one pour wax and does not require a second pour if used according to this guide!
Figure 10Step 7 - This is another very important step and needs to be done properly. This is the time we'll put our wicks into the candle. But not just yet, the soy wax is too hot. Once we pour our candles, we need to let the hot wax begin it's cool down process naturally. I don't recommend a water bath or any other type of artificial cooling process when making soy candles. It could damage your soy wax candles. You can take this time to get the wicks ready for your soy wax votives. You'll want to straighten each wick the best you can and wait until the soy wax develops a thin skin across the diameter of your candle mold. Once a thin skin has formed across the top your soy wax candle, it is time to insert the wick into the candle. Holding a wick at the very tip, push the wick past the soft skin developing on the candle to the bottom of the mold. Keep the wick straight and centered in the mold. (see figure 10) This is easy to do but you'll want to work quickly so that the skin doesn't get too thick on top of the candle. If you wait too long you could develop an unwanted hole beside your wick as your candle cools.
Figure 11Step 8 - No matter how quick you were putting the wicks into your soy wax you'll notice that there is a circle in the middle of each candle where you pushed the wick into it. It will harden like this unless you fix it. The best way to fix it is to wave a flame over the top of the candle very quickly. Of course, you'll need a decent size flame to melt the wax around this imperfection. You can use a mini butane torch or propane torch to quickly touch the flame to the wax and smooth it out again. This step will cover up the imperfection in the candle caused by centering the wick in it. Be sure to move your flame across the soy wax to re-melt it, back and forth quickly, so that you don't burn or scorch the wick. (see figure 11) I am often asked if you can use a heat gun or hair dryer for this step. My answer is no, because those are operated with heat and a blower, the air blowing across the candle will blow the wax out of the mold as it melts.
Figure 12Step 9 - Now the hardest part of the soy candle making process. Wait. Avoid all temptation to touch, move, examine, and even look at your candles for the next 4-5 hours. If you followed all of the instructions above exactly, and used the ingredients in the instructions, in about four and a half hours you're going to have a perfect soy candle. When the candle is ready you should be able to hold it by the tip of the wick and gently pull it out of the mold with no problem. (See figure 12) Let your soy wax candles cure a day or two before burning them and always burn a votive candle in a tight fitting votive holder.
Congratulations. You've now made a great pure soy wax candle, one you can be proud to give as gifts or sell, whichever you desire.
You must be thinking...wow, all this just to make a little soy votive candle? I know it sounds like a lot to do but once you get a system down it'll go really quick. I wish you the best in making your votive candles. I really want to know how your votives turn out and I'd love to hear feedback from your regarding these instructions. Should you have any comments or questions, don't hesitate to email me anytime (email@example.com). If you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to make your candle making experience easier... just ask! We hope to be able to serve you for your candle making equipment and supplies.
Figure 13The photo's of the soy wax votives you see in figure 13 have not been photo enhanced. As you can see, you can make a vibrant colored votive even using soy wax, as long as you use the proper ingredients, supplies and techniques.
Now, look around you. Quite a mess you have from making these 100% soy wax candles, isn't it? The most frequently asked question I get in my email by far is how to clean up the messy wax spills and utensils after making candles. You can find all the clean-up answers by visiting the candle wax clean-up section of our website.
We hope you enjoyed using our "How to make soy candles" instructional guide and we'd love to hear feedback from you. If you have any questions or comments about this soy candle making guide feel free to contact us by email.
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