Making Soy Candles
Burning Cleaner and Naturally
With so much emphasis on cleaner & greener it would only be the added expense that someone making candles would choose paraffin over soy. As a home business, I would advise the added expense because most buyers are also of a cleaner & greener mind-thought and soy popularity is growing.
Soy is a vegetable wax made from soybeans. Its oil is extracted from the soybean flakes and hydrogenated. The majority of the world’s soybeans are grown in the United States in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. Candles made from the soy wax burn cleaner than paraffin wax candles. Still, all candles emit soot – there is no way around that. Paraffin emits black soot, soy emits white soot. White soot is cleaner and not harmful to humans.
Both waxes use the same technique and equipment. When melting wax to 150 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, be sure not to keep it over 150 for long as it tends to burn and results are a yellowish liquid… not good.
Once the wax if fully melted you can add the color of your choice; then remove it from the burner and add your fragrance. It’s best to use 7% by weight, which means that for every one lb of wax you can use 1.12 ounces of fragrance oil. If the fragrance concentration is too high, it may bleed through the candle… also not good.
Cool the soy wax to about 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit – then pour the wax into the mold to cool. Be careful not to pour the wax at too low of a temperature or the candle could crack. Another mistake some make is trying to cool the wax using water, this also causes cracks.
There are some differences between the paraffin and soy waxes…. Soy is a softer wax so it is not suitable for some types of candles. For instance, soy wax does not work well making novelty candles. It also does not work well for pillar or taper candles. Floating soy candles are okay if they are up to 3 inches in diameter.
If you have made paraffin wax candles, you can certainly make soy candles – like some recipes, you may have to try both to decide which works better for you. Both hold scent and color the same, but for a home business why not offer the widest variety you can – that’s just smart marketing.
Esther B. Smith
Smith’s candle making goes back many years when she and her sister made them for various fairs where they had a booth.
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