Hi, my lovelies, I get asked some great questions on a daily basis and I thought I would start an ongoing blog to help answer questions and concerns around soy candle making. Sorry for the ranting upfront but I’m just a wee bit passionate about our beautiful planet, your health and Orangutans. I hope you’ll find some value and information in my wee blog. If you have any questions please just fire them at me and I will do my very best to answer for you.
Happy crafting, Nicole
P.S - Our tag line “crafted by hand and heart” wasn’t by accident – we make decisions daily about what’s best for your health and the health of our planet.
Here we go, its Question and Answer time!!!!!!
Q- What’s the difference between single note fragrance oils and the other fragrance oil blends?
A - Soy wax candle making is so incredibly easy. Imagine being able to dream up a fragrance idea, then select all the different fragrance notes that make up that fragrance (you’ll find the biggest selection of single note fragrances here) or if you love a certain fragrance but you wish one of the notes was a bit stronger. Then you can customise a blend by adding more of what you’re after.
Example, I love black raspberry and vanilla natural fragrance oil, but I thought to make it “extra amazeballs” it should have some plummy notes to give it a bit of depth. So, I added 5% black plum natural fragrance oil and mixed it together. I then made a small tealight candle to test the scent and its throw. After testing my soy candle (burning it) I made another slight adjustment and added another 5% vanilla pod. I again tested my soy candle… I’m thrilled to say perfection was achieved.
Example, I found this Jo Malone soy candle on google, that I’d love to recreate but I can’t find anything similar in New Zealand? It said it had 4 fragrances in it? Top note of Xxxxxxx mid note of XXXXXXX in a base of XXXXXX and XXXXXXX. How do I know what percentage of each when I am recreating the fragrance? Always remember we need to finish at 100% So in this case, I would suggest the top note would be the strongest, let’s start with 40% then add the mid-note fragrance at say 30%. You then have 30% to play with for the two base notes. You could use 15% of each or 20% then down to 10%. It’s totally your call.
Remember to test on a small scale first. Then recreate 😊
Q - Do I have to adjust the natural fragrance oils? Can’t I just use them as they are mixed?
A – Absolutely you can use them just as they are. They are in fact perfect, for the hobby candlemaker. But if you’re a budding entrepreneur trying to break through and stand out from the soy candle making crowd, you need to be different.
Elizabeth Arden said the secret to success is to reinvent something everyone’s familiar with and change it up by no more than 10%.
Q – What if I mess up my fragrance blend and it smells yucky?
A - Test and measure in very small batches. You’ll find great wee droppers for kids (usually used for pamol ) at your local pharmacy for around a $1.00 each. Test and measure enough fragrance to make a couple of tea light candles. Then you can test the scent throw when the candle is burning. Remember to keep notes, when creating your masterpieces, so you can recreate your new stand out soy wax candle.
Don’t be scared, be confident when creating natural fragrances. If all else fails My No. 1 rule is Vanilla’s fix everything 😊
Q – Can I really make money making and selling my own soy wax candles?
A - Heck yes!!!!!! It’s an extremely profitable business. There’s many a candle maker who’s quietly taking home an easy $500 to $1000 after a weekend market. There’s even more of them online, selling nationally!! Imagine the possibilities.
If you’ve got a bit of technical ability there are some slick websites you can put together in a few days that will get your candle creations selling nationwide.
Q - How much fragrance should I use when making soy wax candles?
A - Great question. I always use 15% natural fragrance, because I love my soy candle’s super strong. But the joys of making your own soy candles means you can make them however you want. If you like a subtle scent then adjust your candle fragrance accordingly.
If you're selling your soy candles in a market or retail environment, it’s important to have a strong scent. Why? Cause in often in a big area with so many conflicting smells (at markets often yummy ones) your soy wax candle will need to be strong enough to break through all the conflicting smells. In a retail environment often they are left with lids off, and typically lose scent over time.
If you want to burn your soy candles at home or give them as gifts I recommend a 12 to 15% fragrance load. Why? Triple scented soy candles and melts always outsell standard scented candles. People today, just don’t have the time to wait 3 hours for the room to smell beautiful. The fragrance throws need to be pretty instant, or there’ll be no repeat orders I’m afraid.
Q - I bought a scented soy candle at the warehouse it smelt great, but when I burnt it there was no smell. Did I do something wrong?
A - Firstly, is it really a soy candle? Or is it a scented candle? Often the packaging and wording can be misleading? Cheap candles, often made in China are not made of soy wax. They are typically made from 50/50 paraffin wax and palm wax. This is a deadly combination for the health of our planet and the health of our families. Let me explain. Paraffin Wax is a petroleum waste product that’s been deodorized and chemically bleached before it was made into candle wax.
Most candles made in China are made using a blend of paraffin and palm wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes.
Most Palm wax comes from non-sustainable palm plantations. Greedy corporations are cutting down some of the oldest and most diverse rainforests in the world, to make way for more palm trees. Thus, causing Orangutan populations to be misplaced??? Come on people “misplaced,” the word's a joke. How many Orangutan rescue programs does there need to be on the animal planet before we admit palm plantations are akin to Orangutan genocide.
Due to the bad publicity, around these bad boys, you’ll find most ingredient labels from candles bought at the warehouse, farmers, and Kmart state they are a soy wax blend. Do not be misled, Chinese blends always contain paraffin wax and palm wax as these cheap waxes are at least 35% cheaper than soy wax. This is bad news for the consumer but great news for you the budding soy candle makers.
Secondly, some cheap candle makers only scent the top layer (the final pour) of the candle. This gives a great first impression. A lovely strong scent. This is often why people buy scented candles, to begin with. BUT buyer beware. Once they get the candle home, and there’s no scent throw. There won’t be any repeat business. Another trick often used in China is to scent the packaging, yep that’s right they spray the box with the scent, so it smells amazing. You get the candle home and all you’ll get is a pretty flickering light ☹
Q - What are the advantages of using soy wax when making candles?
A - The benefits are huge and outstanding - soy candle’s wax versus paraffin and palm wax candles!!!
Soy wax is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. Soy wax candles produce little or no soot, (unless you forget to trim your wick. Long wicks create an uptake of carbon, and often create unwanted smoke.) and the candle is so they are a great alternative for those with allergies and breathing problems. Soy candle wax is environmentally safe, biodegradable, and renewable. Soy wax candles are extremely economical as they typically burn up to 50% longer than paraffin wax candles. My favourite thing about Soy wax other than the obvious health and environmental issues is the scent throw. Soy wax holds natural fragrance oils exceptionally well, and due to its low melt point, (this means that it burns cooler.) natural fragrance oils can really live up to their full potential.
Q – Do I really need a double boiler to make soy candles?
A – Nope not true at all. You only need an old pot or a new cheap and cheerful one from Kmart or the warehouse or even your local $2.00 shop. The trick is to watch it constantly stand at the stove, stir the wax until it all melts. Do not let the soy wax boil. While you’re at the $2.00 shop be sure to grab a thermometer, to test the heat of the soy wax before you add any natural fragrance oils. Look for a pot with a side pourer. If you can’t find one be sure to grab a silicone pourer to attach to the side of a standard pot. This will certainly make life easier.
You can even use your microwave and the microwave pouring jug if you’re only making 3 or 4 candles at a time. Remember making soy candles is super easy, it’s not rocket science. If you’re after easy instructions check out my other blogs.
Q- Help my candle dye isn’t looking, right? What am I doing wrong?
A – The magic jug – add 100mls of soy wax into the microwave pouring jug. Melt soy wax until very hot. Add required (measured) amount of soy candle dye to the melted soy wax. Keep microwaving in 30 seconds to 1-minute bursts. Stir in between 30 seconds to 1-minute bursts until all candle dye has dissolved completely into melted soy wax. Then add melted wax / dye mixture back into wax pot stir thoroughly to mix.
Have a look at these Blogs for more Info On Soy Candles and Jars: