Who doesn’t love a good smelling candle?? It makes any space cozy and warm. However, the coziness and warmth quickly dissipates when you realize the candle is burning paraffin wax, and the scent is some synthetic fragrance. Most candles are made from paraffin wax. Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct of crude oil and when it’s burned is toxic. It’s basically a grayish-black sludge, and then it’s bleached to look white. In the bleaching process they use several toxic chemicals. Then the paraffin is sold to candle companies, where it’s then dyed again in various colors to sell. Once it actually gets to the consumer it is full of carcinogens…yikes! And you thought you were just burning a cozy little candle.
So if paraffin is a no go what do you use? I’m glad you asked! In comes soy wax. Soy wax is made from the oil of a soybean and is a vegetable wax. As opposed to paraffin, soy wax burns clean and is non-toxic. It also produces less soot then paraffin wax. Another great benefit to soy candles are they burn longer then paraffin wax. All in all, it’s easy to see why soy is the better wax for candles.
I’ve noticed some candle companies have started to just slap the “soy” label on candles, even when they are not 100% soy. They’ve done this because they’ve realized the consumer is getting smarter and wanting soy candles. However, as long as it has some soy in it the company can put the “soy” label on. Sad huh? Well, they’re not fooling me!
Now that we’ve covered what wax is safest, let’s chat a bit about what to use for the scent. Essential oils are a great alternative for scenting candles, instead of using synthetic fragrance. Did you know synthetic fragrance is derived from petrochemicals? It’s one of the top allergens, causing asthma, and red and itchy skin. Not to mention all the endocrine disruption synthetic scents do. People have forgotten what pure essential oils even smell like! Choosing essential oils will not only prove to be a purer scent, but also a smarter choice for your body.
So what to do when you can’t find a clean candle that doesn’t cost a small fortune?? Make your own by golly! Grab a good friend like I did and not only will you make some pretty candles, but you can gab about the latest and greatest. Did I mention making your own is so much cheaper too?! Yeah, crazy cheap… you can make so many more for the price of one store bought candle! They’re great gifts too.
Ok, what are you waiting for…let’s make some soy candles!
What You’ll Need:
- Soy Wax Flakes
- Candle jars/Containers (I used mason jars, small votives, you could also go to a thrift store and find some cool glass container)
- Glue Dots
- Essential Oils (Any variety you like, you can mix oils)
- Double Boiler (Or pots and glass bowls to make a double boiler)
- A Beaker (Or something with a spout)
- Labels to put on the candle jars
- 2 Spoons (One to stir the essential oils in the wax and one to stir the wax over the double boiler)
- Candy Thermometer (Check the temperature of the wax)
- 2 Straws and 2 rubber bands (This helps the wick stay centered after pouring in the wax)
- Scissors or Wire cutters (To cut the wick)
*You can find supplies for making the candles here under “Soy Candles”- http://astore.amazon.com/gurlgonegreen-20
1st Step- Melt your wax over a double boiler on medium heat. (I’ve found 16 oz. of soy flakes equals about a 6 oz. glass candle jar when melted)
2nd Step- Stir to melt all soy flakes.
Step 3- While your waiting for the wax to melt, get your candle holders ready. Add a glue dot to each wick and press on the bottom of each candle holder. Put the two straws together by putting a rubber band on each end of the two straws.
Step 4- Remove the soy wax from heat when wax is completely clear and no white residue is left. Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl.
Step 5- Wait until wax cools down to about 130 degrees. Then pour into a beaker and add essential oils. Stir together with a spoon. (I started with 10 drops of essential oil and added more depending on the size of the candle and how strong I wanted it to be)
Step 6- Pour the liquid wax into desired candle holder and put straw contraption over the wick to keep it centered.
Step 7- Keep the straws in place over the wick until the wax hardens. Around 45 minutes. The wax has hardened when it becomes opaque. Take the straws off and cut the wick to desired length. Add any labels, ribbon etc. It’s best to wait a couple days before burning your candle, to let the scents cure.
And Tada: You just made your own soy candle!