Candles can be traced back to biblical times. For hundreds of years they were the only source of light in people's homes, the earliest of which were made with tallow. It was not until the 1800's that paraffin replaced this.
A hundred years later and electricity replaced candles, with candles being relegated to fulfilling other roles such as decoration for festive occasions, for the calm and sanctity they evoke in religious ceremonies and the general mood of warmth, relaxation and even romance.
The greatest innovation in the candle industry today is the replacement of the "paraffin" based candle with a natural wax alternative. The soy candles we make burn cleanly releasing no toxins into the air, and they produce no soot or smoke. As they burn cooler and for longer (25- 50% longer) they allow the fragrance to be released into the air for a longer period. This natural, environmentally friendly wax is biodegradable and all containers can be washed with hot, soapy water to be reused. An added bonus to this throw-away society.
Soy Candles are so easy to make when you have simple instructions to follow.
1. Choose the appropriate container for your candle. Container wax can only be used in heat-safe glassware as it adheres to the glass. Estimate how much wax you will be using.
The wax can be melted in either a double-boiler or as a do a rice cooker. The easiest way is to heat and melt half the wax, then allow the heat in the container to melt the rest.
2. While the wax is melting, prepare your containers by selecting the wick you will use and the fragrance and colour. The best thing to do, is to at first try making an unscented and uncoloured wax, so that you can get your technique right.
3. You can use a thermometer, but it is not really necessary. The wicks can be stuck down by either dipping the wick into the wax, or by using the double-sided wick stickers.
4. The room temperature can affect the finish of your candles, so make sure it is not too hot or too cold.
5. Remember, not to overdo the fragrance. 30 mls / 450 mls is sufficient. The best way to use the concentrated colours is to grate them on a cheese grater. It is much easier to darken a wax colour than it is to lighten, so be careful.
6. The wax is ready to pour when the container is cool to touch or the wax is starting to cloud. If you find it has set too much, reheat it slightly or sit the container in hot water.
7. It is recommended that you leave your candles for 24 hrs to cool and set. Longer time is necessary if multi-wicked or large containers are used. If you have problems, go to our problem solving and tips for suggestions.
Selecting Your Containers
As soy candles are in jars, the most important decision after your wax is your jars. There is an endless variety you can choose from. Once you get the candle making bug, all containers will be looked at in a very different way. Half the fun is finding new and interesting jars.
There are numerous jar suppliers in Victoria and interstate, so get catalogues from all of them, compare sizes, prices, minimum orders & payment terms. Easy to do with internet access. (Suppliers, listed)
Purchasing through jar suppliers means all the hard work has been done for you by selecting the glass that is suitable for your candles.
However, if you do want to source your own here are some tips:
A good candle container should have a diameter wide enough so that it can be lit and extinguished easily. This also means that the fragrance throw will be better even if the candle is not lit.
Jars with lids retain the fragrance for longer and prevent dust and debris from falling into the candle. Do not extinguish a candle by placing the lid on.
Do not use fine glassware such as champagne glasses for candles. They may look great but they are not made to withstand a high temperature. And as the glass is quite thin, they also retain a lot of heat making them very hot to handle as well as prone to cracking.
Metal containers have become very popular as Travel Tins because they are unbreakable. Remember to source tins that are seamless. Some with joints can leak when the wax is hot. Hazardous when you are pouring and hazardous for your customers if they leak when being burnt. Apart from getting wax all over the surface it is sitting on, they can also become a fire hazard. If you are unsure, test it by filling it with water and letting it sit for a couple of days.
Ceramic is popular for feature items or a table centre piece as they can match the décor.
Jars that have a wide neck and a narrow base can cause problems when the candle is nearing the end. As the base is narrower, it means the wick is closer to the sides. This will result in a very hot jar and a jar that is normally fine may become prone to cracking due to excessive heat.
Silverware is popular for special events such as anniversaries.
If you are unsure of the suitability of a candle, test it first before offering it to any customer.
Soy wax has made candle making so easy that anyone can do it. Have a go, it's great fun.