This was not the first time I’ve made candles, but this was the first time I did it by myself in my own home. For some reason I thought that making candles is difficult. It really isn’t! That said this experiment was not entirely successful. My life at the moment is filled with candles as through my job I work with them almost daily. Naturally I have gain interest in the materials and the making of candles. I read this blog post in the Hello Natural blog and I thought that I’ll have to try to make scented candles myself. I’ve had these metallic muffin tins in my cupboard for years and I thought they would make lovely candles as I never use them in cooking anyway.
Another reason I wanted to make candles was the fact that I have wanted to try out soy candles for a long time. I was curious to know are they any different from paraffin or stearin. I like the idea of all natural candles, so I ordered some soy wax online.
I boiled some water in a pot and melted the wax in a separate bowl that I put inside the pot.
If there is something I have learned about candles it is that it’s very important to have a right sized wick. If the wick is too thin the flame will melt more wax than it can burn and the candle will drip. If the wick is too thick the flame is going to be too big and the candle will release smoke. The thickness of the wick should be chosen in relation to the size of the candle. The cotton wick that I chose was meant for 60-70mm wide candles. I also bought some metal wick taps for the wicks. I put a little bit of hot glue to the bottom of the wick tap a glued the wick to the muffin tin. I used wooden grill sticks to keep the wick straight.
The blog post that I mentioned earlier was for chai scented candles and for the scent was used ordinary spices. I used cinnamon, ginger and cardamom.
Now this is where I think I went wrong as I didn’t really manage to get the scent to work. Later on I read that the temperature of the wax is very important when you are adding scents. I did two separate tries. First time I didn’t think about the temperature at all and there were actually very nice smells floating around the kitchen, but the candle itself didn’t work. Then I read that you might end up burning the scents off if you use temperatures that are too hot. During my second try I was a bit scared of making the wax too hot and I think that the spices didn’t mix with the wax very well. I even added some extra spice to get a stronger scent. It didn’t really work though. What is the right temperature for this? I read that you should keep the wax under 80 °C I think mine was around 60 to 70 °C.
After that I poured the wax to the containers. I also tried some glass baby food jars. During my second try I read that the containers should be warm so I put them in the oven for a little while before poring the wax in. I don’t know if it made any difference.
And then I let the candles set and cool off.
Here are the ready made candles. I also did two small paraffin candles. I used leftovers from a paraffin candle I’ve been burning lately. I melted the wax and added some spices. Because I like experimenting I wanted to test how soy wax and paraffin wax really act differently.
I must say that the paraffin candle had a better and bigger flame (on the left) put it also burned a lot faster. The soy candle (on the right) lasted a lot longer. The melted wax acts also very differently. Paraffin wax is a petroleum by-product created when crude oil is refined into gasoline. Soy wax is made from soybeans. The paraffin wax sets and cools off a lot faster than soy wax. Soy wax is very buttery when melted and it’s quite soft even when it’s solid. Paraffin sets very quickly into plastic-like consistency. Makes total sense when you think about the origins of the two materials.
Although my my first experiment in the candle making was not completely successful, I really like the candles even without the scent. I might have a another try in the future, maybe with some essential oils. I don’t think I will have any candle shortage for a little while. Do you have any candle making tips for me?