We recently started stocking Soy Wax from Peak Dale, an alternative to Paraffin wax, that burns without emitting toxins and at a lower temperature. Soy Wax is much softer than paraffin wax, and can only be used for container candles – a great way to up-cycle glass jars or quirky crockery.
Soy wax also reacts differently that Paraffin wax to the addition of colours and perfume – so to test how our solid dye and scent react with this new type of wax, I invited a good friend round (never try anything molten without a friend on hand, just in case!) and we made some Teacup Candles with vintage teacups found in the charity shops of Chorlton.
Here’s what you’ll need if you want to try it for yourself:
1. First, we melted 200g of the soy wax in a home-made bain-marie, making sure to keep an eye on the temperature – I’d recommend investing in a thermometer if you are using this method, as once the wax is liquid you can’t tell how hot it is
2. Whilst the wax is melting, lie a piece of dowel across the tops of your chosen containers, and use it to attach your wicks to – so that they are hanging down the centre of your containers when you come to pour in the wax. If you are using the pre-waxed wicks you can just pop them in and stick them to the dowel with a little bit of tape, or if you’re using a roll of wick and separate bases, just cut some pieces of wick to the right length for your containers, feed it through the hole in the centre of the base, and then dip the very end in your melting wax, before sticking it down in the centre of your container – then attach the other end of the wick to the dowel with some tape. The second method sounds more complicated, but we actually found it slightly easier to position the flexible wick from the roll, rather than the pre-waxed wicks with bases already on.
3. Once the wax is fully melted and up to a temperature of around 60°C you can add some colour and scent – we used approximately 1/2 of one ‘diamond’ of dye per 200g of wax, which is more than is recommended for paraffin wax but seemed to work well. Bear in mind that Soy Wax is a creamy white colour, so once the wax has re-solidified any colour added will take on a pastel hue. We chopped the dye up as small as we could and stirred it into the wax well, to make sure that the colour would be even.
4. You will also need to add the scent whilst the wax is fully melted, although it is unclear how well solid scents work with Soy Wax. Our solids scents are supposed to be used 1/8th to 900g wax, however, having read that scent often does not take well with Soy Wax, we added 1/8th per 200g of wax. The solid scent can be chopped or grated, just make sure it is mixed in properly!
5. Now that your wax is melted, coloured and scented it is ready to be poured into your containers. We found that the hotter the wax was at pouring, the less likely the candles were to split on the surface whilst setting. As your candles set they will develop a frosted appearance on the surface, this normal for Soy Wax and is sometimes referred to as the ‘bloom’.
It’s best to leave your candles for 24+ hours to cure before trimming the wicks and testing them. So, how did out experiment with the scent work? – now finished, the candles smell strongly in their solid state, and do project the scent a little whilst they burn, but not as much as we’d hoped given how much we put in! The colours have come out rather nicely though, and we’re looking forward to giving them as gifts.
Written by Lauren Velvick