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Adding essential oils like lavender or lemongrass can give your soy candles a clean, natural scent. Because soy wax is simple to work with, easy to melt, and easy to clean up, these candles are a great choice for an afternoon project. They also make great gifts for friends and family.
Things You'll Need
16 ounces (one pound) of soy wax, available at your local craft store or from Amazon.com
1/4 to 1/2 ounce of your choice of essential oil
16-ounce glass jar or container for your candle
One wick, long enough to reach to the bottom of your container
Spoon for stirring
What to Do
Before you begin, ensure that the equipment is clean and that no dust or dirt is introduced. Contaminants can cause the candle to burn incorrectly.
Tie one end of the wick to the middle of a skewer. Balance the skewer on the top of the candle jar and trim the wick so that it extends all the way to the bottom of the jar.
Add water to the bottom of the double boiler. The water should not touch the top of the double boiler when the top is inserted. On your stovetop, bring the water to a gentle boil - reduce heat to a simmer.
Add the soy wax to the top insert of the double boiler and allow the wax to melt. Stir occassionally, but very gently - over-zealous stirring can introduce air bubbles into the wax.
Measure the temperature of the wax frequently. Getting the wax to about 170 degrees is ideal, but you do not want it to get too hot.
When the wax is melted, add the essential oil, stirring carefully with the spoon. Keep stirring until the oil is completely incorporated in the wax.
Measure the temperature again. Wait until the wax has cooled to about 100 degrees.
Carefully pour the wax into the candle jar or container. Readjust the wick if required.
Cover the candle with a cloth or box and allow it to cool gradually in a room-temperature area.
After your candle has cooled, allow it to rest for a few days before burning. This helps achieve a better result.
How Much Essential Oil?
Depending on how strong your oil is, you can use up to one ounce of essential oil (about 1.5 teaspoons) per pound of wax. However, pure essential oils offer a stronger scent than synthetic fragrance oils, it's best to start off with 1/4 to 1/2 ounce per pound of soy wax. For smaller candles or batches of wax, you should aim for a ratio of up to 7% fragrance to the amount of wax you'll be using. This can be calculated by weight or volume as long as you use the same measurements for both the essential oil and the wax.
If the scent of your chosen essential oil or oil blend seems especially strong, start with half of your estimated amount and gradually add more to get the scent strength you want.
Tips for Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are a wonderful way to add natural scent to your candles. Keep these tips in mind as you select the oils you want to use:
Essential oils are made from natural ingredients. Experiment with the amount of essential oil you add to your candles to find the concentration that you prefer.
Consider combining essential oils to create your own unique blend. Some great combinations include bergamot and lemongrass, lavender and rosemary, and many others.
Read the information about your essential oil. Some essential oils are more concentrated than others, and many are diluted with soy oil or another carrier.
Soy wax candles can also have problems solidifying properly if you add too much essential oil. If you're concerned about this problem, consider adding palm stearic, available from Candlewic. This will help your candle maintain the correct texture despite the extra oil.
Have Fun and Experiment
With all the amazing essential oils to choose from, there's no end to the beautifully scented soy candles you can create. Have fun and experiment with lots of great combinations. You may create your new favorite blend.