So you have some soy candle recipes and now it’s time to purchase soy wax, wicks, jars, fragrance oils and dye.
I will tell you, if you can do without the dye and just go with the natural creamy color of the soy wax, it will save you a good deal of time and hassle trying to get the right colors for each fragrance. Besides that, candles with more dye in them may need a hotter wick, so you’ll have to do thorough testing. I know of a couple popular soy candle companies that don’t use color.
But colors are nice, just something to think about.
What Kind of Soy Wax to Use?
This can vary. Because shipping is high for wax, I have always used the supplier closest to me, Candlesoylutions, thankfully only 45min. away so I can go pick my supplies up if the gas is going to be less than the shipping charges. The wax I use is called Enchanted Lites and I highly recommend it. I have tried one other brand, Ecosoya Xcel, but it just didn’t do it for me for my container candles. I had all sorts of problems with the way it cooled and separated from the jar, so since then, I’ve just stuck with Enchanted Lites soy wax for my votive wax and container wax.
Soy wax quality and performance will vary from company to company, so I suggest getting samples of different types before settling on one. If you have a candle supply company close to you though, you may want to just get used to working with whatever brand they carry unless it just does not perform well. Sometimes it just takes time to get used to working with the wax. I’ve read many great reviews about the Ecosoya Xcel, so obviously it works well for others.
Testing Wick Sizes
Next you need to find some wicks for testing. This is the hardest part of soy candle making, but the most important! You don’t want a customer, family and friends, or yourself, burning an unsafe candle. You also want to be sure you are making the best for them (and you).
Finding the right size wick depends on the size of jar you are using, type of fragrance oil and amount of fragrance oil and dye. I can’t tell you exactly what size wick to use for different sizes of jars or containers, but I can give you a good starting point from my own testing. Climate and elevation can also affect how your candles burn, so what works for me here in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, may not work for you. So you must test!
Here are some wick sizes to start you out. You should buy some a bit smaller and some a bit larger also to test with for each size.
- 4oz jelly jars : CD 12 or HTP 104
- 8oz square Mason Jars: CD 16 or 18, or HTP 105
- 16oz square Mason Jars: CD 16 or 18, or HTP 105
I used to use the HTP wicks which seemed to work best out of all the other wicks I had tried, but still could not keep them from mushrooming and I knew there had to be a wick out there that didn’t mushroom much. Then I found the CD wicks! I fell in love. So I really suggest you start with the CD wicks and see how they work for you. Bitter Creek Candle Supply has a pack where you get 5 of each of all 12 sizes for $9.00.
Fragrance oils will also vary from company to company. Fragrance oils are the most expensive part of the soy candle, usually costing around $1.00 per oz give or take, if you buy by the pound, and more per oz if you buy in smaller amounts. You’ll most likely use from 1 to 1.5 oz per lb of wax. So it’s important to make sure you start with quality oils that will throw well. There’s nothing more disappointing than buying a bunch of oils and then finding out they don’t throw well!
So the first thing is to find a good supplier that is known for oils that throw well in soy and are not diluted. I will list a few fragrance oil suppliers below that I’ve had good experiences with their candle fragrance oils, you can also click here to view a list of fragrances I personally liked from each supplier:
- Candle Cocoon– Excellent throw in the oils I’ve tried. They sell unique fragrance blends as well as some traditional ones. I’ve fallen in love with quite a few of the samples I’ve tried. They do cost more, but you can use less since they are highly concentrated. Their oils are definitely high quality for soy candle making and worth it! You can order 1 ounce samples to try which I highly recommend!
- Candlesoylutions– I’ve gotten most of my oils from them since they are only 45min. away. I’ve had great experience with most of their oils I’ve tried and they are specifically made for soy candle making. They are an excellent company to deal with too!
- Bramble Berry– I’ve used a few of their oils and have bought small amounts of their essential oils to try out. Bramble berry is an excellent company and the fragrance oils I’ve tried had great scent throw in my soy candles. I never really got to experiment with the essential oils in the candles, but I will soon and post my thoughts on the website. They do smell wonderful in the bottle though!
Now I suggest buying just a few sample size oils to start with for your testing. Maybe just start with 2-4 fragrances.
Choose which size container you want to start testing. For this example I will use an 8oz square Mason jar. So I would make 2 candles which would use 1lb of wax. See How To Make Soy Jar Candles for the recipe. Then just choose 2 different sizes of wicks to test. Once your candles are cool, make sure to wait at least 2 days before you test them, but it is advised that waiting a week or two is best. Some fragrances need the longer cure time to give off the best fragrance throw. I know it’s hard, but you want to make sure they are cured enough so you’ll get accurate results.
Make sure you label both candles so you know what size wick is in each as well as the type of wax and fragrance. Remember, if one size wick doesn’t burn well right off the bat, you can stop testing that one and remelt the wax and try a different wick.
Time To Test….
So, now you’re ready to start testing! I always enjoyed testing the candles, especially if I was testing a new fragrance.
Test one candle at a time so you can gauge the scent throw while it’s burning.
Take out a note pad and write down the 2 candles you are testing, fragrance and wick size. Under each, write amount of fragrance used, amount of dye and what time you started burning them and then the end time for that session. Remember, you should only burn for 5 hours straight at the most or else the wick will get too long. You may even need to stop at around 4 hours.
Next you want to write down the size of the melt pool before you stop the burn session. So write down how deep the melt pool is and if it went all the way to the edge at the end of the burn time.
Then you’ll want to write down how strong or weak the candle smelled. Maybe on a scale from 1-5.
After each session is done, put out the candle, let it cool completely before trimming the wick and starting another testing session.
Like I said before, if a candle is not doing well right off the bat(smoking, mushrooming way too much, no scent throw at all after an hour) make sure to make note of it, and then you can stop testing and remelt the wax so you can try another wick. If the melt pool is not deep enough (1/4 inch-1/2inch) or hasn’t melted to the edge after a couple test sessions, then you can also melt it down and try a bigger wick.
If you do melt a candle back down to try again, you do not need to heat it much. Just heat it until it is melted enough to pour into another jar.
If the melt pool is too deep, the wick is smoking or mushrooming too much, then you need to try a smaller wick (provided the smoking isn’t due to being in a drafty area).
That’s it! Hopefully you will have great success in testing your soy candles, and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment or contact me by email!
THANK YOU SO MUCH for creating this site.
It has helped me soo much already with how to make my own soy candles, I can’t wait to begin! Love your youtube videos as well.
That’s awesome, I’m so glad I could help! If you ever have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!
Hi, I need guidance on using wooden wicks and where to find the best ones out there. I want to start on the candle business on Wooden wick soy candles. Thanks for all the information and tips.
Thank you again for this very helpful site you’ve created. It really is the only one I’ve found to be so helpful.
I’m having trouble with my 8oz mason jar wicks. I’ve tested HTP 104/105/1212/126, 51-32-18, 62-32-18, and FT3.0 – that’s 7 different wicks! The FT3.0 seems to be working thus far, but the wick is really large and there is almost no site that suggests I use this for an 8oz jar with an opening diameter of 2″ and 3″ max. I’ve tested all of these wicks on at least 8 different candles with the same results.
My question is if this is possible – to be using one of the hottest burning wicks for a 3″ diameter jar. Could I be doing something wrong?
No, you should not be having to use that hot of a wick!
So a couple questions:
1. How much fragrance oil are you using per lb of wax?
2. Are you using dye, and if so what brand? How much?
3. What brand of fragrance oil and what fragrances have you tested?
As far as the roughness and sink holes, what temp are you pouring at? Usually sink holes mean the wax was poured too hot. Make sure to pour container candles at 90-100 degrees. This should help with the roughness too. I have tried the Millenium blend before but I didn’t care for it as much as the EL 100% soy container wax. Seems to me it might have had more of a problem with sink holes and did not do any better with frosting either so I switched back to the container wax. It’s been awhile since I tried it though, so I can’t remember if that was exactly the problem.
I’m tried the following recipes:
– 16oz AND 15oz Millenium Blend and 1oz fragrance oil
– 16oz AND 15oz Millenium Blend and 1/2oz fragrance oil and 1/4oz essential oil
I use Candlesoylutions fragrance oil and dye (from your video) . Essential oils from NOW.
– Jasmine Blossom
– Orange Blossom
– Patchouli (w/ sandalwood ess. oil)
I tried these varieties with no dye and up to 4 drops from Candlesoylutions. If I use smaller wicks, my wax doesn’t melt to the edges or my melt pool is no more than 1/4″ after 3-4hrs. I’m using the 8oz mason jars in your video.
I’m also using 4oz mason jars and hex jars. I found that both of these work best with HTP 126, which is also much larger than what is recommended.
I have poured my wax betweem 90-100 degrees and continue to have this problem. I’ve even tried at 80 degrees (bad idea!), but when I wait to long and it starts to solidify I notice that when I have to re-melt it and pour it at slightly high temps, it’s smooth. Just tried it with a batch last night. Not sure why that’s happening. My brand new thermometer might be off, too?
Thank you so much for your time.
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. As far as the smoother tops when you remelt, I have done that too and found that it helps. Also, like I said, I really think that the Millenium blend has more of a problem with the sink holes as I recall. I rarely have any issues with sink holes with the 100% soy container wax. But, I have noticed that if I re melt the wax and then pour again the tops come out smoother. Most of the time I’ve done this when I left the wax in the pour pot to cool and forgot about it and had to remelt it, so if that gives you consistant tops, then you might just make that part of your routine. Melt it, let it nearly harden, melt again and pour.
Room temperature can be an issue too. If it’s too cold, the candles could be cooling too fast causing the sink holes and rough tops. Also, if it’s cold your candles will burn more slowly, thus not melting to the edge after 3-4 hours. Since it’s summer and we try not to use the air conditioner much, my candles have been burning a bit too hot with the CD-18 wicks I have in them, so I have to put them out faster. In cooler weather, they burn perfectly (as long as it’s not too cold, then they take longer to get a good melt pool). I would say probably around 70 degrees give or take is the temp that my candles seem to burn the best.
So that’s something to think about. Other than the possibility of room temperature and the Millenium blend wax, I’m not sure why you would be having to use a larger wick.
What about elevation? Altitude can affect the way a candle burns.
One more question. Have you let them burn all the way down? I’m curious how hot the FTP wick gets as it burns deeper into the jar.
One more thing, have you tried a test burn with just the wax, no fragrance or dye? You might try that too, just to see what happens.
Rosy Blanco says
The millennium wax is the worstttt in the Market and let me tell you… I had tried them all except the coconut wax , not even their Fragrance oils are good , but well the only way to learn is making mistakes. I am going now for Coconut wax since to have a Great reviews but my favorite soy is 464 no issues what so ever. All the FO do not work well with Soy is a lot of trying and testing and a lot of money investing I used soy blend for good F O retention.
hope this help others
Ahh, one more thing:
I’m using Enchanted Lites Millenium blend and the tops to my candles are really rough and sometimes there are sinkholes. I understand that soy candles are rougher than parrafin candles, but any suggestions on how to minimize the roughness and avoid the sinkholes?
I jut wanted to say that I love ur videos and u r a inspiration to alot of ppl, because u have inspired me to do something ive wanted to do for a long time now, but kept on puttin it off for later, so now since i saw ur candle making videos. It just motivated me to go ahead and do it.
HI thanks for the blog post! I am new at making candles and pretty discouraged…i feel like everyone around me wont share their secret… and that’s fine, but i can not get this wick thing figured out! i use golden wax 464 for candles science, and the fragrance oils, I can get a nice burn, but very little scent if any, i used 1.5-2 oz of fragrance oil per # of wax, i am useng the little 4 oz tins and they are 2.5 in. across, the wicks that burn nice r the ones for a 2-2.5 in size jar, maybe i should switch to the wick for 2.5-3 in container…
Joanna, I am so sorry I didn’t get notified of your comment! Have you tried a different company for fragrance oils? What fragrances have you tried from Candlescience? Some fragrances just aren’t very strong no matter where you get them from. I haven’t tried Candlescience fragrances yet, so I don’t know how they do.
Hi thanks for making this site i’ve watch a few of your videos. Am new to candle making did not realise it would be so complex. I just started on soy candles. I use what most companies sell CB 135 and cotton core wick seize in a 4oz jar the wick is not pretabb it burns for a few secounds and falls into the candle wish is very very soft.
Hi! My candles come out perfect every time. I use IGI 4627 (paraffin) or Golden Brands 464 (soy) for containers. I use the 464 wax for tarts, as well. I never have sink holes and I warm my jars just to be sure I get the glass adhesion. I use the wick guide Candle Science offers on their site. I have never had a problem wicking. Honestly, not once! If the oil is thicker I wick up! I was excited to see you talk about oils!!!!! I have a HUGE problem with scent throw due to the oils I use. If I use Candle Science oils, my candles have great hot throw! If I use essential oils I have even better hot throw. I really wish there was a site or Facebook page JUST FOR OILS people have tested to compare, so we stop wasting money! I ordered a lot of oils from Save On Scents and some work but most of all of them DO NOT! Do not waste your money on that site. I would really like to know which oils truly give quality hot throw and from what company? I see you use different oils from different companies in your videos and it would be so nice if we could have a list. I know it would be a lot of work and time but the money being wasted out there is insane! I think I speak for so many people! I have been making candles a long time and have a bucket of bottles that I call the “RIP OFF” bucket! It is full! I am sorry if I sound rude but I have had it with buying oil that does not work and has never been tested by these companies to make sure they work before selling them.
Hi Jeannie, I am just starting out and a bit overwhelmed with all the info and trying to figure out which soy wax to use, which fragrances and mostly the wick size. However, I really wanted to use essential oils in my candles and you are the only one I’ve seen who has mentioned using them. How much EO do you need to use in a 4 or 8 ounce jar. I have no idea where to start.
I am new to candle making as well and have only experimented with EO up to this point although I just placed an order for some FO today from Candle Cacoon. I’ve been using about 10 drops of EO per 1 oz of wax so for my 10 oz candles I’ve been using about 100 drops ? First 2 were decent. Then I went and changed wax and wicks and containers and added dye. Pfffft. I still have a lot of testing to do. Not sure if I am adding too much EO or not but I definitely do not want to add much more than that due to the costly nature of it.
As you have recommended Candle Cocoon, I tried 2 fragrance oils and the hot throw was AMAZING!!!! I am hooked!!! So I ordered 8 more and waiting for the candles to cure now. I can’t wait to see how they turned out! THANK YOU SO MUCH for recommending us to Candle Cocoon! I also must say they have the BEST customer service! All in all I give them a 10!
Jeannie, I just saw your post this evening from September 10th! Somehow I didn’t get notified of it before. I’m glad you are loving Candle Cocoon. They really are wonderful! Did you see my post about best fragrances to use for soy candles? I wrote it quite awhile ago, but I am adding to the list as I try new fragrances. I just added a few new ones recently.
Quick ? I’m using Nature Wax C3 and a ECO 10 Wick in a 8oz mason jar (Jelly Jar Type) is this correct way of doing it?
That sounds about right, although you may want to try an ECO 12 if the 10 seems a bit small, but it may work fine in the jelly jar type.
I use The Flaming Candle Co out of Georgia. The Bartlett Pear and Apple Ginger Crust Are amazing. The shipping charges with this company are very reasonable and they ship your order FAST!!!! Can’t say enough about them. I am fairly new at this so after a lot of searching the Internet I decided on using a CD18 in my 8 oz square mason jars but I’m getting black around the top of the jar after they burn awhile, should I try a CD16?
Hi Sandy I just started making candles and I am using The Flaming CC as well I love the Georgia Peach fragrance have you tried the eco wicks?
Hello 🙂 I have never tried the Georgia Peach I may have to buy a sample and check it out. Yes the ECO’s are great I use 2 ECO 10’s in my 12 oz tureen jars. They work wonderfully.
Shon G. says
Very good!! Thank you! I’m on the right track with wicks!!
I have tested this following oz jelly jars : CD 12 or HTP 104
8oz square Mason Jars: CD 16 or 18, or HTP 105
16oz square Mason Jars: CD 16 or 18, or HTP 105.All of these are pretty good.
We use a couple scents from Brambleberry at Molly Rue Candles. They have amazing scents! http://www.mollyrue.com/
Desiré H says
Hello there! Thank you for providing a place for asking questions-it’s truly appreciated.
So I’m new to the candle making game. I recently did my 2nd attempt and it was pretty successful! My only issue is that when the candles burn they’re emitting black smoke-too much for me to overlook. Before I continue I must advise that I painted the containers my candles are in. I used acrylic paint. Some jars were painted on the outside and others on the inside. If it’s not the paint, what do you suggest? The wicks I used were 6″ ECO-14 and jar sizes were 18.6oz filled approximately half way. Should I use a smaller wick? Any guidance you can provide is greatly appreciated!
I recently started this as a hobby with my wife and this helped me to test my soy candles. I didn’t even know about this and that I can do testing this way. Thank you for this article and for helping us.
Oh my gosh!
I really wish if I found this site earlier. The info you’ve given is so on point. What you said about the EO especially stuck with me. Again I wished I got the info sooner, I just spent a ton of money on EO cause I wanted my candles to be as natural as possible only to learn that it’s not recommended to be used alone….. Bummer😏.
But it’s all a learning process and for that I’m grateful.