DIY Essential Oil Soy Candles
Hey all! There's been a lot of hype around here lately about beeswax candles. It seems to be one of your favorite posts to read here on our blog, which I find fascinating, but I am happy to keep up the trend. My hope was to share how to make dipped candles, especially some from different types of plant-based wax, and I am already planning how to go about that. Though it may have to wait until next month when we settle into our new home. Today, I want to talk about making homemade soy candles scented with essential oils.
I want to start by saying that I am not an advocate for essential oils. I honestly don't know much more about them than the average person; I can never seem to hone in the pyramid scheme companies; and I don't necessarily look to them to cure everything that happens to me. BUT - I have seen benefits from using them, and I have never experienced any negative reactions after using them. I think most of you know that as someone who enjoys making herbal home remedies and crafts, I am also not a professional herbalist, so this is all purely based on what I experiment with! Candles won't kill you, but I wanted to get to the bottom of what the difference between making a soy candle and beeswax candle was. Because while I love making beeswax candles, the smell alone should hook you, they don't always burn the best. That's just my opinion!
If you've read my post on making purely beeswax candles, then you will remember that most candles from the store are made with paraffin wax. This is also true of most soy candles; they are made up of a mixture of soy and paraffin. Yikes! Why is paraffin bad? It has been researched to release over 7 different documented toxins, two of which are carcinogenic, and are also mixed with chemically made colors and fragrances. I actually started using this app called ThinkDirty that scans the barcode on most beauty and household products and rates them on a scale of 0-10, ten being the worst. I did not realize how bad fragrance was for you! Apparently it's used in a lot of products, even ones that are labeled "fragrance free" (Huggies fragrance free natural baby wipes are rated really terribly for fragrance). Fragrance oils, the synthetic kind, are a hormone disruptor and can cause allergies. I am starting to blame this for my constant break outs and diaper rashes! Here's what the ThinkDirty app has to say:
"The major concern with fragrance is that it is not required by law to disclose the individual ingredients used to produce it. Therefore, many fragrance ingredients which are harmful can be omitted from the label. While it is often a mix of synthetic and natural ingredients, fragrance commonly consists of harmful constituents such as phthalates."
Aaaaah! I know! I kind of almost hate learning these things as much as I enjoy finding them out. My main goal on this blog, when it comes to natural products, is to just be honest. That also means being honest with the fact that I am not perfect, and I don't always make my life 100% natural, waste free, better. You know? I just don't think it's possible, at least not if you still live in the real world, on the grid. But I am striving to make sure that anything I make is at least made with all of the good ingredients, the good products. I can control that!
So what's the deal with soy? Well, I have many opinions on soy. I think there's a lot of stigma out there that soy is terrible for you. We shouldn't eat it! But I don't know. I think anything in moderation is okay, if it's a plant. I don't really love that most of our crop production is soy and corn and wheat based. The more I learn about farming, horticulture, and the organic process is that our country's soil needs more plant diversity. Let's grow some einkorn or something, people! Soy, though, is a natural and renewable resource. That makes it a good candidate for many products, including candles. Because it's natural, it doesn't release anything nasty into the air, like a paraffin candle. Have you noticed that paraffin candles leave a black soot along the rim of the jar? A pure soy or beeswax candle will not do that, at least not as much. That black soot also collects on your walls and other home surfaces, over time of course, much like a cigarette. That makes soy a decent competitor when it comes to making a candle; and from what I am learning, the only way to make sure that everything is 100% is by making it your. dang. self.
Overall, it looks like beeswax is the better solution when it comes to clean burning. Burning beeswax actually releases negative ions that purify and clean the air. Soy doesn't do that, but it does hold scent a lot better. When it comes to making a scented beeswax candle, you'll have some trouble. Because you'll want to use natural fragrances, like essential oils, you'd need a lot of them to make that scent stick within the beeswax. You have a much better chance with soy! And here we are: soy candles scented naturally. It's going to be a beautiful thing. Plus it's so easy. Like the easiest thing you can make yourself and save a ton of money. Poured soy candles are expensive and made with synthetics!
- 100% soy wax flakes (at least 3 cups worth)
- Essential oils of your choice, 40-50 drops
- Candle wicks
- Jars to hold finished candle(s)
- Glass measuring cup
- A tool to stir the wax
- Prepare your jars or containers. People often go for a mason jar to hold candles. This is always simple! I also like these glass amber salve jars. So cute! You can pour them into so many different vessels like a thrifted teacup or copper cup. Attach your wick to bottom with a bit of melted wax. If your wick is long enough, wrap the top around a pencil to help keep it from falling over or swaying when you pour the wax.
- In a makeshift double boiler (a large pot filled with water and a smaller pot inside), boil some water. Measure out at least 2-3 cups of soy wax flakes. This was enough to make one candle for me.
- Melt the wax until it reaches around 125 degrees F. Remove from heat and add your essential oils. It's going to take quite a bit to make the scent stick, and I learned that it holds scent best when you add EOs once the wax hits 110 degrees F. Fancy, huh? If you are unsure about the temperature, it really depends on the wax that you bought. Most will let you know the temperature recommendations upon purchase or in the product description. I honestly did not measure the temperature, and the scent stuck great! I just waited about 8-10 minutes before dropping it in. I have some scent combination ideas listed below!
- Once the oils have been dropped in, about 40-50 drops per every 3 cups of wax, pour the melted wax into your chose vessel. Try to keep the wick as centered as possible to make sure the melt stays centered as your burn the candle.
- Once the candle hardens partially, about 30 minutes to an hour, you may want to poke some holes in the wax to pop any air bubbles. Then "cap" the candle by pouring a bit of wax over the top to fill the holes Trim the wick to about a 1/4 inch above the wax. Let harden completely and then burn away!
Essential Oils Combinations
- Energize. 25 drops of peppermint + 25 drops rosemary. If you have a little one in the house, make sure to swap out the peppermint oil with spearmint; peppermint can be too strong for children under 3-years-old.
- Clean. 15 drops lemon + 15 drops orange + 15 drops tea tree. Smells so good + fresh!
- Sleep Well. 25 drops lavender + 25 drops chamomile. Soothing and relaxing!
If you have "cooler" essential oils (I consider frankincense and eucalyptus cool LOL) then you can make a number of combos! Basically anything you might put in the diffuser can be made into a candle combination. Have fun! I think a spiced candle using clove oil + orange might be yummy for the holidays. These make such a quick and easy gift to give! I hope you enjoy these. Live clean! (: