January 15, 2014

Adventures in Candleland

Just before xmas I read a magazine article about making soy candles. The instructions couldn't have been more than a paragraph or two. Naturally, I gamely thought I wanna try that.

Half-off day at the thrift store lightened my wallet $8.00 in exchange for 26 glass containers, from a handful of actual votive holders to juice glasses to jelly jars to highball glasses to cream pitchers to mugs. This is fun!

And then came the candle making supply search. Firstly, where on earth around here can I find soy wax and candle wicks? Secondly, eeh gads, what's the difference between the bazillion styles and sizes of wicks and formulations and brands of soy wax? 

Luckily, after much searching, I found a candle and soap making supply wholesaler not too far away. With limited stock available in sample sizes at the warehouse outlet. Bingo! Additional searching and research led me to the CD type of wicks. These are coreless wicks, and from what I read, work well with soy waxes. Proper wick size, however, depends on the diameter of the vessel/candle. My thrift glasses range from 2 inches to 3.5 inches. Some are straight up and down, some taper, some flare. Oh dear. As to the waxes, I didn't research them. I simply chose to try 100% pure soy. (I gather the other formulations include vegetable based additives that alter the makeup of the wax and effect the melt point and burn temperature. But I could be wrong.)

At the wholesaler, I gathered up 2 pounds of soy wax and a range of CD wicks. I plan to make test candles in the 5 votive holders that are identical in size and shape. Each one will have a different wick size. After 2 days of setting up I will burn them and see which wick works best. Let the experimentation begin. 

Have you made soy wax candles? What was your experience? Any advice as to pour temperature and wick size?

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