I love love love candles. But having children makes you rethink a lot of decisions and I had heard a buzz paraffin candles are not that good for you. Turns out that’s an understatement.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) many candle manufacturers still use lead wicks. Lead wicks release five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air. Exposure has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems and learning disabilities to name a few.
Paraffin is a petroleum by product and releases soot in the air when burned. Ya, know that black stuff that accumulates around your candle jar, yea, that’s carcinogenic soot.
So soy candles it is, but let me tell you for $15-20 a jar I can’t burn them all day like I used to. So I decided it’s time to give candle making a try. I’ve heard soy wax flakes are fairly easy to work with. After searching the internet for how to do this I just about lost my mind. I supposedly needed to know the combustion point of my oil, cook and reduce to 2 different temps, I needed a special pitcher and a bain marie (double boiler). It was so frustrating. I’m melting wax, adding essential oil, pouring it in a jar. Why does it need to be so difficult? So I did what I always do, dive in and monkey around until I get it right. Ya know what, I got it right the first time and took pictures.
I bought a 1 lb. bag of soy wax flakes and 50 natural wicks from Amazon. (had a gift card, thanks Mom!) Total $16.65. Then I gathered up all my equipment. Here is what I used.
- glass measuring cup
- canning jar ring
- small wooden spoon
- clothes pin or pencil
- old baby food jars or any vessel you like (I kept every single baby food jar I ever bought knowing I would use them for something, hah!)
- essential oils
- fire extinguisher (just in case)
Place the wick in the jar and secure it with a clothes pin. If you are using a larger container you can wrap the end around a pencil.
Bring a small amount of water to simmer, just enough to reach the top and slightly cover the jar ring.
I used my baby food jar to measure 2 scoops. You will need twice the amount of flakes as the size of the container. Put it in the measuring cup and set it on the lid. I borrowed this idea from someone, I don’t remember who. If it’s you, holler, I would love to give you credit. It’s ingenious.
Stir until it’s fully melted with no lumps.
Turn off the stove and remove from the heat. Stir in several drops of whatever oil you like.
Move the wick to the side and pour in your container.
Center the wick.
Wait for it to harden and cut the wick so it’s about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
Light and enjoy your carcinogen free candle. Some people say to wait overnight before lighting, I was way too excited. I put mine in the freezer to harden.
Couple of things to think about:
There might be something to knowing an oil’s combustion point, so keep that fire extinguisher near by.
Your glass measuring cup will now only be good for making candles, found that one out the hard way.
My saucepan was small enough the handle of the measuring cup fell over the sides and kept it from slipping around.
I ended up with 7 – 6 oz candles from a 1 lb. bag. That ends up being $1.27 a candle and still have 43 more wicks to go. If I had bought the roll of natural wicks and a block of wax it would have been even cheaper.