One of my lovely friends has been telling me recently about her homemade candles and gave me one as a gift for Christmas. The fragrance was lovely and it just felt that bit more special burning a candle that had been lovingly handmade. So much so that my friend has inspired me to have a go at making them too. I am always up for a challenge to learn a new skill so candle making fitted the bill perfectly.
There’s lots of websites that offer advice on making candles. When you start reading about the process you begin to learn that whilst they are relatively simple to make and fairly cheap, there are quite a lot of things to think about.
There are are few different types of wax that can be used however most candles are usually made from either, paraffin wax (used by many commercial candle makes and often called ‘mineral wax’ to make it sound a bit more eco-friendly) or soy wax.
Paraffin is made from petroleum. It is typically cheap to buy paraffin wax and because of this paraffin candles typically are much cheaper to buy. Paraffin is meant to be great to make candles with and ideal for beginners. The downsides are that petroleum is not a renewable energy source and mining it is bad for the environment and hang on – do you want to be burning petroleum in your home?
Soya wax, what I have been using, is made from hydrogenated soybean oil, the same plant that tofu comes from. Soya bean oil is biodegradable, a renewable resource and it’s much easier to clean up (compared to paraffin wax) if you spill it. As far as candle making is concerned then soya wax is not as easy to use as it supposedly does not hold the fragrance quite as well, likewise if adding colour to candles.
Soya wax candles take 50% more time to burn so although they may cost a little more to make (or buy) you will benefit from much more burning time out of your candle. They will also burn evenly, so will not leave excess wax on the sides of the candle holder. Being made from a vegetable oil, soya wax candles have a lower melting point resulting in minimal amounts of soot, and they release no carcinogens into the air. Soya wax candles are simply more healthy.
For me I love using soya wax and this is the only type that I have used. I adore the delicious creaminess of the candles that you produce so I am not interested in adding colour to my candles. The fragrances that I have been using are good quality 100% essential oils so the fragrances are pure and the scent throw is good.
Most importantly I want to make and burn candles that are much cleaner in my home knowing that the ingredients that I have used to make them are as clean and pure as can be.
If you’re not quite up to having a go at making your own candles but fancy buying one, then please take a look at my friend’s hand-poured soya candles range – Olivia Alice Candles – here.