General Candle Making Questions
I’ve never made candles before. Is it difficult? How do I get started?
How can I figure out how much wax and fragrance I will need to make my candles?
How do I determine the burn time of my finished candle?
What can I do to prevent my candles from fading if I have them outside?
Why do I need to test burn my candles?
What will my final cost be in my finished candles?
How do I know how much to charge for my candles?
I hear a lot of talk about phthalates and phthalate-free fragrance oils. What does this mean?
The easiest way to get started making your own candles is to purchase one of our candle making kits. We have four different kits to choose from. Each comes with detailed step-by-step instructions, as well as ALL of the supplies you will need. If you still have questions, feel free to call or email. We are more than happy to answer the questions you might have.
Per pound of wax, you will get about 20 ounces of volume. To find how much wax you will need, multiply the number of candles you are making by the amount of wax it will hold, and then divide that by 20. For example, if you want to make 30 - 8 ounce candles the math would be as follows:
30 (containers) x 8 (oz per container) = 240 total ounces / 20 = 12 lbs wax needed.
To calculate the amount of fragrance, the math would be as follows (assumes a fragrance load of 11%):
12 (lbs of wax) x 11% (or 0.11) = 1.32 lbs of fragrance
You can also convert the total fragrance needed to ounces by multiplying by 16:
12 (lbs of wax) x 16 (oz per lb) = 192 oz x 11% (or 0.11) = 21.12 oz of fragrance
You will have to do a burn test on your candle if you want an accurate burn time. To do this, you simply burn the candle and keep track of the time that it takes to burn completely. The time that it burns will depend on the wax, wick, fragrance, dye, and the amount of time it is burned in one sitting. The burn time will be longer if you light it and let the melt pool reach the sides of the jar; then extinguish it, let it re-harden and trim the wick before lighting it again. If the candle is left to burn for an extended period of time before being extinguished, the burn time will be slightly shortened.
Fading can happen when candles are exposed to UV rays or fluorescent lighting. Adding UV stabilizer while you are making candles will help greatly reduce fading.
Test burning your candles before you start selling them will ensure they are burning to your satisfaction. This gives you the opportunity to find problems before they are distributed. You may find in test burning a candle that the wick may not be burning to the edge, or that the wick you chose is too large for the container you are using. It is better for you to discover a problem than have your customers inform you of one.
The final cost in a candle will depend on the type candle you are making and all the individual materials that were used. It is not necessary to include the cost of pouring pots, wick bars, molds, or any items that are reusable since they are not replaced each time you make them. Any container or jar you use should be included in your cost. Shipping charges should also be factored in to your final cost.
Once you have determined the final cost in your candle, a common practice is to double your cost for wholesale or triple your cost for retail. It is helpful to visit places in your area that may have a comparable item to see what the pricing might be and make sure you are not over or under pricing your candles. If you do not have a storefront, you may be able to charge a little less than the stores do since you don't have that overhead.
In the last few years the use of phthalates in fragrance oils and cosmetics has gained a lot of attention. There are some phthalates that are considered harmful and others that are not. For example, nobody would consider all berries or mushrooms unsafe, though specific types have a known toxicity at certain levels. "Phthalates" is a broad term that refers to a wide variety of compounds of differing chemical structure. Safety concerns have been raised about Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) and Diethyl Hexyl Phthalate (DEHP). We can assure you none of our fragrance oils contain these phthalates. The fragrance oils we carry that are not considered phthalate-free contain Diethyl phthalate (DEP). DEP as used in fragrances is safe for human health and the environment. The position on DEP from the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is to make clear that consumers can use fragranced products containing DEP with confidence. In fact, the safety profile for DEP based on "Human Health Criteria" shows DEP to be safer for use on humans than any natural essential oil. DEP is particularly useful in candle fragrances as it solubilizes fragrance into the wax and prevents "crystalization" in certain fragrance oils. For more detailed information regarding the use of DEP and phthalates, please click here. Also, here is a list of our phthalate-free fragrance oils.