It has long been said in candle-making forums that adding some coconut oil to your soy wax can improve the look of your candles. Supposedly it will make it silky smooth, prevent wet spots and increase scent throw. Before we get to all of that we need to address the question at hand. Can you add coconut oil to candle wax?
You can add coconut oil to candle wax in low quantities. It is suggested to add no more than one-half teaspoon per pound of wax. Coconut oil melts at 76Â°F and will bring down the melting point of your candle wax. Adding too much coconut oil will make your candles soft and leave them unstable for shipping.
The problem with these types of candle-making tips or recommendations is that there is often very little empirical evidence to back it up.
This means you simply have to take others at their word unless you want to experiment and try adding some yourself.
Let’s take a look at what we do know and then later we will take a look at what others have to say.
Coconut Oil in Wax Pros and Cons
Lots of anecdotal evidence suggests that adding coconut oil to candles is that the candles get a smoother finish with a creamy texture. The candles produce a better hot scent throw, fewer wet spots and it reduces frosting on the surface of the candle.
I believe part of the improvement in hot scent throw might just be a faster scent throw. When you lower the melting temperature of your wax you will get a molten wax pool faster. This will increase the speed of a hot scent throw.
- Lower Melting Point
- Additional Cost
- Additional Additives May Be Required
We all want a nice finish on our candles and a better scent throw. However, adding coconut oil to your wax isn’t without its negatives. You hear a lot about the benefits of adding coconut oil to wax but people rarely talk about the negatives they’ve experienced.
Consider the available load of the wax you are using. If your wax has a 10% load for a fragrance oil, and you are using all 10%, then adding coconut oil is essentially adding more oil which has its own risks.
However, the main negative that stands out to me is that you are lowering the melting point of sow wax. A wax that already has a notoriously low melt point.
This could be disastrous when shipping candles in the summer. For more information on that read my article about shipping candles in the summer.
This problem can be avoided by adding Stearic Acid or Vybar to your candle wax.
Suggested Amount Of Coconut Oil Per Pound of Wax
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp per pound of wax
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- steric acid 3-5%
It is not recommended to use steric acid and vybar together at full usage levels.
Coconut Oil Alternatives
If your only reason for adding coconut oil is to improve scent throw, the good news is that vybar can do that all by itself.
Vybar can allow you to add more fragrance oil than the candle would have otherwise been able to hold as soy wax or as soy wax and coconut oil blend. However, too much vybar can hurt your scent throw so be careful.
In addition, more fragrance oil is not always the answer.
Candles can be finicky and sometimes you just have the right fragrance oil to match the type of wax you are using. Certain wax and fragrance oil combinations just perform well together and others do not.
You can overcome this by making sure you buy all of your materials from a reputable source and always read the reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions
When do you add coconut oil to candle wax?
Bring your candle wax up to 185Â°F and add the coconut oil in with the fragrance oil. Mix thoroughly but gently without creating any air bubble inclusions. The oil must be completely mixed to avoid having any areas of the candle with wax that doesn’t harden.
Is coconut wax the same as coconut oil?
Coconut wax is not the same as coconut oil. Coconut wax is refined hydrogenated coconut oil. Hydrogenation of the oil increases the melting point of the oil from approximately 76Â°F to 100Â°F.
Can you add coconut oil to beeswax candles?
You can add coconut oil to beeswax candles. Beeswax has such a high melting point that coconut oil will not drastically lower the melting point of the candles. Coconut oil will give the beeswax candles a smooth finish and give them a more refined and consistent burn.
Can you make candles out of pure coconut wax?
You can make candles out of pure coconut wax. However, keep in mind that pure coconut wax has a low melting temperature and may not be ideal for shipping to customers at any time other than winter due to its low melting point.
Can you mix coconut wax with soy wax?
You can mix coconut wax and soy wax. In addition, a lot of coconut wax that is available on the market is already a blend of soy wax and coconut wax. This is because coconut wax has such a low melting point, mixing it with soy wax helps increase its melting point.
Is coconut soy wax better than soy wax?
Coconut soy wax can be better than soy wax in some situations. It leaves your candles with more of a smooth creamy finish. In addition, many people believe that coconut soy wax candles have a better burn profile and scent throw than soy wax candles.
In conclusion, a little bit of coconut oil is not going to hurt your candles. Yes, it will slightly lower the melting point of your wax, but as long as you are not shipping candles from Arizona to south Texas by UPS ground in the middle of July you will probably be alright.
When you start getting into adding coconut oil, steric acid, vybar, and more fragrance oil that is when you start getting into trouble. That is also when you will have to start doing a lot of testing.
If you choose to go down that path be prepared to make at least four to five batches of two candles per batch with each formula. Let the candles cure for a minimum of three days and then use one from each batch for a “power burn” and try burning the other from each batch intermittently.
Only this will give you the best idea of what performs the best and what is worthy of sending to your customers.