Can You Use Soap Dye For Making Candles? (The Surprising Truth)

Adding color to your homemade candles, or just candles you love gives it personality and uniqueness. All in all, adding color to it just makes the candles so much better!

Dyeing your favorite candles allows you to customize them to suit your preference and style. Coloring candles sounds like a job that is hard to mess up, it is unless you use dyes that are not compatible with the wax.

Can you use soap dye for candles? You cannot use soap dye for making candles. When you dye a candle you need to use oil and wax-based dye and most of the dyes used for soap are water-based. This will not mix properly with the candle wax, will lead to poor and uneven coloring, and can even be dangerous.

This is usually where everything goes downhill.

Some novice candle makers like to think that they have tons of inexpensive, easy-to-find substitutes so they skip purchasing colorants specifically designed to do the job.

They say that there are a lot of cheap and natural choices you can choose from when it comes to coloring candles.

Some crafters prefer and suggest using soap dyes. Some say food dyes, With the amount of information you can get from the internet, it is really hard to confirm if these ways are truly a great option. You are probably asking yourself, “it is really worth it?”

Soap Dye & Candle Making

Some things just sound too good to be true. In this case, using inexpensive soap dye for candles. Using soap dye to color your candles is not just worth your time, effort, and resources. It just won’t work.

Most soap dyes contain an ingredient called glycerin which will not work with the wax. In order to color a candle, you need to add in an oil-based coloring agent. Soap dyes tend to be water-based products.

Even if you do succeed in having the candles take some color, it will probably be difficult and will not last, yielding poor and unsatisfying results. When you try to add the soap dye into the candle, no matter how hard you stir, you will still end up with little beads of dye that will surely sink to the bottom of the wax.

When you try and mix really well, the beads will eventually become smaller, however, you will still end up unsuccessful because you will not see or have any color absorbed into the wax.

No matter how hard you try, you will never get the desired end result when you are working with soap dyes. Soap dyes are made for a specific purpose, which probably means this won’t likely be suitable for other purposes besides dying a soap.

When making candles, it is essential to conduct thorough research about the ingredients you are about to use. Make sure that you follow the right process for safer and better results.

Food Coloring & Candle Making

Food coloring is water-based while fragrance oils, essential oils, and even candle waxes are oil-based.

Can you use food coloring for making candles? You cannot use food coloring for making candles. Food coloring is a water-based dye and will not mix properly with candle wax. The dye will not blend evenly and the moisture can create popping candles that can pop wax onto surrounding surfaces.

When you add water and oil into a bottle and shake it up as rigorous and hard as you can, giving your all into the experiment, you will still be left with beads of oil that will most likely make their way to the top of the bottle.

If you attempt to do this with your candles, the same thing would happen because the ingredients used are the same.

It is important to note that you might have the idea of using oil-based food color instead, but this might be a potential fire hazard because food dyes are not meant to be exposed in an open flame.

The standard food coloring usually used to tint your favorite deserts might sound like a sensible choice. They are concentrated, economical, and come in various bright and pigmented colors.

As tempting as it might be to just simply head to your kitchen and grab those tiny food coloring containers in your next candle-making activity, this one is clearly a horrible option.

Crayons & Candle Making

Aha! Crayons. Crayons are not water-based so these things will surely work. They are both cheap and easy to find, Well who doesn’t have some random crayons hanging around in their art stash ready to be melted and added into their candles. While this may sound like a good idea because crayons are basically just colored wax.

Can you use crayons for candle making? You cannot use crayons for making candles. Crayons contain pigments that will clog up your candle’s wick causing it to mushroom, smoke, burn irregularly, and can even snuff out the flame. In addition, they will not mix evenly with your candle wax and can leave an irregular color and even settle in the bottom.

You might want to consider how much it would affect the candles, your favorite candles. Using crayons in coloring your candles has been another thing DIY Youtubers have popularized. There might be logic in it at first glance. But crayons and candles are not quite the best match.

While crayons are colored wax, the wax components these crayons possess are just different from the wax components in candle wax. Crayons are mainly made out of a wax called paraffin, however, they also have insoluble pigments or oxides that serve as the colorants added into the wax.

Some hues need more pigment so they turn denser and have more powder particles in them. These powder particles will work great in producing a beautiful vibrant color in your wax, but this will quickly clog your wick.

This means rayons are not meant to be burned using a wick because of the capillary action, wherein when the wax melts, the wick is drawn up. The powder colorants in the crayons that produce that beautiful hue are too dense which will cause your candle to burn itself out before it reaches a full melt pool.

You will also likely notice a change in your candle wax’s texture and smell while burning as well, which is really unpleasant and unsatisfying.

Coloring Candle Wax Correctly

Instead of using random ingredients that you get from your kitchen or art supply, it is a better option to use dyes specifically formulated to work with candles. This is to avoid wasting candle wax and prevent any unnecessary accidents to happen.

How to color candle wax correctly? The correct way to color candle wax is by adding your dye blocks or liquid dye to your melting pot as you are melting down your candle wax. Melt them down together while mixing gently to make sure that the dye and wax are thoroughly combined.

Candle dye is a synthetic chemical created especially for candle wax. Most of these candle dyes are made from an oily chemical substrate called anilines which are water-soluble and can provide optimal color and function to your candles.

Candlescience offers two types of candle dyes: dye blocks and liquid candle dye.

Concentrated dye blocks allow you to produce vibrant colors in both soy and paraffin wax quickly and easily. You can easily add a unique touch of your preference and liking to your candles. You can even customize and achieve a variety of shades by adding single blocks to different amounts of wax.

Liquid candle dyes are concentrated as well, and the quickest way to add color to your paraffin, soy, gel, or palm wax. Gentle stirring is only required to achieve the most even color, assuring you the easiest and quickest mix without having to worry about leaving any particles or sediments.

Coming in 14 different shades that you can custom mix to achieve your own desired color, Even better, just 1 ounce of dye brings about a hundred pounds of wax to a medium shade of color. So, you don’t have to go around your house looking for a cheaper alternative way of coloring your candles!

Choosing Candle Dye

In creating beautiful colored candles, you must choose a candle dye that would suit your needs.

Which candle dye should I use? Choose candle dye that has specifically been designed to work with the type of wax you are using. Whether it is colored wax blocks or concentrated oil-based dye, you can find the right dye to meet your candle-making needs by visiting a reputable wholesale candle supplier.

When you want to achieve darker colors or when you are working with a larger batch of wax, we recommend using dye blocks. However, keep in mind that it depends on what type of wax you use. In soy wax, you will achieve darker and more vibrant colors. Using paraffin wax, you will be able to produce light to dark shades of color, depending on the amount and what colors you use.

When your agenda is to custom create unique colors that you can’t seem to find available in the market, it is best to use liquid dyes. When you use soy wax, you will get lighter and pastel shades. In paraffin wax, you will be able to produce light to dark shades.

Benefits of Candle Dyes

Using dye to color your candles is better compared to using pigments for a number of reasons. Firstly, when using dye, you can mix the color right into the wax because dyes are combustible so they burn.

Pigments don’t, so they can only be used as paint. So, the color can possibly clog the wick and the candle may not burn.

You also have better control over the final color outcome when using candle dyes. You can use candle dyes to be mixed and added into the concentration to achieve the perfect shade you want.

Dyes also do not have a significant effect on the burning performance of the candle which is very important. Some colorants can cause it to smoke or cause a change in burn time.

Safety Precautions

It is always important to be careful when handling dyes. Most dyes are made from synthetic products so they can either stain the skin, cloth, or other materials in the vicinity if you are not careful.

Note that there are people that are allergic to some of the ingredients in the dye. Remember to wear protective clothing like gloves to keep you safe and make the cleanup easier and faster.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of dye do you use for candles?

Use dye blocks and liquid dyes specifically designed for use with candles and mixing with wax. These dyes do not contain sediment or particles and will mix evenly with your candle wax, unlike some of the popular alternatives such as mica, crayons, and pigments.

Can you put mica powder in candles?

Do not use mica powder in candles. Mica powder will not mix evenly with your candle wax and will settle to the bottom as your candles dry, leaving dark spots on the bottom of the candle container. In addition, the mica will clog up your wick and cause it to smoke, mushroom, and even burn irregularly.

Is it safe to burn painted candles?

Do not burn painted candles. The paint might be flammable or toxic and can cause respiratory problems and smoke up your house. Most painted candles are made simply for decoration and are not meant to be burned.

How many colors can you add to candles?

Use one full dye block to two pounds of soy wax and one full dye block to four pounds of paraffin wax. If you are blending colors then match the required amounts accordingly. If you use too much dye in your candles it can clog up your wicks causing smoke, mushrooming, and restrict the flame.

Can you color candles with acrylic paint?

You cannot color candles with acrylic paint. Acrylic paint contains a number of ingredients that are not ideal for the candle burning process including pigments, metals, and other chemicals. These may produce toxins when burning, in addition to clogging your wick or causing it to mushroom.

Can I use liquid dye for candles?

You can use liquid dye for making candles. Liquid candle dye is extremely concentrated and only takes a few drops to dye an entire batch of candles. However, using too much dye can cause problems with your wicks when the candle sare burned.


In conclusion, do not use soap dye, crayons, or food coloring in your candles. Candle supply manufacturers make dye specifically designed for use with candles and it is affordable when purchased from a reputable wholesaler.

Use the proper ingredients in the manufacturer’s recommended doses and your candles will turn out great and burn the way they should.

You do not want to risk using anything that can negatively impact your candles or potentially bring harm to someone that is using your candles. You want to create a safe and efficient product.

Dye For Making Candles

Carl Adamson

Hi, I'm Carl Adamson, one of the founders here at Candleers. A few years ago I got really into the art and craft of candle making, initially with soy wax container candles. My friends started asking me to make candles for them and pretty soon it turned into a nice side-business. I started this website as a way to document what I've learned over the past few years and hopefully help others in the process. I still love candle making but I'm learning that what I enjoy even more is the business side of things - and for this reason I've started consulting others on how to start and grow their own candle-making businesses and side-hustles.

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