Do Candle Making Supplies Expire?

candle making supplies expire

We all want to get the best deal possible when ordering candle supplies from a wholesaler, but how much is too much? If you are just starting out you might not want to order a truckload of candle making supplies.

Although it might cost you more money to order in smaller batches starting out, it will make sure you have a fresh supply of candle-making supplies if sales are slow. How long do candle-making supplies last?

Do candle-making supplies expire? Candle making supplies do expire. Candle supply wholesalers suggest not ordering more supplies than you can use in the next 6 months to 1 year. The amount of time your candle supplies will last depends on how they are stored. Supplies should be stored in a cool dry place with a stable temperature.

If you store your candle making supplies in an outside shed or garage that is exposed to moisture and that is not climate controlled then your supplies may expire a little faster.

Let’s take a look at what some storage risk factors are.

candle making supply storage

Candle Supply Storage Risk Factors

Storage Conditions That Can Shorten The Shelf Life Of Candle Supplies

  • Exposure to light
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Heat
  • Moisture

Exposure to light

Exposure to light can cause oxidative photodegradation in candle wax, which is why some waxes contain UV inhibitors. So depending on how you receive your wax from the wholesaler it is best to keep it in whatever cardboard box you received it in.

The biggest threat in exposure to light is having your candle wax in plastic bags sitting around somewhere they are constantly exposed to sunlight from a nearby window.

Temperature fluctuations

Most suppliers recommend that wax is stored between the temperatures of 65°F and 85°F. Any fluctuations that go below and above those temperatures could speed the rate at which it begins to break down. This can cause the wax to expire faster and cause it to become unusable.


Since most vegetable waxes are essentially oil this means when they are exposed to heat it can cause them to go rancid over time. Candle wax can go rancid and discolored in a similar way to Crisco or other cooking oils.

The same is true for fragrance oils. At a certain point, it will start breaking down and lose its fragrance, it will even begin going rancid and no longer be useable for candle making.


If you let your candle wax sit around with the bag not sealed properly in an outside shed or a garage that can have loads of moisture it can really harm your wax. The moisture will make your wax look cloudy and discolored when making candles, and it can make the candles pop.

Recently there have been several news stories over scented candle that had moisture inclusions when they were made that basically covered the users desk in hot molten wax and nearly burned their homes down.

Ideal Storage Locations

You can help get the most out of your candle making supplies by storing them in the ideal location.

Here are some of the ideal spots to store your candle making supplies:

  • Closet
  • Basement
  • Spare rooms


Closets are a great place to store your candle-making supplies because they usually have zero sunlight and can remain pretty stable temperature-wise through different seasons.


Basements are also a great place to store your candle-making supplies provided they are not overly damp. However, even if your basement has some moisture, as long as you keep your candle-making supplies well packaged it shouldn’t be a problem.

Basements usually do not have drastic temperature fluctuations in the summer, however, they can drop quite a bit in the winter if they are not heated.

Spare Rooms

Any additional spare rooms in your home could be a great choice to store your candle making supplies. It just depends on how well you keep the candle making supplies packaged and if the rooms are climate controlled or how drastic temperature fluctuations are inside your home.

A garage can even be a great place to store unopened candle-making supplies if the temperature does not fluctuate drastically.

Candle Making Supply Shelf Life Warning

Candle supply wholesalers get their products in bulk from manufacturers and repackage it. The dates on their containers that say to use within six months or one year are pre-printed on all their containers and packages. You do not know how old the bulk supplies the wholesaler is distributing from actually are.

They get their materials in pallets and re-package it in to small plastic bags and 1 oz, 4 oz, 8oz, etc fragrance bottles to offer to customers retail. The material they are selling could already be several months, or more, old. So it is a good idea to use whatever candle making supplies you order as soon as possible.

If you live near your supplier it might be easier to justify picking up your supplies directly from the wholesaler more often to make sure you are always using fresh materials. However, if you have to rely on UPS like me, then you have to do some hard math or else shipping costs will eat up your profit margins.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do candle fragrance oils last?

Candle fragrance oils should last for at least a year under the right conditions. However, you have no idea how old they already are when you receive them from the wholesaler. Store the fragrance oil somewhere with a stable temperature and little to no exposure to light or air to get the maximum shelf life.

Does soy wax go bad?

Soy wax can go bad. Soy wax is essentially hydrogenated soybean oil and over time can begin to break down and turn rancid. It will begin to smell funny and the color will be somewhat translucent as it goes bad. Store soy wax in a climate-controlled area with no light exposure in an airtight bag or container.

Do unused candles expire?

Unused candles do expire. After a certain amount of time candles essentially “dry out”. The wax continues to harden and the fragrance oils begin to evaporate to the point that scented candles will not have a fragrance throw and the candle will not burn as the manufacturer intended. This usually takes a year or more to happen.

How can you tell if a candle has gone bad?

You can tell if a candle has gone bad when it becomes discolored and loses its scent. In addition, the surface of the wax may begin to yellow, harden and even crack as the candle ages. This usually happens when a candle is left unsealed or exposed to direct sunlight.

Is it safe to put dried herbs in candles?

No, it is not safe to put dried herbs in candles. Dried herbs are flammable and create the potential to cause an accident as fire hazards. If you are selling candles with dried herbs in them it is a liability. They can burn inside the container heating the glass, causing your customer to get burned or even shattering the container glass.

Do wax melts have an expiration date?

Wax melts do not have an expiration date. Wax melts are only useful for their scents so once they begin losing that scent that normally means it is time to move on and purchase new wax melts. However, if you have some fragrance oils you can still melt them and add your own oil.


In conclusion, candle making supplies do expire and the bad part is that you have no idea when exactly it is going to happen. Most candle supply wholesalers do not provide the actual dates on the supplies they are reselling so you just have to do the best you can with inventory management and using the proper storage conditions.

I tend to project what I think I can use within the next three months and order it via UPS. That leaves a few hundred dollars worth of shipping spread out across several hundreds candles which brings the shipping price per candle way down. In addition, you can make sure that you are always using fresh supplies when doing it this way.

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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