You can find a lot of false and misleading information regarding candles and dying candle wax online. However, there is a right way to dye your candle wax and color your candles without limiting the burn quality of your candles.
If you use the proper ingredients and wax dying methods you will not only have candles that look great, but they will burn clean and burn all the way down.
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 if you use dyes that are not compatible with the wax.
In several cases, 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, “do they really work? it is really worth it?”
Let’s take a look at how to dye candle wax and what not to do.
How To Dye Candle Wax
How To Dye Candle Wax?
- Begin melting measured wax in the melting pot.
- Add a suggested amount of candle wax dye.
- Stir the mixture gently until the dye has dispersed evenly.
- Bring mixture to the required temperature.
- Pour mixture into candle containers.
- Allow cooling before trimming wicks.
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 preventing any unnecessary accidents to happen.
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.
Candle Wax Dye Types
Concentrated dye blocks allow you to produce vibrant colors in both soy and paraffin wax quickly and easily. With 21 beautiful and saturated colors to choose from, 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.
They come 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!
Also, be sure to check out our article about calculating exactly how much candle wax you need to make your candles. The article is titled How much candle wax do I need.
Which Candle Dye Should I Use
In creating beautiful colored candles, you must choose a candle dye that would suit your needs.
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 vibrant colors. When 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. Using soy wax, you will get lighter and pastel shades. In paraffin wax, you will be able to produce light to dark shades.
Benefits Of Dying Candles
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.
Can You Use Soap Dye For Candles?
Can You Use Soap Dye For Candles?
You cannot use soap dye for candles. Soap colorants are pigments that will have trouble dispersing through the candle wax and coloring it evenly. The pigments could sink toward the bottom of the container depending on cool time, and in addition, they will clog the candle wick.
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.
Can You Use Food Coloring For Candles?
Can You Use Food Coloring For Candles?
You cannot use food coloring to color candle wax. Food coloring is liquid-based and will not adequately mix with candle wax. It will sink to the bottom of the container and not disperse properly, leaving behind unsightly clumps and uneven colors.
Using food coloring in coloring your candles works just as well as soap dyes, poorly. These coloring agents are both unsuccessful for the same reason. Both of these dyes are water-based which means they do not mix with the wax properly.
Do you remember those science experiments we used to do in schools? 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.
Can You Use Crayons For Coloring Candles?
Can You Use Crayons For Coloring Candles?
You cannot use crayons for coloring candles. Crayons contain dye pigments that will not mix properly with candle wax. The color can be uneven and the pigments will clog up the wick causing irregular burning, wick mushrooming, and inadequate flame.
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.
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 crayons 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.
Can You Use Mica For Coloring Candles
Can You Use Mica For Coloring Candles?
You cannot use mica for coloring candle wax. Mica will not blend well with the candle wax. It will clump together, sink to the bottom, and can cause an irregular flame by clogging up the candle wick which can lead to the wick drowning in wax and failing to maintain a steady flame.
It is true some people use mica in their candles, however, by doing so they are limiting the performance of that candle. In addition, they are creating a candle that has uneven coloring and severely inhibiting the burn profile of their candle flame.
The problem with mica is similar to the problems with other pigments. Mica consists of large particulates that do not diffuse evenly in candle wax and when the wax is pulled to the wick, it will not burn and will cause it to clog.
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
Can you add spices to candles?
Do not add spices directly to your candles. Spices can burn and create a potential fire hazard. If you want to get fragrances in your candles you need to use essential oils or fragrance oils.
These oils are plant extracts made by mechanically pressing several pounds of material to make one small bottle of oil.
How to dye candles naturally?
Candle dye is a manufactured chemical specifically designed for use in candle wax. Options to dye wax in a natural way are limited. However, using a colored glass candle container and leaving the wax uncolored.
The wax will burn cleaner and have fewer wick issues without dye.
In conclusion, a lot of misleading and false information exists when it comes to dying candle wax. You see a lot of articles and Pinterest pins about using crayons, mica, food coloring, and soap dye. However, none of those things should be used in your candles.
If you want your candles to provide a steady and consistent flame then your best option is to get wax dye blocks or liquid candle wax dye from a reputable candle supplier.
That way you will get a great candle that is not only clean-burning but one that will have a steady and consistent flame. That is the kind of candle you or your customers can enjoy.