Can You Put Essential Oils in Candles? 16 Things to Know


Essential oils are great for a number of things but can you put them in candles? This is a very common question for many candle makers who have just started. And with so many different opinions on the internet and no definitive answer, it can be very confusing. 

You can put essential oils in candles but make sure to start with 30 drops of essential oils to be safe, or the scent might be too strong. One tip to help tone down the overwhelming smell is using undiluted essential oils in combination with soy or beeswax candles – we recommend adding 40 drops for every eight ounces of wax.

Discover the ‘secrets’ Professional candle-makers use to create luscious homemade candles with this step-by-step guide. You’ll find out what supplies you need and where to buy them, as well as have the instructions written in an easy-to-follow format with lots of pictures for beginners.

When it comes to burning essential oils in candles, some people think that doing so will ruin them. But other users tell us not only are these scents safe for use as candle waxes but also emit pleasant smells throughout your home while they burn. 

But how do we know which of these two opposing views are true?  We took a look into this topic, and here is what we found out. 

Can you put essential oils in candles?

Of course, it’s okay to put essential oils in candles. However, although their scent tends to be quite strong in other usages when it comes to candles, you’ll have to utilize a bigger amount for the scent to take the desired effect. So, in a normal recipe of DIY candles with essential oils, the optimal amount would be between 30 and 40 drops. However, please note that this number varies based on the candle size and the scent you’re utilizing.

It’s essential to add more drops of essential oil to your candles because certain waxes aren’t exactly known for giving off any fragrance; their odor tends to be extremely neutral – this includes beeswax and soy wax. A few wax types have scents, but they’re not suitable for making DIY candles. 

If you’re worried that your candles have such a powerful odor, remember that this also depends on your preferences and whether you like the scent to be subtle or strong. You can always modify your recipes and experiment until you find the optimal amount of essential oil for your tastes.

Are essential oils flammable in candles?

We all know that essential oils in their pure form are flammable. However, when it comes to their usage in candles or other mixes, they lose this property in the mix. This happens because they’re mixed into wax, oils, and other ingredients. The result is a non-flammable substance that’s perfectly safe to utilize in candles.

Essential oils are diluted when they’re utilized in DIY Candles. Since they’re enormously concentrated substances, it is essential to use them with special care. However, all your worries will disappear as their flammable properties do when you add them to the candle wax and mix them with the rest of the ingredients.

However, bear in mind that essential oils are flammable when they’re utilized in their pure form. Without proper dilution, they can be harmful substances if you’re not careful. Hence, you should never try to add drops of essential oil to a burning candle – you’re likely to cause a fire!

Can you put too much essential oil in a candle?

Although it is recommended to use a considerable amount of essential oil in your candles, please note that utilizing too many drops of essential oil will cause the candle to produce an unbalanced flame. Also, remember that essential oil is flammable, and it needs to be diluted in order to lose this property and act as it should.

So, although adding more oil means that the candle’s scent will get stronger, putting too much will cause a problem and may leave your candles unusable. You can go through a trial-and-error approach until you find the optimal amount of essential oil for your preferences.

Despite that, please don’t restrain yourself when adding essential oil. Not adding enough drops of essential oil to your candles will result in an extremely subtle odor, almost imperceptible. Hence, it is recommended to be generous but careful not to convert your candles into a fire hazard. o

What essential oils can be used for candles?

Although all essential oils come from different ingredients, such as flower spikes, seeds, leaves, or even rhizomes, they all go through the same distillation process. Hence, next time you go shopping, you can choose your preferred scent and use it for your candles. 

For a more aromatic experience, try out the different sets of candles on offer. You can use essential oil blends such as sweet orange and lavender – perfect for those looking to relax or melt away stress! 

For those who enjoy something with stronger scents, there’s also ylang-ylang which will help you focus during meditation sessions; tea tree has been known as an effective natural disinfectant, while eucalyptus is great at clearing up colds from the head through the toe. Finally, we have lemon because everything should be fresh once in a while.

Please take into account that some scents are meant to be utilized for certain things. Therefore, in the next section, we’ll discuss what essential oils are best for candle making based on their purpose.

Which essential oils are best for candle making?

We’ve already said that all essential oils are safe to use in candle making. Therefore, every preference is valid, but knowing your scents is the key to perfection, the art of making DIY candles. Certain fragrances are utilized to stress relief, boost your energy, or put you in a relaxation state to continue your day – or go to sleep. However, not all scents are capable of that.

Here we’ll mention some of the best essential oil options you can choose for candle making based on the effect associated with them. Still, please note that there isn’t a “perfect blueprint” and that you can utilize any essential oil in your candles – although some smells are stronger than others.

  1. Lavender

Lavender is a good option for DIY candles if you’re trying to achieve a soothing, stress-relieving effect. Thanks, t its calming properties, lavender is utilized to manage insomnia or ease anxiety, to mention a few examples. 

It is also known that lavender fragrance is excellent for decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure. This way, including this scent in your candles may help you feel calmer and relaxed.

  1. Rose

Roses are often associated with passion and romance. However, their effects are not that different when it comes to their scent and usage in candles.

Like lavender, Rose has calming properties that reduce your blood pressure and breathing rate. However, it goes beyond putting your body in a relaxation state and can actually bring a positive boost to your mindset. Hence, it is recommended to individuals that struggle with depression or anxiety, for instance.

  1. Peppermint

Peppermint is prominently utilized in toothpaste due to its “cooling” sensation. However, it can be found in many other products, including drinks, cosmetics, and medicines. Hence, this scent is recommended in aromatherapy to relieve stress, tension, and nervousness. For example, if you feel mentally exhausted most of the time, perhaps utilizing peppermint in your candles can help you ease your mind.

If you’re struggling with food cravings, peppermint is also helpful. It is known to reduce your appetite.

  1. Citruses 

Citrusy smells have always been popular, and for a pretty good reason. But, regardless of your choice, you can trust that their scent will give you energy and a mood-boosting effect that will help you continue with your day. 

Here you’re free to select from the many available options, such as orange or lemon.

What are suitable essential oils for soy candles?

Utilizing essential oils for soy candles is possible, but it isn’t exactly the best. Soy wax needs more essential oil drops for the candles to give off a scent, and considering that essential oils are quite expensive, it may not be worth it in the long term. 

In addition, soy wax often neutralizes the scent of essential oil, and using more of this substance doesn’t mean that its fragrance will be stronger – you’ll cause the candle to burn at an uneven pace.

Essential oils are utilizable in soy candles, but most scents will lose their aromatherapy properties due to their instability. Plus, essential oils are volatile, which means that once burning, they’ll facilely vaporize.

With that being said, when it comes to soy candles, the best option is to use fragrance oils – which are meant to be utilized in candles as they’re more stable than essential oils and can give off fragrance easily once you’ve burned the candle.

In these cases, the best option is to utilize fragrance oils (see below for more information about its usage in candle making).

How do you blend essential oils for candles?

It can be a bit difficult for a novice to know how to blend essential oils for candles. However, here we’ll explain thoroughly what you need for your candles to throw off a fragrance strong enough for the candle to give off the scent as it burns.

For starters, let’s talk about the fragrance load. It is the fragrance percentage you’ll utilize in your candle. Experts recommend utilizing at least a 6% of fragrance load for candles, equal to 1 oz of essential oil for every pound of wax. Below we’ll discuss how much essential oil you’ll need for candles based on their size.

On the other hand, if you want to create essential oil blends, all you need to do is measure 100 drops of each essential oil you’d like to utilize in a tablespoon and put them in the same bottle afterward. It’s an uncomplicated process that will only take you a few minutes to complete.

Is it better to use essential oils or fragrance oils for candles?

Essential oils and fragrance oils are different products, even if they have similar usages. First, essential oils are concentrated substances that derivate from a plant, be it its seeds, leaves, or flowers. Contrary to this, fragrance oils are highly concentrated liquids that were mixed with a carrier oil, which is often scentless. As a result, we receive an extremely lightweight compound that reaches your scent receptors easily.

With that being said, fragrance oils are excellent for candles as they can provide a stronger scent than essential oils. Hence, if this is what you want, utilizing fragrance oils can be a better option – plus, since they need less to work effectively, you will also save some money in the long term.

Still, as with essential oils, you’ll need to add fragrance oil to your candle wax based on size/weight – hence, per each pound, you’ll need half an ounce. This way, you can assure that your candle will have a powerful hot throw.

What happens if you put too much essential oil in a candle?

As mentioned, adding too much essential oil doesn’t mean that you’ll get a stronger scent or that your candle has an even powerful aromatherapy effect. Also, please remember that essential oil is a flammable substance; thus, adding too much may cause uneven burning characteristics. Something similar occurs when you add too much fragrance oil to your candles.

If you add too much essential oil to a candle, it will end up dissipating or burning off in the wax pool. Likewise, if the candlewick is too short, the small area surrounding it will generate a small burn pool. As a result, its scent won’t be as strong as you’d like it to be – which is why it is recommended to utilize the optimal amount based on the candle ounces. 

Why don’t my candles smell strong?

This problem often happens with soy wax. That’s why fragrance oil is recommended over essential oil. It’s normal for soy wax not to have hot throw – that’s just how it is. However, it isn’t the only problem we can associate with your candles not smelling as strongly as expected – maybe you’ve added too little fragrance oil or scent oil during the making process.

Furthermore, you may not have added the scent at the optimal temperature. If you add the fragrance while the wax is too high, you’ll end up having an almost scentless candle as it will lose most of its odor. On the other hand, please try to cut the wick at the optimal length, which is about ¼ inches. This way, your candle will burn at an even pace, which also has an effect on the scent.

How can I make my candles smell stronger?

There are a few considerations to take into account while making candles if you’d like your candles to have a strong smell. Besides what’s mentioned below, it’s also worth noting that some smells are stronger than others. For instance, citruses have strong scents by nature, while lavender has a subtle scent that you probably won’t be able to perceive easily if you don’t use an optimal amount of essential or fragrance oil.

  • First, add the optimal amount of essential oil based on the amount of wax and the wax type you’re utilizing. Below we discuss this topic in more detail.
  • Don’t use a cup or a spoon to measure how much fragrance oil you’ll use. Utilize a scale instead.
  • The optimal temperature to add the fragrance or essential oil to your candles is 185ºF. Then, please stir the mixture gently. This way, both materials will bind together, resulting in a stronger scent throw.
  • Don’t burn your candles immediately after they’ve dried! Instead, wait a few days for them to cure. The minimum time is three days, but the optimal period is one or two weeks – especially if you’re utilizing coconut or soy wax.
  • Don’t store your candles in hot places or in areas with too much lite.
  • Think about the container where you’ll put the candles. If it has a bigger diameter, then it’ll give off a stronger scent. You should also take into account the room’s size – the bigger the room is, the bigger you’ll need the candle container to be.
  • Last but not least, make sure that you’ve cut the wick to the optimal height.

How many drops of essential oil should I put in a candle?

As mentioned above, the optimal number of drops of essential oil for a candle is between 30-40. However, please note that this number changes drastically based on the size or weight of the candle.  In this section, we’ll discuss how much essential oil you need to utilize in order to have a powerful hot throw in your candle, regardless of the scent you’ve chosen for your candles.

Before we start, don’t forget to consider the wax type you’re using. Soy wax is not recommended for scented candles as they neutralize the scent. However, you shouldn’t have any problems with other wax types.

Although we’ve mentioned what’s the recommended number of drops for scented candles, we’re being quite general and are taking into account bigger candles, about 16 oz. The following chart will give you a better idea of the optimal amount of essential oil for your candles based on their size.

How much essential oil do I put in a 16 oz candle?

According to experts, the optimal amount of essential oil to put in a 16 oz candle (which is equal to 1 pound) is 1 oz. This way, you can be sure that your candle will have a powerful hot throw, but remember that smells have different behaviors.

How much essential oil do I put in a 12 oz candle?

If you’re going to make even smaller candles, then continue reducing the amount – you’ll need ½ an ounce to make 4 oz candles with a powerful odor.

How much essential oil do I put in an 8 oz candle?

If you’re going to make half-an-ounce candles, you won’t need too much essential oil – about ¼ ounce should be enough for the candle to have a hot throw.

How much essential oil do I put in a 4 oz candle?

If you’re going to make 12-oz candles, the formula changes a little bit – you’ll need about 1/8 of oz so your candle can throw off the scent. Remember that the optimal amount of essential oil is about ½ per one pound.

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