Most D.I.Y lovers try out different pigments and dyes to brighten up their candles by experimenting with various methods. As exciting as this seems, not everything that has color is typically meant for candles. And the same can be said for soap dye.
Can you use soap dye for making candles? Soap dyes don’t make great candle colorants. They are composed of Glycerin and don’t dissolve properly in wax, which candles are made from. Therefore, you should color them with carefully formulated dyes that mix exceptionally well and give several shades to the 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.
There are numerous other far-better options available for dyeing wax. Choosing the suitable colorant for your wax candles will make them glow luminously for hours on end, spreading their soothing scents around your home.
Can You Use Soap Dye for Candles?
Soap dyes are made for coloring soaps. Pigment and oxide soap colorants will unfortunately not dissolve in wax and may give an undesirable speckled look as they have different particle sizes. They remain dispersed in the resin, and this gives a messy and splotchy effect on the candle.
Eventually, when you light the candle, it will clog the wick, causing it to struggle continuously and make the burning inconsistent. They extinguish the flames and settle at the bottom of the candle, making the candle lose its exquisite beauty. In some cases, it may even cause possible burning, as some of them are highly flammable.
Is Soap Dye and Candle Dye the Same Thing?
Soap Dye is not the same as Candle Dye. Using soap Dye to color candle wax is considered dangerous as it contains Glycerin which is higly flammable.
Naturally, the soap dyes are formulated to work best with soaps. That’s standard. They vary in their chemical composition from the candle dye. Soap dyes are made of Glycerin, so they absolutely shouldn’t be used with any form of a burning flame.
Colorants designed for candles give the best results and do not cause any kind of issue. They are synthetic chemicals made from anilines, a particular chemical that provides elegant colors to the candles that allows them to be lit for hours and hours. You can guarantee no fowl or unpleasant smells as they dissolve in the wax and don’t settle at the bottom of the candle while burning.
Candle dyes are sensitive to U.V. rays and shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight as they’ll fade incredibly fast if kept in the sun. It’s therefore not advised to experiment with mixing any type of component that you don’t know much about. This one should be a no-brainer.
You will – obviously – be using it around a burning flame. So, anything you mix or use around it may be potentially flammable and can cause a fire hazard. It is vital you read the labels and instructions carefully – I cannot emphasize this enough.
What Can You Use to Color Candles?
Candle wax is ideally colored with a dye because it dissolves in resin and doesn’t clog the wick. Wax dyes are available in numerous different forms, such as liquid, flake, block, and chip.
Dye flakes are suitable for producing medium and pastel shades, whereas liquid dyes give high color saturation and vibrant colors. You can find a variety of candle dyes in many craft stores. They are safe to use, burn with ease, and don’t interfere in candle burnings.
Liquid Candle Dyes:
Liquid candle dyes are formulated to mix evenly in the wax without leaving any sediment. The color will not travel in the candle but somewhat fades with U.V. rays. 1oz of dye is enough to color 125lbs of wax for producing medium shades. This means that 4 to 8 drops are sufficient for 1lb of wax, and using anything more than 10 drops may cause an unpleasant smell while burning candles.
Powdered Candle Dyes:
Powdered candle dyes are incredibly concentrated; only a few pinches are enough for an entire batch of wax. It’s usually the professional candle makers who mostly use them, so we know the results are reliable!
Dye blocks are way more concentrated and used for coloring much larger batches of wax. 1 block is sufficient for a massive 20lbs of wax. The only downside of using dye blocks is that it’s relatively difficult to measure accurate and specific amounts. Therefore there is a slight color variation in each batch of candles sometimes.
Dye chips offer more flexibility in the variety of colors it provides. Each chip is enough to color a pound of wax in medium shades. What’s amazing about this? You can dye candles by mixing the fragments to create exciting hues!
Some of the herbs like lavender, comfrey, and rosehip provide vibrant colors and dissolve in the wax to make your candles as scenic as they could be. It is, however, advised not to add any type of spices in powdered form. The consequence is a little devastating; they will get dispersed in the resin, guaranteed, so let’s try and avoid that.
What Type of Coloring Should You Avoid?
Many people claim that you can use literally anything to color the candles. I’m pretty sure we may be a little skeptical about that, though. These candles do give a graceful look and at a minimal cost, as most of them can be found at home.
They look fantastic until you light the candle. I don’t think it will remain so awesome at that point, really. Here are a few things that people usually add to their candles to color them.
You heard me right. Crayons. Broken crayons are an inexpensive way of giving color to your D.I.Y. candles. As the crayons are also made from wax, they will quickly melt in the mixture. However, crayons contain pigments that are insoluble and remain dispersed in the resin.
They only give a satisfactory result, and the candle will have a perfectly finished look. But that’s not all. Once you light it, they start clogging up the wick. Moreover, they also gather at the bottom of the candle, giving it such an unpleasant look. Not only would you not want to look at it, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to use it either.
Crayons also give an unpleasant smell, causing damage to the scent of your candle. For these reasons, they aren’t a good option for coloring wax at all.
Food colors are not the best ingredient to use in candles. This is because they are water-soluble. They are made of propylene glycol, alcohol, citric acid, high fructose corn syrup, and other problematic ingredients.
They may offer attractive and distinct colors, but they don’t dissolve in wax as you would expect. Ultimately it ends up creating a splotchy-like effect on your candle-making project that just looks straight-up unpleasant.
Reusing a broken eye shadow pallet to create beautiful candles actually looks pretty reasonable. They come in various shades and glitter even! The downside?
These products are also made from pigments that will sadly not melt in the wax; instead, they will disperse in it. Using eye shadows will create similar issues as with the crayons – they will clog the wick and give an uneven color to the candle. Yikes.
Mica is a mineral colorant that can produce gorgeous candles. But then again, the particles of mica also don’t dissolve in wax. Bummer, right? They just start settling in the bottom once you light your candle and may clog the wick to produce an inconsistent flame. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t waste my time trying this out.
Candle making is a rewarding yet straightforward craft and hobby. You can make them for personal use, business purposes, or even create one as a gift for a loved one. In all cases, proper research before implementing anything will make a world of difference, and your candles will remain safe and utterly gorgeous.
Dyes formulated for candle wax are an ideal choice as a wax colorant. They won’t clog the wick or create a repulsive appearance or aroma upon burning. These pigments are affordable and readily available in multiple different forms. Best of all, they produce perfect results since they are explicitly specialized for this purpose.
Using other coloring agents such as soap dyes, crayons, or food coloring may be acceptable for making a few candles for your personal use. But if you’re planning to start a candle-making business, then please do yourself a favor and save your time and money by using specialized candle wax dyes. These should be your only – and ultimate – choice.