How much candle wax is needed for candles? – The ultimate guide


The perfect amount of candle wax is crucial to the success of your candle. Too much, and you’ll end up with a messy wick or nothing at all; not enough, and it will simply fail before even melting! How can we tell when we have just enough, and how can we calculate it?

To know how much wax a candle needs, you’ll need to multiply the wax ounces per container by the number of containers. Then divide the result by 16. For example, to make 25 candles in an 8-oz container, you’ll need 5 oz to fill the line, resulting in 5×25 = 125 wax ounces. Then, divide 125 by 16, resulting in 7.9 wax pounds.  

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.

The internet has some answers, but they are all over the place and contradictory. Some say 3x the diameter of your candle should be enough, while others say 2x or even 1x! It’s confusing to know what works best for each type of candle. What about different-sized molds? How can we find an answer that will work for everyone?

This guide breaks down how much wax you need by size and type. You can use this information to ensure you always get just enough wax, so your wick stays centered and burns properly without wasting any materials or spending money on extra supplies.

How much candle wax do you need to make a candle?

Figuring out how much wax you’ll need to create candles is always a process based on weight, not volume. Therefore, it’s a common mistake to measure it as if the wax was another liquid, like water. However, wax is not as dense as water and takes much more space.

In this section, we’ll teach you how to figure out the exact amount of candle wax you’ll need to make candles. Don’t worry. This process doesn’t imply utilizing complex math formulas that are too challenging to understand. 

For starters, please note that you’ll need containers with measurements by ounces. This way, the formula you’ll need to figure out how much candle wax you’ll need to make a batch of implies multiplying the wax ounces per container by the number of containers you have – the result is then divided by 16, which is the exact amount of oz found in a single pound. As a result, you’ll obtain the pounds of wax needed for your candles.

Let’s give you an example with numbers.

Suppose you want to make 25 candles in an 8-oz container. In that case, you’ll need 5 oz to fill the line. The formula would result like this: 5×25 = 125 wax ounces. Then, if we divide 125 by 16, the result would be 7.9 wax pounds. If you stick around this number, you should be able to continue with your whole batch. However, having a bit of leftover wax doesn’t hurt anyone.

What is candle density?

We mentioned that “wax is less dense than water” in the previous section. However, what does this exactly mean?

For starters, in the candle-making context, “density” is often referred to as “specific gravity,” but don’t worry; it’s just a fancy term. It refers to the weight a substance ends up having once it feels a determined area. It’s exactly what we do while making candles: we’re measuring the wax by weight, but we’re trying to fill a volume.

This way, weight and volume define density. Having the first two elements is all you need to figure out the third. So, density is vital in the candle-making process to make sure that we’re taking precise measurements

Now, specific gravity is used to label the density of a substance taking into account the density of water, whose specific gravity is 1.0.

Back to candle wax, the specific gravity for it’s between 0.80 and 0.98. it’s always less dense than water, but it depends on the wax you’re using. If the wax you chose has a higher specific gravity, then you’ll need more wax to fix a determined space.

Now, how do you use all this information to calculate how much wax you’ll need per candle?

We’ll describe how you can use all the information we’ve described until now to get the exact measurements you’ll need for the manufacturing process.

How do you calculate your wax per candle?

We can calculate how much wax you’ll need per candle by taking into account two numbers: jar fill volume and wax weight.

  1. Jar Fill Volume

For the first part of this section, let’s figure out how much liquid your jar can hold – then, you’ll know how much wax you’ll need to fill it. We’ll be using 300 ml as the reference number. 

Therefore, it’s recommended to use a measuring jug or any other tool to make sure that you’re getting the correct numbers – your jar may be able to hold up more or less liquid.

Once you’ve got the right amount of liquid in your jar, you can jump to the next point, where we’ll calculate the wax weight.

  1. Wax Weight

Okay, now you know that you can fill your jar with up to 300 ml. However, it’s practically impossible to find liquid wax in the market. Most of the time, it’s sold as flakes or any other form, but NEVER liquid. Since it’s not a liquid, the measurements will be in grams, not milliliters. What do you do now?

Don’t panic yet – now, here we’ll take into account the specific gravity or density of the wax type you’re utilizing. Then, you’re going to take that number, and you’ll multiply it by the milliliters of wax your jar can contain at the time. 

For instance, let’s continue with the previous example and say that you’re using 300 ml of candle wax. 

In addition, let’s suppose that this wax has a density of 0.83. In this case, the formula would be: 300 x 0.83 = 249 grams.

However, please note that if you’re making aromatic candles, you should also take into account the fragrance oil milliliters you’re utilizing for this formula. For instance, if you use 30 ml of fragrance oil in a 300 ml jar, that means that you’ll use 270 ml of wax. Therefore, you would need 224 grams of solid wax to complete your recipe.

How to measure wax

We’ve told you how you could measure wax in the previous sections. However, we’ll be a bit more specific here, so you know how to perform each step thoroughly and reduce the likelihood of mistakes during the candle-making process.

So, in most cases, you’ll find wax in their solid presentation. Most recipes require you to melt the wax to mix all the ingredients (fragrance oil, etc.) to make a beautiful candle with a pleasant smell. 

However, how do you measure the amount of wax you need, considering that you’ve bought it in a solid state, but the process requires you to convert it into a liquid?

Well, it’s not as complicated as it seems. All you need is to figure out how much liquid your jars can hold at the time – then, you’re going to use that number and multiply it by the density of the wax type you’re using to figure out how many grams of wax you’ll need to complete the recipe.

For instance, in the example above, we said that our jars had a 300 ml capacity. In that case, multiplying 300 by 0.83 (which is the density of this hypothetical wax) would give us. As a result, 249 grams.

As you can see, the formula is not that challenging. You can use it as you can see below:

The total capacity of your jar in milliliters x Density of the wax = Total amount of wax you’ll need in grams

Should you measure wax and fragrance?

Yes. If you’re going to use fragrance oil in your candle recipe, you must take into account the amount of fragrance oil to figure out how much candle wax you’ll need for the final result. 

Remember, the fragrance oil is a liquid too, and therefore, it takes up space. Knowing how much fragrance oil you’ll need to make candles is an uncomplicated process, too.

Figuring out the fragrance percentage

This measurement is known as fragrance load (FL). It’s the fragrance oil percentage you’ll stir along with the melted wax during the process. 

A percentage always represents this number, and the overall recommendation implies using 10% fragrance to ensure that your candles have a strong scent throw.

So, how do you know the percentage of fragrance oil you’ll need for your candles?

All you need to do is measure your jar volume or capacity by then. The result is the total milliliters of fragrance you’ll need to carry on with your recipe. For example, if our jar has a volume of 300 ml, the formula would be 300×10 = 30 ml. 

What does this number have to do with the wax?

Please remember that you’re mixing the fragrance with the wax in the same jar. Therefore, both substances will take up a certain area of that container, making it essential to have both measurements figured out to avoid potential mistakes.

Let’s follow the same example. If we have a 300 ml jar, we’ll need 30 ml of fragrance oil and 270 ml of melted wax to complete the recipe successfully. Using less or more fragrance oil can lead to problems, such as burning at an uneven pace, sweating, or not having a smell at all.

Is there a candle Wax Calculator, and should you use it?

There are tons of candle wax calculators around the web that can help you make this process less daunting. If math isn’t your field of expertise, we recommend you use these tools to ensure you’re using the correct measurements for your candles.

We’ll save you a few minutes of looking around the internet for a good option by giving you a recommendation: Candle Shack UK’s Wax and Fragrance Calculator. This calculator has enough resources for you to make a whole batch of beautiful, good-smelling candles.

It will tell you how much candle vessel (wax) you’ll need based on how many candles you’d like to make. Furthermore, it will give you exact information about the fragrance percentage (and milliliters) you’ll need to complete the recipe successfully.

Many people worry about these tools not being precise enough to give them the exact measurements for their candle recipe. 

However, please note that the calculator found in this article follows the same formulas we’ve described throughout the article. Therefore, the risk of mistakes is quite reduced here.

Either way, you always have the option of grabbing a piece of paper and making the calculations yourself. It only takes a couple of seconds, and you can always use your phone’s calculator or any other you have at hand to help you with the process.

Is there an alternative way to calculate wax?

Although the methods mentioned above are the most precise methods you have to figure out how much candle wax you need to complete a whole batch of candles, there are alternative ways to figure out the exact measurements easily.

All you need to do is take the number of containers you have in possession, then multiply it by their size (in oz) and then multiply it again by 0.80; following up, you must divide this number by 16, which is the total amount of ounces in a pound. 

So, if we have 30 containers of 8 ounces each, the formula would result like this: 30 x 8 x 0.80 ÷ 16 = 12 lbs of wax.

This method is a lot easier, and it gives you precise information regarding the amount of wax you’ll need to complete a certain wax recipe.

All these math formulas can be complicated to follow and remember for people new to the candle-making world. However, since candles need to have exact measurements – especially if you’re making scented candles – it’s crucial for you to follow these formulas as advised not to suffer any unintended side effects when you finish making the batch.

Not following the exact measurements can lead to candles without a strong hot throw, sweating, or even unbalanced burning, posing a serious fire hazard.

What else should you measure?

In candle making, temperature and weight are the most important measurements to take into account.  Firstly, temperature levels are essential during the making process, while the candle is curing and even burning. 

On the other hand, candles that actually work, wax, and fragrance oil are not the only things you’ll need to measure – but they are the most essential.

  • It’s important to measure the container where you’ll cure the candles before you start the process. it’s necessary to determine how much candle wax you’ll need for the overall process.
  • After the candle has been finished, you’ll need to cut the wick to ¼ inch to make sure it burns at an even pace.
  • Furthermore, it’s highly recommended to have a scale at home to make sure you’re using precise measurements.  You don’t need anything too fancy. All you need is accurate measurements to make sure that you’re making your candles the right way.

In addition, please note that the only valid measurement forms to measure weight when it comes to candle making are grams and ounces. Do not mistake fluid ounces by ounces. Fluid ounces measure volume, while ounces measure weight. 

Also, each wax has a different density, so it’s essential to consider those values while calculating how much you’ll need to continue with the process.

Do you calculate wax differently for each type of candle?

As mentioned in the above sections, most waxes have different densities or specific gravities, which are usually between 0.80 and 0.98. Therefore, although the calculation process doesn’t vary that much, it’s crucial to figure out the specific gravity of the candle you’re using. Otherwise, you’re prone to making a failed batch of candles. Estimating or assuming is not the wisest thing to do.

Here we’ll tell you how you can determine the specific gravity of any material you’ll use during the candle-making process. 

Finding your materials’ specific gravity

You’ll need to follow four steps to figure out the specific gravity of your materials – wax included. However, we recommend you reunite all the necessary materials, so you don’t have any problems later. As we’ll be taking weight measurements, you’ll need a scale, which you likely already have if you make candles. 

Contrary to what’s described above, you’ll need containers with mL measurements to figure out volume. Remember that volume and weight define a substance’s density. Anything with milliliters can work pretty well, but lab beakers are more precise.

Once you’ve reunited all the necessary tools, you can continue with the steps described below.

  1. Melt wax

You’ll often receive or buy wax in its solid state, either in flakes or blocks. Due to the manufacturing process, it can be quite tricky to figure out the exact volume this way. Therefore, it’s better and easier to melt it to avoid any potential mistakes in the process.

Once you’ve melted the wax, please don’t add anything to it yet.

  1. Measure the wax’s volume and weight

The next step can be a bit daunting at first glance, but don’t worry. It’s pretty easy. All you need to do is transfer your candle wax into a measuring glass. It’s recommended to record the measuring glass’ empty weight so you can subtract it in later steps to have precise measurements.

Next up, pour the wax into the measuring glass until it reaches a listed tick. We’ll be taking 500 ml as an example for this article. Still, you’re free to use any other measurement. 

Now, you’ll need to weigh the measuring glass with the candle wax on the scale. Now you have the volume and the weight of the wax you’re utilizing for this recipe. As mentioned above, these two numbers are what you need to figure out how much the specific gravity or density of the material is.

Please remember that in candle making, weight can only be measured in ounces and grams. On the other hand, volume can only be measured in mL or cups. Different measurement units are utilizable, but these are the easiest to use and more common.

  1. Convert the measurement units

Now, it’s time to determine the density of the material. The formula implies dividing weight (w) by volume (v) to obtain density (d). Therefore, it would end up looking like this: D = W ÷ V.

If we continue with the example provided above, the formula will end up looking like this: 429 ÷ 500 = 0.858 gr/mL.

However, we haven’t finished yet. The next step implies dividing the result by another number based on the units you’re utilizing. Please do it as the following chart displays:

  • If you’ve used grams and milliliters, you’ll need to divide by 0.997.
  • If you’ve used grams and cups, you’ll need to divide by 235.88.
  • If you’ve used ounces and milliliters, you’ll need to divide by 0.3517.
  • If you’ve used ounces and cups, you’ll need to divide by 8.32.

The previous operation gave us 0.858 gr/ML as a result. Then, it follows like this: 0.858 ÷ 0.997 = 0.86. So, the specific gravity of the material you’ve used is 0.86. This formula can be used for wax and fragrance oil.

FAQ

In this section, we’ll answer some common questions that people have when it comes to making candles. All of them are related to specific measurements, which are typically used in this niche.

How many candles does 1kg of wax make?

It depends on the size of the candle glasses you use. For instance, if you use 20cl candle glasses, you’ll end up making around six candles with 1 kilogram of wax. Please consider that you’ll need about 166.66g of wax to make each candle.

How much wax is needed for a 16 oz candle?

If you’d like to make a 16-ounces candle, you’ll need 12.8 ounces of candle wax.

How much wax do I need for a 20cl candle?

As mentioned above, you need at least 166.66 (approximately) to make candles with 20cl candle glasses.

How much wax do I need for a 5 oz candle?

It depends on how many containers you have. If we take into account the formula given at the beginning of the article and suppose we’d like to make 25 candles with each one measuring 5 ounces, then the formula would result like this: 

5×25 = 125 wax ounces

125÷16 = 7.9 wax pounds

So, each candle would have an overall weight of 0.3125 pounds.

How much wax do I need for an 8 oz candle?

If you’d like to make 8-oz candles instead, then you’ll need to change the formula a bit. Let’s take the same example from above and adapt it to these circumstances:

8×25 = 176 wax ounces

176÷16 = 11 wax pounds

So, you’ll need about 0.5 wax pounds for each 8-oz candle.

How Much Wax For 4 oz Candle?

Similar to the 8 oz candle this formula is calculated the same way but only half of the example above.

4×25 = 88 wax ounces

88÷16 = 5.5 wax pounds

So, you’ll need about 0.22 wax pounds for each 4-oz candle.

How much wax do I need for a 9 oz jar?

Let’s continue with the example given above to answer this question.

9×25 = 225 wax ounces

225÷16 = 14.0625 pounds

So, to make a 9-oz candle, you’ll need 0.5625 pounds of wax.

Summary

Mastering the candle math process is not as complicated as it seems. There are universal formulas that are prominently used, which can help you with the process at any time. All you need is to have a scale and a measuring glass at home for more precise units.

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