How to color candle wax

Coloring candle wax is a fun way to add some excitement and creativity to your candles. But it can be hard, messy, and frustrating if you don’t know how to color candle wax and don’t have the right tools or instructions.

Candle wax can be colored using candle dye liquid for brighter and more saturated shades. For more solid and darker shades, candle dye blocks or candle dye flakes are more suited. However, one should avoid coloring candle wax with food coloring, mica, crayons, pigment, or acrylic paint.

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It’s easy to get lost in the candle maze’s color options. But once you know which type of dye works best with your wax-based candle, coloring becomes less daunting. And with this article, you’ll have all the information you need to color your candles without any hesitation finally.

How to color candle wax

Candle waxes can be colored using different methods, but not all of them are created equal. Most candles have unique structures that make it difficult to create the same effect and produce consistent results. Plus, some of the common methods are not as straightforward as most people think.

You can color candle wax using candle dye blocks, liquid, or candle dye chips. In the next section, we’ll describe how you can color your candles using each option.

What kind of dye is used for candles?

Before we dive in, we should shortly talk about using other types of Dye that originally were not meant to be used in candles, such as Soap dye. If anyone tells you to use soap dye for your candles, I would personally not, and here is why.

Now that’s out of the way. There are different types of candle dyes available for coloring candles. Here we’ll describe each one of them and how to use them for better results.

Candle dye blocks

Candle dye blocks that look like chocolate candy bars (but are unfortunately not edible). These blocks are non-toxic, skin-safe, and cruelty-free. You can find tons of colors available and mix them to obtain unique shades. Candle dye blocks don’t produce stains and are very easy to wash.

Here’s how to use candle dye blocks:

  • Use between 0.02 and 0.06 oz of candle dye block per pound of candle wax.
  • After measuring the wax and turning off the heat source, you can add the candle dye.
  • Stir the dye and the wax together for 2-3 minutes at a temperature of around 140ºF.

The only drawback associated with candle dye blocks is that it requires some experience for you to get the right color. Other than that, it’s an affordable investment.

Candle dye flakes

Like candle dye blocks, flakes are the next most commonly used candle dye. There is not much difference between the two as they work in a very similar way.

  • Use between 1/4 teaspoon to 1 pound of wax; for a darker shade, 1/2 teaspoon should be enough for 1 pound of wax.
  • After measuring the wax and turning off the heat source, you can add the candle dye.
  • Stir the dye and the wax together for 2-3 minutes at a temperature of around 140ºF.

Liquid candle dye

While candle dye blocks are better for achieving solid colors, some prefer using liquid candle dye to achieve brighter and more saturated colors. This dye is highly saturated and highly concentrated. It typically comes in small bottles, similar to food coloring.

Here’s how to use liquid candle dye:

  • It is standard to use 4-8 drops per pound of candle wax.
  • Proceed with the candle-making process as usual and melt the amount of candle wax. Before adding the dye, remove it from the heat source.
  • Now, ensure the wax is between 150ºF and 170ºF when adding the candle dye. Then, stir until it has fully blended with the wax.

Liquid candle dye is probably the best option you have available to color your candles. The

Can you use food coloring to dye candle wax?

Using food coloring to color candle wax is quite tricky. In fact, it isn’t very easy at all to get a successful batch of candles using food coloring.

Food coloring is extremely concentrated. It contains ingredients like water, alcohol, citric acid, and other additives that attract water. It’s quite complicated to bond the ingredients found in food coloring with candle wax. If you try to use food coloring to color your candle wax, it’ll probably end up looking like powder when the candle is fully melted.

Can you put pigment in candle wax?

Like crayons, pigments and oxides are not soluble. This makes them quite difficult to bond with the candle wax, and although they can give a mildly nice color to the candle, it will affect the quality of the candle due to the large size of the particles. You’ll end up with a candle that burns way too fast, making them not functional for candle making. There have also been cases where pigments were blocking the candlewick, altogether ruining the candle entirely. 

Can you use acrylic paint to dye candles?

While it is possible to use acrylic paint to dye candles, it can be a bit complicated. You’ll have to modify the paint with a special tool to make sure it appropriately blends in with the candle wax. Furthermore, this method is not quite recommended if you’re using essential oils or any other scent, as it may make it more complicated for the paint to adhere to the wax. It can still make a functional candle but won’t have a scent.

Can you use crayons to dye candles?

Most, if not all, crayons are made of paraffin wax, which is known for having volatile organic compounds that spread through the environment when you light them.

While you can make a functional candle using crayons as colorants, it will likely burn out before it can even make a constant wax pool. Furthermore, the paraffin wax found in candles will give them a different smell and texture once you burn them, which is one of the main reasons why people avoid using crayons.

Can I color candles with mica?

Micas are widely used in the cosmetic industry to give color to different products. Mica is a very common mineral that’s coated in iron or tin oxide, among many other minerals. The result is a nice color with a reflective colorant similar to glitter but with a finer consistency.

However, despite its high quality, you can’t use it as the primary colorant for candle wax. It is insoluble and practically impossible to blend in with the wax. So, the result can be either an uncolored candle or the mica stick to the container’s bottom.

Micas can be useful if you want to add a nice finishing touch to your candles, but if you want to color them, they’re out of the question.

How do you dye candle wax naturally?

If you don’t have any other option and want to go all-natural, you can opt for using certain types of natural wax for an all-natural recipe. However, you will only be able to color candle wax naturally if you use certain types of wax, like soy, palm, or beeswax.

With that being said, you can use some plants as dyes in your candle-making recipe. The first step is to choose what part you’ll use. For instance, you can use the leaves or the roots or a combination of different parts of the plant.

You need to cut the desired plant parts into small pieces and put them in a heat-resistant tea bag or a similar item. Next up, you’ll need to turn the filter into a small sachet by using a twist tie, for instance.

Next up, you’ll need to lower the sachet you previously made slowly into the wax, as if you were making tea. Please don’t put it at the bottom of the pot. You’ll see how the color of the plants starts sweeping into the wax. Let it sit until the wax has achieved the color you desire!

How do you color soy wax candles?

You can use the process described above to color soy wax candles if you want to keep them all-natural. However, candle dyes such as the ones mentioned above also work perfectly. Either option is completely fine and works perfectly to dye soy wax candles.


Dyeing candle wax can be quite tricky if you’re a first-timer. However, using dyes specifically made for candle making can make things easier. You can also play around with the dyes to make different colors. Remember to keep the dye quantity balanced not to affect the candle’s quality.

If you don’t like using artificial colorants, you can also opt for using natural dyes composed of plant parts. They’re quite easy to make and don’t take more than five minutes to prepare.

Coloring your candles can be a tricky process at first, but after some practice, you’ll master it and will achieve the color you want for your candles.

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