Disclosure: This year I am happy to be serving as a brand ambassador for the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. All opinions are my own. #ARSoyStory

I discovered the fun of making candles on my recent trip to Charleston with Amy Hannon of Eunamae’s during a class at Candlefish, a really unique candle shop you’ll certainly want to visit when you make the trip yourself. Needing specialty candles? Here’s your source! This place is amazing in the variety of scents they have available. 

What’s so unique and so much fun, is that they don’t identify their scents by name. Instead, they use numbers and house the samples and purchase ready candles in the “Library” which contains at least 100 different scents that vary from season to season. You are asked to chose your candles by the scent alone, the scent(s) that appeal to your senses. Every candle sold at Candlefish is hand poured by local candlers, including yourself when you participate in one of their candle making workshops.

“It’s our goal here at Candlefish to provide a memorable, fun, and “nose-opening” experience for every single candle lovin’ customer. Part of enjoying the experience is making you feel right at home exploring our Library of candles so you can discover your favorite scents with ease.”

Their candles are 100% soy wax which burns much cleaner than other waxes. This is the wax you are going to want to use in making your own candles at home.

“I learned some “expert” candle making terms that I like to “spout off when talking candles with my friends (probably just to impress myself more than anything!)

  • Hot Throw: refers to how a candle smells when it’s lit. It can also define how far the fragrance will “throw” in terms of circumference in a room.
  • Cold Throw: how a candle smells before it has been lit. Fragrance typically smells stronger when you smell the top of an unlit candle.
  • Essential Oils: all natural oils that are often used in aromatherapy. These are taken from plants or plant essence oils. You only want to use essential oil as scents for your candles. 
  • Frosting: White, chalky marks that appear sometimes  on soy candles. Frosting is natural with 100% soy wax and does not affect the candle’s fragrance or shelf life.
  • Curing:  to age the candle. Once a candle is hardened it looks finished, but the wax and fragrance need time to bond and fully develop. Candles will get stronger with age.
  • Mushrooming: Carbon mushrooms form at the top of a candle’s wick, caused by incomplete combustion and may be caused by f the type of wick used or additives added. If a wick mushrooms,  trim it with before relighting. 
  • Melt Pool: the size of the pool of melted wax that forms around the wick of a burning candle. The larger the melt pool, the farther the scent will throw. Let your candle melt pool reach the edge of the container before extinguishing.
  • Fragrance Notes:  a fancy word for descriptors of scents that you smell when you burn a candle. Fragrance notes fall into one of three groups, top/head notes, middle or heart notes, and base/dry down/bottom notes. Every candle and perfume is built using a  combination of top, middle, and bottom notes.
  • Top Notes: the first notes you sense when you smell a candle or perfume. These notes “introduce” the candle fragrance, and are typically fresh, light, and citrusy.
  • Middle Notes:  or “heart notes”, the middle notes of a fragrance are a bit more complex and full bodied than top notes.These are often called the superstars of a fragrance blend, providing balance and harmony to enhance the top or bottom notes. Some popular middle notes are classic florals, light fruits, berries, and spicy or herbaceous notes.
  • Bottom/Dry Notes:  the heavier, longer lasting notes that are often made of larger molecules.Here’s where you’ll find vanilla, woodsy, amber, or musk. The bottom nots  bring balance to a blend by weighing it down and rounding out the experience.T he bottom notes are the scents that last on your skin all day long in a perfume.

Some Tips From Candlefish

  • Tip #1: Avoid tunneling: A favorite candle care tip has to do with how long you allow your candle to burn. You know that little pool of melted wax that occurs when you light your candle? Always allow that melt pool to reach all the way to the edge of your candle vessel every time you light it. Don’t blow the candle out until the entire top of the candle is liquid wax. Your candles will last longer and your candle won’t tunnel.

  • Tip #2: Keep your candle wick healthy: Always trim your wick to a 1/4 inch before lighting. If a wick is too long, it may split at the top and leave a mess in your candle wax. A short wick does a great job at creating the pool of melted wax (which is where the fragrance comes from), and a wick that is too long simply burns your candle faster than necessary.
  • Tip #3: Designate a candle storage location: Where you store your candles when you aren’t burning them is important. Keep them out of sunlight and in a cool, dark spot.  Keep candles out of dust, sunlight and husbands who don’t follow candle care protocol. 
  • Tip #4: Reuse that vessel: Once your candle burns down to about 1/2 inch from the bottom, it’s time to clean it out and find a new purpose for it. Soy wax cleans out easily with hot water and dish soap, or put your candle in the freezer until the wax hardens and you can break it out. Repurpose jars to house make-up brushes, pens and/or pencils; travel tins can be used as  travel cases for earrings.  Many candle vessels can also be washed out, run through the dishwasher, and used for iced tea or your favorite beverage.

Back to Candle Making

I order my soy wax through Candle Science because I like their quality. There are probably other suppliers, but I’m still quite new to this adventure. If you have recommendations, I’d love for you to share those in the comments. 

Soy wax is  made from soybean oil. After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated which converts some of the fatty acids in the oil from unsaturated to saturated. This alters the melting point of the oil, making it a solid at room temperature.

The U.S. grows the vast majority of the world’s soy beans, Arkansas ranking 5th in the nation.

In Part 2, we are actually going to be making the candles! Be sure to come back for that next post.

You may just get spoiled making your own!

The post Homemade Soy Candles, Part 1 appeared first on Dining With Debbie.

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