There are numerous inexpensive and natural options available when it comes to coloring DIY candles. Many novice candle makers prefer skipping specialized colorants and prefer using an inexpensive alternative.
Some crafters prefer using food dye for coloring candles. Food coloring is generally water-based and doesn’t mix with waxes.
Some even recommend the use of soap dye for candles. But is it really worth it?
Can you use soap dye for candles? It is not worth using soap dye for candles. Most soap dyes contain glycerin which won’t mix with wax. Even if the wax will take some color it will likely be difficult and yield poor results which may not last.
Some things are just too good to be true. In this article, we’ll explain why soap dyes don’t work for dyeing candle wax and talk about some dyes which do work instead. We’ll even give you some candle-making tips!
Can You Use Soap Dye For Candle-Making?
In a word, no. Using soap dyes for candles just doesn’t work. The ingredients in soap dyes (especially glycerin) are not ideal for coloring wax. If you get any color to take and last, it will have a poor effect and may not “stick around” for long.
You will never get the desired outcome with soap dyes. Plus there are much better options available in the market that is meant specifically for dyeing candles.
Avoid using ordinary dyes such as food coloring or soap dyes for your candle making project. This is because these dyes are meant for a specific purpose and likely won’t be suitable for other purposes. Ordinary dyes when combined with oily wax tend to separate out and result in a splotchy effect that is undesirable.
Research is vital when it comes to using any ingredient for making candles. You should follow the process for a safer outcome and for making a better candle.
For instance, if you are planning to sell your candle, then using soap dye or food dye wouldn’t offer you the desired outcome. You may be able to dye the wax but there will be some issue that only the users can pinpoint.
What Dyes Work For Candles?
If you are looking for the best dyes to use for your candle making project, then here are some options you can choose from. These will blend with the melted wax like a dream and the pigments wouldn’t pose any issue in burning.
There are primarily two kinds of dyes generally used in dyeing candles. These are liquid dyes and dye blocks.
Liquid Dye Vs Dye Blocks Vs Dye Chips
Liquid dyes impart darker shades to paraffin and lighter pastel shades in soy wax. These are also ideal if you want to create custom colors.
Dye blocks are better if you want to dye large batches of paraffin wax or want to impart vibrant colors to your soy wax.
You can always test a sample with these dyes to decide which one would be the best for your project. Each candle dye has its own strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, it all boils down to your preference when it comes to candle making.
1. Liquid Dye
Liquid candle dyes are concentrated and a few drops are all you need to impart an intense color to your candle. Liquid dyes blend easily and hence easy to work with.
The major advantage of using a liquid dye for coloring candle is that you are using a small amount for coloring and hence you can keep a tab on the number of drops you are using per batch. This will offer you consistent results through the batches.
The major disadvantage is that these smell terrible. Using fragrances can help mask the smell. These dyes also cause the wax to cool faster than their normal rate. Hence, adding too much can result in texture issues. These can prove messy to clean if you spill them accidentally.
These are my favorite liquid dyes for candle-making.
2. Dye Blocks
These are more concentrated. One block can easily dye about 20 pounds of wax. They are good for batches of candles and are quite easy to use. These are the best dye blocks that I’ve found.
All you need to do is mix a little quantity of it in your wax. The only downside with these is in maintaining the same consistency in batches. It is difficult to shave off the same amount from the dye block in every batch.
3. Dye Chips
You can also opt for dye chips if you are looking for a wider array of colors in coloring your candles. Each chip is capable of dyeing a pound of wax to a medium shade. This again depends on the manufacturer you are relying on for purchasing dye chips. These dye chips are my favorite.
The advantage of using dye chips is that these are easy to use. All you need to do is drop some chips to your wax when you start melting the wax before shaping them.
How To Dye Candles
Below are the step-by-step instructions for dyeing candles.
Step 1: Purchase a suitable dye for your candles.
Now that you’ve read the rest of this guide, this should be a piece of cake. Several candle companies sell dyes suitable for coloring candles. You just have to choose your favorite color!
Step 2: Add a small amount of dye to the melted wax.
If you are using liquid dye, then you can put a few drops in the melted wax for coloring. Make sure not to oversaturate the wax.
The amount you need to use is dependent on the size and the number of candles you will make. The best thing to do is to begin with a few drops. You can always add more dye gradually if you feel more is needed.
Keep stirring the contents until the color is uniform.
Step 3: Allow the wax to cool.
Once you are happy with the color shade, you can allow the wax to cool slightly before you even think of transferring it to a mold. Pouring wax at temperatures greater than 60ºC can result in shrinkage or “frosting”. It can also shatter glass containers if you are using one for your project. So be careful to let it cool first!
Step 4: Position the wick in an empty mold.
This is another reason not to be too hasty about pouring your wax into a mold yet!
Take a wick and tie it around a pencil or wooden dowel. Leave the opposite end long enough to touch the bottom of the container you would be pouring wax into.
Step 5: Pour the wax into the mold
Transfer the wax into the mold and leave at least half an inch space at the top so that there will be enough space for the melted wax to collect as soon as the candle starts burning. Allow the wax to solidify completely.
And there you have it! Now you’re all set to enjoy your candle-making!
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