I just got of the phone with my Soy Wax supplier and I am in shock. Total shock. Our cost has recently gone up a bit each time we have ordered our Soy Wax over the last six months, and knowing there was a drought in the areas of the South last year, we assumed that the rising cost was related to the drought. Boy, was I wrong!
I learned today that the cost of Soy Wax is going up and will continue to go up, because the FDA has passed regulations requiring the food industry to eliminate all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated products by 2018. What does this mean for candle and soap makers? It means we are going to see our Soy Wax, Cotton Wax, Soy Shortening, and any other hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated products go up, up, and up.
The manufacturers of these hydrogenated products have relied heavily on business from food service. Now that these products are close to being eliminated in food service, the manufacturing facilities are having to re-tool their production to comply with FDA regulations and shift emphasis to more profitable products. This means their costs are going up, which means they will charge more for their products.
At the same time, sales for these manufacturers are shrinking because food service can’t buy these products anymore. So guess who gets to bear the burden of the price increases?! You guessed it! The remnant of users of these products are candle makers, soap makers, and any other industrial, non-food customers. We (and our customers) will absorb the cost of these new government regulations. I hate to be all gloom and doom, but this is real and it’s starting NOW.
So what good news can I give you?
The good news is that the elimination of hydrogenated oils in the food industry means that we will likely be a healthier, and hopefully thinner, society. In addition, the waxes that you love will still be available so there is no need to panic.
Let’s face it, soy candle lovers aren’t going to quit buying your soy candles just because your price increases a little bit. They LOVE your products.
Increases will be gradual, so luckily we will not have to absorb these changes all at once! Just make sure you are staying tuned.
For soap makers, the news is not so bad. Odds are good that if you are using vegetable shortening, you can easily substitute another oil for that shortening, if you choose. However, for most soapers shortening is only a small percentage of their oils, so costs will not rise much per bar.
4 Things To Keep In Mind as the impact of these regulations begins to trickle down to us:
There will likely be new blends of waxes commercially available in response to these changes in the industry. This is exciting! There may be new things for us to try! We may even stumble upon something that is BETTER than what we are doing now. The important thing is to keep an open mind.
Be prepared to adjust your prices, and check pricing on your wax regularly so that you can be sure you are charging enough for your products.
Using blended waxes may become a very appealing option. If this is an option for you, keep tabs on prices of a variety of waxes (not just soy) so that you can take advantages of savings that might be possible by blending waxes. Right now Soy Wax is still very affordable compared to other waxes, but that situation could change.
Whether you purchase from Community Candle Supply or some other company, please understand that your suppliers do not WANT to raise prices, and sometimes we even make decisions to accept a reduction in profit on some items to be competitive, but there are times that we simply have no choice.
Which wax is best? Working at a candle supply company, we get asked this question nearly every day. As with most things in life, there are a numerous factors to consider when answering this question. If you are trying to decide which wax is best for you, you need to first identify the factors that are important to you.
Will you be making container candles or pillar candles? When making container candles, you want to select a wax that adheres to the glass. Conversely, if you are making pillar candles, you will want to use a wax that shrinks a bit so that it easily comes out of the mold when it has cooled.
Are you using candle dye in your candles? If you want vibrantly colored candles, it is best to use a paraffin wax such as J223 or if you prefer a natural wax the Crystallizing Container Palm Wax colors beautifully! You can also use our Golden Wax Soy waxes with candle dye, however it is more difficult to achieve bright colors with soy wax.
Is cost a factor? Many people choose soy wax over other waxes, simply because the current retail price of soy wax is significantly lower than most other waxes. Soy wax and all other natural waxes are vulnerable to price fluctuations due to environment factors, such as the recent drought that occurred in the southern US. We are seeing prices go up now for soy wax due to the poor growing conditions many farmers experienced due to the drought. But in spite of that, prices for soy wax are still significantly lower than most paraffin waxes.
Blended waxes are also a terrific option. Some candle makers will blend their own waxes, making a custom blend of wax that is unique to their business. This is a wonderful option because you can take advantage of the characteristics of each type of wax. Incorporating soy wax will help keep the cost down, and your wax will benefit from its clean-burning characteristics. Using some paraffin in your wax will aid in hot and cold throw, glass adhesion, and help your candle hold vibrant color. Incorporating container palm wax into your blend will help raise the melting point of your wax, which can help protect it from the damaging effects of sitting in the heat (for example, when shipping candles or at summer time markets).
These are a few of the important things to consider before purchasing a wax. Hopefully, this helps shed some light on the advantages of different waxes. Be sure to read the product descriptions for whichever wax you choose, and remember to take the time to test every product for yourself.
Welcome to candle making! Whether you are making candles for yourself or intending to sell them to others, candle making is a fun hobby and a creative outlet. By making candles at home, you decrease the cost of the candles you love, have endless options of fragrance and color, and you can make personalized gifts for friends and family. Check out our candle making kits for almost everything you need!
Protect your work surface with newspaper or something similar.
Use the glue gun to place a small amount of glue on the bottom of the wick(s) and glue it to the center of each glass container. You can use a dowel or pencil to center the wick while the glue is hot.
An 8 oz jelly jar holds approximately 5.4 oz by weight of wax each. Melt approximately 5.4 oz wax in a double boiler by placing the wax inside the included pouring pot and then placing it into a larger pot that has 1-2 inches of water in it. Heat the wax to 185 degrees F. NOTE: Be careful to prevent any water from getting into your wax!
Once your wax has reached 180-185 degrees F, remove from heat and add candle dye if desired, stirring thoroughly but gently until melted. It may be necessary to slightly increase the temperature back to 180-185 degrees F to completely melt the dye. We recommend chipping off small pieces of block dye and adding them slowly until you achieve the desired shade. Some people use the tip of a knife to break off a small chunk of dye, or you may also use a vegetable peeler to “shave” off a pinch of dye.
Once dye has fully melted in the wax, add fragrance. Many candle makers use roughly 1 oz of fragrance per pound of wax (NOTE: the included wax can hold up to 1.5 oz of fragrance per pound of wax, so it is possible to scent more heavily if desired). So to make one 5.4 oz candle, add .5-.75 ounces of fragrance. (As you gain experience, you will want to begin weighing all of your ingredients. This will help you more precisely determine the amount of fragrance needed.)
Slightly warm the glass containers that you will be pouring into by warming with a blow dryer (Some candle makers skip this step.)
Once the wax cools to 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit, pour the wax slowly into the glass container. Stop pouring when the wax level meets the base of the neck of the jar.
Clip two clothes pins together (see photo ) and pull gently upward on the wick, sliding it into the “V” of the clothes pin. Confirm that the wick is centered in the jar. Adjust if necessary. (Some people use wick bars, inexpensive hair combs or even pencils to center wicks. You can conduct a YouTube search for these methods.)
Allow the candle to cool for at least 12-24 hours. Trim the wick to 1/4 inch and make sure you trim the wick each time you light your candle for cleanest burn and best burn time. Many candles are most fragrant after they have cured at least 48 hours. Cure-time may vary.
It may be necessary to slightly heat the top of the candle to smooth out the surface. You can do this with a hot hair dryer or a heat gun, but be sure to move your heat source continuously to avoid melting the wax coating on the wick.
Be sure to place a warning label on the bottom of the container.
NOTE: Never dispose of your wax down the sink or toilet. All waxes, including soy wax will clog your pipes. To clean your tools, heat any wax with a hot hair dryer and wipe clean. Once you have removed all wax, you can clean as your normally would with soap and water. It is recommended that items used to prepare candles be dedicated to candle-making and NOT be used in food preparation.
Welcome to Crafter’s Community – the blog of Community Candle Supply. My goal is to create a community where we can respectfully share ideas, tips, and tutorials, and just talk about things that interest us.
I am not limiting myself to candle and soap making, although that is primarily what we do. I will scour the web for interesting stories about other artisans to share with you, so stay tuned for more! Do you have an idea for a blog post? Shoot me an email with your idea or question!