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How to Make a Soy Candle

Posted by at 5:31 AM | Permalink | 1 Comment


Austin & Zak / CC by 2.0

They’re great for helping you relax or igniting some passion for a romantic rendezvous, but did you know that candles often contain ingredients that snuff out animals? Many candles are made from beeswax stolen from industrious bees’ hives, stearic acid made from tallow (a slaughterhouse product derived from beef or sheep fat), and cetyl palmitate, a waxy oil taken from sperm whales’ heads or from dolphins.

Although some paraffin candles are animal-free, they can be bad for your health and the environment. The soot given off from the burning of petroleum-based paraffin candles is essentially the same as that given off by burning diesel fuel. Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever to find or make soy candles, which burn cleaner, last longer, are better for the environment, and do not depend on killing and stealing from animals. Check out our list of compassionate candle companies, or get crafty and make your own.

These soy container candles are fun and easy to make. Get ready to let your creativity and compassion shine!

What You Will Need

  • 1 pound of soy-wax flakes (found on the Internet or in local hobby shops)
  • 1 mason jar or another type of decorative jar made with thick, heat-resistant glass
  • 1 ounce of fragrance oil (since you won’t be adding dye to the wax, we suggest picking a scent that complements a white candle)
  • 1 cotton wick (use a wick that’s attached to a metal disc)
  • Scissors
  • Superglue

Procedure

1.      Wash and dry your glass jar completely.

2.      Put a couple of drops of superglue on the bottom of the wick (metal tab), then place the metal tab at the bottom of the jar.

3.      Hold the wick in place for about a minute or until the glue dries.

4.      Slowly heat soy wax in a pan over medium heat until it is completely melted.

5.      Remove the soy wax from the burner.

6.      Stir in fragrance oil (we recommend essential oils) until it is absorbed into the soy wax.

7.      Gently and slowly pour the soy-wax mixture into the jar.

8.      Position the wick in the center.

9.      Once the wax turns solid, trim the wick to ½ inch.

10.  Light your candle and enjoy!

Find more animal-friendly candles by checking out Caring Consumer or shopping at the PETA Mall.

Image: Austin & Zak / CC by 2.0
This post originally appeared on PETA.org.

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1 Comment

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    Melissa says...

    July 16th, 2011, 9:28 am

    I have been a firefighter for a large metro Atlanta (Georgia) fire department for 14 years. Before becoming a firefighter, I burned candles all over my home and loved them so much, I began making them. Since most PETA people are animal lovers like me, :-) I must comment on the dangers of candle burning. SO MANY FIRES are caused by candles that are knocked over by dogs and cats in the home. In fact every year candles are in the top 3 reasons for house fires in the United States – cooking food (stove top) is usually #1 followed by heat sources (space heaters) as #2. Unfortunately, the animals many times perish in these fires. :-(
    PLEASE pick an alternative to burning candles in your home. There are battery operated fake candles if the flickering of a flame is what you like. Since the nice aroma is what interests me, I use a product called Scentsy which has no wick but uses an electric burner to heat scented wax. The warmers are expensive ($30), but you can buy a cheaper Yankee Candle Company warmer or even a warmer sold at Walmart ($15 each) and then use the Scentsy wax in the warmer. Walmart wax (Better Homes and Garden brand) is good too. I have tried their Lilac (?) scent (light purple colored bar) and it lasted quite some time and is less than half the price of the Scentsy brand ($2 a bar). Scentsy wax comes in bars weighing 3.2 ounces and are $5 each. :-( You can buy the warmer and bars in a bundle and save money though.
    The awesome thing about electric warmers is mostly the safety aspect, but there are also other positives. I leave mine on unattended many times for 24 hours while I am on shift at the fire station. I have 5 cats living in my home and they have not yet knocked a warmer over. They are active cats too! :-) Even if the kitties were to knock a warmer over and make a mess for me to clean up, they will not be hurt and the house WILL NOT catch on fire. The wax hardens instantly and does not get hot enough to burn the skin. The warmer only heats the wax enough to release the scent. You can even put the warmer on a timer and your home will smell so good when you walk through the door after a long day at work. :-) If you do not know a Scentsy Consultant from whom you can purchase a warmer and wax, LOTS of people are selling in on Ebay. Type in the words “Scentsy,” “scented wax,” or “wax bars,” etc in the search bar.
    Scentsy uses paraffin wax but since you are not “burning” it but instead are just heating it, I think it is okay health wise. If you have a problem with Scentsy being paraffin wax, there are companies who make their wax bars out of Soy and this works great in the warmers as well. There is an excellent company on Ebay called Eagle Rock Candle Company and their bars are inexpensive and are totally soy. Their Nag Champa scent is unbelievable!!!!
    I do not see Scentsy on the humane candle company list in the article but believe this is because they are not considered an actual candle company since again, no wick is burned.
    All I can say is do some research and test some of these fragrant waxes to find which you like best. It is a fun hobby. :-) Again, if you have small children or animals living in your home, find an alternative to burning candles… PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do NOT burn candles.

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