Candle Making with Essential Oils
I was asked a few questions regarding candle making and the idea came up, hey why not do a post on that one. I love good questions, even those that don't seem like the best questions usually come to the surface as being some of the best and excellent topics for discussions. So here goes;
Can essential oils be used in candles? The answer is YES! The person asking the question said that she had done a great deal of research on it and found out that some said yes and others said no. I honestly do not see or understand what the rational would be for not being able to use an essential oil in a candle. A candle can be used as an excellent way of diffusing EO's.
I have been told about how volatile essential oils are and even in some cases the person has said that if you mix certain oils together that it will cause an explosion. Others have said that when you mix certain oils they will swirl and other stuff like that. They sometimes use that whole angle to demonstrate the high quality of their oils. I go, OK, cool. So I go home and follow their directions for mixing, guess what? Nothing happens. Those stinking things just set there. I even used their "highest of quality" oils in some cases and nothing. Interesting.
Many of you have been taught about how to do the synergy blending. This is really good as it allows you to intelligently use a combination of oils to serve your specific needs and wants. There are several things to consider when using oils in candle making. Some are the viscosity of the oils. The thinner oils tend to thin up the wax if too much is used. The higher viscosity oils will allow you to use a larger amount of oils in a given volume of wax. Once you start on this journey, you will gain some experience and will be able to refine just how much oil works best for your situation. Also another consideration is the type of "wax" that is used. In the past the primary wax that was used was Paraffin with some additions like Bees wax. Now there are other "waxes" such as the soy based and palm based waxes. Sometimes some people will use straight bees wax. I am not going to get into a argument about the merits of each as that is your individual choice. I would mention that most of the propaganda on the soy based waxes generally claim to be sourced from . One can only assume it is truthful and trust them. Same with the palm based waxes.
I have made lib balms in the past and that is sort of like making candles. As one of the major points to be watchful on is the EO concentration and for the wax being able to set up. In candles you want a much firmer wax than generally claim to be sourced from non- GMO sourced soy beans. So as a result you would use a little bit less EO in candle making than you would use in making lib balm. I used bees wax as the primary source for the wax part in my lip balm. But speaking of lip balm, they will be bringing out some lip balms at YGY. They have EO's in them. I have been told that those first series of balms are at the warehouse and should be on line any day now.
When it comes to candle making EO's are used all the time. In the aromatherapy world there are two major categories of blenders, The medicinal ones, which is where I fall into, and the other is the perfumers. They are on the opposite ends of the scale. The one group doesn't do well working on the other group. When it comes to perfuming with the oils, I really have to work hard to get to where I need to be when working on the perfuming side. Based on where you all are at the present time, you are likely in the middle. So you can do good on each side. As you become more experienced you will find a tendency to gravitate to one side or the other. I would suggest that you resist that urge and work on both together and as a result you will be much happier and it will work easier and better for you.
As another note, have you ever wondered where the oils that don't make the grade for being used for medicinal purposes? They are used in candle making. There is nothing wrong with this idea. It is just that in candle making you tend to focus on only a few components and those are usually related to aroma. Where as generally the medicinal side tends to focus more on a whole list of components and a more whole/balanced profile. This perfumer aspect is actually a very therapeutic aspect. I want to mention this more in another discussion. What applies to the perfumers and candle making also applies to the soap making. That is another whole big arena and is also, shall we say therapeutic. So in using the EO's, you will find a wider range of uses, much more than just drinking them in large quantities, with very effective and measurable results. So if you use the more medicinal types of oils, which usually command a high price from the git go, which is why the soaper/perfume types oils are usually a lesser price, how much better would the therapeutic value be for you? I say much better.
As an other side note, they are discussing this type of stuff at YGY and studying the feasibility of doing more offerings in this arena. I guess the lip balms is a first major step in that direction. The roller bottles were a first minor step in that direction, which by the way is going very well for them.
So in closing, when using EO's in candles, they suggest about a 2% solution of EO's, by weight as the optimal ratio. However, your individual situation may allow you to work one way or the other from that figure. Also, keep in mind that when used in is setting a little bit of oil will go a long way.
As always thank you for your time and it our interactions.