While many of us were making nudge-nudge, wink-wink jokes about aspiring sourdough chefs, candle-making was becoming a popular hobby-turned-business during the lockdowns. Not Jo Malone or Diptyque candles, but candles and wax melts created by people who felt their creativity waning.
If you didn’t start a candle business during lockdown one or two, you didn’t complete either. However, if you are the lucky few with a keen eye for creating lovely candles but have struggled with your soy wax turning yellow, we have a few solutions for you.
Why is my soy wax turning yellow? A candle’s color discoloration is typically caused by ultraviolet light, but sometimes that is a missed assessment, and the cause is oxidation. If you have an uncolored candle, it will change to a yellow hue once exposed to UV light. Also, some fragrance oils react differently and more aggressively than others; some turn pale yellow, while others turn bright yellow (usually only on the side facing the UV light).
Why is the top of my soy candle turning yellow?
No matter what color you add to your soy candles or if you leave them dye-free, they will be affected by natural or artificial light. In the same way, sunlight causes white fabrics to be yellow or bright colors to fade, dye-free soy candles will yellow after a while, and dyed wax will eventually fade. Vanillin-rich fragrances and many citrus scents can turn soy wax yellow within 24 hours. Likewise, small amounts of vanillin and floral aromas may cause your candle’s soy top to gradually yellow over time.
Use a UV inhibitor. Dyed soy candles will fade in the sun. UV inhibitors work like sunscreen for soy candles, blocking UV light to prevent fading and yellowing. Unfortunately, a soy candle yellowing due to the vanillin content in the fragrance oil is a separate issue that the UV inhibitor can’t stop.
Why is the bottom of my soy candle turning yellow?
If the fragrance does not fully bond with the soy wax, it may settle at the bottom, causing a yellowish discoloration.
If the wax is not hot enough, some of the fragrance may not dissolve into the wax, and some of it may settle to the bottom of the candle or pitcher. This can lead to inconsistent scent throw. However, as long as the wax is at the right temperature, the fragrance will be evenly dispersed throughout, ensuring a consistent cold and hot throw.
Why are my soy wax melts turning yellow?
Over time, some of the natural ingredients in fragrance oils can cause your soy wax melts to become discolored and yellow.
If you have added color or fragrance oil to your soy wax melts, you will find that they will be affected by natural or artificial light at some point. In the same way, sunlight fades fabrics, even dye-free soy wax melts will eventually turn yellow, and dyed soy wax will fade over time. Likewise, fragrances can also cause soy candles to turn yellow over time if exposed to them.
How to stop the soy wax from turning yellow
If your soy candle is yellowing due to vanillin in the fragrance oil, add a small amount of ivory dye to help counteract the yellow tint.
You should also avoid Vanillin-containing fragrances. Vanilla causes wax to discolor. If you don’t like using the UV inhibitors or ivory dyes, or if you don’t like adding them to your workflow, consider minimizing your use of fragrance oils containing vanillin.
Furthermore, as discussed, if your fragrance oil is not adequately mixed with the melted wax, it will end up sitting at the bottom of the container candle because it will not have fully bonded with the soy wax, leading to a yellowish discoloration. The fragrance may settle to the bottom of your pouring container if the candle wax is not hot enough.
As a result, you will have a poor scent throw. However, if the fragrance oil is added at the correct temperature, it will be evenly mixed throughout the soy wax, resulting in a consistent cold and hot throw. Here are some tips to prevent fragrance mixing issues from happening:
Mix the fragrance oil at the correct temperature
Look at the instructions for the recommended temperature for each wax before you add your fragrance oil. As long as it is added at the correct temperature, the fragrance oil will bind properly to the wax. However, when the temperature is too low, it will not create the appropriate solution and, as a result, will prevent the fragrance oil from thoroughly mixing with the wax, resulting in it settling to the bottom.
For more information about adding fragrance oil at the correct temperature you can refer to my guide.
Be sure you stir your fragrance oil for two minutes so that it has enough time to bind to the wax
Gently stirring will help the fragrance oil to incorporate fully. Add your fragranced wax to your containers after giving it a gentle mix.
Use the correct fragrance load
If you add too much fragrance to your wax, it will cause the flame to burn off the excess oil, resulting in dark smoke.
If you struggle to work out the correct amount of fragrance oil for your wax and container size then my free fragrance oil and wax calculator will work it out for you.
There’s nothing more relaxing than a burnt wood wick and the scent of your favorite fragrance, but when you pay $40 or more for a good quality candle, you start to wonder if it’s worth it.
To make your own soy candles at home is surprisingly easy, and you also get to create a bespoke scent that you may not find in a store.
Candle wax can turn yellow for a variety of reasons. To begin with, it can be caused by candle wax becoming too hot when melting or even by placing the wax on direct heat. It can also be caused by the candle fragrance oil discoloring the candle wax. Finally, discoloration can also occur due to direct sunlight hitting the candle.
If you choose not to add UV inhibitors to your candles or any other unnecessary chemicals, your candle or wax melt may become yellowish if exposed to direct or indirect light. Keep your candle in a cool, dark place to keep it white. No need to worry if your candle turns yellow – it does not affect the burn or quality of the candle.
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