How Do You Make Candles With Essential Oils?

Making candles with essential oils allows you to create custom scented candles with therapeutic benefits. The essential oils will provide aromatherapy when the candle is burned, helping to reduce stress, boost mood, and more. Studies have shown that essential oil candles can increase endorphins and decrease anxiety through their pleasant fragrance (source). The soothing scent of the oils will fill the air, creating a relaxing environment. Essential oil candles make thoughtful gifts or can be used to wind down at the end of a long day.

This guide will walk through the full process of making candles with essential oils. We’ll cover choosing the wax, oils, and jars, as well as proper preparation, pouring, curing, and storage techniques. With the right materials and some basic equipment, you can easily make custom scented candles at home.

Choosing Your Wax

When making candles with essential oils, choosing the right wax is key. The wax holds and distributes the essential oils when melted, allowing their aromas to be released when the candle is burned. There are a few common types of candle wax to consider:

Soy wax is a vegetable-based wax made from soybeans. It’s a popular choice for essential oil candles because it has a low melting point and blends well with essential oils. Soy wax helps anchor scents and provides a smooth wax pool when burned (source).

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honeybees. It has a pleasing honey aroma that pairs nicely with many essential oils. Beeswax helps essential oil scents throw stronger and farther. However, beeswax has a higher melting point than other waxes (source).

Paraffin wax is a petroleum-based wax commonly used in candle making. It’s inexpensive and makes high-quality candles, though some dislike its petroleum origins. Paraffin wax holds essential oil scents well over the life of the candle.

Selecting Essential Oils

When making candles with essential oils, it’s important to choose oils that complement each other and create appealing aromas. Some of the most popular essential oils for candles include lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, orange, cinnamon, pine, and peppermint.

an assortment of essential oil bottles next to a burning candle.

Certain essential oil combinations are known to blend particularly well together. Some examples include:
– Lavender + Bergamot
– Cedarwood + Fir Needle
– Lemongrass + Grapefruit
– Rosemary + Lemon
– Peppermint + Wild Orange

When combining multiple essential oils, it’s best to limit the total number to 2-4 oils so that scents don’t become muddled or overpowering. Start by choosing a dominant oil, then add smaller amounts of complementing oils.

Dilution ratios are also important when adding essential oils to candle wax. Most experts recommend using 0.5-1.5% total essential oil by weight. Going above 3% can lead to issues like oil separation, sweating, and scent throw that’s too strong. Start with a 0.5% ratio, then adjust up or down based on your preferences.1

Additional Equipment Needed

When making candles with essential oils, there are some key pieces of equipment you’ll need in addition to the wax and oils themselves:

  • Wick – The wick is the cord that runs through the center of the candle. It transports wax to the flame. Make sure to use a wick that is sized appropriately for the diameter of your candle jar. See Candle Making Equipment for wick sizing charts.
  • Jars/Containers – You can pour candles into jars, tins, or other heat-safe containers. Glass jars are a popular choice. Make sure the jar opening is wide enough for the wax and wick to fit through.
  • Thermometer – A thermometer is essential for monitoring wax temperatures. Target pouring temperature is generally 150-165°F.
  • Double boiler – Melting wax requires gentle, indirect heat. A double boiler allows water to heat the wax slowly so it doesn’t scorch.
  • Dyes – Candle dyes can be used to color the wax. Use wax-safe liquid or solid dyes.
  • Fragrance – Essential oils provide fragrance, but you can blend in other scents as well. Typical usage rate is up to 1% by weight.

See Candle Making Equipment for a full list of supplies.

Prepping the Wax

The first step in prepping the wax is to melt it down. To do this, place the wax in a melting pot or double boiler and heat it slowly until it becomes a liquid, stirring occasionally as it melts. Be careful not to overheat the wax as this can cause it to discolor or acquire a burnt smell. A good target temperature is between 180-200°F (source).

Once the wax is completely melted, you can add the essential oils. A good rule of thumb is to use 1/2 to 1 ounce of oil per 8 ounces of wax (source). Add the oils slowly, stirring continuously to fully incorporate them. Allow the wax to cool slightly before adding the oils so they don’t evaporate quickly.

After adding the essential oils, continue mixing the wax for 2-3 minutes. This helps bind the oils to the wax so they don’t separate or rise to the top later. The wax is now prepared and ready to be poured into containers.

Preparing the Jars

Before pouring wax into jars, it’s important to properly prepare them. First, clean the jars thoroughly to remove any residue or dust. According to How should I prepare my containers before filling them with wax? (, you can wipe the inside of jars with paper towels and rubbing alcohol.

Next, determine the proper wick height for your jar size. The wick should be centered in the jar and high enough so it stands 1⁄2 to 1 inch above the top of the finished candle. This allows the melted wax to pool around the wick and maximize fragrance throw. Secure wick tabs vertically on the bottom of the jar with adhesive.

Now the jars are prepped and ready to be filled with wax and essential oils!

Pouring the Candles

Before pouring your candles, you’ll need to heat up the wax to the proper temperature. According to the Lone Star Candle Supply website, the ideal temperature for pouring soy wax is between 180-185°F [1]. Paraffin wax should be poured between 130-150°F [1]. Use a thermometer to check your wax temperature before pouring.

When your wax is at the right temperature, carefully pour it into your prepared jars or containers. Pour slowly and steadily in the center to prevent bubbles from forming. Leave about 1/4 inch of headspace to allow for the wax to contract as it cools and hardens. Allow the candles to cool completely before moving them. This will take a few hours. Do not try to rush the cooling process.

As the candles cool, a well poured candle will form a concave “well” at the top as the wax contracts. This well helps hold the wax pool when the candle is burning. If needed, you can do a second pour later to top off the candles after they have cooled and contracted to fill in the wells and give the candles a smooth, level surface.

Second Pours (if needed)

Doing a second pour can help fill in any holes or gaps that may have formed on the top of your candles after the first pour cooled. This helps create an even, smooth surface. The best time to do a second pour is once the wax from the first pour has fully cooled and stopped contracting (source: This is usually within 24 hours.

When doing a second pour, you can use the opportunity to layer scents. Use a different essential oil blend in your second pour wax so that the candle will have two complementary but distinct scents. The second pour scent will be what you primarily smell when the candle is lit. Just make sure to choose scent combinations that work well together.

Finishing Touches

After letting the candles cure, you will need to apply some finishing touches before they are ready to burn.

First, use scissors to trim the wicks to around 1⁄4 inch. This helps the wicks burn evenly and prevents excess sooting when the candle is lit. According to Lone Star Candle Supply, slide the wicks out of the notches in the jar tabs before trimming for best results.

Next, clean the rim and outside of the jars with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol to remove any dust or unwanted wax. You want your candles to look as pristine as possible.

Finally, apply a safety label to the bottom of each jar. The label should indicate that the product is a candle and contain basic safety instructions for proper use. Phrases like “Keep away from flammable materials when burning” can help prevent accidents.

Take your time with these small finishing steps to ensure your homemade candles have a polished, professional look. Proper wick length and labeling will lead to the best burn experience.

Storing and Curing

Once the candles have been poured and left to cool and harden, it’s important to store them properly during the curing process. Curing allows the crystals in the wax to completely align, which helps the candle burn more slowly and evenly. The curing process can take anywhere from 3-14 days depending on the type of wax used. Soy wax, for example, takes 10-14 days to cure according to Blaze and Foam.

During the curing period, candles should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place around room temperature. Store candles away from light and heat sources. Many candle makers recommend storing candles individually in boxes during curing to prevent fragrances from mixing between different candles. It’s also best to store candles with the lids off during curing to allow any trapped moisture to evaporate according to advice on r/candlemaking. Once cured, the candles can be assembled with lids and labels.

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