When to add candle colorant to your wax

Many new candle makers often wonder how to get the best results when attempting to color their wax. While candle makers may be familiar with the process of adding different types of colorant to their wax in order to create a beautiful-looking candle, the majority of beginners struggle with when they should be adding their colorant to their wax blend. Adding colorant to your wax while it is too hot can cause the color to not consistently incorporate with the wax, while adding it to your wax when too cold can cause the colorant to not dissolve completely, leaving behind annoying dye particles.


pouring candle dye into the wax


The process of adding colorant to your candle

Adding colorant to your wax blend is a very easy and simple process, the hardest part may be cleaning up! The first thing to note would be the amount that should be added to each pound of wax, which would depend on the type of colorant being used. If you are using liquid dye, one drop of dye should be enough to color a whole pound of wax. If you are using candle dye chips, one whole chip would be enough to color one pound of wax. As for dye blocks, shaving pieces off of the block would change the shade of the color you are looking to add. On average, a dye block would be able to color 5-50 lbs. of wax per block, so use very sparingly for a lighter shade. Please note that testing should always be done in order to ensure you receive your preferred color shade. Putting a couple of drops of wax on a white piece of paper will show the current color at which your wax will cool at.


melting wax in the double boiler


When to add your colorant

The most important thing to remember before adding your candle colorant is the state your wax must be at in order to begin adding. Your wax must be fully melted in order to fully incorporate any colorant. Depending on the wax you are using, most times the wax would have fully melted at around 175°- 185° F. You want to add your colorant during this state in order to receive the best results. Adding candle colorant while the wax is still in a solid state or when the wax is too hot will result in the colorant underperforming. Dye chips/blocks for candles melt smoothly around 160°-180° F, so it is recommended to once again test different temperatures around that range in order to find which gives you the best result. Liquid dyes can be added any time after the wax has fully melted into its liquid state, although be aware of going too low a temperature or too high.


cutting candle colorant chips for adding to wax adding red candle colorant to the wax


How does fragrance oil affect the process of when colorant should be added?

One final factor that can affect the timing of when the candle colorant should be added to your wax is the addition of candle fragrance oil. Fragrance oil can affect the chemical makeup of any colorant, so it is important to know the steps to take in order to incorporate both into your wax blend. The first thing to note is that your fragrance oil should always be added first. Adding your fragrance oil after the colorant can cause major color changes and will result in the wax undergoing discoloration. In order to have a wax blend that works with both fragrance oil and colorant, you must use products that will be compatible with one another. For example, a fragrance oil with a flash point between 130°-180° can be compatible with any candle colorant due to the lesser hazard this fragrance oil will cause due to its flash point. For fragrance oils that have flash points at 130° F or lower, it would be best to use liquid dye due to the fact that liquid dye will leave less dye particles once your wax has cooled and reverted back to a solid state. It is important to always do extensive research on the products you are using in order to receive the best, and safest results for your candles.


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