Candle gel, paraffin and soy wax: Candlemaking made easy for everyone
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Candle dye

How candles would be sad if they all were white!
To give some life and fun to your creations, it's a good idea to colour the wax you will use to mould (or dip) the candle.

If you've read the article about paraffin, maybe you remember that the word paraffin comes from the latin parum affinis which means little affinities.
These little affinities are also true where candle dye is concerned: dye will not actually colour wax but rather create a uniform suspension that creates the illusion of color.

Add candle dye in VERY small proportions to the wax, especially in the beginning. Very little is needed to colour a lot of paraffin and it's always much easier to add some than remove some.

Candle dye is most commonly available in two forms:

  • in solid (powder, flakes or disc) form
    The most classical form; a very small quantity can colour a large quantity of paraffin.
    You can buy it as a dye disc, that you can break in small pieces to add to the paraffin, or as a powder (as showed on the picture above).
    To achieve vivid colors, just add more dye.

  • in liquid form
    Conditionned in small bottles with or without a screw top glass dropper.
    An advantage of liquid dye is that it can be precisely proportionned (very useful if you need to reproduce a same color shade over the time).
    Liquid dye is usually highly concentrated (watch out for your hands, clothing and equipment!) and very little suffices.

    Liquid dye is the only way to go to colour candle gel.

  • Pigments should only be used to colour a dipping wax Pigments
    There's a third form of colouring agent used in candlemaking: pigments. Pigments are extremely concentrated but have the bad tendency to clog the wick and prevent the candle from burning properly.
    For this reason, pigments should be used only to colour a dipping wax (for example to make a Dip 'n Carve candle) and not to colour the core wax of pillar, votive or container candles.

    Use only specially formulated candle dye to colour your candles You've probably heard of people who use crayons (like Crayola) to colour wax.
    I've even seen websites telling their readers that crayons are the best way to colour candles!
    Crayons are absolutely not made to colour paraffin, they're made to let children make nice drawings. Using them will give unsatisfying results (a bad color uniformity and the risk to clog the wick are only two of the potential disadvantages of using crayons).
    Because they're not made to colour wax, you'd need to use a much larger quantity than you would with genuine candle dye so crayons would actually prove more expensive for less good results.

    Every color of the rainbow
    A good range of base colors will let you reproduce all the colors you can dream of. When you've built up a little experience with color mixing, that is... It is really not necessary to purchase a bloc or bottle of every existing shade of color!
    Get the 3 base colors (red, blue, yellow) and maybe a good black color (see below), together maybe with a few intermediate colors like purple, green, orange and brown.
    With a little practice, you'll soon be able to reproduce any shade you want by mixing the base colors together.

    [On the picture, the arrows point to the 3 base colors. The intermediate colors can be obtained by mixing together a small or large percentage of these base colors.]

    Whiter than white
    For diverse reasons, like for exemple the light colouring that can result from using some fragrance oils, it is quite difficult to create a pure white candle.
    Nevertheless, you can buy white candle dye that can help you achieve an almost pure white... good to know!

    Black is black...
    As strange as it seems, it is also extremely difficult to achieve a "really black" black.
    Most black candle dyes on the market actually produce a very dark blue or a very dark purple shade, even when used in high proportions.
    Finding a black candle dye that gives good results will require some trial and error with different brands and vendors.

    When you've finally found a black or white candle dye that satisfies you, I recommend, whenever you'll use it, to systematically add a little bit of UV inhibitor to avoid any discolouration caused by light.

    One of the many forms of candle dye: pellets
    One of the many forms of candle dye: pellets

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