Lately, I’ve been thinking about making my own soy candles and I heard from a friend that there are differences to making other types of candles, especially around the setting or curing time. This led me to ask how long do soy candles take to set?
Hand-poured soy candles take a minimum of 4 days to set properly after which you can light them for the first time. The maximum curing time is 2 weeks. During the curing process, the fragrance molecules and soy wax are allowed to bind properly which helps prevent any unpleasant scent.
Let us take a look at what curing is in candle making and why it’s so important.
Why Should You Make Candles from Soy?
In the past, I’ve found making candles myself a very rewarding process. I’ve been on several courses and bought a few different candle-making kits.
Candle DIY Set with Premium Scent, Soy Wax
Whilst it is not particularly difficult there are some challenging elements which make it even more fun especially as you’ll not really know how the candles will turn out until the very end of the process.
Making candles from soy is especially rewarding as they are a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to traditional candles. They are made from soybeans, which of course are environmentally sustainable and renewable and they are also non-toxic, which means that they do not emit toxins into the air.
What Does the Term Cure Mean in Candle Making?
In candle making the term “cure” is a process that allows the fragrance oils (usually essential oils) and the soy wax to come together as one.
This process takes time to ensure a perfect candle.
What Other Terms Are Used for Curing?
Curing in candle making can sometimes be referred to as set or setting as well as hardening. Each of these terms means the same thing, essentially to leave the ingredients of the candles to join together properly before use.
Setting Times of Soy and Other Candles
Candles are made from various ingredients but the most common are paraffin, soy, beeswax and coconut.
The length of time candles take to set is different depending on what the candle is made from.
Here is a table showing the curing time for each type of candle
|Candle Type||Curing/Setting Time|
|Soy||min of 3 days to max of 2 weeks|
|Coconut||min of 3 days to max of 1 week|
|Paraffin||24 to 48 hours|
|Beeswax||min of 2 days|
Should I Put Soy Candles in the fridge or freezer to Speed Up Curing?
When making soy candles I know that you’ll be super anxious for the candles to set however, whilst putting them in the fridge or freezer will definitely speed up the cooling process you may find you come away with a few nasty side effects.
When using this technique newbie candle makers have found that it can cause the candle to crack. Some even report that if using glass jars these can shatter due to the difference in temperature.
Others report that the wax has shrunk creating wet spots and/or sink holes.
Whilst we all like a good shortcut it is always best to leave your candle to cool naturally to avoid these kinds of problems.
Do You Cure Candles with Lids On or Off
This is a great question and to answer it we need to understand the difference between cooling and curing
When the candle wax cools it simply means that all the heat has been removed from the pouring process but crucially although the candle will have firmed up it will not have become truly hardened enough for it to be used.
As we’ve discussed the candle needs several days to cure.
So whilst the candle is cooling for best results you should leave the lids off until they are completely cooled.
Whilst the candle is going through the curing process it can be stored with the lids on.
Why should I make candles myself?
There are many benefits of making candles yourself. For starters, you get to choose the type of wax and fragrance, as well as the colour and shape. You can also customize the design to suit your needs. Plus, you save money by not having to buy a candle that is already made!
What different types of candles are there?
Different types of candles are made of different materials and can have different purposes. Amongst other materials candles can be made from soy wax, beeswax or paraffin wax. Soy and beeswax are more expensive than paraffin but they burn longer and smell better because they give off a natural scent that is not as strong as with paraffin candles.
How long do beeswax candles take to set?
Candles made from beeswax take a minimum of 1 and 2 days to set
How long does it take for paraffin wax to set?
24 to 48 hours is the standard time for a paraffin candle to cure.
How long do coconut wax candles need to cure?
It is typically best to let coconut wax candles set for at least three days and up to a week.
Making soy candles is an incredibly rewarding hobby. You can make candles for yourself, as a gift for friends and family or even start a small local business.
One of the most important parts of candle making is the curing time and if candles do not have enough time to harden then problems can occur further down the line.
In this article, I’ve tried to summarise the answer to how long do soy candles take to set whilst also outlining the process of curing along with comparing the setting times of other candle types.
I’d love to hear from you, do you already make soy candles and have a preferred curing time that has given you the best results? Are you just starting out on your candle-making journey and would like to share your thoughts?
Please do spare some time to leave a comment below.