Soy wax burns cleaner and a lot longer than most paraffin waxes. This is what makes it the best option for survival candles.
But an emergency soy wax candle can cost up to $20.
I made mine’s with only $1.67 / candle:
It’s true that I was a little lucky getting a 50% discount for the glasses. But at the same time, after I bought them, I was thinking that I could have used any type of containers like mason jars or even used tin cans.
You can choose the burning length of your candles—the bigger the jar, the longer your survival candles will burn.
What You’ll Need:
- Soy wax flakes: These are actually used by specialized companies to make candles because soy is affordable and a pound of wax can fill approximately a 24-ounce container, more or less. You can order them on Amazon, or you can find them at your local craft stores.
- Canning jars/normal glasses: You can either purchase or use the spare one you have at home. Personally, I used Ikea glasses because I had around a dozen extra. When I purchased them, I had a 50% discount, so I payed only $0.75 for one.
- Wicks and tabs: You can find these on Amazon and in any local craft store. I wanted to test if I could make my own wicks, just like my grandma told me her mother used to do, so I made the wicks by rolling cotton-wool with my palms.
#1. Have everything ready and in one place.
You’ll want to get your stuff ready because when the wax has melted, you’ll have to act pretty quickly. If you chose to use store-bought wicks and tabs, you can place them in your candles’ containers to be ready for when you’ll pour the melted wax.
As I said I didn’t pay for the wicks. I made them by rolling cotton-wool with my palms. After I reached the desired thinness, I soaked them in a bit of sunflower oil and knotted one end to act as the tab.
#2. It’s melting time!
If you have a double boiler, that’s perfect. But if you don’t own one, don’t worry—the traditional bain-marie cooking method comes to the rescue: Fill one large pot one-third full with water, and then nest a smaller pot inside (as I’ll show you later).
Now turn on the fire, bring your “double boiler” to a boil, and add the wax flakes.
This is how it looks when the flakes start to melt. You can either stir them with a spoon (I used a wooden spoon) to make the melting process go faster or you can just leave them to melt.
And here it is completely melted (this is only half of the soy wax quantity). I didn’t know at first how much I’ll need.
- If you want your candles to be scented, you can add essential oils. For 1 lb. of melted wax, use 1 oz. of your preferred essential oil or fragrance. Make sure you remove your pot from the heat when adding the oils, and stir well.
- I recommend not adding any additional scents because you might risk getting a headache when there’s a power outage, disaster, or SHTF situation.
#3. Pour and affix!
Now that the wax flakes have melted, you can start pouring your melted wax into the containers. Make sure you leave at least a 1-inch space between the wax and the top of the container for lighting the candle.
Since I used handmade wicks with no tabs, I removed them from the glasses before I started pouring the melted wax because they would go down with the wax stream. After you have filled up all of the containers, put the wicks back and affix them with aluminum foil to make sure they’re centered, just like I did.Don’t forget to fill the containers only ¾ of the way up. This way your survival candles will burn even during harsh conditions. For example if it’s windy, the gap will act as a shield.
#4. Cool down!
Now that you have finished everything, you just have to wait until your candles cool completely.
Best advice: let them dry overnight at room temperature if you don’t want to see cracks in the wax.
For a longer burning time, you can burn your candles for four hours at a time and then rotate. A single candle should last for around 10 days with regular use.
If you choose to buy the glasses together with the wicks and tabs, your cost per candle will be around $2.40.
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