White candles are beautiful on their own, but when you add a splash of color, the beauty rises to new heights! If you are planning to make your own colorful candles, you will need a proper guide to do it. Adding candle dyes requires a meticulous approach, and you need to add just the right amount. So, how much candle dye to use?
Basically, the general rule is to use 0.05% dye. That is, add 0.05% dye to the total amount of candle wax you are working with if you want a regular shade of color. However, if you want lighter or darker shades, the amounts will vary as per your requirements.
If you are a beginner at candle making, you need to learn the basics of adding dyes to your candles. You must understand how much coloring to add, how to work with these dyes, and if you can use any alternatives when you don’t have dyes around. So, to have a brief overview of all these facts, please read the entire article.
How Should You Use Candle Dyes?
Usually, candle dyes are available as blocks, chips, liquids, etc. What kind of dye you want to use depends on the purpose of your candle making and the desired intensity of color in your candle wax.
Before you understand all the mathematics regarding candle dyes, let’s discuss the basics first. Candle dyes are actually some organic or inorganic products that can infuse color into the wax. Chemically, most candle dyes are anilines. So, they are oil-based, and they can blend in the wax very evenly.
Typically, when making a batch of candles, you will melt your candle wax and then add the blocks, chips, or liquid dye. Try mixing it over the heat directly. It will allow the color to blend into each part of the wax. However, if you wish for a mosaic or a rippling effect of the colors, blend the mixture less vigorously.
Candle dyes can occur in every color you want. All shades start from the fundamental colors to the pastel colors, whichever you like! If you want darker shades, choose your color and add a few blocks until you get your desired color. Usually, liquid dyes and blocks work better for darker colors.
Moreover, these candle dyes do not harm your health. Hence, you do not have to worry a lot when working with them. But they may stain your hands, skin, and your clothes. Some people may also develop hypersensitivity to dyes. So, wear personal protective clothing and gloves while working with them.
The Amount Of Candle Dyes To Use In Each Batch
Now, let’s come to the most important part: how much dye to add to a batch of candles. The amount of dye can vary with the type of candle wax as well. Some waxes absorb fewer colors, and some waxes absorb more. So, you must understand the wax type as well.
The amount of dye you add in candle making is very meticulous work. The calculations need to be perfect to get your desired color. For this purpose, it is not enough to just know the math and add the right amount. Of course, there are several relevant facts that you must know.
Some Important Measurements
There are some basic measurements that you need to learn beforehand. These units are essential when dealing with candles and candle dyes on a large scale.
Basically, unit conversions are what you need to learn. Because when you work with a large batch, you will measure the weight in either grams or pounds. The amount of dye to be added is minimal compared to this. It is not easy to measure this minute quantity in smaller units. This is why you need to learn unit conversions. Take a look at the following.
|One Pound||454 grams||16 Oz.|
|One Ounce||28 grams|
|One Tablespoon||15 grams||1/2 Ounce|
|One Teaspoon||5 grams||1/5 Ounce|
|Half of a Teaspoon||2 grams|
|One-fourth of a Teaspoon||1 gram|
|One gram||33 drops|
|One drop||0.03 grams|
So, How Much Dye To Add?
As mentioned earlier, the general rule is to add 0.05% of the size of your entire batch. The percent key is critical here. If you do not want to use the percent symbol, simply multiply by 0.0005 in this regard.
A simple example will make this clearer to you. Say you want to make a batch of candles weighing 100 pounds. Now, what you need to do is add 0.05% dye to this batch. That is 0.05% of the weight of your entire pack. So, you will add 0.05% of 100, or simply 0.0005×100 = 0.05 pounds of dye.
Now, measuring 0.05 pounds is not an easy task with any measuring cup around. So, here, you will need the unit conversions. The easiest thing to do here is to convert a pound to grams. One pound is equivalent to 454 grams. So, 0.05 pounds will be equal to 22.7 grams.
And if you are using liquid dyes, convert them to a tablespoon or drop. Since this is a larger amount you are working with, using drops will be highly time-consuming. So, for 22.7 grams, you will need 1.5 tablespoons.
Similarly, work out your unit conversions as per your requirements. Then, you can easily tell how much dye to add! However, keep in mind that this is only for medium or regular color shades.
Is It The Same For Darker Or Lighter Colors?
The general rule doesn’t apply to darker or lighter shades of colors in candles. There is a slight difference in the amount of dye you need to use.
Typically, you will need to add more concentrated color for darker shades. The recommended amount is 0.1% instead of the usual 0.05%. So, if you are making a 10 pounds size batch, add 0.01 pound of dye. That is, add about 4.54 grams of dye, whichever unit is easier for you to measure.
Darker colors are usually black, navy blue, crimson red, maroon, black, etc. However, to make black candles, you may need to increase the amount of dye to 0.15%.
Again, for lighter shades, the requirement is a bit less. You should add 0.005% dye for the pastel shades or peachy colors. So, for a 10 pounds size batch, add 0.0005 pounds of dye.
Nevertheless, all these are simple mathematics. It all depends on your desired color when mixing the candles. Add more color if you wish, or add less. It all comes down to your choice!
Candle Type Vs. Candle Dyes
Among all the candle types, soy wax stains the least. It doesn’t mix well with the candle dyes and is not good at absorbing colors. To get your desired color, you may need to add a little bit more. Or you can simply opt for blocks of dye or the liquid ones as they can stain more.
But if you are going for a pastel shade or some lighter color, simply add some dye chips. They are suitable for lighter colors in soy wax. On the other hand, in the case of paraffin wax, dye blocks work well when making a large batch. You may also use liquid dye. They can serve you best with paraffin if you want to make a custom color.
Always do a test batch before making your final product. If you don’t have any arrangements for testing, try staining on white paper. The color you see on the paper will be the final outcome of your candles.
Can You Use Anything Instead Of Candle Dyes?
If you have a small-scale business, buying candle dyes can become a burden to you and your business. So, there are some alternatives that you can try out instead of candle dyes. For example, you can use charcoal for black candles, food coloring gels, crayons, etc.
The alternatives mentioned here are very eco-friendly and won’t cost you much. Most of these are regular items lying around your house. Basically, for candle dyes, you must choose substances that do not interfere with the burning time of your candle or the burning of your candlewick. Most importantly, the dye you add must blend in properly!
Charcoal is the most readily available substance for making black candles. They work best with beeswax candles. Just add the right amount to your wax mixture and let it do its wonders!
In the case of using food colors, the water-based liquid colors cannot blend properly with the wax. So, it is best to avoid them. Instead, use gel-like colors. They can mix well and won’t interfere with the quality of your wax.
The best option, however, is to use crayons. They wax themselves. So, when you melt crayons, they can infuse in every part of the melted wax, and the result is a hundred percent wax mixture. They will impart a uniform color that looks incredible!
Using dyes in candles is challenging if you do not know how to work with the amounts. The measurements are precise, and you need to be careful while adding them. Of course, the color of your candles will depend on your choice. So, if anyone asks you now how much candle dye to use in a batch, you know what to tell them exactly!
I hope this article helped you learn about candle dyes and how to use them. Thank you for reading the entire piece with patience. Have a good day!