Challenges and Solutions in Soy Wax Candle Making

Soy wax candle making is a delightful and rewarding hobby that has surged in popularity. However, even the most skilled candle makers can encounter challenges that can affect the quality and aesthetic of their candles. 

Here, we explore some common hurdles faced in soy wax candle making and effective solutions to overcome them.

Common Issues in Soy Wax Candle Making

Making soy wax candles can be a fulfilling craft, but it comes with some challenges that require careful consideration and troubleshooting. Here’s a look at some of the common issues candle makers face and practical solutions to overcome them:

1. Frosting

Frosting is a natural characteristic of soy wax, where a white, frost-like appearance occurs on the surface of the candle. While it doesn’t affect the burn quality, it can be unsightly for those seeking a flawless finish.


To combat frosting, it’s essential to control the cooling process. This involves avoiding drafts and maintaining a consistent room temperature. Pouring at a lower temperature, around 55 – 60ºC, can also help reduce the chances of frosting. Additionally, allowing the candles to cool gradually—away from windows, air vents, and fans—can prevent sudden temperature changes that contribute to frosting.

2. Scent Throw

A strong scent throw—the ability of a candle to disperse its fragrance—is often a sought-after quality. Soy wax, however, can be tricky when it comes to scent retention and release.


To improve scent throw, select high-quality fragrance oils that are specifically formulated for soy wax. The optimal temperature for adding fragrance oil is usually around 70°C. This allows the oil to mix thoroughly with the wax. Allowing the candles to cure for at least two weeks before use can also significantly enhance the scent throw, as it gives time for the fragrance to bind with the wax.

3. Tunneling

Tunneling occurs when the candle burns down the middle, leaving a ring of hard wax along the container’s sides. This not only looks unattractive but also shortens the candle’s lifespan.


To prevent tunneling, make sure that the initial burn time allows the wax to melt across the entire surface, creating a full melt pool. This might take several hours depending on the candle’s size. Selecting the correct wick size for the candle’s diameter is also crucial. A wick that’s too small will not generate enough heat to melt the wax to the edges, while a wick that’s too large can cause the candle to burn too quick and may cause smoking.

4. Uneven Surfaces

After cooling, soy candles can sometimes present with bumpy or uneven surfaces, which can detract from their visual appeal.


To achieve a smooth finish, conduct a second pour after the initial pour has set. Keep some wax aside during the first pour for this purpose. The second pour should be done at a slightly higher temperature than the first to help it bond with the initial layer, filling in any imperfections and resulting in a smooth finish.

5. Burn Time

The burn time of a candle is an important factor for consumers. Incorrect wick sizes can lead to a shorter burn time.


Using the appropriate wick size is essential for maximizing burn time. A wick that’s too large can cause the candle to burn too fast, while a wick that’s too small may not produce enough heat to create an efficient burn. High quality soy wax should also be used to ensure a longer, cleaner burn. Trimming the wick to about half a centimetre before each burn can prevent a large flame, which can consume the wax more quickly.

6. Color Consistency

Achieving a consistent color in soy wax candles can be challenging due to the wax’s natural composition, which can react differently with various dyes.


To ensure uniform color distribution, it’s essential to use quality candle dyes, in flake or liquid form, which tend to dissolve more easily in soy wax compared to powder dyes. The key is to add the dye at the same temperature as the fragrance oil, typically between 65-75°C. Additionally, thorough stirring is crucial to dissolve the dye in the wax.

7. Wax Cracking

Cracks in the wax can appear as the candles cool, which is particularly problematic in larger candles or those that cool too quickly, leading to an unattractive finish. 


Pouring the wax at a slightly higher temperature can reduce the incidence of cracking. The ideal pouring temperature for soy wax is often between 55-65°C, but slight adjustments may be necessary depending on the specific wax blend and the ambient temperature. Allowing the candles to cool slowly in a draft-free environment helps the wax to contract uniformly, minimizing stress within the candle that can lead to cracking.

8. Sinkholes

Sinkholes are depressions or holes that appear near the wick or at the bottom of the candle due to air pockets trapped during the cooling process.


A practical approach to addressing sinkholes is to use a heat gun after the initial pour. By gently warming the surface of the candle, you allow the trapped air to escape, and the wax to settle evenly. If sinkholes appear after cooling, you can perform a second pour with reserved wax to fill in the gaps, ensuring a smooth and level surface.

9. Oil Pools

Excessive sweating or oil pools on the surface of soy candles can occur when the fragrance oil is not compatible with the wax and so doesn’t bind with the wax, or when candles are stored in warm conditions.


Use quality fragrance oils which are wax-compatible.  Stick to the correct dosage rate, which is 3 – 6% of the total wax volume. If oil pools are observed, consider contacting the supplier or using a better quality fragrance oil. Additionally, storing the candles in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources will prevent the fragrance oil from separating and pooling on the surface.

10. Wick Issues

The wick can become too short or drown in the wax, causing the candle to extinguish prematurely or not burn correctly.


Using pre-waxed wicks with a rigid structure can help ensure they remain upright and centered during the pouring and burning processes. Wick stabilizers or wick bars can also be used to maintain the proper wick position. It’s important to select the correct wick size for the diameter of the candle to ensure an even burn and prevent the wick from being overwhelmed by the melted wax.


Soy wax candle making presents several challenges that can impact the quality and appearance of the final product. By addressing issues such as wet spots, frosting, etc, candle makers can improve their craft. With careful attention to detail and a willingness to experiment and adapt, candle makers can produce high-quality soy wax candles that are both beautiful and functional.

For high-quality supplies and expert advice, visit Candle Deli. Their range of products can help you create beautiful, clean-burning soy wax candles.


  1. What is the best temperature to pour soy wax candles?

The ideal pouring temperature for soy wax is typically between 55°C and 65°C.  This range helps prevent frosting and ensures a smooth, even finish.

  1. Why do my soy wax candles have a bumpy surface?

A bumpy or “cauliflower” top is usually caused by uneven cooling. Pour the wax slowly and cool the candles in a consistent, draft-free area. Covering the candles can help regulate cooling.

  1. Why is my soy wax candle flame so small?

A small flame can result from using a wick that is too small or improperly trimmed. Choose the correct wick size for your container and trim the wick to half a centimetre before each use.

  1. How do I fix a mushrooming wick in my soy wax candle?

Mushrooming occurs when the wick is too large for the candle. To fix this, select a smaller wick size, and ensure you trim the wick to half a centimetre before each burn to maintain a clean flame.

  1. Can I add color to soy wax candles, and what type should I use?

Yes, you can add color using dye flakes specifically designed for candle making. Make sure that they are suitable for use with soy wax to achieve even coloring.

  1. What is the recommended fragrance oil load for soy wax candles?

Typically, soy wax can hold up to 10% fragrance oil by weight, but it’s common to use between 3% and 6%. Always check the fragrance oils supplier’s recommendations.