What are Soy Melts?
Soy wax melts are the ideal choice for those who prefer to avoid an open flame. They are also referred to as wax tarts, and are wick-less pieces of soy wax which contains fragrance.
Soy wax melts are shaped according to the mould in which they are poured - clamshell style cubes as shown above are common.
Soy wax melts are placed into an electric wax warmer or a tea light powered oil burner as pictured below, to disperse fragrance to the room. As they heat up, they melt and the fragrance is released. When the burner is turned off, they re-solidify. It takes up to twelve hours for the fragrance to evaporate from the wax, depending on your design.
Soy wax melts can be made with essential or fragrance oils, and in any colour, along with decorations. Above all, they are relatively easy to make. If you're a beginner, it's a good idea to start with maxing soy wax melts before progressing to candle making. Wicks are the tricky part of candle making, and using incorrect wicks can result in various safety issues. Soy wax melts, being wick-less, avoid that as an issue altogether.
Principles of Wax Melt MakingThe wax goes through many phases: It will be liquid when it is poured into the mould (watch the temperature so you don't melt a plastic mould). The wax will harden and set in the mould and cure with the fragrance. It will melt again once placed in the warmer. And once all the fragrance is moved, it will potentially be soft and be able to be wiped away. Why this is important is that if the wax type you use is too soft, it will be difficult to release the wax from the mould. Please check the wax manufacturers instructions to ensure that you are using the correct wax type.
Decorations In Melts
Decorations in candle making can cause all kind of problems. For example, adding mica will run the risk being drowning or clogging up the wick. A clogged wick will result in the wick self extinguishing. However in wax melt making, being wick-less, this is not an issue! You can get creative with mica, glitter other additives without that kind of restriction.
What You Will Need
- Soy Wax suitable for melts - check the manufacturers description
- Candle Liquid Dye
- Clamshell Moulds
- Digital Scale
- Double boiler with aluminium jug
- Pouring jugs
- Your chosen candle fragrance
- Stirring spoon
Instructions - 5 Steps
Step 1: Weigh Out Your Wax And Fragrance Oil
Work out how much wax you will need. For example, if you are making 50 units of the 6 cavity clamshell moulds and there are 68 grams per mould, the equation would be 68g x 50 moulds. Don’t forget to add in the fragrance too. If you are using an 8 percent fragrance load, that equates to 6 grams of fragrance per clamshell mould. So, you would minus 6g from the 68g. You can also lay out your clamshell moulds at this point. Lay down paper first if you are concerned about protecting the surface from possible spillage. Remember to zero the measuring scale before adding your wax to the jug.
Step 2: Melt The Soy Wax And Add Candle Colour
- Check your chosen wax for the instructions on what pour temperature is recommended by the manufacturer.
- Use your double boiler to melt the wax. Fill one third of your pot with water, before placing your jug into the pot. Use your thermometer to check temperature.
- Add colour to the melted wax, and mix thoroughly. Be aware that the quantity added will affect the colour depth.
Step 3: Add fragrance To The Soy WaxYou prepared your fragrance quantity in Step 1 . Now add it to the wax and mix well. It is important to only add fragrance once the our temperature is correct (the pouring temperature as recommended by the manufacturer). If you add fragrance when the wax is too hot, the fragrance may evaporate and diminish in strength.
Step 4: PourTransfer your wax preparation from the large metal jug that you used in the double boiler to a smaller plastic jug. This will help you with pouring control and to minimise splashing. Do not pour it too hot or you might melt the plastic mould. As you are pouring the wax into your clamshell mould, ensure that you do not over fill them. Leave approximately 5mm of space at the top so there are no issues with closing the lid shut after the wax has set. Be sure to maintain a warm environment as your melts cool.
Step 5: Set & PackageYou have left your soy wax melts to set for at least 24 hours before attempting to close the moulds or to remove them from the mould for repackaging. If you’d like to reuse the mould itself once the wax melts are removed, you can easily clean them with rubbing alcohol. You might prefer to use the melts mould as packaging, in which case you can simply snap them close and store them somewhere cool and dark.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Wait 48-72 hours before using your soy wax melts. They don't need to cure as long as candles. Pop one in your warmer and joy!
Troubleshooting TipsIf you're having trouble releasing your wax from your mould then either you're using the incorrect wax or your mould is not great for melt making. (The soy wax manufacturer should note that is is appropriate for tart making in the description.) You can also pop them in the freezer for an hour or so, to shrink the wax, and this can help the wax to release easier.