How much is Too Much?
One of the first questions you’ll probably ask yourself when making candles is ‘how much candle wax do I need.’
Logically, you would think you need as much wax as the volume of the container you are putting it in. But this isn’t true.
But worry not. By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to measuring the exact amount of wax for your beautiful homemade candles!
How Much Wax Do I Really Need?
People often assume wax takes up as much space as water. For example, an 8 oz. jar holds 8 oz. of water and so, therefore must also take 8 oz. of wax. But this isn’t the case.
Why? Because wax is less dense than water. This means wax takes up more space than water for the same weight.
In short, 8 oz. of water will fill up an 8 oz. container. BUT, 8 oz. of wax will overflow an 8 oz. container!
Therefore, to find how much wax you’ll need for a container, you’ll have to find its density compared to water.
Tip: Be sure to head over to our calculator which can automatically calculate the amount of wax and fragrance oil you need.
The Density Of Different Types Of Wax
The most common wax types are paraffin, soy, and beeswax. Besides these common waxes, pretty much all waxes are 82% – 98% as dense as water.
This is known as specific gravity. This term describes how much something is heavier or lighter than water.
The following densities are specific to each type of wax.
Wax Specific Gravity (Density compared to water)
Note, these are very general guides but will give you a picture of what waxes are denser. Be sure to ask your supplier for the exact specific gravities of the waxes you have purchased.
How To Measure The Correct Amount Of Wax
You can follow these steps to quickly and confidently calculate the amount of wax you’ll need for your candles.
STEP 1. Calculate Container Weight.
Determine the container you will use for your wax. Weigh the container on a scale. Write this number down.
Example: Container weight is 12 oz. (340g).
STP 2. Calculate Water Weight.
Fill the container with water up to the desired level – this will be the level you want your wax up to. Next, weigh the container with water on a scale. Then subtract the container weight in step 1 from the water + container weight. This will give you the exact weight of the water.
Example: Water with the container is 21.16 oz. (600g). So water weight is 9.16 oz. (260g).
Step 3. Consider Fragrance Load.
When making the candle, you need to consider how much fragrance oil will be put into the wax. This is up to your discretion, but most manufacturers will provide a value. Most candles have a fragrance percentage of 6% – 10% of wax weight (known as the fragrance load).
Example. We’ve decided to use a 6% fragrance load.
Step 4. Calculate Total Weight Of Wax
The total weight of the wax needed is the amount of wax + fragrance to be put into your container.
Let’s say you want to fill the container with wax up to the brim. Remember in step 2 we calculated the total weight of water to be 9.16 oz. So that is what we use. Assume we use paraffin wax.
Next, we figure out the exact amount of wax + fragrance we need to achieve this.
Total Wax Weight = Weight of Water * Specific Gravity
9.16 * 0.9 = 8.24 oz. (233.71 grams).
So the wax + fragrance will weigh 8.24 ounces. This will be enough to fill a 9.16 oz. jar.
Now, we must determine exactly how much wax and fragrance we will have to make this 8.24 oz.
Since the fragrance load is 6% (0.06), the following formula applies:
Fragrance Load = 1 + F = 1.06
The following formulas will work:
Amount Of Wax= Total Wax Weight / Fragrance load
8.24 / 1.06 = 7.77 oz. (218.29 grams).
Total Amount of Fragrance = 0.06 (fragrance load) * 7.77 (amount of wax) = 0.47 oz. (13.32 grams)
To ensure this is correct, adding these back together should equal the total amount of wax, which was 8.24 oz.
7.77 + 0.47 = 8.24 oz.
We need a total of 7.77 oz. of wax and 0.47 oz. of fragrance oil.
Here is a general guide to give you a rough estimate of the amount of candle wax and fragrance oil you need, depending on the candle size.
Assuming a specific gravity of 0.85 and a Fragrance load of 6%.
|Candle Type||Water Weight Of Container||Total Weight Of Wax (Wax + Fragrance Oil)||Amount Of Wax||Amount Of Fragrance Oil|
|Tea Light||0.6 oz.||0.51 oz.||0.48 oz.||0.03 oz.|
|Taper||2 oz.||1.7 oz.||1.60 oz.||0.01 oz.|
|Votive||3 oz.||2.55 oz.||2.40 oz.||0.15 oz.|
|Pillar||16 oz.||13.6 oz.||12.83 oz.||0.76 oz.|
Tip: Using a specific gravity of 0.85 and a fragrance load of 6% will guarantee that the amount of wax you use will end up less than the size of your jar or container. You won’t run into any overflow problems!
Figuring out exactly how much wax you need is easy once you get the hang of it. If you’re not sure of the density of your wax, we’d recommend sticking to the specific gravity of 0.85. That way, you can be sure you’re wax will fill up the container with some room to spare.
Our wax and fragrance oil calculator can easily calculate exactly how much wax and fragrance oil you need to make the perfect candle.