I use small candle making dye chips. They come in a packet of 8 chips. Each chip colours about 1/2 kilo ( 1 pound of wax.) Use more chips for deeper colours. I think I have seen about 30 shades for sale, and then you can get endless variety by mixing them for custom colour making! Dye also comes in liquid form and larger cake form and flake form.
Liquid candle making scents are available in 15 ml (1/2 oz) and larger bottles. One supplier recommends 15 ml for 1/2 kilo of wax (1/2 oz for 1 pound). Scent strength does vary according to the formulation - check with your supplier to find out what quantity to use with wax.
I have had some problems using essential oils not specifically made for candles. They did not mix well with the melted wax, leaving pitting and bubbles and mottling on the candle's finish and an oily residue on the candle surface. If in doubt, check with your supplier to make sure that their formulation will mix with wax. It depends on the type of carrier oil used in the scent.
I have used ground cinnamon, added to the melted wax just before pouring. You have to stir very well, and it still tends to settle in the bottom of your mould, but that effect is nice in a rustic style candle. Try other aromatic spices! Check below for instructions on hurricane candles to get an outer candle layer filled with herbs or other materials.
I have also added crushed and whole lavender flowers. They settle too, in a mould or container but the effect was attractive. And they add a wonderful aroma to a candle.
set up and clean up index
Use old bed sheets, wax paper or towels to cover your work surface. I just roll them up when I'm done and put them away in a box with the other candle making materials to reuse.
Put a couple of inches of water in an old sauce pan. Then put your wax in a metal container, preferably a pitcher for ease of handling. This container goes in the sauce pan on the burner, and this is how you melt your wax. The pitcher is easiest because it has a spout and a handle, and you can pour the melted wax better. You can also use a large juice can and just pinch the rim into a spout shape. A juice can would be hard to hold while pouring because of the heat of the wax. I don't wash my pitcher. I just melt all of the wax out of it when I'm finished and wipe the wax and colour residue out with a paper towel while it is still warm. Others have used crock pots, deep fat fryers and coffee urns fitted with brass spigots to melt paraffin.... with good success.
Don't pour wax down the drain. It will clog. Use a can to pour out waste wax, then throw the can away or re-melt the wax for later use.
Any spilt wax on a hard surface will just scrape off after it has cooled. If wax gets on clothing or cloth, you can pour hot water through it and the wax will mostly melt away with the pouring water. If wax gets in your carpet by some chance, let it harden and rub an ice cube on it to make it brittle, then scrape it out with a dull knife. Some wax will remain, and if its a noticeable colour, you can then melt it with a hot, wet cloth and sponge it up mostly with repeated treatments.
A correspondent suggested the warm iron treatment for stains on carpet or fabric. They had a red wax candle drip onto white carpet, and they found that "using a warm iron through paper towel got the colour out the best and cleanest".
I don't wash any of my tools, I just clean my moulds. It is important to have a wax and dust free mould for good candles. The candles will come out of the moulds easily, and they won't have marks or blemishes on them. Your moulds will not rust or deteriorate if you take good care of them. There is a cleaning solution for metal moulds that will remove wax. It is available at candle making supply shops. It is called chlorothene. It is a liquid that you pour into a dirty mould and swirl it around, then dump out. This is for stubborn stains and wax build up. For regular normal metal mould cleaning, just put the mould upside down on a foil lined cookie sheet in a 70 degree C (150 F) oven. Not hotter. The welds in the mould will melt. Heat the mould for 15 minutes this way, and the wax will simply run out onto the foil. Be sure not to scrape or scratch the inside of your mould. It will mar every candle you make in it from that point on. Also, be careful not to dent a mould. The candles will be very difficult to remove from the mould. Metal and glassware can simply be put in the dishwasher as well.