Why Is My Soy Wax Turning Yellow? Troubleshooting Guide

Have you ever noticed discoloring or cloudy imperfections in your soy wax candles or melts? Soy wax, favored by candle makers for its eco-friendliness and clean burn, can be prone to discoloration. Adding wood wicks and fragrance oil can enhance the overall look of the candle, but it can also lead to imperfections.

Discoloration can occur due to various factors such as wet spots, uneven surfaces, and improper placement of the candle and wick series used. Additionally, discoloring can be caused by using dyed candles or wood wicks, while imperfections in the wax can also lead to discoloration. Understanding the causes of soy wax discoloration is crucial for creating high-quality products that meet customers’ expectations.

From discussing the characteristics of soy wax and its melting point to providing tips on proper placement of candles, as well as fragrance oil for added scent, we have got you covered. It is important to ensure that the flame is not too high when burning the candle, as this can generate enough heat to cause a fire.

So why soy wax? Aside from being an eco-friendly option, it has a lower melting point than other waxes which means it burns slower and longer. It also holds fragrance better than other waxes making it an ideal choice for scented candles. However, with these benefits come some challenges that need addressing. One of which is the risk of oil and fuel burning when exposed to a flame.

Let’s dive into why your soy wax may be turning yellow and how you can prevent candle discoloration from happening again! Whether you’re making dyed candles or an uncolored candle, it’s important to understand the cause of this issue. One common culprit is the type of candle wick you’re using.

Understanding the Causes of Soy Wax Yellowing

Exposure to UV Light

One of the most common causes of soy wax yellowing is exposure to UV light. This can happen when candles or wax melts scented with fragrance oil are left in direct sunlight or near a window where they are exposed to natural light. Over time, this exposure can cause the soy wax to break down and oxidize, resulting in a yellowish color. In addition, imperfections such as an improperly trimmed wick or a flame that is too large can also contribute to discoloration.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to store your soy wax products in a cooling container in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. You can also consider using UV-resistant packaging for your candles and melts if you plan on selling them. Ensure that the wick and fragrance oil are also stored in the same cool, dark place to maintain their quality.


Another cause of soy wax yellowing and candle discoloration is oxidation caused by air exposure. When soy wax is exposed to air, it can react with oxygen and other elements in the environment, causing it to break down and turn yellow over time. This can be worsened by using a candle wick that is too large or small for the container, as well as adding too much fragrance oil which can lead to imperfections in the appearance of the candle.

To prevent oxidation, make sure that you store your soy wax candles in airtight containers or packaging. This will help to minimize their exposure to air and keep their surface looking fresh for longer. Additionally, it is important to keep your wick trimmed to avoid any unnecessary smoking. For added longevity, consider using a fragrance oil that is specifically designed for use with soy wax candles.

Fragrance Oils with High Vanillin Content

Lastly, when making candles, it’s important to consider the type of wick and container being used. Choosing the right wick size and material can affect the burn time and overall performance of the candle. Additionally, using a container that is heat-resistant and appropriate for the type of wax being used is crucial for safety. It’s also important to note that adding fragrance oils with a high percentage of vanillin can cause soy wax to yellow over time, which can affect the appearance of the candle. Vanillin is an organic compound that gives vanilla its characteristic flavor and aroma. However, it can also react with other compounds in the environment when added to soy wax, causing discoloration over time. If you’re unsure about any aspect of candle making, consider

If you’re experiencing candle wax discoloration or candle wax turning when using fragrance oils with high vanillin content, try switching to fragrances with lower percentages of vanillin or using stabilizers designed specifically for use with these types of fragrances. This is especially important if you are making soy wax melts or soy candles.

How to Avoid Oxidation and Prevent Soy Wax Discoloration

Keep soy wax away from direct sunlight and UV rays

One of the primary reasons why soy wax used in candles turns yellow is oxidation caused by exposure to sunlight and UV rays. The discoloration process occurs due to the breakdown of unsaturated fatty acids present in soy wax used for candle making. When exposed to light, these fatty acids react with oxygen in the air, leading to a chemical reaction that results in yellowing on the surface of the candle. This is particularly noticeable when fragrance oil is added to the candle, as it can further accelerate the yellowing process. Additionally, the type of wick used can also impact the discoloration of the soy wax candle.

To avoid wick issues, it’s essential to keep your soy wax candles away from direct sunlight and UV rays. Store them in a container in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard or closet. If you must display them on a surface or windowsill, ensure they are not exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods and maintain a consistent temperature.

Store soy wax in a cool, dry place to prevent oxidation

Another way to prevent soy wax discoloration is by storing it correctly. Soy wax is prone to oxidation when exposed to moisture or high humidity levels, which can cause air bubbles to form in the melt pool. It’s essential to maintain a dry environment and ensure that the wick is trimmed to 1/4 inch before each use to prevent the formation of air bubbles. Proper service of your candle can also help prevent discoloration caused by uneven burning.

To prevent the formation of air bubbles around the wick and maintain the quality of your soy wax candles, store them in a container at a stable temperature. Keep them in a cool, dry place with low humidity levels, and avoid storing them near sources of moisture such as bathrooms or kitchens.

Use antioxidants such as Vitamin E or Rosemary Extract to prevent discoloration

Antioxidants are compounds that can be added to candle wax to inhibit the oxidation process caused by air bubbles in the wax. This process can cause damage to the surface of the candle and discoloration of the wick. By adding antioxidants such as Vitamin E or Rosemary Extract, the free radicals that cause this damage can be neutralized, resulting in a longer-lasting and more appealing candle.

Vitamin E can be added directly into melted soy wax before pouring it onto the surface of the wick in candle containers. This is important because candles need air to burn, and Vitamin E helps extend their shelf life while also preventing discoloration caused by oxidation.

Rosemary extract is another natural antioxidant that works well with soy wax candles. It not only prevents discoloration but also gives a pleasant aroma to the candles. Add a few drops of rosemary extract to melted soy wax before pouring it onto the wick and surface of the candle for best results. This will help to keep the air around us clean and pure.

Avoid overheating soy wax during the melting process to prevent oxidation

Overheating soy wax in a candle container can also lead to discoloration and other issues such as cracking or frosting, which may affect the wick’s performance. When melting soy wax for candle-making, it’s essential to use low heat and avoid overheating the wax, ensuring that there is enough air circulation to prevent any mishaps.

To melt soy wax for candle making, place it in a double boiler and heat it slowly until it reaches its melting point. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating. Once melted, carefully pour the liquid wax into a container with a wick inserted in the center. Add fragrance oils or essential oils if desired before the wax cools and solidifies around the wick.

Using Ivory Dye to Counteract Soy Wax Yellowing

What is Ivory Dye and How Can it Help?

Soy wax candles are a popular choice for many candle makers due to their natural ingredients and clean burning properties. However, one common issue that can arise with soy wax candles is yellowing. This yellow tint can be caused by a variety of factors, including the vanillin content in fragrance oils. Additionally, the container in which the candle is placed, the wick used, and the air circulation around the candle can also contribute to yellowing.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem: ivory dye. Ivory dye can help counteract the yellow tint that soy wax can develop, resulting in dyed candles that maintain a white appearance even as the wax cools. Whether you use a wick or container for your candle, the ivory dye will work just as effectively, and it will not be affected by the air around it.

Ivory dye is a liquid colorant that is specifically designed for use in soy wax candles with a wick. It comes in various shades of ivory and beige, making it an ideal choice for those looking to create natural-looking candles that burn cleanly through the air. When added to melted soy wax, ivory dye disperses evenly throughout the mixture, resulting in consistent coloring throughout the finished candle.

How Does Vanillin Content Affect Soy Wax Yellowing?

Vanillin is a naturally occurring compound found in vanilla beans and other plant extracts. It is often used as a fragrance ingredient in candles due to its sweet and comforting scent. However, vanillin can also contribute to yellowing in soy wax candles if the air circulation is poor or if the wick is not properly trimmed.

When exposed to heat and light over time, vanillin can oxidize and turn yellow or brown in candles. This effect is more pronounced in soy wax than in other types of waxes due to its natural composition. The wick and air circulation can also contribute to the oxidation process.

By adding ivory dye to your soy wax mixture, you can counteract the effects of vanillin content on your candles’ appearance. The ivory dye will help maintain a white color even as the vanillin begins to oxidize. It is important to note that the wick and air circulation also play a crucial role in the appearance of your candles.

Other Ways to Prevent Soy Wax Yellowing

While using ivory dye is an effective way to counteract soy wax yellowing caused by vanillin content, there are other steps you can take to prevent candle yellowing and black bits on the sides of the melt pool. Make sure your wick is properly sized for the jar size and wax type you are using, as a too-small wick can cause incomplete burning and soot buildup. Also, allow enough air flow around the candle while burning to avoid discoloration from lack of oxygen.

One option is to add a UV inhibitor to your wax mixture, which can help protect against the effects of sunlight and other forms of light exposure that can cause yellowing over time. Additionally, ensuring proper air circulation around the burning candle can help keep the wick burning evenly and prevent tunneling. By adding a UV inhibitor and paying attention to the wick and air flow, you can maintain the appearance of your soy wax candles for longer.

Another way to prevent soy wax yellowing is by choosing fragrance oils with lower vanillin content and using the proper wick. While vanillin is a popular fragrance ingredient in candles, it’s not the only option available. Citrus-based fragrances, for example, typically have low vanillin content and are less likely to contribute to yellowing. The right wick can also help prevent yellowing by ensuring that the candle burns evenly and cleanly.

Finally, it’s important to ensure that your wick is properly sized for your soy candle vessel. A wick that is too small can result in incomplete combustion and black soot buildup on the sides of the melt pool. This buildup can contribute to overall discoloration of the wax over time and also affect the air quality in your home.

Sunlight Exposure: Effects on Soy Wax Color and Prevention Tips

Direct sunlight exposure can cause soy wax to turn yellow.

If you have noticed that your soy wax candles or melts are turning yellow, it could be due to their exposure to air or direct sunlight. Soy wax is sensitive to light, especially ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. When exposed to these rays or air for extended periods, the wax molecules break down and become discolored. Additionally, it’s important to regularly trim the wick of your candle to prevent it from producing soot and discoloring the wax.

Soy wax contains a natural pigment called beta-carotene, which gives it its creamy white color. However, when the wick is lit and exposed to UV light, this pigment breaks down into smaller compounds that cause the wax to appear yellowish. The intensity of the yellowing depends on the amount of UV exposure and the thickness of the candle.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight can break down the wax molecules and affect its color.

The effects of UV rays on soy wax candles are similar to those on human skin. Just as prolonged sun exposure causes skin damage and discoloration, it also affects the color and quality of the candle. When exposed to UV light for an extended period, soy wax becomes brittle and loses its hot throw—the fragrance released when the wick is lit.

Furthermore, if you have leftover wax after making your candles or melts, it may become cloudy when reused. It is important to ensure the wax cools completely before adding a new wick to avoid any mishaps. If you use dyes or fragrances that contain vanillin in your candles or melts, they may turn brown instead of yellow when exposed to direct sunlight. Vanillin is a common ingredient in fragrances used in candles because it provides a sweet vanilla scent. However, it reacts with UV light and turns brown over time.

Artificial light can also contribute to soy wax discoloration if it emits UV light.

It’s not just natural sunlight or artificial lights that affect soy wax color; the type of candle wick used can also contribute to discoloration. Additionally, artificial lights emitting UV radiation, such as fluorescent bulbs, can accumulate over time and affect nearby objects’ colors.

To prevent your candles or melts from turning yellow due to artificial light, you can use UV-resistant containers or store them in a dark place. It’s also essential to avoid exposing the wick to direct heat sources such as radiators or stoves, as this can cause the wax to melt and lose its shape.

To prevent yellowing, avoid exposing soy wax candles to direct sunlight and use sunscreen or UV-resistant containers.

To keep your soy wax candles or melts with wick looking their best, it’s crucial to take steps to protect them from sunlight and other sources of light that emit UV radiation. Here are some tips:

  • Store your candles or melts with leftover wax in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight to ensure the wax cools properly and the wick stays intact.
  • Use sunscreen on the outside of the soy candle container if you plan to display it in a sunny area to prevent candle wax discoloration. Also, ensure the wick is trimmed and centered before lighting soy wax melts.
  • Choose containers made of UV-resistant materials such as glass or tin to store your soy candles and soy wax melts, as they are prone to candle wax discoloration. Additionally, ensure that the container has a suitable wick for best performance.
  • Avoid using dyes or fragrances that contain vanillin if you plan to display your candles with a wick in bright areas.
  • Keep your candles away from direct heat sources such as radiators and stoves.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your soy wax candles and melts remain beautiful and vibrant for longer periods. Remember that prevention is always better than cure.

Contamination by Stray Metals: External Factors That Affect Soy Wax Color

Stray metals can cause discoloration in soy wax.

One of the most common reasons why soy wax used in candles turns yellow is contamination by stray metals. These metals can come from a variety of sources, including the candle manufacturing process or storage containers. Even small amounts of stray metals can affect the color of soy wax used for candles and lead to discoloration.

Soy wax is a natural product that is commonly used in candle making. It is made from soybeans, which may contain trace amounts of heavy metals like zinc and copper. These metals can cause the wax to turn yellow during the manufacturing process, affecting the color of the candle. Additionally, storing soy wax in containers that have been exposed to metal or other contaminants can also lead to discoloration over time.

Proper handling and storage of soy wax can help prevent contamination by stray metals.

To avoid contamination by stray metals and keep your soy wax candle looking its best, it’s important to handle and store it properly. Here are some tips:

  • Use stainless steel or glass equipment when making your own candles.
  • Store your soy wax candle in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid storing your soy wax candle in containers that have been used for other purposes or exposed to metal.
  • Use clean utensils when measuring out your ingredients.
  • Consider using distilled water instead of tap water when making your candles.

By following these simple steps, you can help prevent contamination by stray metals and keep your candle soy wax looking beautiful for longer periods.

Contamination by stray metals can occur during the manufacturing process or storage.

Contamination by stray metals can happen at any point during the production process or while storing your finished candles. During candle manufacturing, it’s important to use high-quality materials and equipment that are free from contaminants like metal shavings or rust. If you’re working with a large batch of candle wax, it’s important to mix it thoroughly to ensure that any stray metals are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

When storing your finished candles or other soy wax products, it’s important to use containers that are free from contaminants and keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you’re using metal containers, make sure they’re lined with a non-reactive material like glass or plastic to prevent contamination by stray metals.

Managing Fragrance Levels to Prevent Soy Wax Discoloration

Fragrance Oils and Soy Wax Candles

Soy wax candles have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their eco-friendliness, clean burning, and longer burning time. However, some candle makers have reported issues with discoloration of their soy wax candles over time. One of the main reasons for this is the use of fragrance oils.

Fragrance oils are an essential component of any scented candle. They provide the scent throw that makes candles so appealing. However, using too much fragrance oil can lead to inconsistent scent and discoloration of the wax.

The Impact of Fragrance Load on Soy Wax Candles

The amount of fragrance oil used in a soy wax candle is referred to as the fragrance load. The recommended fragrance load for soy wax candles is generally between 6% and 10%. Anything above this range can cause problems with scent throw and discoloration.

Citrus scents and fragrances with a high oil content are more likely to cause discoloration of candle wax, turning it an undesirable color, than other types of fragrances. This is because they contain more natural compounds that react with light and air.

To prevent discoloration of your soy wax candles, it’s important to manage your fragrance load carefully. Start by following the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific type of wax and fragrance oil. If you’re experiencing issues with discoloration or inconsistent scent throw, consider reducing your fragrance load slightly until you find the right balance.

Choosing the Right Wicks for Your Soy Wax Candles

Another factor that can impact the appearance and performance of your soy wax candles is wick selection. Using the wrong type or size of wick can result in dark smoke, carbon buildup, and poor burn quality.

When choosing wicks for your soy wax candles, consider both their size and material. Wood wicks are becoming increasingly popular due to their natural appearance and crackling sound. However, they can be more difficult to work with than traditional cotton wicks.

To ensure the best possible burn quality for your soy wax candles, choose wicks that are appropriate for the diameter of your container and the type of wax you’re using. You may need to experiment with different types and sizes of wicks until you find the perfect match.

Using Clear Containers for Your Soy Wax Candles

Finally, consider using clear containers for your soy wax candles instead of opaque or colored ones. This will allow you to monitor the color and appearance of your wax over time and identify any potential issues with discoloration early on.

Clear containers also provide a better showcase for any decorative elements or unique features of your candle design. They allow the natural beauty of the soy wax to shine through, creating a visually appealing product that customers will love.

Candle Wax Discoloration: Frequently Asked Questions and Conclusion

If you’re wondering why your soy wax is turning yellow, you’re not alone. Soy wax discoloration is a common problem that many candle makers face. Now, let’s summarize the key points and provide some FAQs that may help you avoid soy wax discoloration in the future.

Key Points

  • Soy wax used in candles can turn yellow due to oxidation, sunlight exposure, contamination by stray metals, or fragrance oils.
  • To prevent candle soy wax discoloration, store your wax in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and use antioxidants like vitamin E or rosemary extract.
  • Ivory dye can be used to counteract yellowing and give your candles a creamy color.
  • Avoid using too much fragrance oil as it can cause discoloration and lead to candle wax turning.
  • If possible, use distilled water when making your candles to prevent contamination by minerals.


Q: Can I still use my discolored soy wax?

A: Yes! Discoloration doesn’t affect the quality of your candle; it’s just an aesthetic issue. You can still use discolored soy wax for your candles.

Q: How do I know if my fragrance oil is causing discoloration?

Fragrance oils that contain vanilla or other natural ingredients may cause discoloration in your candle wax. Test your fragrance oils before using them in large batches.

Q: Can I use bleach to whiten my discolored soy wax?

A: No! Bleach will damage the structure of the wax and make it unusable for candle making.

Q: Do different types of wicks affect soy wax color?

A: Yes! Wicks made from materials like zinc or lead can contribute to discoloration due to their metal content. Use cotton or paper wicks instead for your candle wax.

Q: Can I use soy wax colorants to prevent yellowing?

A: Yes! Soy wax colorants can be used to give your candles a desired hue. However, using too much colorant can cause discoloration over time.

Q: How long does it take for soy wax to turn yellow?

It depends on the conditions in which the candle wax is stored. Soy wax can turn yellow within a few weeks or months if exposed to sunlight or air.

Q: Will adding more fragrance oil make my candle smell stronger?

Not necessarily. Adding too much fragrance oil to your candle wax can actually weaken the scent and cause discoloration. Follow the recommended usage rates for your fragrance oils.

In conclusion, soy wax discoloration is a common issue that can be prevented with proper storage, antioxidants, and careful use of fragrance oils. By following these tips and answering some FAQs, you’ll be able to create beautiful candles without worrying about yellowing. Happy candle making!