How To Make 30 Hours Survival Candles with Soy Wax


Soy wax burns cleaner than other paraffin waxes, and much longer. This is what makes survival candles the best choice.

But a soy wax candle in emergency can cost up to $20.

I made mine with just $1.67/candle:

diy soy wax candle costs

I was a little fortunate to get a 50 percent discount for the glasses. Yet at the same time, after I purchased them, I was thinking I might have used some kind of containers such as mason jars, or even tin cans.

You may choose the length of your candles burning — the larger the jar, the longer your survival candles will burn.

What You’ll Need:

  • Soy wax flakes: Specialized businesses often use these to produce candles because soy is cheap and a pound of wax will fill approximately a 24-ounce container, more or less so. You can buy them for $12.99 on Amazon or you can find them in your favorite craft shops.
  • Canning jars/normal glasses: You can either buy the extra one you have at home or use it. Personally, I used Ikea glasses because I’ve got an extra dozen or so. I had a 50 percent discount when I purchased them, so I paid just $0.75 for one.
  • Wicks and tabs: It is also sold on Amazon and at any nearby art shop. I wanted to see whether I could make my own wicks, just like my grandma told me her mother used to do, so I made the wicks with my palms rolling cotton-wool.

Related: How To Turn Bacon Grease Into Emergency Candles

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Have everything ready and in one place.

You’re going to want to have your stuff ready because you’ll have to move pretty quickly when the wax has melted. If you’ve opted to use store-bought wicks and tabs, you should place them in the containers of your candles and you’ll be able to pour the melted wax.

oil lamp wick

As I have said, I did not pay for the wicks. I made them by rolling my palms on cotton-wool. I soaked them in a bit of sunflower oil and knotted one end to serve as the tab after I achieved the necessary thinness.

2. It’s melting time!

bain marine wax melting

If you have a double boiler, that’s perfect. But if you don’t own one, don’t worry—the traditional bain-marie cooking method comes to the rescue: Fill one large pot one-third full with water and then nest a smaller pot inside (as I’ll show you later).

soy wax flakes

Now turn on the fire, bring your “double boiler” to a boil and add the wax flakes.

melting soy wax flakes

This is how it looks when the flakes start to melt. You can either stir them with a spoon (I used a wooden spoon) to make the melting process go faster or you can just leave them to melt.

melted soy wax flakes

And here it is completely melted (this is only half of the soy wax quantity). I didn’t know at first how much I’ll need.


  • If you want your candles to be scented, you can add essential oils. For 1 lb. of melted wax, use 1 oz. of your preferred essential oil or fragrance. Make sure you remove your pot from the heat when adding the oils, and stir well.
  • I recommend not adding any additional scents because you might risk getting a headache when there’s a power outage, disaster, or SHTF situation.

3. Pour and affix!

Now that the wax flakes have melted, you can start pouring your melted wax into the containers. Make sure you leave at least a 1-inch space between the wax and the top of the container for lighting the candle.

pour and affix

Because I used handmade wicks without tabs, before I started pouring the molten wax, I removed them from the glasses, as they would go down with the wax stream. After all the containers have been filled up, place the wicks back and cover them with aluminum foil to make sure they are centere, just as I did.

fix the wicks

Don’t forget to fill the containers only ¾ of the way up. This way your survival candles will burn even during harsh conditions. For example if it’s windy, the gap will act as a shield.

4. Cool down!

Now that you have finished everything, you just have to wait until your candles cool completely.

finished soy wax candles

Best advice: let them dry overnight at room temperature if you don’t want to see cracks in the wax.

soy candles finished

For a longer burning time, you can burn your candles for four hours at a time and then rotate. A single candle should last for around 10 days with regular use.

burning soy wax candles

If you choose to buy the glasses together with the wicks and tabs, your cost per candle will be around $2.40.

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