What is Cure in Candle Making?

Adding the fragrance oil
David Fisher

Definition: While in soap making, the term "cure" refers to the process of the water evaporating out of the bar, it means something quite different in candle making.

In candle making "cure" refers to the chemical process that takes place as the wax and fragrance oil bind and incorporate into each other. Think of it like a spaghetti sauce, chili, or a salsa - the flavors (or scents in this case) perform better after they've had some time to meld together with the wax - to "set."

The first thing to do is just to wait before lighting the candle. Most people recommend at least 24-48 hours for a paraffin-based candle, and up to a week for a soy-based candle. But there are things you can do when you are actually making the candle that will help too:

  • Make sure to add your fragrance oil in at the right temperature. Follow your wax manufacturer's directions - or for a good starting point, I recommend 180 degrees.
  • Be sure to stir! Amazing how many people just plain don't stir enough. Stir the fragrance oil into the wax for at least a full minute - two to be safe.