Guide to Liquid Dye Usage in Candle Making
For a medium shade of a color (like red, blue, yellow, etc..), you will need to use about 0.05% dye. This means using 1 pound of liquid dye for 2000 pounds of wax. On a smaller scale, this is equivalent to using about seven or eight drops of color per pound of wax. Here are some equivalents to help you convert from one unit of measure to another:
1 ounce = 28 grams 1 pound = 454 grams = 16 ounces
1 Tablespoon = 15 grams = about one half ounce 1 teaspoon = 5 grams = about one fifth of an ounce
1/2 teaspoon = about two grams 1/4 teaspoon = about one gram 1 gram = about 33 drops
You may measure by weight, using a scale, or by volume, using measuring cups or spoons. It is important to choose a method and consistently use that method since you may get slightly different results if you alternate between the two.
Calculating by Percentage
For a medium shade: Total batch size x 0.05% = amount of liquid dye to use
For example, if you want to color 10 pounds of wax red, here is what you would do:
10 pounds x 0.05% = 0.005 lb (when multiplying by a percentage, be sure to either use the percent key after 0.05 or add two decimal places in front of 0.05 so that you multiply by 0.0005). Since you can't measure 0.005 lb easily, you will want to convert to grams or ounces. To convert to ounces, multiply 0.005 lb by 16 since there are 16 ounces in 1 pound. 0.005 x 16 = 0.08 ounce. This is still a very small amount, so you may want to convert to grams so you can use measuring spoons or drops. To convert to grams, multiply by 454, which is the number of grams per pound. 0.005 lb x 454 = 2.27 grams. Since you need to use 2.27 grams of dye to color your 10 pound batch, you should use 1/2 teaspoon plus about 9 drops. If your batch is small, or if the dye amount is small, it is often easier to convert to grams so that you may use measuring spoons or drops.
For darker shades like burgundy or navy, try using 0.1% dye. This means that you should multiply your batch size by 0.1% (being sure to use the percent key) or just multiply the batch size by 0.001.
For pale shades like peach or pink, you will want to use about 0.005%. For a vanilla or ivory shade, you may want to use 0.001%.
Black may be achieved by using 0.2% dye in the wax. Using less than 0.2% will yield different shades of gray.