What is the best way to produce candles at the lowest possible cost? What are the required raw materials?
Most candles today can be made of paraffin (a mineral wax produced as a byproduct of petroleum refining), stearin (a derivative of palm wax), beeswax (made by honeybees), gel (a mixture of resin and mineral oil), or plant waxes (palm, carnauba, bayberry, or soy). The candle wick is usually made of woven cord and cut to length.
The most basic production method starts with liquification of the solid fuel by slowly melting it over a heat source. The liquid is then poured into a mold to produce a pillar type candle, a fireproof jar to produce a container candle, or the wick is repeatedly dipped into the liquid and allowed to harden between dippings to create a taper candle. Often, fragrance or essential oils are added to the liquid wax prior to pouring. The candle may also be colored by the addition of dye or pigments.
Mass producing candles almost always yields lower costs overall because materials can be purchased in bulk. Serious candle makers should look for wholesalers who will sell to them in bulk at cheaper prices. For the occasional candle maker, there are craft stores that sell supplies for candle making, and many of them have websites for online ordering.