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I'm wanting to make a Pine-Sol scented candle. However, in candle making you have to add a fragrance oil. People make them all the time by adding vanilla, etc and canola oil, vegetable oil, etc. I'm wondering what proportions I need to do this with Pine-Sol since it has chemicals in it?? I'm using the Original Pine-Sol - it contains 8.7% Pine oil in it if that helps. That's all I got from the label.

Thanks for your help! Mandy

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  • $\begingroup$ With the proviso that nearly all matter you've ever come in contact with is chemicals, I would be hesitant to add Pine-Sol to a volume of hot wax. If it is sufficiently hot, the wax could spatter, and we have no idea what compounds other than pine oil are in the stuff, so it's probably best to avoid vaporizing and inhaling them either in making or in burning the candle. If pine oil will do the trick, scent-wise, then that's probably a safer bet. $\endgroup$ – Jason Patterson Oct 29 '14 at 16:31
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I can answer the chemistry part of your question... the candle-making part is better suited to a candle making forum.

There is no easy way of converting the other 90% of (older) pine-sol into pine oil and newer pine-sol has 0% pine oil. Best to purchase pure pine oil.

Pine oil is cyclic: enter image description here

The other pine-sol ingredients are esters and other linear compounds. So using pine-sol to make pine oil would be ridiculous.

I am not certain how much pine oil is needed for a candle to be scented though. It may just be enough. For that you will have to just experiment... or ask on a candle forum.

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Pine sol soap molecules can be desoapified into fatty acids and K+ ions, by adding water and an acid. The acid breaks down tha soap molecules and then adds H+ ions to the fatty acid anions. These anions accept H+ ions because fatty acids, and especially those with long hydrocarbon chains, are very weak acids.

This reverses the process that was done when pine oil was made into soap.

So You now can collect the fatty acids from the top layer.

You can use pine sol, vinegar, water and salt to do this in a container. I have lined out this process in the comments below.

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  • $\begingroup$ Add equal amounts of vinegar (5%) and pine sol to a container. This should turn the mixture first in to a milky white blend, and then into a grayish blend with white lumps in it. This happens because the soap in pine sol is partly broken down, and some of the fatty acids have been released from the soap. So the soap molecules now encapsules the fatty acids, and that is what soap is supposed to do. Add some water if the micture has become to thick. $\endgroup$ – Lars Tuff Feb 24 '16 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ Now, add table salt (NaCl), stir and wait for 20 miuntes. The micture is now clear with the fatty acids from pine sol on top, and water and water soluble ions below. You can now collect the fatty acids from the top layer. $\endgroup$ – Lars Tuff Feb 24 '16 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ This happens because the salt forces the acetic acid in the vinegar to transfer it's H+ ions to the fatty acid anions. It does this because the fatty acids in the pine sol are even weaker acids than acetic acid. $\endgroup$ – Lars Tuff Feb 24 '16 at 21:50
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The answer would be fractional distillation. The idea behind fractional distillation is to evaporate the lighter, low boiling point molecules, while collecting 'fractions' some of which contain the desired aroma chemicals. This requires testing each fraction by smelling to determine if the desired pine-smelling fraction has been distilled. However, this is difficult to perform using standard household materials. Since this requires a closed distillation system, I'd recommended other alternatives to capture that pine scent.

Alternative Ideas:

  • Using Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine - This is also known as fractionated essential oil of pine, and is derived from using the process I described above, except with all-natural pine wood (and perhaps leaves, bark, etc.) and is currently available on Amazon for $12 per 4 oz. I'd go with this one, since you would be buying pure pine oil. Not to mention you could probably dilute it back into pine-sol with the proper solvent.
  • Using Aromachemicals - The major constituents of pine oil include alpha-pinene and beta-pinene (smell of forest air), camphene (woody/herbal), cis-3-hexanol (scent of freshly cut grass), linalool (floral, fresh) as well as others described in my source below. I've listed the ones that are more commonly used in the fragrance industry, and are reasonably easy to obtain.

Source: Pine Oil GC-MS http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/badjah/Documents%20Badjah/Pinus%20essential%20oil%20analysis.pdf

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