Melting the wax is the most important step in the candle making process.Go where you feel most like yourself. - Paul Witt
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Helpful Hints for Melting Candle Wax

The first step in the candle making process is to melt your wax. It is especially important NOT to melt it over direct heat as it is highly flammable. You should always use a double boiler for melting your wax. Even though the oven would work fine, this is the easier and safer approach. A double boiler system has two pots that fit on top of each other, with the wax going in the smaller, upper pot. The bottom pot is kept full of boiling water which creates a gentle, radiant heat that melts the wax safely. Most often you can find an inexpensive double boiler system at a discount store for under $30. Once you have used the boiler for candle making, do not use it for food preparation!

Melting Candle Wax

Fires

Whatever you do, never use the microwave. And don’t just plop a block of wax into a saucepan on the stove - you will end up with a wax fire. If this happens, place a lid over the saucepan to smother the flames. Never, ever put water on a wax fire! The water may cause the hot wax to fly out of the pan and start something else burning.

Other Tools

You will also need several other utensils which you may already have on hand (remember, once you have used them for wax, do not use them to prepare food):

  • candy thermometer
  • kitchen scale
  • ladle
  • small pan or pot with a spout for pouring the wax into molds

How To Melt Candle Wax

Slowly melt your wax under low temperatures in the double boiler. Stir the wax every so often and as it melts, gradually add more wax, filling your pot.

Keep a thermometer nearby at all times to keep track of the temperature of the wax. It is critical to pour your wax at the right temperature. If the wax is too hot when poured, your candles might crack. If it’s too cool, your candles may become lopsided.

Temperature Chart

Here's a list of the correct temperatures at which to pour different types of wax. Temperatures are in Fahrenheit.

Beeswax: 150-170

Paraffin: 190-200

Soy wax: 155-165

Crystallizing wax: 160-180

Gel wax: 185-203

Avoid a Fire

Any wax will not bubble or smoke when its temperature gets too high. Rather, once it reaches its flash point it will burst into flames without any notice or warning. To prevent this, it’s important to regulate your temperature and keep a lid that will cover your melting pot close by. If this does happen, cover the pot with a lid that covers it completely and remove the pan from the heat.

Get more candle information from the National Candle Association.

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