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What Should I Know About Making Candles?

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  • Written By: L. Hepfer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2016
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There are several things to carefully consider when making candles. Several materials are used in the candle-making process, with different choices for each material. The different materials involved in making candles are candle wax, a wax melter, containers to make the candles, wicks, a candle-making thermometer, dyes and fragrances.

There are three different types of waxes used in making candles. Paraffin wax is a petroleum-based wax. It is the most commonly used type of wax and typically the kind of wax found in a candle one would buy in a store.

Soy wax is derived from natural soybean oils and is a cleaner burning wax than paraffin wax. Beeswax is another source of natural wax. It is the easiest of the three to use because it only requires a person to wrap the sheet of beeswax around the wick tightly by pressing the ends together.

Choosing the right container is vitally important when making candles. For safety reasons, a container should not be prone to breaking, cracking, catching fire or leaking. The container should also be heat-resistant.

Containers that won't burn are generally made of thick glass. Jelly jars are often used because they are convenient to find and they are generally made of thick glass. Any material that is porous, such as a terracotta pot, can melt and should not be used.

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Any container that cannot have an open flame held to it, such as a margarita glass or coconut shell, should be avoided. When wax becomes too hot, it can crack containers made of thin glass. Metal tins with seams can leak, causing a mess. When wax leaks from a container, the wick's flame tends to get bigger, creating a fire hazard.

There are hundreds of different wicks on the market. Different types of wicks work better for different types of candles. Finding a company that not only sells wicks, but one that is also knowledgeable in which option is best, is essential to making a good candle.

A wax melter can be ordered through a company known for making candles. Candle-making thermometers can be bought alone or in a candle-making kit. However, a candy thermometer can be used if a person has one of those on hand.

There are countless dyes and fragrances to choose from on the market. Once the fragrance is chosen, it is important to choose a dye that coordinates well with the smell. The right choice of color and smell makes a candle quite appealing.

Once the basic candle-making techniques are figured out, a person can venture into a very diverse world of making candles. Tapered candles, votive candles, tea-light candles and gel candles are just a few choices to consider. The choices are limitless with the design, shape, size, color and smell. Making candles can be a very fun and creative hobby for someone with a little extra time on their hands.

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