When Making Candles / Things You Shouldn’t Do

I thought that it would be a great idea to discuss some of the things that aren’t normally talked about with the candle making process. We are going to talk about things you should never do when making candles.

You see, there are some bad practices, and processes that may cause you trouble, stress, as well as to make a candle that is dangerous to burn. So if you want to make the best candle possible, please pay attention.

Now I know that some of the things I am going to be discussing, especially if you have some experience in the candle making process will seem like common sense to you. But if you are a newbie to candle making it is of most importance.

So for those of you that have experience, let this be a refresher course just to see if you have forgotten some of the things you shouldn’t be doing that I’ll be discussing.

So with no further adue, lets delve into the our topic of “When Making Candles, Things You Shouldn’t Do”.

I thought that I would start out with two of the things that I am ask about most frequently.

Don’t Ever Pour Unused Wax Down Your Drains

The first one is, “I emptied my pouring pot by pouring the remaining wax down my kitchen sink drain, and now my drain is clogged. What should I do?” Well the only answer I can give you is…

If you don’t know anything about plumbing, call a plumber! I say this because there is no other way to remove the clogged wax from your drain.

The second one is, “My dish washer is not draining, and I think it might be because I have been putting my pouring pot, and used molds in it to wash them. How can I unclog it?” Well I hate to tell you this, but my answer is the same as above!

Don’t Heat your Pouring Pot Incorrectly

Unless you’re pouring hundreds of candles at a time, you will be using a Pouring Pot. Even though it is well made and durable you should never place it directly on your heat source.

You should only use it as a Double Boiler. It is very easy to make one by filling a large pot with water, and placing it on your heat source. Then put your Pouring Pot in the water.

It is recommended that you do this because placing your Pouring Pot directly on the heat source causes a situation in which you can over heat your wax.

Thus causing a potential safety issue if your wax reaches its flash point. In addition to that as you pour candles, small amounts of wax may spill down the sides of your pot.

And guess what? When you put the pot back on your heat source, your wax in most cases will run down the sides of the pot onto your heat source.

Re-melting Old Candles Is A No, No!

I know that there are those out there that tell you that you can re-melt your old candles and left over waxes. And that is true. You can make another candle from the wax from your burned candles and scrap wax.

Although I don’t recommend that you do it if it’s not for a candle that you are pouring for your own use. Now you may ask, why is that?

Yes candles can be made from all of your old candles, and left over scrap wax, but consider that those candles, and left over waxes were all made at different times with different additives and scents. There is no way that you can be sure they will burn safely.

There are so many differentials to consider. If you are melting old or partially burned candles that you have purchased or were given to you as gifts, the manufacture or maker of those candles chose the correct amount of fragrance, color, and wick based on the melting point, as well as the diameter and height of the candle.

By mixing all these many different left over waxes and old candles you will not know these important factors, thus causing you to guess what type and size wick to use.

If the wick you choose is too large for the candle you are pouring, it will burn too hot causing a safety situation. If it’s too small it will only burn down the center of your candle leaving the circumference of the wax unburned.

That is why I recommend only using new wax that is made for the particular type of candle you are making. If you do that you will know that it is safe and is non toxic when burning.

It is for all these reasons that I say “Re-melting Old Candles Is A No, No”!

You Shouldn’t Use Crayons To Color Your Candles

I know that there are several how to make candle sites around that tell you that you can use crayons to color your candles. I don’t believe that it will cause your candle to be unsafe to burn.

But I will tell you that it will make your candle burn improperly. You see crayons are usually colored using pigment dyes that when used to color candles  tend to clog the wick, thus causing the candle to not burn properly and eventually drown out the flame.

So I suggest sticking to using dyes that are designed specifically for candle making that are supplied by your candle supply source.

Fragrances, It’s Important To Pick Them Wisely!

I know, I know! This may seem obvious to so many of you seasoned candle makers.

But you may be surprised to know there are quite a few out there that really don’t realize how important it is to use only fragrances that are designed for use with making candles.

This also holds true when using essential oils as well, because some essential fragrance oils may tend to irritate the skin.

Perfumes also are not safe to use; they can be a potential fire hazard and most likely will not give you a good scent throw.

Water based fragrances, as well as all non oil based fragrances should never be used in your candle making process.

Always use fragrances sold by your candle supplier. There are hundreds to choose from.

Always remember, Perfumes are not safe to use; they can be a potential fire hazard and probably will not give you a good scent throw.

Also some of the fragrance oils can irritate the skin. so stay clear of them.

Beware Of Candle Decorating Add Ons

There are many candle making projects out there that talk about adding dried flowers, leaves, cinnamon sticks, as well as other natural things to you candles.

Now I’m not saying that you should never use such items to decorate a candle. What I’m saying is make sure none of these items will ever come in direct contact with the wick.

You are probably saying that you have seen commercial made candles that have these items in them. This is true.

But you have to realize these companies have spent a considerable amount of time developing a process that ensures that the wick will never come in contact with them.

If you feel that you still want to add these types of items to your candles, please pay special attention to the details stated above. Safe burning candles must always be first and foremost in your candle making process.

Always Test Your Wicks

One of the issues that come up often pertains to wicks. It is not always wise to assume that a recommend wick is the best one suited for the candle you are making.

This is especially true with wicks made overseas. That’s why I say never assume that a recommended wick may work with the candle you are making.

You must realize that a wick recommendation from the wick manufacture is only the starting point. That’s because the manufacture of the wick has no idea what kind of wax you are using, how much color, and fragrance you will be using, or what kind of candle you will be making.

Also, always test your wick in a controlled environment for safety reasons.

Instructions For Candle Burning

Never sell or give a Candle as a gift without a burning label placed on the 2bottom of the Candle for safety reasons!

I strongly suggest that your burning label should at least consist of the following:

Burn within sight. Keep away from items that may catch fire. Keep away from children and pets. Failure to adhere to burning instructions may cause fire or damage. To reduce smoking and or sooting keep wick trimmed to ¼ inch at all times. Do not drop forging matter or wick trimmings into Candle. Never burn for more than four hours at a time. If you wish to burn Candle for more than four hours, extinguish the Candle, wait one hour before relighting. Do not burn near drafts. Discontinue burning when ½ inch of wax remains. This process should be followed for the life of the Candle.

Final Notes

I can’t stress enough how vitally important it is in the Candle making process to do your research. The Candle making process has practices that you need to follow to help make the Candle making process safer, as well as producing a better Candle.

When making Candles to sell, or give as gifts it is so important that you research as well as test, to make sure that your Candles will burn safely.

Here are some additional safety precautions and practices I want you to keep in mind when making your Candles:

•Wear safety goggles when pouring your wax and fragrances.

•Don’t store your fragrances on non-metal surfaces such as wood.

•Make sure that you know the basics of the Candle making process, as well as the different kinds of issues you may come across.

•Gel Candle fragrances are what are called non-polar and have a flash point at a temperature just above (170 degrees F.) (76.667 degrees C,) So be sure when making Gel Candles that you are using fragrances specifically designed for Gel Candles.

With paraffin, beeswax, and other natural waxes most all fragrances may be used. But always check with your Candle Making Supplier if you are in doubt.

Have fun making Candles for fun or profit.

I thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this article, and that it has helped you have a better understanding of “When Making Candles / Things You Shouldn’t Do”

For detailed instructions on Candle making visit my article on The Process Of Candle Making. Just click on this link to get to it: http://candlemakingblog.com/the-process-of-candle-making/

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Please leave any comments you may have below. It would be greatly appreciated.

Frank

Creative Wax Chandler

www.candlemakingblog.com