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How to Make a Candle: Melting Wax

Wax can be melted a number of ways and at different temperatures, depending on the type of candle wax used.

| February 2011 Web

  • "Candlemaking the Natural Way" offers the fundamental techniques of candle making as well as 31 projects for making beeswax, palm and soy candles of all shapes, sizes and colors.
    Photo Courtesy Lark Crafts

The following is an excerpt from "Candlemaking the Natural Way: 31 Projects Made with Soy, Palm and Beeswax" by Rebecca Ittner (Lark Crafts, 2010). The excerpt is from Chapter 2: Techniques. 

Featured Candle Projects: 

Cupcake candles
Embedded Pillar candle

Wax can be melted a number of ways, including in an electric slow cooker, double boiler, melting pot, or commercial wax melter. The most popular are the stove-top methods—using a double boiler or melting pot.

To begin, weigh the wax using a kitchen scale, then place the wax into the melting container. (If you are using a melting pot, place the pot in a pan of water.) Melt the wax over low-to-medium heat until it reaches the recommended melting temperature (see Melting and Pouring Temperatures chart below), also known as the melting point. The melting point is the minimum temperature that will keep wax in a liquid state. Add color and fragrance if desired (see page 23).

Once the wax cools to the recommended pouring temperature (see Melting and Pouring Temperatures chart below), pour it into the mold. Pouring temperatures are important because they affect the finished look of candles. If poured too cool, candles may mottle (a snowflake effect); if poured too hot, they may get cracks (also called jump lines). As discussed in some of the following recipes, pouring temperatures can be adjusted to achieve certain effects in finished candles.

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