Making candles at home can be a lot of fun. You get to choose your designs, fill them with vibrant colors, give them whatever shape you want, and create a lot of memories in the entire candle-making process. But the first thing that you must do to make candles is choosing the right kind of wax.
For a long time since the 19th century, the only wax candle-makers knew about was paraffin. Thanks to many innovations, now you have a lot of different options. The kind of wax you buy depends on the type of candle you wish to make, whether you want your wax to be natural or synthetic, and the melt melting point you will be working with.
At what temperature does candle wax melt? Candle wax melts at temperatures between 75°F and 180°F depending on the type of wax, and the additives used in the wax. Using specific blends of wax or vybar can raise the melt temperature, in addition, using luster crystals can significantly increase the melting point of candle wax.
In addition, be sure to check out our page about calculating how much wax it takes to make candles titled How much wax do I need.
Read on to know more about the different kinds of wax, followed by a small tutorial on how to use a double boiler to melt wax at home.
|Table Of Contents|
How To Melt Wax With A Double-Boiler
Have Fun but Be Safe
Frequently Asked Questions
Different Types & Wax Melting Points
When choosing the right type of wax, you must consider several factors, such as the melting point and the flashpoint of the wax, the versatility, natural scent, and composition. A lot of it depends on the application, so let’s take a look at the different kinds of wax commonly used, along with their pros and cons concerning candle-making.
Below is a list of at what temperature different types of waxes melt.
Melting Point For Different Types Of Wax
|Type Of Wax||Melting Point|
|Paraffin Wax||122 to 158 F|
|Soy Wax||120 and 180 F|
|Beeswax||143 and 151 F|
|Coconut Wax||75 and 100 F|
|Rapeseed Wax||125 and 136 F|
You may have come across paraffin in most stores as they have traditionally been most commonly used in candle-making. Paraffin has been always preferred because of its versatility, and so, it can be molded into any shape, to make anything you desire.
Meting Point: Paraffin wax typically melts in the range of 122 to 158 F.
Flashpoint: The flashpoint of paraffin wax is between 392 and 464 F. (Note: flashpoint refers to the temperature at which the wax can ignite into flames).
Pros: The primary advantage of using paraffin wax is that it is easily available and one of the most economic options. Further, it gives you an option to experiment with different additives to get to the desired end product. It also has a good scent throw, so your room would be strongly fragranced in minutes.
Cons: Paraffin is derived during the refinement of crude oil. So, if you are looking for renewable sources for your candle, paraffin may not be the right option. Also, paraffin by itself does not produce glorious results and often needs the help of additives to be successfully designed into beautiful candles. It also emits toxic chemicals and leaves black soot behind, both of which are not friends of your health.
In a hunt for a wax that is natural and yet does not cost a fortune, wax-makers came up with soy wax. Soy wax, as the name suggests, is made from soybean oil. It may be 100% pure soybean oil or blended with other vegetable oils. It is as versatile as paraffin and can easily replace it in making various kinds of candles.
Meting Point: Soy wax melts between 120 and 180 F
Flashpoint: The flashpoint of soy wax can vary according to the blend and is specific to the manufacturing process. Typically, it can be as high as 450 F, but for your safety, always read the labels.
Pros: Soy wax is easy to handle and non-toxic. It is produced from fast-growing crops and hence is readily available and affordable, too. Candles made out of soy wax burn slowly and last longer.
Cons: Soy wax does not offer a scent throw as good as paraffin. This is the reason many prefer to use soy wax only for making container candles. For scented candles, the soy wax either has to be mixed with additives or you may have to purchase blended soy wax. Also, soy is a common allergen and might be harmful to some people. Untreated soy wax can give out a rancid odor, too.
Beeswax has been around forever, at least as long as bees have been in existence. Some historians have spotted the use of beeswax even in pyramids. It is revered in the candle-making process because it is 100% natural. Beeswax is a byproduct of the honey-making process and is, therefore, found in beehives. This wax is filtered and made commercially suitable before it reaches you, the candle-maker.
Meting Point: Beeswax melts at temperatures between 143 and 151 F.
Flashpoint: The flashpoint of Beeswax is in the range of 490 to 525 F.
Pros: Beeswax has all the advantages of being an all-natural product. It is non-toxic and non-allergic, and hence suitable for everyone. It can be molded into different shapes and gives an elegant, charming look to your candles. That too, without any additives!
Cons: The first reason many people refrain from using beeswax to make candles is that it is too expensive, almost 10 times costlier than paraffin. It also has a natural, sweet, honey smell that although smells great by itself, can be difficult to mask when making scented candles. It is stickier than other wax, and spillage is difficult to clean. Lastly, environmental activities do not see the procuring of beeswax kindly because bees are depleting.
Of late, there has been a growing interest in wax derived from coconut oil. While extra virgin coconut oil is typically not suitable to make wax, it has been seen that blending coconut oil with other high-quality natural oils can create a wax that has a high melting point.
Meting Point: Coconut wax melts between 75 and 100 F. The wax has a higher melting point than coconut oil because it is hydrogenated in the wax-making process.
Flashpoint: Coconut wax has the lowest flashpoint among all waxes, which is 350 F. So, be careful when working with it.
Pros: Coconut wax is godsent for nature-lovers because uncontrolled deforestation is not required to extract coconut oil. Also, candles made of coconut wax burn slowly, last long, and have an amazing scent throw. And no, your candles will not smell like coconuts because the hydrogenation takes care of the smell.
Cons: Pure coconut wax can be twice as expensive as paraffin and thus, to lure customers, many manufacturers offer cheaper, blended variations that hardly have any coconut oil in them. Also, the low melting point of coconut wax can make it difficult to use, especially in summers or in a tropical climate.
If you are looking to make candles without purchasing a ton of different raw materials, blended paraffin is the way to go. Blended wax is usually made by mixing paraffin with natural wax such as soy, palm, or rapeseed. Additives are also included. All you need to purchase are fragrances and colors.
Meting Point: With wax blends, it is difficult to estimate the melting point unless you know its exact composition. It is best to check labels.
Flashpoint: As with the melting point, the temperature at which the blended wax can burn also depends on the composition.
Pros: Blended wax is preferred by those candle-makers who want something fun and interesting without spending a lot of time. Blends are easy to use and require minimal work. Moreover, with different kinds of blends available, you can easily find an affordable option.
Cons: Blended wax does not give your candle a unique look as opposed to one-ingredient wax such as beeswax or soy wax.
Rapeseed wax is another plant-based wax that is a viable option for those looking to buy all-natural ingredients. In some cases, rapeseed wax can be blended with other plant-based wax such as soy and in other cases, a blend can be made with paraffin.
Meting Point: Rapeseed wax that is at least 90% pure melts at temperatures between 125 and 136 F.
Flashpoint: Rapeseed wax, also known as canola wax, has a high flashpoint of over 400 F.
Pros: Rapeseed wax holds a good amount of fragrance even without additives, making it all the more suitable for natural product lovers. It also takes dyes well and is easier to work with compared to soy wax.
Cons: Rapeseed can be a popular allergen and so a lot of people may want to steer clear of a candle made of rapeseed wax.
How to Melt Wax for Candle-Making Using a Double Boiler
Once you have decided on the type of wax you want to use and are well-versed with its melting temperature and flashpoint, the next step is to begin melting the wax. It is a lot easier than it sounds when you do it the right way. Let’s look at the steps to melt wax using the double boiler method.
How To Melt Wax Using A Double Boiler
Step1: Take a large saucepan and fill half of it with water.
Step 2: Break up the wax you wish to melt.
Step 3: Place the wax pieces in a smaller saucepan, which fits inside the bigger saucepan.
Step 4: Place the smaller saucepan inside the bigger saucepan and turn on the flame.
Step 5: Continue to heat the double boiler on medium heat until the wax melts. Add water to the bigger saucepan if required to ensure the water already present does not evaporate completely.
Step 6: Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature, stirring the wax every minute or so.
Step 7: Once the wax reaches the melting point, you may add dyes.
Step 8: Remove the wax from heat long before it reaches the flashpoint. You may add your fragrances at this time.
Step 9: Your wax is ready to be molded into any design you like.
Have Fun but Be Safe
Candle-making can be an entertaining activity and does not require a lot of investment when you choose the right kind of wax. As long as you are aware of the melting point and the flashpoint of the wax you are using, making a candle should be an enjoyable task.
Be careful about handling hot wax, though, and never let it out of sight when it is melting, and you should be good. Safety is of prime importance when working with things that burn, and with the right information, it is not challenging to achieve.
So, there you have it. Take your pick from the various types of candle wax, let your imaginations flow, and carve out a design that your guest will adore.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to melt candle wax is by using a double boiler. Fill the base pot with water and bring it to a boil while placing the top pot inside the bottom one, filled with wax. The water in the bottom pot will heat the top pot, melting the wax without using direct heat.
You can melt candle wax on the stove by using a double boiler wax melting setup. This setup is the best way to melt wax on a stovetop because it prevents the wax from being in contact with direct heat. In addition, it is one of the most popular and consistent ways to melt candle wax.
Candle wax becomes solid again at between temperatures of 75°F and 180°F. Waxes made from sources such as soy and coconut oil usually harden much faster than types of wax such as paraffin and beeswax. However, this is also impacted by the use of additives such as vybar.
In conclusion, no matter what type of wax you use make sure you research it. Learn what temperatures to add your fragrance oils and at what temperatures to pour the candles.
Knowing the wax melting point for the type of wax you are using and when to add other ingredients will make the candle-making process a whole lot easier.
This will help you make the best candles possible with the least amount of defects. You will be producing candles that you will feel good about sharing with your friends, family, and even selling.