So you’ve just poured your candles and your melting pot, stirring spoon, and thermometer are all rapidly cooling with wax on them. If you do nothing they will all become lightly covered in wax, assuming you do not have a significant amount of wax leftover in your melt pot.
It is good practice to remove as much wax and fragrance oil from your candle-making equipment as possible between batches, particularly when you are changing colors or fragrance oils. You do not want any residue sticking around that can taint future batches of candles.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to clean your candle-making equipment.
How Do You Clean Candle Making Equipment
How To Clean Candle Making Equipment
- Cover work surface with newspaper.
- Pour excess wax into a paper cup.
- Wipe out the melting pot with paper towels, reheat the melting pot if necessary.
- Clean melting pot with baking soda.
- Wipe off utensils and thermometer with paper towels.
- Wipe out the melting pot and wipe off utensils with paper towels and rubbing alcohol.
Cover work surface with newspaper.
Whatever your work surface is, if you do not use it exclusively for candle making I would suggest covering it in paper towels. Even if you do use it just for candle making, covering it is still a good idea.
When you make candles drips and drops are going to happen and they have to land somewhere. If you do not buy newspapers you can get an old table cloth and use it, simply roll it up when you are done and then roll it back out the next time you are going to make candles.
Pour excess wax into a paper cup.
You can pour excess wax in to a paper cup and wait for it to harden for disposal, or save it for a future project. If you would like to use the wax again later you can peal the paper cup away from the solidified wax and melt it again when ready.
If you have a large quantity of leftover wax you may want to consider taking another look at your candle-making calculations or having a small container wicked and ready to fill with any potentially leftover wax.
Wipe out melting pot with paper towels
While the melting pot is still hot, but empty, wipe out any remaining wax with paper towels. You can reheat the melting pot on your double boiler if it cools down too quickly, or begin reheating it with your heat gun. Reheat and wipe down as necessary.
Alternatively, you can fill the melting pot with water and heat it up, remove it from heat and wait for it to cool. The wax will be floating on top once the water cools. DO NOT POUR DOWN YOUR DRAIN. If you pour the hot water and wax mixture down your drain it will begin clogging your sink trap and pipes.
Clean melting pot with baking soda
Sprinkling baking soda in your melting pot and then wiping it out with paper towels can be a good way to help remove pesky fragrance oils from the inside of your melting pot.
Wipe off utensils
As soon as you are finished stirring your wax and measuring the temperature with your thermometer you can pull out your utensil and thermometer and wipe them off with a paper towel while the wax is still wet. Then set them aside while you pour your candles and you can finish wiping them down later.
Wipe everything down with rubbing alcohol
After you have wiped everything down with paper towels to remove excess wax then you can start wiping any remaining residue out of the melting pot or off of the stirring utensils and thermometer. I use rubbing alcohol and paper towels.
Wiping everything down with rubbing alcohol and paper towels is a good way to make sure that you have removed any dye or fragrance oil that may be clinging to your equipment. While it would likely not impact any future batches of candles you make, I would rather be safe than sorry.
Also, make sure you check inside your melting pot and on your stirring utensil to make sure that no pieces of paper towel are stuck to them. You don’t want to end up leaving any debris that would work its way in to your next candle or wax melt.
Personal Protective Equipment
Here are some optional PPE items you may want to use for candle making.
- Wear work gloves
- Wear work clothes
- Wear a respirator
Wear work gloves
I like to use latex gloves with finger grips on them from the local auto parts store. Not only do they help when dealing with hot wax and hot candle containers. They are useful to help keep fragrance oil off of your skin. Fragrance oil is pretty potent and if you get it on your skin its going to take a while to clean off.
Wear work clothes
A few drops of wax and fragrance oil can also discolor your clothes. So I suggest using old clothes when you are making candles. I am not talking about work uniforms here, just an old outfit that you keep around for painting and yard work.
This will help protect you from getting fragrance oil or colored wax on your favorite pair of jeans.
Wear a respirator
Personally, I do not use a respirator for candle making, however, I know some people that do. It depends on your own situation and reaction to large doses of fragrance oil. If you have a respiratory issue then this may be something you would want to consider. They can be had fairly cheap on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you clean candle containers?
Clean candle containers by heating them in a pan of hot water and dish detergent and the wax will float to the top. Let the water cool and then scoop out the hardened wax before dumping the water out. Then wash the candle containers with warm water and dish detergent. They are now clean and ready for reuse.
Can you pour wax down the sink?
Do not pour wax down your sink. Hot wax will harden inside your pipes and can contribute to clogged pipes. Wax can settle inside the trap of your kitchen sink and when you are no longer using hot water the wax will begin to harden. When this wax hardens inside the trap it will create a plug. You will be forced to remove the wax from your trap.
In conclusion, the main thing to remember when trying to clean your candle making equipment is that it is best to start wiping it down while it is still hot.
If it is still hot you will be able to remove nearly all of the molten wax from it with dry paper towels.
Don’t be afraid to reheat your equipment in the double boiler or with a heat gun if you have some more stubborn wax that needs to be removed.
Alcohol and baking soda can both be used for cleaning out your melting pot and wiping down your stirring utensils and thermometer, just make sure no debris or baking soda is left behind when you are done.
Personal protective equipment is optional, I use gloves and work clothes, however, I do not use a respirator. You do not have to either, just do whatever makes you comfortable.