Choosing a container for your candle is one of the most important parts of the process, as far as safety is concerned. I have some experience in this area and I have seen what happens when you choose the wrong glass for your candle. Let’s take a look at what types of glass is safe for candles.
Is all glass safe for making candles? Not all glass is safe for making candles. Glass safe for making candles should be thick, smooth, and heat resistant. This makes containers such as jelly jars, mason jars, and other types of pressure canning jars ideal for making container candles.
Glass containers are popular in candle making, as they should be. Most candles made today are made using soy wax, which melts very easily.
You need to have something to hold all that wax together as your candle burns.
Can you put candles in glass jars? You can put candles in glass jars that are made for canning. Jars made for canning are a little more sturdy than your average jar. They are designed for high temperatures, high pressure and are a little bit thicker and crack resistant than normal jars.
The problem arises when you use the wrong glass container. You can see some of the best candle containers on Amazon here.
Can you burn candles in any glass? You cannot burn candles in any glass. As mentioned above, you need to use candles in glass that is designed to withstand high temperatures which means glass designed for canning or specifically designed to be candle holders.
Let’s take a look at some heat resistant glass for use with candles.
Heat Resistant Glass For Candle Making
Heat Resistant Glass Jars For Candles
- Mason Jars
- Apothacary Jars
- Jelly Jars
- Hex Jars
- Tureen Jars
- Vibe Jars
Always check with your supplier to make sure you are getting a jar that has been designed for candles or canning and not one that was made for another purpose that did not include high temperatures.
Glass Containers Safe For Candles
Glass containers that are safe for candles are containers such as jelly jars, mason jars, and any other type of canning jar. This is because they are thick, heat resistant, and are unlikely to crack because they were designed to be used at high temperatures and pressures.
Are mason jars safe for candles? Mason jars are safe for candles. Mason jars are designed for canning, therefore they have been designed to work well under pressure and high temperature. This is perfect for a candle container
If you spend much time looking at candles on Pinterest or Amazon you will see that mason jars are also one of the most popular candle containers. They are also sold commercially with candles in them. Here are some jars that are great for candles!
Are apothecary jars safe for candles? Apothecary jars are safe for candles and they are one of the most popular jars supplied by candle supply wholesalers. In addition, they are used by many of the big-name candle companies in business today.
Are hex jars safe for candles? Hex jars are safe for candles. In addition, they are widely offered by candle supply wholesalers as candle containers.
Are tureen jars safe for candles? Tureen jars are safe for candles. They are a popular option for making multi-wick candles due to their being so short and wide. That makes them ideal for multi-wick candles.
Are vibe jars safe for candles? Vibe jars are safe for candles. In addition, their unique and eye-catching design makes them a great choice for decorative and designer candles. Vibe jars are also widely offered by candle supply wholesalers.
As you can see there is a wide variety of candle containers to choose from.
If you are ordering your container from a reputable candle supply site such as CandleWic then you do not have anything to worry about. These types of sites have their reputations to uphold and if they started selling containers that did not work with candles they would go out of business very quickly.
Unsafe Candle Containers
Let’s take a look at some other types of glass containers you may have sitting around and see if you can use candles in them.
Can you put a candle in a glass vase? Do not put a candle in a glass vase. Although one might work with a candle, they were not designed for the temperatures of a candle. Unless you are doing some type of floating candle don’t try it.
Can you put a candle in a wine glass? Do not put a candle in a wine glass. The glass is so incredibly thin that it greatly increases the chance of the glass breaking if the wick and the flame are too big. However, this is a really good option for a floating candle display.
With that said, you can find many examples of wine glass candles online, but I prefer to err on the side of caution. It gives me peace of mind knowing I do not potentially have a wine glass full of molten wax that can explode at any second.
Can you put a candle in a drinking glass? Do not put a candle in a drinking glass. The glass is thin and can easily crack under the heat of a candle flame. However, like the wine glass, this is a good option for a floating candle.
A drinking glass may not make the most visually appealing floating candle, but it is really your only choice if you want to use the glass for a candle.
Actually, if you snip off a rose long enough that the flower is near the top of the glass and fill it with water. Then place your floating tealight right at the top, near the brim, it might look pretty cool.
Containers Never To Use For Candles
What containers should you never use for candles? Never use any ceramics or clay pots for candles. The surface is porous and can soak in wax and potentially become flammable. I would like to add that you should never use any type of flammable material for candles, I’ve seen wooden containers on Pinterest, which is a bad idea.
Stick to smooth glass that is designed for heat and stress. If the glass is thin and not designed for heat and pressure, then you can likely still use it for a floating candle.
Recycling Old Candle Containers
Can glass candle jars be recycled? Glass candle jars can be recycled. Scrape out the wax that is remaining in the jar with a butter knife, warm the candle in a saucepan with water first if need be. Then place the candle container with recyclables as usual.
Can You Repurpose Old Candle Containers
Can you reuse and repurpose old candle containers? Repurpose candle containers for things such as holding matches, paper clips, thumbtacks, a vase for flowers, planting succulents, and a candy dish. Candle containers create many storage and organizing opportunities.
I have a junk drawer in my kitchen where I place random items that do not have their own spot anywhere else in the kitchen. These used candle containers would be great for organizing something like that.
Pouring Candle Wax In To Glass
Heat the wax in a double boiler system to 185Â°F. While waiting for the wax to cool to pouring temperature starting heating glass containers with a blow dryer. Blow directly down into each container until the wax has cooled to 135Â°F. Then start pouring the wax into the containers.
It is not necessary to heat the candle glass in the oven, or with a heat gun. A blow dryer will be sufficient to close the gap between container temperature and wax temperate. This will prevent the containers from cracking as you pour, as well as give it a nicer finish.
What Happens When You Put A Candle In A Jar?
Putting a candle in a jar is a good way to extinguish the flame. If you have a mason jar with a tealight or a small pillar candle sitting in it you can simply screw on the metal lid and the flame will run out of oxygen and go out.
If you are one of those people that dislike the smell of a candle when you blow it out, this is an option for you. Although, the inside of the container may build up a residue.
Glass Container Candle Safety Tips
Here are some tips to help you get the most from your candle and make sure that it’s container is safe.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- Never place on an unstable surface.
- Place away from other materials.
- Trim the wick so it’s 1/4 of an inch every use.
- Do not burn the candle for over 4 hours.
- Do not burn the candle to the very bottom of its container.
- Keep Your Candle Away From Water
- Always use a heat resistant surface under your candle.
Never Leave A Candle Unattended
Never leave a glass container candle unattended. If it did happen to pop and start leaking wax while you are out of the room you could come back to a disaster. Actually, never leave any candle unattended.
Never Place On An Unstable Surface
If all of the wax in your glass container melts, and the candle is uneven the wick can slide down toward the side of the candle. This is exactly the type of situation in which a candle can explode and send hot wax everywhere.
Trim The Wick To 1/4 Inch Every Use
Keeping the wick trimmed to the proper length will keep the flame from getting too large. If the flame gets too large it will lean over with a large flame and can get the side of the container too hot. Which can crack the container or break it. Here is my choice of candle accessory kit for wick trimming on Amazon.
Do Not Burn Over 4 Hours At A Time
When you burn your candle over 4 hours at a time it can melt all of the wax in the container. The wick will begin building up carbon which can lead to an irregular flame and can cause soot, and even crack the jar.
Do Not Burn A Candle All The Way To The Bottom Of Its Container
When you burn a candle all the way down to the bottom of the container the heat from the flame has nowhere to go but into the glass. This makes the glass in the bottom start to expand while the rest of the glass is still cool. This will cause the container to burst and it will leak out any liquid wax remaining in the container.
Keep Your Candle Away From Water
If your candle gets hot the last thing you want is for a few drops of water to land on the hot container or into the molten wax. This can make the candle container explode. Shards of glass and molten wax will go everywhere.
I have had this happen to me before, it was a mess.
Always Use A Heat Resistant Surface Under Your Candle
You often see a small square or round mirrors used for this in a centerpiece on a table. Anything that is not flammable and can potentially keep the candle flame and molten wax off of your table or desk will work.
You can buy the wedding mirror centerpieces off of amazon for a few dollars each. They are worth it and make the candle look cool.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes Candle Glass Break?
Glass can break or crack when it has heat applied to it in an uneven way. When one area of the container begins to be much hotter than the rest of the container this creates perfect conditions for a break. The hot area expands which creates stress in the glass container.
This stress in the container is what causes breaks. Sometimes when burning a candle the entirety of the wax will melt and the wick may drift off-center. If this happens blow out the candle and adjust the wick back to the center before it starts to cool. This can help prevent a break.
Why Did My Glass Candle Explode?
When glass overheats it creates stress within the glass that can cause it to explode. If you let a candle burn too long, the flame will get too close to the side or bottom of the container. This creates the potential for the candle to explode.
As mentioned earlier, all of the heat goes into the glass and creates stress from the temperature differential.
At a certain point, it is better to just dump the remaining wax in the trash than it is to let the wick burn all the way to the bottom of the container. Without wax in the base of the glass container, the only place for the heat to go is into the glass container. Which creates the potential for a break.
Can You Burn A Candle If The Glass Is Broken?
Do not burn a candle in a broken or cracked container. Hot wax can leak out of the jar and if the jar continues to break it can make a mess or start a fire. This is a dangerous situation and creates a fire hazard. If your jar is broken then it is best to discard the candle.
Vegetable-based waxes are the reason this is so unsafe, but they are also usually the only types of candles found in jars. Vegetable-based candles such as soy or palm are made from hydrogenated vegetable oil that has a really low melting point. This means they can leak very easily.
How do you get a whole candle out of a glass jar?
Remove a candle from a glass jar by heating the sides and bottom of the jar with a pan of hot water or with a heat gun. Once the sides and bottom of the candle have begun to melt you should be able to dump the candle out of the container. Take care to not get any water mixed in with the wax.
Can a candle in a glass jar start a fire?
A candle in a glass jar can start a fire under the right conditions. If you burn the candle all the way to the bottom it can superheat the glass and the remaining wax. If the glass breaks due to the heat the hot wax will pour out onto whatever surface the candle is on and can create a fire hazard.
Can you use wine glasses for making candles?
Some types of glass should not be used for making candles. Wine glasses are too thin to be used for making candles. Wine glasses are thin and can easily crack when exposed to the extreme temperature fluctuations of a burning candle.
These candles may be acceptable for a hobbyist, however, it comes with a lot of liability for a professional candle maker.
In conclusion, glass that is safe for candles should always be smooth, uniform, thick, and heat resistant. This means containers like jelly jars, mason jars, tumblers, and apothecary jars should all be on your list for consideration as a new candle maker.
Once you become more advanced when it comes to matching wicks to wax blends and container sizes you can probably move on to containers such as Libbey glasses, and beer can glasses that are not quite so thick.
Take your time and double check the suggested wax for your container, and the suggested wick size. Test your candles at home with multiple wick sizes to choose the best performer and then everything should work out fine.