If you have a love for all things fresh or if you enjoy scents and fragrances throughout your home, you might find yourself in the industry of making your very own candles. If you are thinking of making your own candles for personal or even for professional usage and selling, becoming familiar with the process is a must.
Are you interested in creating candles to sell, but you are unsure of where to begin? In this piece, I’ll attempt to create a straightforward walkthrough of what you will need to begin melting candle wax on your own for any type of candle or wax-related project you have in mind.
What You Will Need
When getting started with wax and candlemaking, it is important to gather all of the tools and supplies you will require beforehand. Some of the most important tools and supplies for melting candle wax and creating candles right from the comfort of your own home include:
- Paraffin or Soy candle wax (which can be purchased in bags and also in bulk)
- Fragrance oil – to create the scents and fragrances of your choosing for each individual batch of candles you intend to create
- Candle wax dye – for colors and the overall aesthetic of your candles
- Silicone molds – Using silicone molds can provide you with even more creative flexibility when it comes to creating unique shapes for each batch of candles you create
Additional tools you will need to help in the actual process of melting include:
- Weighing scales or some form of scale to ensure you have the proper measurements for the amount of wax you are trying to melt
- Pouring pot to help with the transfer of water and/or melted wax
- Thermometer to help with keeping an eye on the temperature of your wax and water at all times
- Metal spoon to help with stirring the wax without causing all of the wax to become attached to the spoon itself
- Multiple pots for boiling
- Water for boiling beneath the wax on your stovetop
If you plan to create candles on a regular basis, we recommend using wax melters to work with.
1. Create Your Melting Space
Once you have gathered all of your tools and supplies, it is time to create a melting space to get started. Designate a clean and clear working space that is not cluttered and that will be uninterrupted to allow you to focus solely on the candles and candle wax in front of you. Eliminate clutter and surrounding items to avoid spilling candle wax on them or destroying any belongings you may own.
Using a countertop or counter space is highly advisable, as it provides the proper height to work with candle wax and other materials that are accessible immediately in front of your once you begin.
While creating a clean space to work in, be sure to gather all of the current tools and supplies you intend to use with your candle-making project. It is also advisable to keep any and all silicone molds you intend to use with your current candle creations immediately available and accessible right in your designated workspace.
2. Weigh Your Candle Wax
Familiarizing yourself with the weight of candle wax is highly recommended, especially as you begin to sell candles and generate your creations at a much faster pace. Measuring out one pound of candle wax can help you to get familiar with how many of your own personal and preferred molds you can fill per pound, as each mold is likely to differ in size and depth.
On average, one pound of traditional candle wax is enough to completely fill at least eight clamshell molds. In this case, each clamshell mold itself holds 6 candle molds, meaning one pound of wax is enough to pour 48 candles in total when using the standard clamshell mold sheets.
3. Begin the Melting Process
Once you have created and cleared a working space and you have gathered and organized all of your candle wax and supplies, you can begin the melting process.
Use a large saucepan or a larger pot to fill halfway with hot water. Turn your stove to medium or medium-high to help bring the water to a boil as quickly as possible. Using another small pot or a glass bowl, rest the container on top of the boiling water containing the measured and weighed wax of your choosing.
Using a bowl on top of a boiling pot of water is a way to ensure the water’s temperature remains steady without burning the wax or any ingredients within the glass bowl or smaller pot directly.
Heat the wax to approximately 158 degrees F, or 70 degrees celsius. You can also use your thermometer periodically while melting your wax to ensure you are on the right track and that it is not hotter than it should be.
In total, the process of melting an entire pound of wax may require anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. In some cases, you may require a bit more time to meet all of your wax if you are working with paraffin wax as opposed to soy wax.
Once the wax is a clear liquid, the process of melting itself is complete.
4. Adding Colors and Dye
Remove the melted wax from the direct heat source of your stove or another melting area. Immediately after removing the melted wax, add in your preferred candle dye based on the instructions provided.
Some candle wax dye may only require a few drops per pound of wax, while others may require a bit more dye if you are interested in achieving a completely opaque and vibrant result. You can add dye as you go to determine how much dye is appropriate for the look you are going for with your finalized candles.
5. Adding Your Fragrances and Scents
Allow your melted candle wax to reach a dropped temperature of at least 65 degrees celsius before you begin adding scents and fragrances. Once your wax has dropped down to 65 degrees celsius, you can begin adding in the fragrance and scent of your choice.
For each pound of melted candle wax that you have and intend to use, simply use one ounce of fragrance or scent oil. Stir the oil into the pound of melted wax to implement a scent that is uniquely your own.
If you are someone who has a love for strong candles and you want to boost the scent or fragrance in your latest batch, you can do so by adding up to approximately three ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax you melt.
Try different variations and test the outcome of your candles and their strength by using a different amount of oil in each batch to determine which amount is right for you for the type of scent and reactions or responses you are trying to achieve.
6. Stick the Wick Into Your Mold
If your wick has a sticker attached to the bottom, use this to adhere it to the bottom of your candle container. If not, place a dab of super glue on the bottom and attach the wick’s metal tab to it. Hold the wick upwards for 2 to 3 minutes to give the glue time to set and ensure it dries in the proper position
7. Pouring Your Wax Into Molds
Once your wax has cooled a bit more to approximately 60 degrees celsius, you can then begin to pour the wax into the candle molds of your choice. Simply pour the mixture of candle wax, fragrance, and colored dye into the silicone molds of your choice and allow the wax and candles to sit and set up. In a few hours, your candles will be completed.
How To Melt Candle Wax with the Microwave
Another way to melt wax is in the microwave.
- Pour your wax into a microwavable container. (Ceramic and glass dishes are usually fine, but you should still check for “microwave-safe” or “heatproof” labels on their packaging.)
- Place your bowl/jug of wax in the microwave and heat for 1 minute at a time, monitoring the temperature until it reaches 80°C. (Do not let you wax exceed 80°C).
- Continue heating your wax in 2-minute intervals until it’s fully melted.
- When your wax reaches 80°C, remove from microwave and place n a safe, even, covered surface.
- Use your thermometer to ensure the wax is 70°C before adding your colour & fragrance oil.
- Add your desired amount of colour to the melted wax (we recommend 0.2%) at 70°C. And add your fragrance oil at 70°C (we recommend using 6% – 10% – fragrance oil should be weighed in grams on your scales).
- Give your wax a good stir, ensuring the colour and fragrance are blended with the wax.
- Your wax is now ready to pour into your chosen container.
- Keep a careful watch while heating wax in the microwave and do not walk away. Be careful not to overheat the wax once it liquifies.
Do you feel readily prepared to begin melting wax and working on candles of your own? Are you confident enough to begin pouring candles for retail and to sell to others?
Melting candle wax is not a difficult or challenging task once you are familiar with the process and have an understanding of the purpose of each step involved. Whether you have a passion for creating candles for your own home or personal space or if you want to sell your candles to others and even with your own candle store, learning how to melt and work with wax is a must for any candle-making endeavor.
Did you find the process of melting candle wax to be easy and simplistic in nature, or are there ways you wish to improve the process in the future? Let us know your favorite aspects of creating your own candles, melting wax, and developing scents and styles of your own in the comments below.
Carole Brooks has been making candles for many years. She loves to create candles of all different types and for all different purposes. Here she shares her experience and knowledge. Carole is a graduate of Texas A&M University.