Some Hints and Tips on Making Recycled Candles
An unlit candle is decorative but even better when lit and can produce a lovely fragrance.
|You can melt down the remains of your used candles and unused ones you'd like to improve. At the beginning, you may not be able to predict exactly how the end result will turn out when you mix bits of differently coloured candles together. Try experimenting, and as you make more candles you'll gain experience to improve the results.
There are books available as well as other Web sites which will give you more information and details on candle-making; researching these is essential if you want take the hobby seriously. However, the following information should enable you to get started quickly on this environmentally-friendly and rewarding hobby.
Always remember that safety is most important. Wax is inflammable and vaporised wax is explosive. Also bear in mind that melted wax is very hot and can cause skin burns. Do not heat up the wax in a microwave oven; this can be dangerous. Children should have adult supervision when making candles. See some safety precautions below.
What do you need to begin with?
You'll need a few things before you get started, some of which you'll have to buy. They're available from craft shops and from some department stores.
|Tips on making the candles
|Notes on safety and things to watch out for
As enjoyable and interesting as it is, making candles can be dangerous and there is an element of risk such as you would have when cooking with oil and fats.
Wax, like oils and fats, can reach much higher temperatures than water and doesn't give the same clear warning as water does by bubbling when it boils. Watch the melt constantly and if you see and smell the wax smoking, you have a problem. There is no need to heat the wax to anywhere near that temperature for candle making, so it shouldn't happen and if you are using a water bath correctly it can't. If, nevertheless, for whatever reason, it does, then turn off the source of heat, don't move the pan and stand away until it cools significantly. If the vapour is accidentally ignited, carefully cover the pan immediately with a wet cloth or a covering lid (if you have one) to exclude the air.
Even if you are careful with the melting don't forget that the wax will be very hot even if it doesn't appear to be. Avoid any bodily contact with the molten wax as it can produce severe burns. If there is an accident then immediate immersion in cold water should ameliorate the damage.
When burning the candles avoid placing them in a draught or near curtains or other flammable decorations. They should be securely fixed so that they won't be accidentally knocked over and there should be some way of containing the molten wax which inevitably runs down. As a general rule don't leave them burning in an unoccupied room.
It is not a good idea to pour any liquid wax down the sink as this will solidify and could block the waste pipes.
The tips above are general guides and it is recommended that you get further guidance from appropriate texts or Web sites.
|By Brenda Shaw|
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Page originated: 2 February, 2005 Last amended: 27 October, 2013