Double boilerThe double boiler method is probably the safest way to melt paraffin.
The principle of the double boiler is quite simple: a container containing the paraffin is placed inside another pan filled with boiling water. Only the pan is placed on the heat source so that there's no risk of overheating the wax.
Result: the temperature of the paraffin will never reach higher than the boiling temperature of water, in other words 100°C (212°F).
If you're just starting in candlemaking, you can use two old pans that will be reserved to this purpose from then on. It's important that the diameter of the smallest pan is about 5 centimeters shorter than that of the large pan (boiling water needs place to boil and vapors must be able to escape, see top picture). The disadvantage of such a system is a potential lack of stability.
A better solution would be to acquire a real double boiler (bottom picture). It may be more expensive (the model on our picture costs around EUR 55) but its conception makes it a safer and more pleasant piece of equipment to use.
The top part of a double boiler, where the paraffin goes, is called the insert.
In most cases, you can purchase inserts separately.
It is very practical to have several inserts available (4 or 5 is a dream) because this allows you to melt paraffin of different colors without having to clean one single insert completely between each color.