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Melting equipment

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Melting equipment

Before you can do anything with whatever wax you chose to work with, you will have to turn it into a liquid by heating it up.

To achieve that result, different options are available, even though your choice may depend on what spot on the planet you call home.

There is one Golden Rule you should never forget:

Except in some very uncommon and specific circumstances, never melt wax in a container placed directly on a heat source. Always use the double boiler method or in any case an alternative method that will prevent a potential overheating of the wax.

One of the few exceptions to this rule are candle Gel that requires higher temperatures and must be melted on direct heat, and very specific paraffin-based projects, like sand candles, that only work with wax heated to an unusually high temperature that cannot be attained with a double boiler. In these two cases, the melting process must happen under constant high surveillance and with a thermometer plunged in the wax at all times.

And a second one:

Never try and melt wax in a microwave oven.

There are tutorials out there suggesting it's safe and easy to melt soywax in the microwave. Just don't. Soywax may be a natural wax, it does have a flash point, just like paraffin-based waxes. A microwave oven gives you zero control over the temperature of its contents, so never use it for in your candlemaking endeavors.

Your safety is paramount

Before you start heating up or melting anything, carefully read the article about safety and the setup of your workplace.

  • Never forget that paraffin wax is dangerously close to oil as far as its chemical identity is concerned;
  • Remember that paraffin (like any other wax) has not only a melting point but also a flash point, temperature at which it may catch fire;
  • If you need to walk away from your batch of melting wax, for any reason whatsoever (postman at the door, crying kids, phone call, your favorite soap on TV...), always turn off the heat source before you go.
  • Keep in mind that, when a candle burns, it's actually the paraffin vapors that keep the flame alive and NOT the wick. Those vapors, also present when you heat up your paraffin wax, are FLAMMABLE.
  • Any safety rule applying to a deep fryer also apply to your wax melting equipment. Once again, start by reading our article dedicated to safety and be sure to watch the Youtube video depicting what happens when water is poured on a burning deep fryer.

With this said, we can go back to the available wax melting methods.

Basically, you have three options:

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