How to make gel candles

Gel candles are growing in popularity.  They work the same as regular wax candles in the respect that they will burn in the same way that wax candles burn but they are made a little differently.

Wax candles are made from oil.  The same is true with gel candles but they are made of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin.  The resin starts out as a powder but when it is mixed with the mineral oil it is transformed into a solid state.  Gel wax comes in three different states: high density, medium density, and low density.  The higher the density, the more fragrance the oil can hold.  Plus, the thicker gel will hold the suspended decorations with in the candle.  But, keep in mind that the thicker gel takes longer to meld and it is harder to pour.

The steps that go into making a candle out of regular wax such as melting the wax and pouring it in a mold to dry are the same steps you need to do in making gel candles.  But, the equipment you use and the techniques are slightly different.  With other types of candle wax most people use a double boiler to melt the wax.  But, trying to melt gel wax in a double boiler would take way too long.  Some gel candle makers have turned to multi-cookers to get the job done.  A multi-cooker is kind of like a deep fryer.  They typically are metal with a non-stick coating.  They have a separate heating element with a temperature dial so you can get the proper temperature to melt the gel wax.  Rather then using two separate pots one with water and one to melt the wax in, the gel wax is placed directly in the multi-cooker to melt.  Although the multi-cooker comes with a temperature dial, it is still a good idea to use a separate thermometer to make sure that the gel is melted at the proper temperature.  Use something metal or hard plastic to stir the gel wax.  Wooden spoons can sometimes add bubbles to the gel.  The most important thing to remember is that gel candle wax can catch fire.  Make sure you have a chemical fire extinguisher near by.

It is also possible to change the color of the gel candle wax by using dyes.  Liquid candle dyes are perfect for gel candles because they can maintain the translucency of the gel.  It only takes a very small amount of the dye to actually change the color of the wax.  Sometimes even a drop of dye is too much.  You should never use crayons, clothing dye, food coloring, or soap dyes in gel candle wax.  They will no burn right because they are not made specifically for candles.

Learning how to make gel candles is fast and easy.  There are so many possibilities when it comes to creating wonderful candles with gel wax.  The best thing about gel candles is that you can add decorations directly to the wax so that they float within the candle.  This is a clever and unique way to personalize a gift if you are making the candle for someone else.  Plus, gel candles burn slower then regular wax candles so they will last a little longer.


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