Saturday, March 24, 2007

Making Hand-Dipped Beeswax Candles

General instructions for making hand-dipped beeswax candles.

by D. Sammataro, Making Candles With Beeswax

The Wick

When selecting wicking, make sure you purchase wicks for beeswax candles, not paraffin candles. Usually a square wick works best. In general, double the thickness of wick used for paraffin candles, but experiment or buy your wicking from bee supply stores. Make a test candle before preparing a larger batch. If your candles smoke, drip or form cauliflowers, change the wick.

Wicks for dipped, poured or rolled candles must be pre-waxed. Make a loop in the wicking and immerse it in 160 F (70C) beeswax until the air bubbles cease to rise. Hang the wicks by the loop until dry.

Dipped Candles

This is a very old way of making beeswax candles. You will need a tall, narrow double boiler of wax, heated at 140 F (60C). You can purchase special candle dipping containers at candle supply or beekeeping supply stores. The pre-waxed wick is dipped into this wax, pulled out, then allowed to cool. Each dipping leaves a thin layer of wax on the wick. If you are doing this in large numbers, there are wicking jigs you can purchase that makes 10 or more candles at a time. Dip, walk around the room, and dip again.

Occasionally, you may need to roll the warm candles on a glass or formica counter to straighten them. Keep the base trimmed so the entire candle can be immersed, and keep filling the can with hot wax. When finished, trim the base flat with a knife. You can make several dozen dipped candles in relays, so you will never have to wait for one candle to dry.

Tips

Heat the wax to no more than 185F (85C). Start at 140 F (60C) and work your way up; the hotter temperatures will discolor the wax.

Slow cooling is best for beeswax, as it will not crack or distort as with rapid cooling.

Allow candles to air dry for 24 hours then wrap each candle in tissue to keep it safe.

Don't worry about the whitish "bloom" that will eventually coat the wax . This is a natural part of all waxes, (including chocolate) and is easily removed with a cloth.

3 comments:

RadiantSwan said...
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Liorah-Lleucu said...

Thanks!

No, I'm just starting out learning about candle making, so I haven't gotten to colors or adding herbs and spices directly into the wax yet.

It's on my agenda though.

RadiantSwan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.