If you are finding that your gel candle is too soft and wobbly, you may be interested in what you can do to make it harder to get more stability. Let’s explore the options you have to have a more durable and harder gel and what you can do to support the process.
Gel wax will harden naturally as you allow it to cool after pouring. You can also use a high-grade gel, which is stiffer and harder compared to low and medium-grade gels.
Gel wax is a great wax to work with when making candles and gives a beautiful transparent effect. Working with gel can be a bit tricky compared to other waxes, but let’s find out how to work with gel effectively to create successful candles at home.
A How To Guide For Hardening Gel Wax
Here are three simple steps for hardening your gel wax candle when making it at home.
- Use The Right Gel Wax
If you want to have a hard gel wax, then ensure you are using a high-grade gel wax when creating your candle. This will give the candle a hard and firm structure compared to a low-grade gel wax.
- Heat Your Gel Wax
Heat up your gel wax to around 275°F. Let its temperature cool and come down to around 185°F-200°F before you start pouring it into your candle vessels.
- Let It Cool
It is so important to let your gel wax candle cool down. It will harden as it cools down, therefore avoid moving it or touching it. It is best to wait until the following day to use the candle.
From this guide, you can see that having the correct gel wax will make the biggest difference between having a soft and wobbly gel candle, to a sturdy and firm gel candle. The hardness is not something you can force your gel candle to have; you have to embrace its natural properties.
Hardening Gel Wax For Candle Making
Gel wax is made of mineral oil and polymer resin and has a jelly-like texture. The more polymer resin there is, the more it will thicken the mineral oil and, therefore, create a harder and sturdier gel wax.
This is why you can buy low grade, medium grade, and higher grade gel wax. The higher grade gel wax has the most polymer resin in it therefore is harder, stiffer, and more durable than the lower grades.
Low-grade gel wax will only be able to handle small, light objects, medium grade gel wax will be able to handle most objects as long as they’re not too heavy, while high-grade gel wax will be able to handle heavier objects.
High-grade gel wax can also take more fragrance than lower grades. Therefore, if you want a firm and fragrant candle, a high-grade gel wax is the option to choose.
The Importance Of Allowing The Gel To Cool
It is important to give your gel wax candle time to cool. After pouring and allowing the gel to cool, it will harden naturally. It will take at least four hours for the gel wax to harden to the best of its ability.
Avoid moving or touching the candle while it cools and waits to trim the wick or clean the vessel until it has completely hardened.
Gel Wax Is For Contained Candles
Gel wax is not as hard as other candle wax types. This is why gel candles have to be contained in a vessel or container. Other wax types can form many types of candles and do not need to be contained in a vessel due to their strength and hardness.
If you want to create a gel candle, then know it will need to be made to go into a vessel such as glass to keep it together and to be safe to use when lit.
The Hardest Candle Wax
One of the hardest and most durable candle waxes is paraffin wax. You can make all kinds of candles with it, so it is perfect if you don’t want a candle created in a vessel.
One of the hardest natural candle waxes that you can use is palm wax. It is environmentally friendly and can hold a strong shape as well as withstand hot temperatures without going soft.
Hard wax is a great option to use if you do want a candle out of a vessel or want to carve a shape in it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Gel Candle Cloudy?
Gel candles can become cloudy due to using a wax-coated wick, overheating the gel wax, not coating the object that you are adding to the candle, and adding too much fragrance and dye.
To make a clear, gel candle ensure that you use an uncoated wick, do not overheat the gel, pre-cover any objects with the wax, and do not over-add fragrances and dyes.
Can You Make Gel Candles With Gelatin?
You can make gel candles at home using gelatin. However, the quality of the candles won’t be as good as proper gel wax, therefore you can do it solely as a fun activity if you wish. To go with the gelatin, you will also need to use distilled water, fragrance, and food coloring.
How Do You Harden Wax Sculptures?
The harder the wax you use, the better the wax sculpture can hold its shape and structure. Ensure you melt and heat the wax at the correct temperature and give it plenty of time to cool and harden.
However, you can add paraffin wax or rosin to strengthen and harden a wax sculpture if it needs extra support.
Lastly, gel wax cannot be hardened by you doing anything. Instead, it will harden through its cooling process naturally. If you are working with high-grade gel wax, the end result will be a firmer and harder candle compared to using a medium or low-grade gel wax.