If you are making a gel candle at home, it is important to know what temperature to pour the gel wax at. The temperature is one of the most important things to get right, so read on to find out more about what temperature you should pour the wax at to create a successful gel candle.
When pouring your gel wax, the temperature should be 185-200 °F. If you pour the wax when it is too cold or too hot, this can cause bubbles in the gel, a cloudy appearance in the candle, and other deformities.
In this article, we will explore different methods of melting and heating gel wax, how to know the temperature of your wax and how to stop it from overheating.
The Temperature to Pour Gel Wax At
When making gel candles at home, you should pour your gel wax when it is 185-200 °F. This will give you the right consistency and look that you want from a gel candle.
Different Wax Pouring Temperatures
The table below shows a variety of different waxes and what temperature they should be poured at.
Waxes and Their Pouring Temperatures (°F)
|Gel Wax||185 – 200 °F|
|Soy Wax||120 -160 °F|
|Paraffin Wax||175 – 185 °F|
|Coconut Wax||120-170 °F|
From the numbers, we can see that plant-based waxes such as soy, coconut, and beeswax have a lower pouring melting temperature compared to gel and paraffin wax.
Methods For Melting Gel Wax
There are a few different methods that you can use to melt and heat your gel wax. Let’s see what they are.
Double Boiler Method
The double boiler method is a common and easy method to use when candle making at home.
- Get a large pot, a thermometer, and a heat resistant pouring container (this can be a saucepan, metal bowl, glass pitcher).
- Fill the pot with about 1-2 inches of water and place on the stove. Set the stove at a low to medium heat.
- Place your gel wax into the container.
- Once your pot with water is boiling, place your container with wax inside the pot on the water.
- Lower the heat so the water comes to a simmer. As you notice the water evaporating, you can add more water into the pot.
- As the gel wax melts, monitor the temperature by using your thermometer.
- Once the gel wax has melted and it is at its optimum temperature, you can remove it from the heat.
Using A-Wax Melter
You can use special wax melters that are made specifically for candle making. There are many types and shapes available. They generally look like a pot with a spigot, which is where the wax comes out.
- Place the wax melter on a flat surface and have the spigot over the edge of your bench or table.
- Plug in the wax melter and set the temperature.
- Place the gel wax into the wax melter and allow it to melt.
- Once it has melted and is at the right temperature, opens the spigot and allow the gel wax to go into a container that you can use for mixing, measuring, and pouring your candle.
Both methods of using a double boiler and a specialized wax melter are great for melting and heating gel wax. The double boiler method is most popular for many candle makers due to most people having the equipment already at home.
We could say that the double boiler method is great for beginners and those that are happy to use the equipment they already have for candle making. Whilst people who have gone into candle making professionally or on a regular basis may decide to invest in a specifically made candle wax melter.
Some candle makers starting out may decide to use a microwave to melt and heat their wax. This may sound like an easy and convenient way to do it. However, under the next heading in this article, we will provide you with reasons why you should stay away from using the microwave for candle making.
How To Know The Temperature Of The Gel Wax
To know the temperature of your gel wax, it is vital that you have a thermometer. A thermometer will enable you to keep track of the temperature as it rises so you know when you need to pour the wax or when you need to remove it from the heat.
Do Not Overheat Your Gel Wax
To prevent your gel wax from overheating, ensure you are always supervising the wax, you are watching the thermometer, and don’t have it on high heat. Take your time when heating your gel wax. Enjoy the process of candle making and don’t be in a rush.
Do Not Under Heat Your Gel Wax
Under heating, your gel wax can affect any fragrances and dyes from being dissolved properly. Give the gel wax time to heat up before adding any fragrances or dyes to it by keeping an eye on the temperature.
Three Reasons Why You Should Not Heat Your Gel Wax In The Microwave
It is highly recommended not to use a microwave to melt and heat your gel wax. There are other safer and more efficient methods to melt and heat your wax. Here’s why:
Placing your gel wax in the microwave to heat is not the best method. This is because it will not melt and heat up evenly. Therefore, you will get parts of the gel that have melted and heated more than other areas and not have a consistent gel wax to use.
Microwaving your gel wax will make it more difficult to keep an eye on the temperature of the gel wax. To take note of the temperature, you have to keep taking it out of the microwave.
Handling a hot container filled with gel wax can be a hazard, as you can burn your hands and spill the gel if you are not careful. It is best to keep the hot gel wax in one spot and not constantly move it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does It Matter What Type Of Container I Use For The Wax?
With any container you use, you need to ensure that it is heatproof and waterproof. You can use containers such as glass or metals, but know that metals conduct and heat up faster than glass does. Ensure you keep an eye on your wax and the temperature at all times, no matter what you use.
How Much Gel Wax Do I Need?
1kg of gel wax will make approximately between 4-6 candles depending on the size of them. Getting 1kg worth of gel wax will enable you to do some trial and error and see what equipment and processes work best for you.
Are Gel Candles Toxic?
Gel candles are a very popular and widely used candle to have and make. Gel wax is not made from a plant-based substance, but there is no proof that they are toxic. This is because they do not burn enough chemicals and compounds to cause toxicity.
To conclude, the temperature that you should pour gel candles at is 185-200° F. When making gel candles at home, ensure you have a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature so you don’t overheat the wax. Be vigilant and take your time with this!