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Make a Container Candle Using Palm Wax

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Nowadays people often prefer a natural alternative for making candles, to avoid the use of chemicals and additives. The use of palm wax is a great solution to this; it's plentiful, cheap, and natural. The only catch though is to avoid using palm wax from plantations that are damaging rainforests. Always source your palm wax from a reputable source, preferably from a health food store that knows the origin of the palm wax.

Steps Edit

  1. Understand the properties of palm wax. Palm wax has a pearlescent appearance. It takes fragrance easily and it is very easy to shape.
  2. Source the palm wax. As explained above, try to find one that has a reputable growing policy. If you can't, ask the store why it can't sell such palm oil and explain that you are concerned about the impact of palm oil on rainforests.
  3. Find a suitable container. A glass container is the most appropriate so that you can see the candle's qualities as it burns. Salsa jars are a great size, or you could make a series of smaller candles in baby food jars.
  4. Pick a suitable fragrance oil. You can go wild here and choose whatever scent pleases you most! Make a combination if you're clever enough. Just make sure it isn't overwhelming.
  5. Measure the palm wax. It should be enough to fit your chosen container to almost the top but leave about 2 inches space. As a guide, for a container of about 4–10oz, use about 2 pounds of palm wax.
  6. Use a bain marie (double boiler) to melt the wax. Place the palm wax into the top level of the bain marie, water in the base level, and place over the heat. Wax is a little like chocolate in the melting; it should never be in direct contact with either heat or water.
  7. Test the temperature. Using a thermometer, check the wax. It should be heated to 200 degrees F. The time for this to happen will be up to half an hour, so be patient and stay near it at all times. Never leave wax unattended while it is being heated!
  8. While the heating process is taking place, wash out the containers in readiness for the wax. Make sure they are bone dry; wipe with a paper towel if needed.
  9. Preheat the oven halfway through the melting process. Place it on its lowest temperature and place the containers into the oven. The reason for this is that the containers need to be warm when the wax is poured in but not so hot as to crack them, of course!
  10. Place a cooling rack on a bench. This will be the area for placing the warm containers when you remove them from the oven.
  11. Prepare the fragrance oil. Measure out the appropriate amount of oil, for example, if you are using 1 pound of palm wax, then use 1 oz fragrance oil, 2 pounds of palm wax, then use 2 oz of fragrance oil, etc. Measure by weight, not volume. Have this ready for pouring straight in.
  12. Remove the warmed containers from the oven and place on the cooling rack just prior to pouring the heated palm wax. Add the candle wicks using a wick bar to keep it in position. Keep them spaced apart evenly; the containers should not be touching if you are using more than one container.
  13. Pour in the fragrance oil once the palm wax reaches 200 degrees F. If you are coloring the candle, do so at this time as well (use suitable wax colorant).
  14. Take the heated palm wax off the heat and stir for two minutes to ensure a smooth consistency. Once stirred well, pour into the warm, prepared containers. The temperature at pouring must be 195 degrees F, so check this prior to pouring.
  15. Allow the candles to cool and set, sitting on the cooling rack. Once cool, tidy the wick by trimming neatly to around 1/4" height. Add any decorative elements to the outside of the jar.
  16. Let the candle sit for 24–48 hours to fully set. After this time, the candle is now ready to use or to give away.

Things You'll NeedEdit

  • Containers, preferably glass, such as salsa jars, etc.
  • Palm wax, suitable source
  • Candle wick(s) and bar
  • Fragrance oil
  • Suitable candle colorant (optional)
  • Bain marie (double boiler)
  • Suitable stirring spoon
  • Thermometer (cooking/candy)
  • Cooling rack
  • Oven mitts
  • Decorative pieces (optional) - be sure that they cannot interfere with the flame
  • Scissors for trimming wick

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