Making Beeswax Candles is Easy
Beeswax is a special substance made by honey bees. It is used to create the structure of the hive. Bees aren’t the only ones that use beeswax. We value it as well. There are so many beeswax uses to consider, but making candles is a favorite. Learning how to make beeswax candles is fun and easy.
Making candles with beeswax is not a new thing. In fact, candle making is one of the oldest uses for beeswax.
It is a practical skill dating back hundreds of years and we still love to do it today. The many positive aspects of burning beeswax are still appreciated.
With some simple supplies and safety precautions, you can be making your own beeswax candles right away!
Using Raw Beeswax for Candles
Handmade candles are special. They will become a treasured item in your home and make great gifts too!
All types of candles are popular. You can purchase candles made from a variety of materials. But, beeswax is the “Cadillac” of candles.
What are Beeswax candles are one of the most popular types of candles available? They are known for their long burn time, bright light and very little dripping.
Some folks even call them honey candles because they smell so good! I enjoy the fact that pure beeswax candles smell great even when they are not lit!
Beeswax Candle Making Kits
If you are in a hurry and want to complete an easy project just for fun. Consider buying a beeswax candle making kit. The advantage of using kits is that you will have all of the material together in one purchase.
This ensures that you can complete your project without having to reorder more materials.
How to Make Rolled Beeswax Candles
One method of making beeswax candles to create candles made from rolled sheets of beeswax. Often purchased in a rolled beeswax candle kit – you receive sheets of beeswax and the appropriate sized wick.
A sheet of beeswax is wrapped tightly around the wick producing beautiful wax candles. This is a fun activity that makes a great gift.
The elegant candles are a favorite of decorators but they will burn up rather quickly. This is different from molded beeswax candles that burn slowly.
Beeswax Candles Molds
The easiest way to create long burning beeswax candles is with molds. In this procedure, wax is melted and poured into a container. With the wick already in place, you only need to wait for the wax to cool.
This is the most popular way to create candles because it is virtually foolproof. There are many types and shapes of candle molds to try.
“Poured” or molded candles require more wax than rolled ones. But, this gives you a solid, long burning candle.
Traditional beeswax candle molds were metal. These are still in use but it can be difficult to remove the finished candle.
In recent times, the use of plastic or silicone molds is more common. These molds are more expensive but they are easier to use.
Making Beeswax Pillar Candles
Making beeswax pillar candles can be a bit tricky. This is due to the high burning temperature of beeswax in relation to proper wick size.
The easiest and most fool proof way to create a beeswax pillar candle is to use a custom mold for a bee supply.
Using the proper wick size recommended by the mold manufacturer. Beeswax requires a different wick size than other types of wax.
The use of the correct wick size is necessary for proper burning once you light your candle.
Gathering Your Candle Making Materials
Making candles will be more fun if you prepare and gather your materials before beginning.
It is frustrating to start a project “especially one that involves melting bees wax” and discover you are missing a needed item.
Locating a source for good clean beeswax, deciding on your choice of molds (if you use them) and understanding how to properly melt beeswax are all important parts of this activity.
Candle making is a great activity to do with a friend or family members. Not only are you using a raw product to create something useful, you are also keeping history alive.
People have been making candles from beeswax for thousands of years. There are many online resources too!
Are Beeswax Candles Safe?
Of course, care must be taken with any type of candle to prevent fire or burns. But natural beeswax burns very clean with no added pollutants in the air.
Most of the candles that you might buy in a store contain noxious chemicals that you do not want to be breathing in.
Yes, they might smell like apple pie but what chemical was used to make that scent.
In fact, some people learn how to make beeswax candles in an effort to clean the air in their home.
How Do Beeswax Candles Clean The Air?
In addition to not adding anything nasty to the air in your home, some people believe that burning beeswax cleans the air. When beeswax burns it emits negative ions into the air.
This is believed to reduce the amount of dander, dust and mold that is free floating through the air.
Scientific studies do not agree on the exact way this works – or even if it does? But it sure does sound good, right?
Where to Buy Beeswax for Candles
The first step in learning how to make beeswax candles is acquiring raw beeswax. Your local craft store may have beeswax for sale.
However, be aware that commercially prepared wax has been ultra filtered and probably bleached. Pure, unadulterated beeswax is some shade of yellow or beige.
You may find a small scale beekeeper with extra wax to sell. I sell small quantities in my Etsy store from time to time.
Beeswax is not cheap- so beware of prices that may be too low to believe. And, look for unbleached wax for making beeswax candles.
If you are paying for beeswax, you want to be sure you are buying pure beeswax.
It is not uncommon for some companies to sell beeswax blends. No problem with that, as long as, you know what you are buying.
If you buy commercial beeswax, it is already cleaned of any debris. If you buy raw beeswax from a beekeeper, you will need to clean or process the beeswax to remove any dirt or trash.
Direct from the beekeeper is the least expensive way to obtain beeswax for your candles but you will have to do more work. Dirty wax will not burn well.
You can order beeswax online from many sources and some of them are beekeepers.
Make Beeswax Blend Candles
A beeswax candle burns clean and hot. Some crafters like to blend another oil with the beeswax to lower the melting temperature just a bit.
Of course you don’t want your candle to be too soft or it will burn away quickly.
Unless you desire to make only pure beeswax candles, you might try other options.
Consider experimenting with a mix of 50% beeswax to 50% coconut oil (or palm oil).
This will produce a smoother burning candle that is nice for small containers.
Most of the people that I know just want to use 100% beeswax and thankfully we don’t need a recipe for that.
Which Color of Beeswax Do You Need for Candles?
When beeswax is first made by the bees it is white. Very quickly the wax absorbs pigments from the nectar, pollen and propolis stored in the comb.
Also, the constant motion of thousands of little bee feet affect the comb color. Over time, fresh beeswax becomes darker and darker.
The color of harvested beeswax will vary from light (almost white) to dark. Shades of yellow are the most common color of natural wax.
Large companies bleach beeswax to provide a beautiful white product. This is especially true for the cosmetic industry.
Bleached wax is used in beeswax candle making too and the end result is quite beautiful. If you prefer a more natural look, choose wax in a shade of yellow.
Color does not signify the quality of the beeswax- but it does affect the price you will pay.
If you do not like the color of dark wax, candle wax coloring pigments are available. They provide a fun way to make use of your off-color wax.
Be wary of cheap beeswax from China and other countries. We do not know what regulations, if any, they follow.
Wax absorbs many chemical compounds. Purchase beeswax from your local beekeeper or a US based company.
Melting Beeswax for Candles
At What Temperature Does Beeswax Melt?
You may purchase beeswax that is in pellet form or small bricks. But if you are lucky enough to buy wax directly from a beekeeper, it may be in a large block.
Getting your beeswax into liquid form for pouring into mold is easy. It melts at a relatively low temperature of 147 degrees F. The secret to melting beeswax is patience.
Trying to hurry the process is dangerous and may darken your beautiful beeswax.
Using a Double Boiler to For Candle Making
While some people use a microwave to melt beeswax, I do not recommend it.
Melting beeswax in a microwave can be dangerous resulting in injury or damage to your appliance.
The safest way to melt beeswax is by the use of a double boiler. A double boiler consists of 2 metal pans.
The larger pan holds water – a smaller pan nests inside holding the wax.
As the water heats below, it will melt the wax in the smaller pot. This is the most gentle and safe way to work with wax. However, it is slow so plan ahead.
Safety is an important part of the beeswax candle making process. For heavens sake don’t spill it, a fight with your significant other may be the result.
Melting Beeswax in a Crockpot
The use of a slow-cooker or crock pot is favored by some crafters for beeswax candle making.
This process takes longer to melt the wax. However, it is less dangerous as the temperature builds up slowly.
Time required to melt your wax will depend on how much wax have and the ambient temperature of the room.
Once you use something to process beeswax, it becomes the beeswax pot.
Looking for a used crock-pot at a thrift store may be worthwhile or you can purchase a low cost one online.
Using An Electric Beeswax Melter
Another method of melting beeswax is the use of a special melting pot made from a fryer with a spout. This item can be ordered online or you can buy the components and make your own.
Though used by many – this pot was not designed for wax melting – use at your own risk!!
Using the heated Presto Pot allows you to melt and pour wax. But, there is a great risk of fire when used improperly.
As with any wax process, this requires constant supervision! Do not leave it unattended.
Keep the temperature setting on the lowest setting possible. This type of melter can be used for beeswax with care.****
The pouring valve allows removal of hot wax with less mess and waste. Because this piece of equipment is designed to reach very high temperatures – constant supervision and maintaining wax at a low melting temp is vital.
Don’t try to rush things, keep the temperature setting as low as possible.
I have used one with great success for years. But, I am constantly aware of the risks and never leave it unattended – even for a minute.
Beeswax Candle Making Requires Constant Supervision
Beeswax is flammable and will catch fire when heated to the flash point.(400°)
Don’t let your beekeeping candle making project become a disaster. Don’t rush things.
Beeswax heated to high temperatures will darken and loose its pleasant aroma. Patience and safety are the keys to liquefying beeswax.
The easiest way for you to learn how to make beeswax candles is with a mold. Candle molds can be used over and over to produce hundreds of candles.
After a proper sized wick is installed in the mold, it is ready to fill with melted beeswax.
Allow the wax to cool for several hours (overnight is best) and then remove the finished candle.
I prefer silicone molds for beeswax candles and recommend them to candle makers. They are a bit for expensive but with care will last for years.
One good idea – if you have a friend you want to learn how to make beeswax candles – share your molds.
Choosing Wicks for Beeswax Candles
Wick choice is an important factor in making candles and especially beeswax candles. I recommend all cotton braided wick.
Do not buy the ones with a zinc core. All cotton wicks burn cleaner and do not release caustic substances into the area.
Choosing the proper size wick is more important when making candle from beeswax than some other waxes.
Beeswax candles burn brighter, cleaner and hotter than other types.
Because of this, they require a larger wick than you might expect. If your wick size is not correct, your candle will not burn well.
Most Common Wick Sizes for Beeswax Candles
These sizes are based on the diameter of your finished candle – how wide across they are.
- size 4/0 – is for a candle with a diameter less than 1″
- size 2/0 – is for candles 1″ – 3″ in diameter
- size #6 – is for candles larger than 3″ in diameter
This guide is different from other wick guides for non-beeswax candles.
If you do not choose the correct wick size for your beeswax candle making, you will have trouble.
How to Wick the Mold for Candles
Thread the wick through the bottom hole in your mold and pull it up through the larger opening at the top. This is where you will pour your wax.
Be sure to pull extra wick so you can secure the end with a Popsicle stick and rubber band or wick tab.
You will also want a few extra inches left on the wick end to allow pulling the finished candle out of the mold.
Rubber bands are used to hold the split molds together. Once the candle is set, you can remove the bands and remove your candle.
I use mold release spray – even with my silicone molds. It just makes things easier. Spray the inside of your mold with mold release.
Pouring the Beeswax Candle
With your melted beeswax in a pouring pot or large Styrofoam cup, fill your prepared mold. Fill the mold to the top.
Now come the part where patience is required again. Leave the filled mold to cool for several hours – overnight is best.
Remove Cool Candle From The Mold
Once the wax has solidified and cooled, gently pull away the mold sides. Remove the finished candle from the mold. Success!
Your beeswax candle making project is complete. If you made a mistake, no worries. You can melt your beeswax and try again.
Steps for Beeswax Candle Making
- clean your wax – or buy ready to use clean beeswax
- choose your wick size based on the diameter of the candle
- decide which types of candle mold you want to use
- melt your wax
- pour into mold and let cool
Your beeswax candles may develop bloom over time. This powdery residue is part of the natural beeswax process. Just wipe it off with a soft cloth.
Learning how to make beeswax candles is a lot of fun. It can be a family project too.
I often have some Beeswax Candles ready made in my Etsy Store.