I will be discussing four different ways to melt candles using different materials: a double boiler, microwave, oven, or wax melter.
How to Melt Wax with a Double Boiler
This is the most popular method of melting wax. Along with it, you would need a stove (gas or electric ones) to supply heat, usually at a low medium level. You simply have to pour some wax in the double boiler and heat it up. It should take only some minutes (not more than 10-15) to melt completely. As the wax melts, stir it constantly and monitor its temperature. Each wax has its required temperature (called flashpoint) and this does not exceed 200°F. The less melting point a wax has would be the less time required for it to melt.
How to Melt Wax with a Microwave
Though not as popular, it is safer than using a double boiler. Pour some wax in a microwaveable safe bowl and place it in the microwave to melt for about five minutes or less. Remove the wax every two minutes, check its temperature, stir it, and put it back. Use a hand towel or potholder to pull the bowl out. After adding fragrance and/color, you may need to melt it for a little more time again.
How to Melt Wax in an Oven
This one is similar to that of the microwave. Preheat the oven to the melting point of the wax you are using. Then pour some wax in a safe bowl and put it in the oven to melt. Remove the wax too every few minutes, checking its temperature too, stirring, and then placing it back.
How to Melt Wax Using a Wax Melter
Wax melters are specially made electricity-powered tools for melting wax. They are better used when you have a large project and you need to meet a lot of wax. There are two main types: direct heat and water jacket types. Direct heat melters can reach a temperature of 500°F and can hold between 20 to 40 liters of wax. Water jacket melters are much bigger and can handle more than 40 liters of wax.
When using a wax melter, you only have to set the required temperature for the wax and let it do its work. You need to stir your wax as it melts too.
How To Calculate How Much Wax You Need
For container candles, this is a very simple process. Take your container and fill it with wax twice; that is the amount you need for each container. Do not worry that it may be too much; wax shrinks when it is melted.
How To Add Fragrance Oils To Your Candles
The recommended fragrance load is between 4-10% for most candles.
Too much fragrance in your candle would cause it not to burn well.
Use a more subtle scent throw as most people would not be comfortable with a strong scent throw. Some types of wax (like paraffin wax) also throw off scent better than others.
In adding fragrance to wax, the weight and temperature (flashpoint) is very important. Fragrance oils are liquid but should be measured in terms of weight for more accurate results. Calculate this by multiplying the weight of the wax by the percentage of fragrance loading. That means you would need 25 grams of fragrance oil for 250 grams of wax if you want a 10% fragrance load (250 x 0.10).
Also, pay attention to the temperature (flashpoint). The flashpoint of fragrance oil is its maximum temperature for the wax to reach for the wax to be added. When it is added at a higher temperature, its quality diminishes and when added at a lower temperature, it would not bind properly with the wax. You would normally find the flashpoint of a fragrance written on its product description page or on the package.
After adding the fragrance, make sure to stir it well so that it would bind well with the wax.