Candles Safety is a Must for a Great Experience
Making candles can be a fun and exciting hobby. It can also be a dangerous hobby if you don’t take the time for some quick safety measures. I have put together a quick list of candle safety below that I hope will let you make your hobby a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Having the proper safety equipment on hand is very important. The good thing is that if you are making your candles at home, you probably have most of this stuff anyway. The following are just some recommended items I suggest you consider for safety.
- Baking soda: Baking soda (AKA: sodium bicarbonate) is a common household product that can be used to extinguish a small fire that may occur when making candles. When the baking soda is heated it produces carbon dioxide which removes oxygen. This reaction reduces the amount of oxygen in the surrounding area and puts the fire out.
- Pot Lid: If the fire is really small you can smother it with a pot lid. The principle is the same as above, you are trying to remove oxygen from the area to put out the flame. Be sure that you are using a lid that is stainless steel or metal. If you are using a glass lid and you slam it over the fire too hard it may break. Then there will be a whole new emergency.
- Fire Extinguisher: A dry chemical fire extinguisher is an excellent item to have handy in a kitchen whether you are making candles or just cooking. If a fire gets too big use the extinguisher to put it out. If you cannot put it out this way, leave the house and call 911.
ADDITIONALLY: Never put water on a wax fire. The wax is basically an oil and may be spread around by the water and create even more danger. Also be sure to wear loose clothing. If hot or burning wax gets on your clothes, there is less chance of burning the skin than if the clothing is touching the skin.
There are several ways to melt your wax, which we will discuss in another section. No matter what method you use there are a few fundamental tips to always think about.
- Never leave melting/melted wax unattended: It doesn’t matter which method you use for melting your wax at home, always stay close. Even something that may seem safe, such as a Presto Pot, needs your full attention. I had this learning experience first-hand when I did not check the temperature setting as I plugged it in. It was maxed out and the wax started burning and smoking. Had I not walked back into the kitchen in time there could have been a bad fire hazard. This brings us to our next thought.
- Always use a thermometer: Different waxes have different melting points. There are also different temperatures recommended for additives, fragrances, pouring, etc. You also want to know the flash point of your wax and ensure that you never allow the wax to get to this point. As we have stressed before, fires are a bad thing. NEVER let your wax get too hot.
- Always keep wax away from open flames: Wax is flammable. If you are melting your wax on a gas stove be very cautious of the flames under the pot/double boiler. This also applies to stoves with burners. The burner will be much hotter than the temperature inside the pot, so be careful.
ADDITIONALLY: Always use some kind of glove or pot holder when pouring wax. If you do get hot wax on you run cold water over it and peel it off. If the skin is burned you may need to seek medical attention. Don’t pour left over wax down the drain. This will cause a buildup and clog the drain. No good. I always have a small container nearby for pouring excess wax into. It can always be reused later.
Follow these candles safety tips and you should have a great (and safe) time in your new candle hobby!