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Candle Making Safety

The Rules

Candle making is dangerous if you don't follow basic safety precautions. TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY, failure to follow the safety rules may result in serious injury or damage to your home. If basic safety precautions are taken fire should not be a common problem, but be prepared anyway.

  1. NEVER leave melting wax unattended. Not even in a double boiler.
  2. NEVER overheat wax. Know the flash point of your wax (usually about 375 degrees F. for paraffin). It will spontaneously combust when it reaches the flash point. If using wax of unknown flash point do not heat above 212 degrees F (such as in a double boiler). The fumes from overheated wax can cause severe illness, in case of an accident evacuate the area and ventilate it.
  3. ALWAYS keep wax away from open flames.
  4. ALWAYS use a thermometer. It is essential for both safety and good results that you always be aware of the wax temperature.
  5. ALWAYS use a double boiler. Temperatures up to 200 degrees F. can be achieved. Most recipes use a temperature in this range. If you don't have a double boiler, use an old pot for the water and a coffee can to melt the wax.
  6. A few recipes call for temperatures higher than 200 degrees F. and will require heating directly on the heat source. Be vigilant, and do not allow the temperature to go above 325 degrees F. Do not let your attention wander. If possible do it outdoors on a hot plate.
  7. NEVER put water on a wax fire.
  8. ALWAYS keep a pot lid, baking soda, and a dry chemical fire extinguisher handy when heating wax. Use the pot lid to smother fires in the melting container. Baking soda will smother small fires. A fire extinguisher is useful if you set the curtains on fire, or have some other major accident. These items should be kept outside of any area that may be affected by fire but still within easy access.
  9. ALWAYS use pot holders or pliers when handling hot pots or cans.
  10. If wax gets on your skin, run it under cold water immediately- then peel off the wax.
  11. Don't pour wax down the drain unless you like frequent visits from your plumber.
  12. NEVER let candle making get so routine that you get careless.

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