Gel wax is getting popular by the moment even though it has not been in existence for long. In DIY projects, one of the goals is to make simple products using the least of materials and spending little. So it is too with candle making. This article explains how to make gel wax for candles.
What is Gel Wax?
Gel wax is not really a wax but is made from mineral oil gotten from paraffin oils and poly resins. It is the principal ingredient in making gel candles. It is also a relatively new type of wax. Because it is very soft, it is only used to make container candles. Its transparent look makes it possible to suspend objects in it and make it look more beautiful. As one of its main ingredients (mineral oil) is gotten from paraffin, it shares some characteristics with paraffin wax. And many dislike it too because of concerns of releasing toxins into the atmosphere. If you are ready to overlook that anyway, gel wax is very good. It also throws off scent and holds colour very well.
Types of Gel Wax
There are types of gel wax too. It is mainly categorised based on density and the mixture it is made from. Low-density wax holds only a little fragrance and small objects. Heavy objects can be suspended in high-density gel wax which can also hold a lot of fragrance. The medium density gel wax is just in the middle; it can hold any type of object if it is not heavy. I have mentioned that gel wax is used to make only container candles. But there has been an emergence of hard gel wax that can be used to make standalone pillar candles too. This type holds heavier objects than the rest and allows for even more fragrance due to its very high density.
What You Need to Make Gel Wax
While gel wax is mostly purchased, it can be made at home too, with the right ingredients and tools. You would need thermoplastic resin powder with white mineral oil whose flashpoint is 375°F. This is because you would be heating the mixture for a long time and if it does not have such high flashpoint, it would diminish in quality and evaporate. For a start, begin with 1 lb. of mineral oil. But the amount of resin powder you need would vary based on density. This can range from 0.9 oz for low-density wax to 1.25 for high. You can use up to 1.4 oz if the wax is meant for making pillar candles. Then get a small bowl, wooden spoon, a pot, stove, thermometer and cleaning materials and you are ready to begin.
How to Make Gel Wax
Pour the resin and mineral oil into a bowl and stir very well with a wooden spoon for an hour.
Pour the mixture in a pot and heat it up till the temperature is 220°F. This should take about two hours. Continue to stir for the first few minutes it is in the pot. The mixture will gently change in look and texture for the next two hours.
When it has reached the recommended temperature, take the pot off the heat. Then pour the wax into a container to harden. Finally, close the top of the container with a lid and store the wax properly until needed.