Candlemaking - Safety

Making candles is similar to cookery in many ways, and, as with cooking, there is the potential element of messiness, and the possibility of unforseen accidents. To cut down on these, and to be ready for any eventuality, please read the following carefully. Always wear old clothes, cover work surfaces with newspaper and move or cover rugs and carpets.

  • Keep a pile of old newspapers close by in case of spillage.
  • Always give yourself plenty of room to work in and keep your work space clean and tidy.
  • Have all the materials and equipment to hand for whatever project you are working on.
  • Keep all equipment clean and keep unused materials in containers away from dust and dirt.


    When using wax, treat it as you would cooking oil. Below 100C (212F) it is fairly safe. Higher than this it is likely to catch fire as the wax is turning to vapour. Remember wax will not boil just continue to get hotter and hotter.

    Always place your thermometer in the saucepan at the beginning of the melting process. This will not only ensure your reading is accurate, but will prevent you inadvertently overheating the wax.

    Never leave melting wax unattended

    After use, do not be tempted to pour excess molten wax down the sink as it will set and block your pipes. Instead, pour it into an old baking tray and cut into cubes before it hardens. This can be used to make chunk candles at a later date.

    For wax on carpets and items of clothing: Scrape off the excess wax and remove the rest by placing a paper towel over the stained area and pressing with a hot iron. This will transfer the wax to the towel.

    For wax on metal or plastic objects: Place in the freezer for an hour to make the wax brittle. It then becomes easy to simply crumble the hardened wax away. Alternatively, dip the object into boiling water and allow the wax to melt and float to the surface.


  • Switch off the heat
  • Do not move the pan
  • Smother flames with the saucepan lid or a damp cloth/towel.
  • On no account attempt to douse with water. This will only spread the fire.
  • If wax is overheating, it begins to smoke and gives off an acrid smell. If this happens turn off the heat source immediately and allow the wax to cool.


    Copyright Information
    Title:  Candlemaking - Safety
    Author:  Dee Stapleton
    Certain materials herein are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright law and have been prepared according to the educational multimedia fair use guidelines and are restricted from further use. This work may be protected by further copyright, reproduction and distribution (in violation of United States Copyright Law).

    Redistributed with permission.