Making your own candles at home can be a rewarding experience. The thrill of making something instead of buying it is always wonderful. But, with the thrill comes some danger as well. Anytime you work with a heat source and something that can get as hot as wax, there are some risks such as burns, spills, stains and even fire. You can minimise these risks by using the following tips:
1. Make sure that you have all materials (including safety materials) on hand before you begin to make your candles.
2. A fire extinguisher would be the best safety tool of all, but if you don’t have access to one a large lid to a pot will do well in case of a small fire or flare-up.
3. Cover your entire workplace with old newspaper, a small tarp or an old tablecloth that you won’t mind getting stained with dyes, perfumes or wax.
4. Always have a lot of disposable napkins or old rags of some sort that can easily be used to mop up any spills that may occur, especially during the pouring phase of your candle project.
5. Never leave anything under heat or flame unattended. This is particularly important while you are melting your candle wax. No matter which type of wax you use (soy, beeswax or paraffin), it gets very hot quite quickly. The problem is that unlike water or other items, wax will not boil over or bubble to alert you as to how hot it is. Instead it will start to scorch and smoke, releasing a terrible odour that takes a long time to eliminate. For this reason, you must always be vigilant of hot wax and make sure you take it off its heat source at the proper time.
6. When pouring wax into your chosen candle moulds, do so slowly and methodically. As previously mentioned, the wax is very hot! Even a small amount of spilled wax can stain floors, carpets or tables (which is why you should cover them as directed in no. 3). Worse yet, hot wax can cause serious burns on skin should you come into contact with it. This could require medical attention. So, always pour slowly and with purpose so as to avoid these types of potential injuries.
7. Dispose of leftover wax properly. Do not throw hot wax in the trash bin or down your sink. This can cause fire (in the case of the bin) if the wax is hot enough or can clog your sink once the wax hardens if poured down the drain. Either pour wax in a container for future melting and use or wait till it cools completely before disposal.
8. Once your candles are cooled and ready to burn, do not leave them unattended. Just like when you were making the candles and you didn’t leave the heating wax unattended, you should not leave burning candles unattended either at the risk of fire.
Once you learn the safety tips regarding making and burning candles, it is easy to keep your workspace free of accidents that are potentially dangerous. Have fun with your new homemade candles!