Gel candle wax is a clear, transparent type of candle making wax made from mineral oil and a gelling agent. Its transparency, allows many candle makers to achieve wonderful designs and creative looking candles.
To form a gel wax, polymer resin and mineral oil are combined, then heated and set to cool down and harden. Some people choose to make their own gel at home because of its less cost compared to those pre-made gel waxes that can be bought in craft stores. This is usually done by candle makers who tend to create larger amounts of gel candles.
There are three types of gel candle wax, high, medium and low density. Each type of wax has its own characteristics. The higher the density the thicker it is and the higher its fraggence hold. Low density gel can hold a small amount of fragrance and the objects that can be successfully embedded in it are those that are light and small only. Medium density gel candle wax is the most popular among the three because of its cost and features. It can hold a medium amount of fragrance that is not too strong or too light. It can hold almost any kind of embeds except those that are really heavy. High density wax can hold the highest amount of fragrance and most any objects can be successfully embedded in it.
In melting the gel candle wax direct heat is needed. Unlike paraffin wax, gel does not make use of a double burner. It melts at 230-250 degrees Fahrenheit, temperature which is pretty high compared to the temperature needed to melt paraffin wax. In melting gel wax a multi-cooker, oven or a hot plate is used. This wax melts really slowly and increasing the temperature will not make it melt faster and may result in a flash fire, so it is essential to stay patient to achieve good results.
In melting gel candle wax you should always follow precautionary measures to avoid accidents. It is important to be extra careful and never leave your melting wax unattended. When gel wax reaches its flash point it does not create smoke or any warning signs, it just fires up. So having a thermometer at your side will be very helpful in closely monitoring the temperature of the wax. Also if the melting wax accidently burst into flames, do not panic and poor water on it, just cover the melting pot with its lid and turn off the heat.
Many people prefer using gel candle wax because they produce candles with higher scent throw, which makes it perfect for spreading wonderful aroma in a room and large spaces. They also tend to burn longer than other types of wax, making it more economic to use.
Like other types of wax you can add fragrances and dyes to gel candle wax to make it more creative and stylish. But before you buy fragrance oil make sure that it is gel-safe (oil soluble). This is because gel wax is primarily made from mineral oil. Using fragrance oil that is not completely oil soluble may cause flare ups in the candle. The flashpoint of the fragrance oil should be 170 degrees or higher. Fragrances with lower flashpoints may result to flare ups when combined with gel wax.
Learning how to use gel candle wax in making candles is very rewarding. With gel wax you can create candles with different designs and themes and you can also embed object in it to make it trendy and attractive. While using gel wax to make candles, at first you may experience difficulties, but as you become more use to it you'll definitely enjoy the wonderful things it can offer you.