What is Gel Wax
Consisting of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin, gel wax is a rubbery and clear mixture. The polymer resin is used to thicken the mineral oil to add the properties true to gel wax; long burn time and clear look. This wax, unique in its form; is able to extend burn time by double (compared to paraffin). That is one of the biggest selling points to gel wax. Just as important is the special aesthetic aspect to gel wax; its transparency.
Candles crafters that work with gel wax are able to manipulate it by embedding, shaping, and pairing the wax to achieve specific looks. Some of the more popular finished products of these techniques would be sand candles, fruit pie candles, or beverage candles.
Embeds are inserts that are positioned into the gel wax before it completely solidifies. These non flammable items are then suspended in the hardened wax. This gives gel wax candles a very rare look. Some examples of embeds you can use in this wax would be: sea shells, glass or wax embeds, or glitter. Never use plastic embeds for gel wax candles.
Another notable advantage of working with gel wax is how forgiving it is. Any corrections that you want to touch up in the finished candle can be done. It is as simple as remelting, rescenting, recoloring, and repouring.
How to Melt Gel Wax
The process of melting gel is slightly different than your other waxes. With this one, there is no specific temperature to heat in order to liquefy. This wax, as it melts; only thins. Stirring is key with gel wax.
It is also important to keep a watchful eye on gel wax as it thins. Stirring frequently and monitoring will ensure the correct melting process. Gel wax does not thin quicker by heating at a higher temperature; gel wax will only smoke.
Tips on Gel Candles
Never try to move a gel wax candle while it is burning or was just lit. Liquid gel wax is extremely hot and will cause severe burns if splashed onto the skin.
The top layer of a gel wax candle is very sticky. This is just the nature of gel wax. You always want to keep your gel wax candle cover in between uses. This will prevent the wax from collecting dust and debris on that sticky layer.
Gel wax is strictly a container wax. Due to its makeup, the wax is not strong enough to be a pillar wax. This should be noted especially for shipping and storage reasons. If your candle is placed on its side or upside down, the wax will start to slide/pour out.
If you are interested in making a gel wax Beer Candle, click on this link; if you would like to try a gel wax Wine Candle, click on this link. There are many other homemade recipes that can be found at Natures Garden’s Free Recipes and Classes area of their website.