Posts Tagged ‘what is gel wax’

Gel Wax Scents

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Gel Wax Wine Candle Since gel wax is composed of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin, the fragrance oils or scents that you select have to be soluble in this mixture.  It is believed in the candle making industry that if you are working with gel wax, the scents you use have to be non-polar.  This however, is simply not the case.

It is chemically impossible to make fragrance oils non-polar.  This is because the aldehydes, ketones, resins, esters, and essential oils used in the creation of scents are all polar to some degree.  Now, perfumists are able to keep the polarity low by using isopar solvents. But, in the end; every scent has some level of polarity to them.  Fragrances can NEVER be NON polar, there will always be varying levels of polarity in fragrance.

In order for fragrance oils to work in gel wax, they need to be on the lesser end of being polar.  By lowering the polarity, fragrances are more readily able to be mixed with the mineral oil of gel wax.  But, before using a fragrance oil that you are not sure is gel safe; there are two steps you can take to find out.

Gel Wax and Scent Flashpoint-

In order for a scent to be gel wax compatible, the flashpoint of the fragrance must be 170 degrees or higher.  This degree of flashpoint is important because gel wax burns at a higher temperature. Using a scent with a flashpoint lower than 170 degrees Fahrenheit results in too big of a difference in your melt point and flashpoint; this makes for an unstable and unsafe candle.

You can easily check the flashpoint for every fragrance oil that Natures Garden carries in the Important Fragrance Specifics listed under each scent.

Mineral Oil Miscibility Test-

If you need to test that a fragrance oil is gel wax safe, you can easily do so.  This test is called the mineral oil miscibility test.  To test for gel wax solubility mix 1 part fragrance to 3 parts mineral oil in a glass container.  Then, give the mixture a shake and set it down.  After a few minutes, check the mixture to see if it blended.

Next, in a glass container, mix 3 parts fragrance oil to 1 part mineral oil.  Give the container a shake and once again allow it to sit.  After a few minutes, check to see if the mixture is thoroughly blended.

If you notice the mixture is insoluble or has any cloudiness in the solution, the fragrance is not gel safe.  If the mixture is transparent and dissolved, the fragrance oil is gel wax compatible.

If you are interested in making the gel wax wine candles pictured in this blog post, please click here.  View this recipe plus many more by looking at the Free Recipes and Classes area of the Natures Garden website.

Gel Wax

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Natures Garden Gel WaxThere are many different kinds of candle waxes available in the industry; gel wax stands out for some of its own very unique reasons.

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.