Did you know candle makers have been around for 5000 years? Candle making is literally one of the oldest human activities, and when I first heard this, I couldn’t wait to start making my own candles. I was happy to find out that obtaining the necessary equipment for candle making is both inexpensive and easy.
The only equipment a candle maker needs are a candle melting/pouring pitcher, a heating pot, a thermometer, and a heat source, as well as the ingredients for the candles themselves—wicks, wax, and containers.
Candle makers may use optional items, including a double boiler, a scale, fragrances, and dyes. Candle making equipment is inexpensive.
If you are on the fence about starting your own candle making hobby or business, rest assured that you can buy all the initial items you need for around $50 and possibly even less.
A Candle Maker’s Bare Essentials
You can find high quality equipment for all your candle making needs at low prices at Scandinavian Candle Co. and other online retailers.
Candle Making Pouring Pitcher
The number one item a candle maker needs is a combination melting and pouring pitcher. This pitcher is what you will use to melt the wax for your candle, so it’s important that you buy a good one. It should be made of aluminum, which is the ideal material to melt candle wax, and it should have a sturdy handle.
Candle making pouring pitchers range from $10-$20. Make sure the one you choose can hold at least two pounds of wax so you can make batches of several candles at one time.
You need to use a pot larger in circumference than the candle making pouring pitcher to heat the pitcher. Likely, you already have a suitable outer pot somewhere in your kitchen.
To use, you will fill the outer pot with water and set the candle making pouring pitcher into it. Maintain enough water in your outer pot so the pouring pitcher is submerged in at least two inches of water.
Thermometers are a crucial part of the candle making process, because most types of wax scorch above 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 92 degrees Celsius. Scorched wax causes a host of quality problems with your finished candle but more importantly can cause an immediate safety issue by catching fire. By regularly testing with a thermometer during the heating phase, you can make sure you never scorch your candle wax or cause a fire in your kitchen.
When choosing a thermometer, opt for one that delivers temperature readings quickly in order to precisely measure the temperature of your wax before it becomes overheated. The best type of thermometer for candle making is a digital infrared contactless thermometer. You can pick one of these up for around $20. In addition to being fast and accurate, this is also the best no-mess option, as this type of thermometer does not have to be dipped into the wax to take a reading.
You can also opt for less expensive options, or even use the same probe thermometer you use for cooking. If you use your cooking thermometer, make sure you wipe it clean between uses because cross contamination from the spaghetti sauce you just cooked will negatively impact your candle!
For a source of heat to melt your wax, you can place the outer pot and melting pitcher combination onto your regular kitchen stove burner. Alternatively, you could also set them on a hot plate, or fill your slow cooker with water and place your candle making melting pitcher directly into that without using a second outer pot.
Optional Equipment for Candle Making
As candle makers become more advanced in their candle making hobby or business, many choose to add these optional candle making items.
Candle Making Double Boiler
A double boiler is simply a pot that fits into another pot that contains water. As it gets hot, the water in the bottom pot gently heats the upper pot, making double boilers an ideal choice when heating ingredients that you want to make sure does not heat up too quickly (like candle wax).
Many advanced candle makers prefer a dedicated double boiler pair instead of using the candle making pouring pitcher and outer pot combination mentioned above. Because the bottom pot has a tighter fit around the pouring pitcher, you can heat the wax quicker and with less wasted energy in the form of escaping water vapor.
Candle Making Scales
If you are following a specific candle making recipe or want to duplicate the exact effect of a previous candle you made and loved, precise measurement of ingredients is key. Candle makers use scales to measure wax, oils, and other ingredients in their candles.
When choosing a scale, digital options can give you the most precise measurements. If you decide to purchase a scale for your candle making, be sure to choose one that can weigh liquid and solid ingredients in ounces, pounds, and grams. A scale with all these features often costs less than $30.
Basic Candle Ingredients
Of course, you will also need ingredients for the candles you are making themselves. At a minimum, these are wax, wicks, and containers.
Soy wax is great to use for almost any candle. In fact, I use soy wax in around 90% of the candles I make. Soy wax produces less soot, meaning it has a cleaner burn, polluting your house (and your lungs) less. It also burns slower, so your candle lasts significantly longer than candles made from other types of wax.
Even though soy wax is my favorite, I do occasionally use different waxes to achieve various effects. Palm wax is good to use in candles if you want a decorative effect, because it tends to cool in a crystalized pattern that is visually interesting.
There are many other waxes you can use, including paraffin, which is the cheapest of the waxes. Beeswax candles are another favorite of mine. While beeswax can be expensive, it emits a faint honey aroma as it burns, making the added cost worth it.
The container you choose for your candles should be sturdy and non-flammable. You can buy them in batches or even recycle containers from used candles. For an added twist, you can also make your own unique candle containers from copper mugs, glass coke bottles, and even “found” items, like orange and grapefruit halves.
Wicks are the final essential ingredient. They can be made of many materials, and you can cut them yourself or purchase pre-cut wicks online. Two popular choices are cotton wicks, used in most candles, and wooden wicks, which are used in crackle candles. You can also use twine and yarn for your candle wicks.
What kind of wick should you use in your candles?
Optional Ingredients for Candle Making
In their basic form, basic candles can be made from wax, string, and a container. To take your candle making to the next level, you can also add fragrances and dyes to achieve different effects. These oils and dyes are evenly mixed with the wax as it is still warm before being poured into the candle container.
Fragrant Oils for Candle Making
Fragrant oils and essential oils are two options to add aroma to your candle. Fragrant oils are chemical compounds that have been mixed with a carrier oil. Fragrant oils come in a variety of scents and can add virtually any aroma effect to your candle. They are more concentrated, meaning that they have a stronger aroma than candles scented with essential oils. Since they are usually synthetic, they tend to be the cheapest option to add fragrance to your candles.
Essential Oils for Candle Making
Essential oils can also be used in scented candle making. While they are not as strong as fragrant oils are in terms of intensity, they are natural, plant-based oils that are not made from synthetic chemical compounds. For this reason, they tend to be more expensive than fragrant oils.
Dyes for Candle Making
A final optional ingredient in candle making are candle dyes. You can buy dyes in powdered, liquid, or block form. Powdered and block dyes are best used for vibrant and dark candle coloring, as they tend to have higher concentrations of coloring compounds. Liquid dyes are best when you want to achieve a subtle effect with paler colors.
Like fragrances, dyes are mixed with the wax when it is hot before being poured into the container. Make sure you choose dyes formulated specifically for candle making.
1. Is a starting a candle making business worth it?
The candle making industry is growing and currently earns billions of dollars in revenue each year. With the low price of candle making equipment and ingredients, candle making as a home business can become very profitable very quickly.
2. If I want to get into candle making, can I get a candle making kit that has everything?
Most candle making kits cost significantly more than what you would pay for the equipment and ingredients separately. They often feature small pouring pitchers, only capable of making one or two small candles at a time.
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Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.