Can you melt candle wax in the microwave?
You've just bought one of our Candle Making Kits or a selection of candle making supplies and now you want to find out just what to do with them, how to melt the wax, what temperatures to melt wax at etc
One of the biggest things you'll need to do is melt your soy wax so you can do something with it, a block or pellets are useless unless melted!
You've also seen instruction guides saying that you need a special wax melter or to set up a "double boiler" and yes, while these are great tools to have, if you're just using a single candle kit or want to try out making candles you don't want to spend a lot of money on tools that will potentially be thrown in the loft if you don't want to continue the craft!
Here's a much simpler (cheaper) solution
Use a plastic (microwavable) jug or glass 'Pyrex' jug to melt your wax.
This makes a quick and easy alternative to using double boilers or wax melting pots - these certainly have their place but if you're just starting out then you'll want to keep things cheap and easy - new gadgets can come later!
To start with we need to say, be safety conscious, don't go using any metal jugs or instruments as microwaves don't like these, also, ensure you have checked your jug can be used in a microwave, the plastic jugs we sell are ok to use in the microwave in shorts 30-second bursts.
What you'll need
- Plastic or pyrex jug that's around 1 litre in volume.
- Plastic or silicone spatula
Directions - How to Melt your Candle Wax
Pour the required amount of wax into the jug, be careful not to fill it too much, as not only will it take longer to melt but it can cause the wax to become a lot hotter than you need - it's best to do a couple of smaller melts than one big one - you can always add more wax to the pot as it melts.
Place the container into the centre of the microwave and set the timer for two minutes and the heat to the high setting - do not leave this unattended and keep a close eye on what's happening, depending on the amount of wax in the jug and the power of your microwave you may find it melts faster than 2 minutes (but don't worry if it doesn't).
Once the two minutes are up, remove the jug carefully using heat-proof gloves or oven mitts - set the jug down on a stable level surface.
Not much has likely happened to the wax (it may have started to melt a bit) but stir the wax with a silicone or similar spatula and place back in the microwave, heat for a further 30 to 60 seconds, remove carefully from the microwave and stir - continue this process until the wax is melted fully to a temperature of around 80 - 85 centigrade.
Once the wax has started to melt properly you will need to check its temperature each time it's removed from the microwave - do not leave the thermometer in the wax and put it in the microwave, it will damage the thermometer, the microwave or both!
If you find the wax has reached 80 centigrade and still had unmelted wax then do not continue to heat it, just place the jug safely on a table and gently stir the wax and you'll find it will dissolve the remainder of the wax using its residual heat.
Do not just stick the jug with the wax in the microwave and heat continually, it may build up so much heat that the jug itself melts (we've seen it before and it's messy!)
Once fully melted you can then go ahead and add any fragrance and dyes to the wax (see this instructional post for more information).
Important: You can re-use the jug you have used by giving it a good clean out with a tissue to remove the bulk of the wax remnants and then cleaning with warm soapy water, however, this container should not be used with food once being used for candle making - it may be useful to set this aside with your candle making supplies or use a marker pen to write on the side what it's used for.
Remember: Please take note of all safety advice and use common sense
Using a microwave for candle making carries additional risks that are out of our control and as such this information is offered as a guide and candle making should only be done by an adult or with adult supervision.
Be careful not to heat the wax to a higher temperature, always check using a thermometer (do not leave a metal thermometer in the jug in the microwave)
Do not leave the microwave or wax unattended at any time - always keep it out of reach of children.
The melted wax and container will be hot when removing from the microwave, use heatproof gloves.