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How To Make Gel Candles

To make a gel candle, choose a glass jar or beverage glass and any wax inserts that you would like to embed in your candle. Select a gel wax density based on the concentration of scent you want (low density = 0-3%, medium density = 0-4%, high density = 0-5%). Choose a gel compatible scent and a liquid dye for color. Be sure to use a wick compatible for use with gel candles and follow all instructions regarding temperatures for adding fragrance and dye as well as for pouring your gel candle.

Materials

Making Gel candles can be tricky, so don’t forget to gather all the right materials and tools you’ll need to get started!

Pouring Pots
These are needed to take your liquid wax and pour into your molds or containers.

Thermometer
No candle shop can be without this important tool.

Glue Dots
These handy little devices help to keep your wick centered in the glass when you pour the wax.

Wax Embeds
Candlewic has an extensive selection of wax embeds great to use with any of the standard gels. However, they are not suitable for the Clear Container Base.

Books
A good book will serve as a reference tool as well as including safety precautions.

Remember to follow all Safety Guidelines and General Instructions to create the best candles possible.

 

Step 1: Choose the Proper Gel

Each type of candle requires different materials, and making gel candles is no exception, but does take a few more precautions, so be sure to follow all instructions closely.  Additives are not needed for making gel candles. Here’s what you’ll need:

CG-1 Low Density Gel
Holds between 0-3% scent. Will allow the maximum burning pool.

CG-2 Medium Density Gel
Holds between 0-4% scent. The most widely used gel.

CG-3 High Density Gel
Holds between 0-5% scent.

Step 2: Selecting Scents

CW candle fragrancesYou need to use scents that are non-polar and have a flash point of 170 degrees F when making gel candles. Other fragrances can migrate out of the gel and cause problems. Our candle fragrances that are compatible with gel are marked with.

Step 3: Coloring Gel Candles

For gel candles only liquid dyes should be used. Most other dyes are wax-based, which can cause the gel to become cloudy. Very little dye is needed when making gel candles. Generally one ounce can color nearly 100 pounds of gel. If using the clear container base (CCB-1), check out our pre-made color squares. The clear container color squares are not designed for use in CG-1, CG-2 or CG-3.Remember, it’s very easy to over color gels.

Step 4: Working with Wicks

Selecting the proper wick is critical with gel candles due to the higher burning temperatures of this product. It is also very important to select the proper sustainer base for the pre-wick assembly. The key element in the sustainer base is the “neck height,” which is the part that holds the wick upright. A longer neck helps to ensure that the flame is extinguished before reaching the bottom of the container. View all zinc cored wick spools.

Gel Type 2-3″ Diameter
Candle
3-4″ Diameter
Candle
CG-1 44-24-18 zinc
44-28-18 zinc
44-32-18 zinc
44-32-18 zinc
51-32-18 zinc
60-44-18 zinc
CG-2 44-28-18 zinc
44-32-18 zinc
44-36-18 zinc
51-32-18 zinc
60-44-18 zinc
62-52-18 zinc
CG-3 44-36-18 zinc
51-32-18 zinc
51-32-18 zinc
51-32-18 zinc
60-44-18 zinc
62-52-18 zinc
CCB 21 Ply
24 Ply
27 Ply
27 Ply
30 Ply
36 Ply

Step 5: Getting Glassware

Candlewic’s offering of glassware continues to grow. The standard apothecary jars are always available in 15 oz., 22 oz. and 32 oz. sizes. Additionally, we are always looking for new and exciting glassware so make sure you check out the glassware section.

Step 6: Assembling Your Gel Candle

When making your gel candle, you can choose any glass container such as a mason jar or drinking glass. If you want to add inserts to your candle, there are many from which to choose. For example, paraffin wax cut into blocks can make great “ice cubes” for your candle, and wax fruit also works well as items to embed in your gel candle. Because gel for candles comes in varying densities, you’ll want to choose the one that best corresponds with the amount of scent throw that you’d like your candle to offer. When choosing your scent, be sure to choose a non-polar fragrance with a flash point higher than 170⁰F. Choose a liquid candle dye that will give your gel candle the color that you want to achieve, and select a wick that is designed for use with gel candles to accommodate the higher burning temperature of the gel. Be sure to follow directions for the products you’re using regarding the temperatures at which to add your fragrance and dye and at which to pour your gel candle.

10 thoughts on “How To Make Gel Candles

  1. Is it possible to use gel wax in PET plastic containers? I wanted to use it for fake theatrical drinks in beer bottles, but worry about too much heat when pouring.

    1. If you pour at a low enough temperature you should be able to pour into that type of container.

  2. Could wooden wicks be used for clear candles? General searching says wooden wicks are the better choice for every type of candle, but after reading the burning temperature I’m assuming otherwise.

    1. Would not recommend using the wood wicks for the clear candles. The only suitable wax to use with wood wicks would be a soy/paraffin blend.

  3. Is there a good rule of thumb or formula for determining how many ounces of gel wax you would need in order fill containers of a certain size? My understanding is that wax is less dense than water, so theoretically fewer ounces would be needed to fill the same container with wax, but I’m curious if there’s a sure fire way to know how much you’d need to melt.

    1. We do not recommend making gel candles and longer.

      1. Why not?

        1. Folks are not using the proper components adding items they shouldn’t be and using the wrong wicks. To many sites on the web identifying wrong way to use it.

  4. can I use any other wick in my candle instead of the zinc wick

    1. Yes there is paper and cotton core in the same series as the zinc core. If you let us know which zinc you are using we can provide a better replacement for the wick you are currently using.

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