Beeswax is a valuable product from beehives. One way to use beeswax is in candles.
The first step to making candles is rendering beeswax. We blogged the rendering process here. Candles are a great way to use dirty beeswax that cannot be used in cosmetics.
The second step to making candles is melting down rendered wax. Wax can be melted in a liquid measuring cup. Whatever wax is melted in will become a permanent wax tool because it is incredibly hard to remove wax from glass. Wax can either be melted in a microwave or over a double boiler system. I prefer melting wax using a double boiler system because the wax will not burn as easily.
While the wax is melting, the candle molds should be prepared. The easiest way to get the wick through the mold is to thread the wick through a big sewing needle. Next the molds should be sprayed with mold release. Mold release is not essential, but it is useful. The wick needs to be tied to something in order to keep it straight. We tie our wicks to chopsticks then lie the chopsticks on cups.
This is our candle making set up. The pint jars have napkins on top of them so that the wick will stay out of the way. We use rubber bands or hair pretties to keep the molds together.
Once the molds are prepared and the wax is melted, the candles can be poured. The mold should be filled two-thirds of the way than the wax should be tipped to one side. Doing this makes the air bubbles float to the top. The candle then should be filled all the way up. It is important for the candle to be filled to the brim because the candle will shrink a little.
Once the top of the candle is semi-solid the bottom wick should be cut and pressed into the candle. Doing this ensures that the candle will sit flat.
After the candle is completely cool and solid it should be removed from its mold. This is an incredibly delicate process. We almost always have two people removing the candle. It is important to be careful to not smash the candle against anything when removing it from its mold. Finally, the candles wick should be trimmed. The proper length of a wick is an eighth of an inch long.
Here is what our finished candle looked like. We had not trimmed the wick yet.
Here is the other candle we were making above. Both candles turned out really well. We sell both of these candles. Prices and other products can be found at Our Honey Bee Store.
If a candle has a major impurity after it is pulled out of a mold, the impurity should be removed and rendered. The pure wax can be remelted and poured again.