Hot Plate for Candle Making
Make Candles at Home with a Hot Plate
If you are thinking about making your own candles, that is to say becoming a candle maker, then you are going to need some items to set up shop. One of the items you will need is a hot plate for candle making. By using a handful of unique ingredients and household tools, you will be on the road to making colourful candles full of beautiful fragrances that all your friends will be jealous of.
Rather than teach you how to make candles, this is strictly about using a hot plate for candle making. I understand you may want to rush to the store and buy all the candle making supplies you can afford, but you can start relatively easily in your kitchen without spending a lot of money on things like a big expensive candle wax melter.
Using a hot plate is the way to go for melting your wax. You will want to use the double boiler method, which is extremely easy and can be done at home. All you need is a hot plate or a stovetop.
Stove Top or Hot Plate?
You can use either a stovetop or a hot plate for candle making. However, I recommend using a hot plate. A hot plate allows you to have more space for operations. You can put the hot plate on the kitchen counter and work around it, you can take it with you to make candles in your shop, or in your hobby garage. Hot plates are super versatile.
The stovetop is OK, but when making candles it feels a little strange to do it on the stove as if you were cooking candles to eat. I definitely prefer using a hot plate and a double boiler for making candles.
Hot plates generally offer a lot of control over the heat, which is super important when dealing with candle wax. You can easily turn the knob so that the hot plate generates optimum heat and does not burn your wax or cause it to reach the flashpoint. Because a lot of hot plates will have different heat intensities, I can’t tell you exactly which mode to leave your hot plate on.
Another thing that I like more with a hot plate is that if you somehow ruin it during the process of candle making, you can just buy a new one for next to nothing. I would rather not spill wax and oils on my very expensive stove.
Hot Plate vs Wax Melter
There are a lot of professional wax melters that work very well for making candles. They come specifically designed as wax melters, equipped with a valve and a lid, and are super easy to use.
However, a wax melter is super expensive. You are looking at roughly $100 just to buy one of these melting machines. And it is not a very portable unit either. Wax melters are a little heavy and a little bulky, and you may as well just use the stove and a pot. At least with a hot plate, you can take your candle making operation with you wherever you go.
Plus, hot plates are very small, super portable, and they are dirt cheap. If you fall out of love with candle making, you can still find lots of uses for the hot plate, but there is not much else you can do with a wax melter.
It should be noted that there are no special hot plates for wax melting. Everyone I know who uses a hot plate for candle making has a cheap one they got from the grocery store for around $10 or $20. For the sake of being thorough, I even scoured the internet and could not find a single hot plate specifically designed for melting wax to make candles.
I assure you that it will be fine to use any old hot plate that you find lying around the house.
How Can I Make Candles with a Hot Plate?
Now that you have your hot plate ready, you want to make some candles. You are going to need a double boiler. However, since we are going full budget mode and not buying any expensive candle making tools, I will tell you how to make your own double boiler at home that you can use in conjunction with the hot plate.
All you need is a large saucepan and a smaller saucepan – though a coffee can or pouring pitcher will also work instead of a small saucepan. Here is how you make a double boiler with two different saucepans:
First, fill the big saucepan half full of water and then place it on the hot plate. Place your wax in the smaller saucepan and put it into the larger saucepan. Turn the hot plate to low heat and watch until you see that the wax is totally melted. While the wax is melting, you will need to carefully add additional water to the bigger saucepan as necessary to stop the water from completely evaporating.
You can use an ordinary thermometer to continuously check the temperature of the wax and make sure it is not close to the flashpoint. Then, when the wax has finally melted, you can add colour and mix.
In order to add fragrance, you will need to remove the wax from the hot plate and gently mix the fragrance with the wax.
It is important to note that wax should always be heated to 185 degrees Fahrenheit before you add in the fragrance. You can generally find specific instructions for adding fragrance through your local wax supplier.
As a side note, you should always have a fire extinguisher handy in case your candle making project gets a little bit out of control. The chances of you burning down your house from making candles are slim to none, but you should still always take the necessary precautions.