Candle making might be messy, but it is not dangerous if you follow some simple safety guidelines. The three potential areas of danger occur while heating the wax, using oils or fragrances, and spills. If an accident happens while melting wax, you could not only get burned, but a fire could break out.
If you follow the common-sense rules in this article, you can keep your kitchen free of damage and, more importantly, yourself. The first priority is to prepare your workspace properly. Cover the area with an old tablecloth, a tarp, or newspaper. Keep the working area organized and clean. Have everything you need readily on hand.
Be prepared for the odd spill by keeping paper towels or a pile of newspapers nearby. Keep a small fire extinguisher at hand as well. Before starting, place all the molds, tools, accessories, additives, and ingredients neatly on the working area. Make sure that dogs, cats, and children are sent out of the kitchen. You don’t want any inquisitive onlookers to distract you or, even worse, cause an accident. Work methodically and slowly, especially when learning a new technique. Many mistakes happen because of rushing.
Handle the ingredients with care. When measuring and pouring fragrance oils, do it very carefully. These oils are highly concentrated and can cause skin irritations, eat through plastic, and make stains. If you do spill some drips, wipe them away with a cloth and wash your hands immediately if they came into contact with the oil.
A good idea is to measure the oils out before you start making candles. They will then be ready for pouring. Don’t place the oil containers near your elbows or any other place where they are at risk of being knocked over. Be sure to understand all safety rules that apply to working with oils. Search the internet for ‘fragrance oil safety’ and take heed of the information.
Be cautious when using colors and dyes. Although liquid dyes are non-toxic, they stain powerfully and quickly. Just a couple of drops of candle dye will color a whole pound (half a kg) of wax. So you can imagine what it would do to your clothes. Always treat wax with great respect. It may just be a harmless looking lump, but when it’s heating at 180 degrees F (82 degrees C) it can burn you badly.
Furthermore, wax does not boil so there’s no way of knowing just how hot it is. It gets hotter and hotter until it starts smoking. Keep an eye on the temperature by having an accurate thermometer on hand. Most importantly, never leave the room when wax is melting. If the phone rings in another room, leave it.
After you have completed your candle making project, there are some safety precautions to follow while burning them. They should be burnt on a surface that is fire and heat resistant, and out of the reach of children and pets. Position them well away from curtains, decorative items, plants, and lampshades. Make sure the candle holder is stable and secure. Always keep the wicks well-trimmed so that the candle can burn safely and cleanly without smoking. And never put a candle in a drafty location.