There’s nothing like a homemade candle, especially if you’re the DIY type. Having control over the shape, smell, and color are all benefits you’ll have by making candles at home.
However, it might get you wondering—can you melt wax in the microwave?
Yes, you can melt wax in the microwave, although it isn’t the recommended approach. We’ll teach you the safest way to do so, along with alternative options for melting wax.
What Happens If You Microwave Wax?
Wax will melt when you microwave it. However, microwaving wax can be dangerous because it can catch on fire or cause other damage if it rises above 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).
For this reason, using a thermometer is crucial if you choose to microwave wax.
Materials for Melting Wax in the Microwave
You can’t toss your wax in any old jar and stick it in the microwave, keeping your fingers crossed it’ll melt without issues. Instead, you’ll need to gather the following materials to safely microwave wax:
- Microwave-safe container
- Eye protection
- Oven mitts
- Long-sleeved shirt
Once you gather and put on the proper gear, you’re ready to start melting wax in the microwave.
Steps for Melting Wax in the Microwave
Now that you know the answer to “Can you melt wax in the microwave?” is yes, let’s explore the steps you’ll need to complete to do so.
Step 1: Get a Microwave-safe Container
Using a microwave-safe container to put your wax in is crucial to prevent a fire. Many people are surprised at how many microwave-safe items there are, including paper products. However, since you’re dealing with wax, choosing a more robust container is best.
Examples of ideal containers for microwaving wax include:
- Heatproof glass
- Corning Ware
If you’re reusing wax, it’s often helpful to freeze the wax before using a tool to dislodge it from its original container.
Step 2: Heat for One Minute
The trick to melting wax safely in the microwave is heating it slowly. So, you should heat it in one-minute increments at a time. Once you heat the wax for one minute, remove it from the microwave and check it.
It’s unlikely that the wax will have melted enough to stir yet. However, checking the temperature is essential, as you don’t want to let the wax go above 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3: Continue Heating
Once you get a feel for how the wax responds to your microwave, you can heat it for anywhere from one to two minutes at a time, based on your judgment.
Several factors can influence how fast wax will melt, such as how hot of a setting your microwave is on, the original temperature of the wax, and altitude.
If you live in a mountainous area, you may need to microwave your wax for slightly longer than people living at lower altitudes.
The best way to determine the progress of your wax melting is by taking it out every one to two minutes, stirring it, and checking its temperature.
Step 4: Remove From Microwave
Once the wax reaches its melting temperature, it’ll be in a liquid state. So, you’ll want to remove it from the microwave and let it sit on your counter to cool in the container it’s in.
Doing so might feel counterproductive, as you likely have a special jar you want to use for making your candle. However, it’s essential to let the wax temperature drop to 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) before adding fragrance or color.
Otherwise, as the hot wax cools, it’ll contract and trap the fragrance, diminishing its scent.
Safety Tips for Melting Wax in the Microwave
Before embarking on melting wax in the microwave for the first time, it’s crucial to keep the following safety tips in mind.
- Make sure the wax stays at or under 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t leave wax in the microwave unattended.
- Wear eye protection to prevent damage from splatters.
- Use oven mitts and wear a long-sleeved shirt.
Finally, you should have a fire extinguisher nearby when melting wax in the microwave. It might sound extreme, but like with grease, using water on a wax fire is dangerous. That’s because water helps spread a wax fire, not put one out.
If you can’t get to a fire extinguisher, the next best methods are to try to tap the fire with a lid or blow out a small fire.
Can I Melt Wax in the Microwave in a Glass Jar?
Most glass jars are safe to use for melting wax in the microwave. The best way to determine this is by checking if the glassware has a “microwave-safe” label.
If you don’t see anything indicating that the glass jar is microwave-safe, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not use it. Pyrex is an excellent example of a glass jar that’s safe for microwaving.
What Is the Safest Way to Melt Wax?
The safest way to melt wax is typically by using a double boiler, which gradually heats the wax. Unlike a microwave, you can watch the melting process the entire time.
You can also check the wax’s temperature with a thermometer without having to remove the wax from the microwave, which avoids any wax splatterings.
Wax melters are also an excellent tool for melting wax, as they’re designed not to overheat it.
So, Can You Melt Wax in the Microwave?
Yes, you can melt wax in the microwave, but following some basic safety procedures is essential. Many people prefer melting wax in the microwave because it’s a faster and easier method than alternatives, like using a double broiler.
One of the best practices for melting wax in the microwave is to take it slow. It’s better to microwave wax in small increments rather than letting it run for a single, long bout. That way, you’ll prevent fires and the wax from splashing.
So, now that you know how to melt wax in the microwave, we’ll let you get started on your candle-making adventure.