Materials that can ignite easily if exposed to fire or high temperatures within the air are considered flammable items, but is beeswax flammable?
Many people that may be working with beeswax may want to know if it is flammable or not. In simple terms, it is flammable if it reaches its flashing point. However, you should be aware of the flashpoint of beeswax which is close to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and this temperature can ignite a fire.
Beeswax & Burn Time
Beeswax is considered a combustible material, so it can burn. Once the beeswax is brought close to its flashpoint temperature, it will ignite and burn. Beeswax is favored over paraffin candles because of the duration in which beeswax burns. Candles that are made out of beeswax burns two times longer than paraffin candles that are comparable in size.
The burn time of a beeswax candle depends on its volume. The larger the candle, the longer the burn time. For example, a beeswax candle that is 3 x 6 can burn up to 110 hours. However, there are many other factors that affect the burn time of beeswax candles including the type of wick being used as well as thickness.
It should also be noted most types of beeswax are non-toxic. Beeswax is made from natural ingredients. However, paraffin wax on the other hand can produce harmful toxins while they are burning. Paraffin wax has ingredients that contain petroleum compounds.
It should be noted that beeswax polish may or may not be flammable. However, this depends on the ingredients that are used while making it. Some ingredients that are used to prepare beeswax polish are likely to result in inflammability.
Mineral spirits and turpentine are a couple of ingredients used when making beeswax polish. These two substances alone are flammable, and when mixed into the polish, they may remain flammable.
With that being said, it is wise to treat beeswax polish as flammable only if it consists of ingredients that are flammable.
The Process of Melting Beeswax
It can be an enjoyable process to melt down beeswax since the aroma that comes from it is usually pleasant. However, you have to be extremely careful when melting beeswax since it can result in fire very quickly. Beeswax melts at a temperature of 147 degrees Fahrenheit. Molten wax is also present in the water.
There are various devices that you can use to melt the wax. For example, a double boiler can be used if you are making smaller quantities. For larger operations, you can use other devices to melt your beeswax. Some wax melters only use hot air to melt the wax while the majority of other devices require water.
The best way to avoid a fire hazard is to always make sure that you use a double boiler that slowly warms the beeswax.
Pouring candles at temperatures where the wax is not too hot can produce some of the best candles. Pouring at hotter temps can result in cracking or make it challenging to release it from the mold. Silicon molds normally work the best to release candles since they are stretchy.
A solar wax melter is a popular choice for many people. It is a box with a glass covering. In order to get the wax out of the box, you would normally have to tilt it. Solar wax melters are cheap to use, but they can be quite inefficient.
When melting beeswax, make sure to never leave your wax unattended. Always monitor the melting process. But no matter which method you choose to use to melt your beeswax, the key is to always use gentle heat. Gentle heat is considered a melting range between 143F-151F. Any temperature that exceeds 170F can cause beeswax to lose its aroma and darken in color.
Be sure to immediately remove your beeswax from the heat once it is fully melted.
Beeswax never goes bad, but it can develop a powder known as bloom on it. If you ever notice this powder, it normally occurs if you store your wax at cooler temps. However, you can easily remove the bloom by using a blow-drier or a soft rag to buff it off.
Since beeswax is typically soft, it can easily collect dirt, fuzz, and even dust. Make sure that when you are ready to store your beeswax you wrap it in plastic to keep the dust off of it.
Keep it stored in a cool environment. If your beeswax is too warm, the wax can get too soft which will cause the plastic to stick or become embedded in the wax.
A wick is obviously required for a candle, including beeswax candles to properly burn. The wick will help to absorb the wax in a liquid form. Keep in mind that a wick that is too large for a candle, can result in the candle’s sides burning out from excessive heat. Additionally, a wick that is too small can result in a hole that burns straight down the center until the flame extinguishes.
Types of Beeswax Candles
Hand-dipped Beeswax candle
No matter what type of beeswax candle you decide to make, remember that beeswax is extremely flammable. If you are making a hand-dipped beeswax candle.
You can try attaching a weight to the end of the wicking and dip the weighted end of the wick into the molten wax to whatever depth you wish. While this procedure doesn’t guarantee that you will have a perfect candle, it will be functional.
Depending on if you are using a rubber or tin mold, the wick should be threaded through the mold and the molten wax should be poured into the mold. You can purchase a candle release compound at many craft stores to prevent the wax from sticking to the mold.
After the wax has cooled thoroughly, you can open the mold and remove the candles. Poured candles are normally attached by the wicking in the majority of cases. This will require you to trim the wick, so you can have two separate candles.
The last type of beeswax candle is known as a foundation candle and can be used in frames. It is typically wrapped around a wick.
This type of candle will burn faster than other types of beeswax candles. However, it doesn’t require molten wax nor does it require any heat to melt. These are probably the easiest type of beeswax candles to make.
Beeswax is flammable. However, it can only ignite if it reaches its flashing point of 400F. Additionally, if beeswax is mixed with flammable material, the mixture itself may also be flammable as mentioned above. The best way to avoid beeswax from igniting is to always melt the wax slowly no matter what method of melting you choose to use.