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Safety Tips for Making Candles

August 9th, 2009

candle-making-safety.jpgCandle making is a wonderful outlet for your creativity. Homemade candles can enhance any decor and make excellent gifts. Before you begin to explore the endless possibilities of candle making, make sure you understand the potential safety risks.

Making candles is a rather messy but relatively safe craft; however, as safe and fun as candle making is, you must still take precautions. Whenever you work with flammable substances or highly concentrated oils or fragrances, taking common sense safety precautions should be your first priority.

Workspace Safety Checklist

  1. Keep your workspace clean and organized. Clean up spills promptly. Spilled wax or oil can lead to accidents.
  2. Work in a well ventilated area. Some essential oils and fragrances can be irritants if the concentration is too high.
  3. Keep a fire extinguisher close by. Check it regularly to make sure it works.
  4. Make sure to keep containers closed when not in use. Spills can turn into a big problem when working around open flames.
  5. Be ready for spills. Keep towels or old newspapers handy.
  6. Never pour extra wax down the drain. When it hardens you will have a clog - a flammable clog.
  7. Use gloves and protective clothing when handling candle making supplies. Protect yourself from burns or skin irritation.

The melting of wax is a requirement for candle making. Before you begin, make sure to read the manufacturer’s warnings and precautions. Take special note of the flash point of the wax. This is the temperature at which the wax will catch fire.

Candle Wax Safety Checklist

  1. Melting candle wax should never be left unattended. Turn off the flame if you need to leave the room for any reason.
  2. Use a thermometer — overheated wax smokes and gives off an acrid odor moments before catching fire. Turn off the heat if you see smoke.
  3. When melting wax, don’t fill the container to the top. The fire hazard is greater if wax splashes out of the melting pot.
  4. Use a double boiler. Do not melt wax over direct heat. It can quickly reach the flash point and catch fire. You have more control with a double boiler.

Many fragrances and essential oils are made from natural products; however, just because they are natural doesn’t mean they are harmless. Fragrances and essential oils often come in highly concentrated form. They can aggravate allergies or cause skin and eye irritation if handled incorrectly.

Fragrance and Essential Oil Safety Checklist

  1. Always read the manufacturer’s label and follow the recommendations.
  2. Some essential oils become toxic when exposed to direct sunlight. Make sure you store your supplies in appropriate containers.
  3. Fragrances and essential oils often smell good enough to eat. Keep fragrances and oils away from pets and small children who may try to taste them.
  4. Keep soap and water close by. If fragrances or oils get in eyes or on skin wash immediately. Contact a doctor if irritation persists.

Candle making is a great hobby and can even be a profitable home business. Many people use candles to enhance their decor or give as gifts. By following these few simple precautions, your candle making endeavors should be safe and fun, allowing you to explore your creativity worry free.

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