Wax Recycling - Storage Techniques
By Bob Sherman
This article was originally written in 1998 and has been rewritten, modernized, and modified for this web site. A popular question when I teach classes is what to do with the scrap wax - probably because there are always hundreds of pounds of wax scraps laying around my shop. In this article I will describe various strategies for storing bits and pieces of leftover wax, as well as scraps. I have also included photos showing how I handle various quantities of leftover wax in my shop.
Wax is never actually garbage and can be used and reused until it is consumed by flame. By using a logical storage approach you can recycle nearly every drop and save money at the same time.
PLEASE NOTE!! - Candle making can be dangerous if proper safety procedures are not followed. Please read these Safety Rules before attempting any candle making projects.
The vast majority of my wax available for recycling is what I term scrap wax. In this category I include mixed colors, floor scrapings, worktable scrapings, melt off from bottom leveling, candle drippings and leftovers, seam trimmings, etc...
|Keep a pan in your work area for small scraps.||Any wax containing mixed colors should be stored together. Using mixed colors will result in a reddish brown wax. I use this for firestarters and citronella candles.|
If you have the space in your shop, sort scraps into separate boxes by color family - mixed, whites, reds, yellows, blues, and greens.
Hint: If your scraps have dirt, pieces of wick, carbon, etc... in them this may be removed easily by melting then pouring through a paper towel to filter out any solids.
|Larger quantities of solid color wax may be separated for use in candles.|
Leftover Wax - Small Quantities
Small quantities of wax left over from pouring can be used for future chunk candles. I use two main wax formulas for most of my molded candles - a floating candle formula and one for all other molded candles. Because it is unwise to use waxes of different formulas in the same chunk candle, I have devised this method for telling them apart at a glance.
If you don't plan to use these for chunk candles, they may be marked with the scent and color for later melt down and reuse when you make another batch of the same.
|Floating candle wax leftovers are poured into empty metal floater molds. For variety, vary the wax level in each mold. These may be broken up or used as is.||All other wax leftovers are poured into empty votive molds. For variety, vary the wax level in each mold. These may be broken up or used as is.|
|Simply keep some extra molds handy at the back of your work bench to conveniently pour out wax remnants.|
Leftover Wax - Large Quantities
Large quantities of leftover wax should be re slabbed for use next time you need that scent / color. The following method will help you organize this.
|Pour the leftover wax into pans. I use 8 inch square baking pans for this.||After the wax cools use a knife, nail, or other pointy object to engrave the details about that wax such as scent, color, and wax formula.|
|These slabs may be stacked on a shelf or stored in cartons to keep dust off them.|
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Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and common candle making practices as of the time of this writing Originally published in 1998 and updated in September 2006 and July 2011. The author and the publisher accept no liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented in this article. This article is presented for informational purposes and is used at your own risk.
Author: Bob Sherman
Publisher: Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc.
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