If you spend a ton of time around friends who make candles, you’re probably tempted to get into the hobby yourself. Candle makers take advantage of this cool tool called a heat gun to help them melt their wax and get it ready for pouring. This is because candle wax needs a controlled temperature to bond properly.
If you don’t have a heat gun, you might be wondering what you can use instead. A hair dryer will be the closest tool, but will it work? The average temperature that wax will melt ranges between 175 degrees Fahrenheit and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Hair dryers only reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This means it is not suitable for melting wax.
However, if you have a small blemish in your already cured wax candle, a blow dryer might be able to help you fix the imperfection. The air is still hot coming from the blow dryer, so the constant flow of air will still be able to melt a small amount of wax for imperfections.
Can You Melt Wax With a Hair Dryer?
A hair dryer isn’t ideal for melting a large amount of wax, such as for candle making, but it can be beneficial if you need to melt some wax on a cured candle. If you notice that the top of your candle isn’t smooth, you can use a blow dryer to fix it. A blow dryer will also be useful if you have a candle that isn’t lighting.
Grab the candle that you are having an issue with and grab your hair dryer. Turn the hair dryer on high heat and direct the air toward the top of the candle. Wait for the entire top layer of wax to melt evenly. This will help you create a smooth surface on the top of the candle.
If you are having issues with the candle not lighting, it is likely due to your wick being partially covered by wax from previous burning. You will do the same thing as you would to smooth the candle, but you are going to need to dig out the wick with a pair of tweezers. You can also pour some of the wax out if there is just too much.
Can I Use a Hair Dryer Instead of a Heat Gun for Candles?
While you could technically use a hair dryer instead of a heat gun, it won’t do a very good job. A heat gun can range in temperature from about 200 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. A hair dryer will only reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning a heat gun can be as much at 10 times hotter than a hair dryer.
If you just need to heat up a small portion of a candle, a hair dryer will be fine. For any other circumstance, you will need to use a heat gun for the best results. You will have the best results using a hair dryer in place of a heat gun when you are trying to remove spilled candle wax or fix small indents in your candle to make them appear smoother.
How Do You Melt Candle Wax Without Fire?
The most common way to melt candle wax without using fire is with a double boiler method. First, you will need to fill a large pot about halfway with water and put it on your stove or a hot plate to heat up. The steam from the hot water is what will melt the wax.
You will also need a smaller pan or glass bowl that will fit on top of the pot without touching the water. Put the wax in the smaller pan or bowl and place it in the pot on medium heat. The wax will start melting. Watch the temperature to make sure it doesn’t get any hotter than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is extremely important that you do not leave the double boiler unattended at any time. If the wax overheats, it has the potential of catching on fire or changing the chemistry of the wax. This can cause the wax to not set right, and your candle won’t burn properly. You will also notice problems with your fragrance and the appearance of your candle.
If you don’t have a hot plate or stove available to you, you can also melt the wax in the microwave. This gives you less control over the heat, but it is great if you are in a small area without a lot of working space.
Put your wax in a microwave-safe bowl and put it in the microwave on high heat for about five minutes. If the microwave doesn’t spin on its own, you will need to stop at the halfway point so you can stir it, then put it back in the microwave.
After five minutes, stir the wax completely to make sure it’s melted. If the wax isn’t liquid yet, you can put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
Do not heat the wax too much, or you can experience negative side effects in the wax. This includes not binding properly with the fragrance oils and not adhering properly to the container you put it in.
We recommend using a Candle Making Pouring Pot like this one from Amazon if you plan on using the double boiler method.
How Do You Melt Candle Wax Quickly?
The first step in getting your candle wax to melt quickly is to break the wax up into small pieces if it didn’t come in pellets. You can do this with a sharp knife, cutting each piece to a maximum of one-inch wide. If your wax is already in pellet form, don’t worry about breaking it up further.
It is much better to cut the wax into smaller pieces for it to melt faster than it is to turn the heat up. When you increase the heat, you run the risk of overheating and burning the wax, ruining the wax completely.
On a double boiler, it will take the wax about 15 minutes to melt. If you use a microwave, it will likely only take 5 minutes to melt the wax. However, the quickest way isn’t always the best way. When you heat the wax in the microwave, it has a higher chance of heating unevenly and creating hot spots in the wax.
Since a hair dryer and a heat gun look the same and have similar purposes, it’s common to think that the two can be used in place of each other. However, a hair dryer can only reach about 140 degrees Fahrenheit and a heat gun can reach as high as 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wax melts between 175 degrees Fahrenheit and 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hotter than what a hair dryer can reach. It does make a great option for quick fixes and imperfections on a cured candle. Since you aren’t heating as much wax, the consistent heat from the blow dryer will be enough to slowly melt textures.
Wax melts pretty quickly, taking only 15 minutes to melt on a double boiler. You can also use a microwave, which takes about 5 minutes, but there is a higher chance that the wax will heat unevenly.