If you’ve made candles before, you’ll know that having the correct pouring temperature is essential. To measure this, you need a thermometer, but what kind?
These days, you can buy digital thermometers, metal thermometers, glass thermometers, ones designed for meat, for candy, and even infrared thermometers pretty quickly in your local shops or online. To avoid getting the wrong one, in this article, we’re going to discuss which thermometers work the best when making candles.
When candle making, you can use any thermometer to measure the temperature of the candle wax before pouring. However, an infrared thermometer might be more accurate at reading the temperature of the whole container of wax, and you might find a metal thermometer lasts longer than a glass one, as these tend to break.
This article will consider the benefits and drawbacks of the different kinds of thermometers you can use when candle making.
Can You Use a Normal Thermometer for Candle Making?
When making candles, you will need a thermometer at four different points in the process. You will need to measure the heating temperature, melting point temperature, additive temperature, and pouring temperature.
It is challenging to make candles without a thermometer, as you will not be sure when to move on to each stage in the process.
Any thermometer you have should be able to give you a general indication of the heat of the wax at different points in the process. However, if you want to get precise and ensure you’re completing each step of the process at the optimum time, it is worth considering what kind of thermometer you have around.
Some of the different types of thermometers you might have already include:
- A sugar thermometer: If you make your jam or are into cooking and baking, you might have one of these around. These work well for candle making and can be put into the candle wax for an accurate reading. More about these is below.
- A meat thermometer: These are used to ensure that meat is properly cooked all the way through, without having to cut a large joint of meat open. The temperature scale on these thermometers only ranges from 130 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit (53 to 88 degrees Celsius), which is not broad enough for measuring candle wax, which could get much hotter or colder than this. Therefore, a meat thermometer should not be used in the candle-making process, as it is unlikely to provide you with an accurate reading.
- A digital thermometer: Digital thermometers are becoming a more popular choice, and if you have one of these around the house, you’ll know that they can be used for pretty much anything. It should be able to cope with the varying temperatures of candle wax, though be sure to check the instructions on your particular thermometer. Since they tend to have screens to display the temperature, they typically switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius easily too, which is great if you’re using various instructions that require different measurements.
- An infrared thermometer: If you have an infrared thermometer around the house, this can be used to give you a general indication of the temperature of candle wax. However, these aren’t recommended for candle making since they cannot read the temperature of all of the wax, only the surface. Depending on your own candle-making process, this may or may not make a difference to you.
Can You Use a Candy Thermometer for Candle Making?
A candy thermometer, or a sugar thermometer, is usually used for making sweets or jam. It typically deals with temperatures around 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius to 392 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
This means that a candy thermometer is a good choice for measuring the temperature of candle wax, as it should fall within this range. You should find that most candy thermometers have scales in both Fahrenheit and Celsius and are quite simple to read.
If you have a sugar thermometer, it should also last quite a while as they use Mercury to measure temperature, which means they are reliable.
Can You Use an Infrared Thermometer for Candle Making?
An infrared thermometer will only take the temperature of the surface of the wax you are melting. However, the outside temperature of the wax is not the same as what the temperature is on the inside. Therefore, it is difficult to get an accurate reading with an infrared thermometer during candle making.
Apart from this flaw, you can still use an infrared thermometer for candle making, should you wish. It will give you a general idea of the temperature of the wax, and if you are using a shallow container, this might not be too dissimilar to the temperature of all of the liquid.
Which Thermometer Is Good for Candle Making?
Maybe you’re new to candle-making, and you want to make sure you’re starting this hobby with all of the right equipment. If you’re looking to purchase a new thermometer in order to make candles, what kind of thing should you be looking for?
Thermometers generally fall into two categories, contact or remote.
As their name indicates, contact thermometers are able to give the temperature of a solid or liquid by being in direct contact with the object or substance in question.
A contact thermometer is used by most people who need one to measure the temperature of candle wax. They are affordable and accurate, and there are different types of contact thermometers, which we will cover in a minute.
To check the current price and availability of Contact Thermometers, click here to view the selection on Amazon.
Remote thermometers do the opposite and are able to read the temperature of either a solid or liquid from a distance. For this reason, they can often be less accurate, despite being more expensive than contact thermometers.
They do allow you to distance yourself from the hot wax while candle-making if this is something you are concerned about.
To check the current price and availability of Remote Thermometers, click here to view the selection on Amazon.
Other Things to Consider:
What thermometer is best for you depends on how accurate you need it to be. The best thermometers will be + or – 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit or better, so look out for accuracy claims when you are finding a thermometer to buy.
While you don’t need a particularly precise thermometer in order to make candles successfully, it can be a reassuring guide that will inform you exactly when the boiling and pouring temperatures are correct.
Ease of Use:
Another thing to consider is how easy the thermometer is to use. The most expensive thermometers might have lots of different buttons for various functions, but if you’re just using a thermometer to measure the temperature of candle wax, these fancy functions probably aren’t necessary.
Invest in something that you know you’ll be able to use right away, and that will provide you with a quick, easily readable temperature, so you know whether your candle wax is behaving as it should. A digital thermometer is probably the easiest option for most people looking to buy a new thermometer.
It can provide quick, accurate readings in both Fahrenheit and in Celsius and can cope with an extensive range of temperatures. Whatever thermometer you’re using, be sure to always check the instructions.