Gel Candles Demystified

Before I say anything else, I have to tell you that gel candles are invariably better looking than traditional wax candles. That is not surprising, considering the fact that their unique nature means that gel candles need not be completely solid in appearance.

So they can be translucent and multi-colored, and offer ample scope for ornamentation. For instance, some manufacturers embed small colorful items like seashells and beads within the gel to come up with an exclusive look, or there are others who add swirls of color to their gel candles, creating a lovely work of art.

From experience, I have also found that gel candles last nearly twice as long as ordinary wax candles. Only a couple of days ago, as I was browsing through the stock at my regular candle-supplies store, I heard a woman place an order for 20 gel candles. When she caught me looking at her, she explained, “They’re for our mountain cabin. We didn’t want to spoil the ambience with electric lighting, and these candles each last at least three evenings!” In the case of aromatic gel candles, of course, this means longer-lasting light and fragrance.

However, some people still have a few misgivings about gel candles, primarily, I suspect, because they burn at much higher temperatures than wax candles. My answer to all these people would be, adopt certain safety precautions, follow manufacturer’s instructions, and you’ll be fine! Besides, most respectable gel candle makers take great care to ensure that the glassware that contains the gel is strong enough to withstand the high temperatures and doesn’t crack, because not only does a gel candle produce high temperatures, but it does so for a longer time, since it burns much longer than a wax candle. Having said that, one of the basic precautions to use with gel candles is not to move a lighted or just snuffed out gel candle. Wait until it has cooled before you pick it up.

The other supposed drawback of gel candles is that they cost a lot. In reply, I would say that the price is entirely justified considering the durability of the candles.

Because they are easy to make, and supplies are abundantly available, gel candles have also become a great favorite with amateur candle makers.

That is how I started out making these candles at home, and in no time at all, they had become a rage among my friends and acquaintances. The logical next step for any amateur candle maker is to set up a small business in gel candles, and in fact, such businesses are now burgeoning, as a casual online search will tell you.

Estelle Rodriguez of Sacramento is a 36-year-old single mother who runs a small gel candle business that employs three people. We have friends in common, and the last time I saw her, Estelle complained that such was the popularity of her supplies that she was almost afraid of new orders coming through and was seriously thinking of shifting her home-based ‘manufacturing unit’ to larger premises and taking on more staff.

However, if you do start making gel candles at home, please be sure to adopt all the required precautions such as those to protect your skin. Also, make sure you use the right kind of glassware.

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