Thursday, June 25, 2009

All About Gel Candles

Bougies en gel

These unique and long-lasting candles are ideal for those looking for an alternative decorative candle for their home.

Gel candles do not contain paraffin but, as their name suggests, they contain a gel that burns 5 times more slowly than paraffin and which melts at 70°C (158°F) rather than 50°C (122°F). However, the gel is not suitable for adding perfumes or essential oils to, as the high temperature would destroy them.

The principle of gel candles is simple: the gel is poured into a transparent container and can be colored or embellished with objects in the container.



  • Gel for the candles
  • Dye
  • Transparent container
  • Wick with a metallic base + glue + toothpicks OR a wick stiffened with paraffin + needle
  • Nonflammable objects such as stones, sand, shells, or pieces of glass


  • 2 saucepans for making a bain marie


  • Melt the gel in the bain marie, paying attention not to get any water in the gel.
    NB: To clean saucepan afterward, allow the gel to cool and then carefully peel off it off.

  • Gradually add the dye until you have the desired shade.

  • Glue the base of the wick to the bottom of the container and keep the wick straight with the help of 2 toothpicks, 1 placed at each side of the container.

  • Pour the gel into the container.

  • Alternative method for inserting the wick:
    • Take a wick without a metallic base and dip it into melted paraffin to make it stiff.
    • Heat a needle with a candle and stick it into the cold gel. Take it out again and in its place insert the wick.



Bubbles are inevitable in every case, but you can try to make the most of them, especially for aquarium-type creations or when using a champagne glass as your container.

  • To make bubbles, introduce the gel to contrasting temperatures. Heat the gel well and stir it, then pour it into a well-cooled container and cool it abruptly in an iced bain marie.

  • In order to have the least amount of bubbles possible, do the opposite. Reheat cool gel in a bain marie and tap the side of your container so that the bubbles rise to the surface and you can burst them.

Layered Colors

  • Pour one color of gel into the container and allow it to cool completely.

  • Add another color on top of this cooled layer.

  • Repeat as many times as desired.

Decorative Items

  • Place the items in your container and then pour the gel over them.

Translation: Emma-Jane


1 comment:

  1. Fragrances can be safely added if they are "Gel Safe" fragrances. You want to look for proper flash points as well as other tests to ensure a safe and fragrant gel candle. I have been making them for over 7 years and have never had one flare up due to fragrances. You should be careful that starfish are an adequate distance from the wick. If they come to close to the flame, they can act as a second flame especially since they will absorb some of the mineral oil from the gel. Jim