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Don’t use an infrared thermometer for candle making

As a candle maker and global online educator, I prioritise accuracy and precision in every aspect of candle production. When it comes to monitoring wax temperature, I opt for the method of stirring with a digital thermometer rather than using an infrared thermometer. There are several reasons behind this decision, all of which contribute to ensuring the highest quality candles for myself and my students. I use these with my students – Digital Thermometer

candlemaking jo macfarlane

Firstly, using an infrared thermometer may not provide accurate temperature readings, especially when dealing with molten wax. Infrared heat guns measure surface temperatures, which can be affected by various factors such as ambient temperature, reflective surfaces, and distance from the target. This can lead to inconsistent readings and result in inaccurate temperature control, potentially compromising the quality of the candles.

Secondly, stirring the wax with a digital thermometer allows for direct and precise measurement of the wax temperature at different depths. Molten wax is not uniform in temperature throughout, and certain areas may be hotter or cooler than others. By stirring the wax with a digital thermometer, I can ensure that the temperature is evenly distributed and accurately measured, resulting in a more consistent candle quality.

Additionally, the process of stirring the wax with a digital thermometer provides an opportunity for thorough mixing of the wax and fragrance oil. Achieving the right viscosity and texture is crucial for producing candles with optimal burn characteristics. By actively stirring the wax while measuring the temperature, I can observe its behaviour and make necessary adjustments in real time to achieve the desired results. When you stir the wax it rises by a few degrees, that is why I encourage stirring with the digital thermometer rather than a spoon so you can gain an accurate reading.

Furthermore, the use of a digital thermometer in candle making promotes a hands-on approach. Fostering a deeper understanding of the materials and processes involved. This method allows me to teach my students not only how to monitor temperature accurately but also how to interpret the data and make informed decisions based on their observations.

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