How To Melt Aluminum Cans For Casting

How are wax melts different than candles?

Melts come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes, colors, and scents but ultimately serve the same purpose: to melt over a hot surface and release fragrance into a room.

You can think of wax melts as a sister to candles with the most obvious difference being the size and wick – wax melts have no wick.

If you’re learning to make them yourself, you’ll find it has a much shorter learning curve than candles.

Wicks are the most difficult part of a candle design because improper wicking leads to safety issues and can even ruin the hot throw of your candle.  Melts (also called “tarts” by some sellers) work around this problem by simply melting the wax over a hot plate.

Hot plates, like flames on wicks, range in temperature which can change how effective a melt is.

For the most part wax melts last 3-12 hours before evaporating all their scent.

When making wax melts yourself there are four guiding principles to follow.

1. Wax type makes a difference

Melts go through four stages in life:

  1. Poured directly into a mold
  2. Removed from the mold
  3. Placed into a warmer
  4. Removed from the warmer

Since they’re “removed” from somewhere multiple times, waxes that “release” them easier are often better to use.

The technical term is called “mold release”.

Another property that helps, but isn’t always required, is a higher melt point.

Waxes with lower melt points may not hold up in warmer conditions, whether that’s storage or shipping, and end up being a sloppy mess.  None of that matters if you’re in the right climate or not concerned with their pre-melting appearance in any way.

Three proven waxes for wax melts

IGI 4625Paraffin, very hard to break
Golden Wax 444 (GW 444)Soy, popular with a higher melt point than other soy waxes
IGI 6006Parasoy, versatile for melts and candles alike

2. Different warmers produce different results

You might create the perfect wax melt but if it’s used in a warmer that’s too hot or too cool you won’t get the best performance from it.

The theory goes, every wax melt has an ideal melt pool temperature range for scent throw.  It’s different for every wax melt design because it depends on factors like wax, fragrance oil, and any additives used in the candle.

If the warmer heats the wax up too hot, most of the notes will evaporate before they have a chance to lift off into local air currents.  Too cool, and there won’t be enough activity at all.

Just like Goldilocks, finding a warmer that heats your wax melt in the right range ensures MAXIMUM scent throw.

Fortunately, wax melts are quite forgiving and you shouldn’t struggle too much to make it work.

3. You can add a lot of items to melts that can’t be added to candles

The bummer about candles is how sensitive they are to particular ingredients.

Since the primary method of burning is an open flame supported by a wick, anything that doesn’t agree with EITHER of those items is completely off limits.

For example, small particle-based colors (pigments) like crayons or mica powder will actually clog the wick – and it doesn’t take much.  Clogged wicks won’t draw enough fuel to support the fire and will make the candle self extinguish.

On the other hand, an open flame means there’s a strong potential for items to burn if the wrong ingredients are used.  Some people add literal coffee beans and leaves to their candles in excess which either burn or get torched and give off a horrible smell.

Wax melts solve both of those problems.

Since the wax melt just has to melt without a wick or open flame, you can use most of those off-limits ingredients like glitter or mica powder.  Both offer a plethora of creative options for making melts.

4. No shape or color is off limits

The other major benefit of a wax melt is that you have full creative license over the shape and color!

Some people feel restricted by candle making because you only have a few options for shapes and sizes.  While there are some interesting candle shapes, they’re either A) too decorative to perform well or B) completely impractical for burning.

While this tutorial is completed using standard clamshell molds, you can pour wax melts into literally any shape you want!

The ability to create silicone molds into anything you want unlocks millions of varieties and is only limited by your creativity.

Method

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer

Use the double boiler method.
Use the double boiler method.

Fill a saucepan with around 300ml of water and bring it to a simmer on the hob.

2. Melt the beeswax, coconut oil & candle dye

Give it a good stir.
Give it a good stir.

Put the beeswax, coconut oil and candle dye into the heat-proof glass bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water so that it begins to heat up. Use a large spoon to gently stir the ingredients as it melts.

TOP TIP: Coconut oil has a whole host of incredible beauty benefits, too. Use up your leftovers with one of our favourite methods. 

3. Add essential oil

Use any combination you like!
Use any combination you like!

When the oil and beeswax have combined, take them off the heat. Add the essential oil of your choice and stir well.

Did you know that essential oils have over 40 amazing uses? Take a look!

4. Pour into moulds

An ice cube tray works wonders!
An ice cube tray works wonders!

Evenly distribute your wax melt mixture into the ice cube tray. (Note: You should choose a tray with small cavities so that the melts will fit in a burner!)

Ice cube trays are an absolute must in any household – take a look at the many weird and wonderful uses for them now.

5. Enjoy your wax melts!

They smell so good!
They smell so good!

Leave the tray in a cool place and allow the wax melts to solidify. After a couple of hours, your homemade wax melts will be ready to use. You can pop them out of the tray and store them in some Tupperware or a sealable bag. Simple.

Video

Microwave for Melting Crayons

This is one of the easiest and less dangerous methods of melting wax. There is no risk of getting burnt with hot kitchen supplies when using an oven. Just put on a mitt while holding the hot container with wax and pouring it into molds.

You should also use special microwave-safe containers, thus, melting the crayons in molds cannot be done in a microwave.

Get Off Wrappers and Cut Crayons

Remove the label paper from the crayons. This may take several minutes, so you can try to attract kids to engage in the process, as well. They will enjoy this activity for sure. If you don’t tear the wrappers off, the wax will melt with the paper and turn into a waxy and greasy mess.

If you have trouble peeling off the wrappers, appl

If you have trouble peeling off the wrappers, apply the techniques recommended above. Use a craft knife and score the paper, or soak the coloring tools in hot water.

Sort crayons by similar colors if you are planning to make one-colored pieces. If you don’t want to focus on grouping them, put different colors together.

Cut the crayons into smaller bits to reduce the melting time.

Put Crayons In Plastic or Glass Container

To melt the crayons in microwave oven, we need a special microwave-friendly container (or a disposable one). An old coffee mug, a glass jar, or even paper cups will suit.

If you melt multiple colors, use a separate bowl for each shade.

Place the crayon pieces in the container. If you feel inclined to make candles, add shaved wax and a few drops of essential oil to the vessel. To make lipsticks, you may need some oil (almond, olive, or coconut) and a few drops of fragrance as well.

Use Microwave for Melting

You can melt multiple containers at a time, but don’t overcrowd the oven. The best way is to melt them one at a time or heat them in small batches.

Place the containers in the center of the turning table in the microwave oven. Set the temperature to “warm” or “high” mode. Heat the crayons for 2-4 minutes. All these electric devices have different capacity, and the crayons might melt sooner.

Keep an eye on the containers. Pause the process every 30-60 seconds and stir the melting mess with a spoon or a wooden stick.

Do you want to try alternative drawing tools? Then do not be lazy to see a selection of the coolest colored pencils for artwork.

Pour Melted Crayons in Molds

The wax can be also used for making candles. You mOnce the crayons are melted into wax, you can pour it into candy/muffin/soap molds to create fun-shaped pieces.

The wax can be also used for making candles. You may add glitter to the mixture, but stir it well in the container. Don’t add glitter before melting, because it may interfere with the work of the electric appliance.

Now, cool the molds or freeze them for quicker results (read the above instructions). Remove the crayons from the molds.

A few tips to know before getting started:

  • Get to know your microwave- only heat your candy melts at 30-50% power, not any higher than that!
  • Colored candy melts are very concentrated, you don’t need tons of colored disks to get a bright color. Add them to white candy melts to get the color you desire.
  • Be very patient while warming your candy melts and plan for them to take about 20-40 minutes to be melted properly.
  • You can easily get the candy melts too hot; they will get thicker and clumpier the hotter they get.
  • It goes against everything we know about chocolate, but sometimes letting candy melts sit and cool will help more than stirring them.
  • It is easier to melt more candy melts at once rather than less.
  • Fresh candy melts seem to work better than candy melts that have been stored for a while (3+ months).

Did You Know?

Re-melting aluminum to recycle it is far less expensive and uses less energy than producing new aluminum from the electrolysis of aluminum oxide (Al2O3). Recycling uses about 5% of the energy needed to make the metal from its raw ore. About 36% of aluminum in the United States comes from recycled metal. Brazil leads the world in aluminum recycling. The country recycles 98.2% of its aluminum cans.

3. Melt Gold with The Furnace

If you want to melt a large amount of gold for your DIY projects, investing in an electric furnace might be a good idea.

  1. The two types of furnaces you can use for gold melting are the induction furnace and resistance furnace. The best part is that the furnaces come in different sizes so that you can opt for a small, cost-efficient one for your home projects.
  2. Furnaces not only come in handy when melting medium to large quantities of gold; they also don’t have a big impact on the environment. These equipment use magnetic currents to melt gold, and the currents are sent to the internal graphite crucible.
  3. Furnaces melt gold evenly, which is a plus, especially for DIY jewelers who depend on their metals with consistent structure and texture. It is also easier to control the temperatures when working with either an induction or resistance furnace, which come with a temperature range of up to 2732 F. This is particularly important when melting pieces containing gold and other metals. The ability to control temperatures allows you to extract gold without destroying the other metals.
  4. Furnaces also protect the melting gold from oxidation, ensuring that the final product is free of impurities and an unsightly oxidation film, which affects the aesthetics of the items you make using the melted gold.

Melt Gold From Home  Safely and Efficiently

Melted gold is versatile and adaptable, giving you numerous ways to use this precious metal.

Whether you want to resell or use it for crafts, being able to melt gold on your own can save you money and time and help you improve your metallurgy know-how.  A simple propane torch and crucible will get the job done but consider investing in a furnace for larger projects.

We hope you have fun converting your gold pieces or fine powder into liquid gold. Please leave your comments below and let us know if you tried melting gold at home!

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