Making your own candles can be a fun endeavor. For some it’s even a business venture. Selecting the best wax, wick, and fragrance can be an enjoyable process, but it’s important to take time to choose the right container as well.
Glass jars are often chosen as vessels for hand poured candles. You may search for a certain look or size, but the most important factor to consider first is whether your container can hold high heat. I would only use a Dollar Tree container with a thick base and walls in order to prevent them from shattering at high temperatures.
So let’s consider how to choose reliable containers and whether or not jars from the Dollar Tree would be the best choice.
Is Just Any Glass Jar Safe to Use for Candle Making?
Choosing the wrong candle jar can be detrimental. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, it’s simply true. If you end up using a glass jar that can’t withstand high heat, it could lead to unsafe conditions.
Firstly the jar can crack, causing wax to melt all over the surface beneath it. Secondly, more melted and unstable wax can add more fuel to the wick of a lit candle. The flame can grow too high, and then spread. Lastly, if there are flammable textiles and objects nearby, a fire could quickly spread, potentially causing property damage and loss if it isn’t contained right away.
So, not just any jar will do. You have to choose a container that’s non-flammable, and it would ideally be made of tempered glass.
If your Dollar Tree carries thick Mason jars, they would likely work well because Mason jars are definitely tempered. Heavy tumblers, glass votives, or even ceramic containers might also work. Unable to find thick glass containers at your local Dollar Tree? Search for another supply source altogether.
I wouldn’t suggest using just any old jar you can find. You might save a little money shopping at Dollar Tree but it’s not worth the risk in comparison to losing life or property from choosing a cheap, flimsy jar that could potentially explode or cause a rapid spreading fire.
What Should I Avoid When Looking for Candle Jars?
It can be easy to be drawn into what looks nice or is the perfect size container you’re looking for. But when buying candle jars, you want to be more practical.
Here are the top three things to avoid when choosing candle jars:
1. Make Sure It’s Non-Flammable
This may seem self-explanatory but it’s possible to get duped into thinking a somewhat heavy clear container is also non-flammable. It may actually be made of plastic.
There are lots of cute containers at Dollar Tree that might appear to make nice candles. But you want to turn it over and read what materials it’s made of. If there isn’t a clear indication that it’s made of non-flammable materials, leave that jar at the store.
2. Make Sure It’s Non-Porous
Porous containers such as wood or clay might absorb your wax and fragrance oils. One exception is that they’re no longer porous once they’re sealed. You could choose to pick up a sealant and apply a few coats to the container.
But the issue with taking this route is that even with a sealant, and sometimes because of it, the container would be unlikely to hold the amount of heat that candles generate.
High heat could potentially cause some sealants to soften. The container can begin to crack at high temperatures, and then you’ll have the mess that I described earlier. It’s best to just avoid porous containers and stick to non-porous ones.
3. Make Sure It Won’t Break
You might see a glass jar that appears to be a viable solution for a candle. The thing is, Dollar Tree glasses typically have thin walls. Once you light your candle and the wax pool forms, it’s possible that the glass will break.
Since inventory varies by store, there’s no way for me to say with certainty the kinds of glasses you will encounter at Dollar Tree. If you’ve found some that you think will work, all that I can suggest is that you test one out (under safe conditions) to make sure it won’t break before you buy multiple jars from Dollar Tree.
If you’re standing in Dollar Tree holding a jar in your hand, and there’s any doubt, I’d suggest you walk away and search elsewhere for a safe container.
As an aside, for some reason people are drawn to using wine glasses as candle jars. Please don’t so this unless you are certain that it’s tempered glass. In most cases, though, wine glasses are thin and volatile, and one of the worst options for candle making.
What Are the Safest Candle Jars to Use?
Apothecary jars, mason jars, salsa jars, canning jars, tureen jars, jelly jars, tumbler jars… All. The. Jars. And let’s not get started with lids. With so many options even beyond what’s listed here, how do you choose?
The primary thing that makes a candle jar safe is its ability to hold heat. If you purchase container jars from a candle making supplier, they will be able to give you manufacturer specifications. I’m sure they won’t sell jars that can’t hold hot wax without breaking, but it’s also good to have this information on hand, especially if you plan to sell your candles.
For instance, mason jars can typically hold heat that’s hotter than water’s boiling point, which is 212 degrees. The melting point for soy wax is a little over 100 degrees. Paraffin wax melts at temperatures closer to 200 degrees. Although the container you choose will also depend on the kind of wax you’re using. Choose a high temp jar to be on the safe side.
You want to avoid jars that are very narrow at the top or bottom. This can lead to uneven heating.
Wicks are chosen according to jar size. If your jar is significantly smaller at the top or bottom, then the wick might burn too hot in narrow spaces and not hot enough when it’s in a wider space.
I’m sure you can imagine all the problems that will arise from uneven burning, which can include cracking. It’s basically a waste of materials because the candle will never burn properly when a jar isn’t uniform in size.
Lastly, you want to be sure that your jar has a sturdy, flat base. You don’t want to pour hot candle wax into a container that could potentially topple over. Any unstable or top-heavy container should be avoided.
Some jars can be inexpensive and appealing, but it’s safest to only use tempered glass containers when making your own candles.
Keep in mind that jars are only one part of the equation. If you are new to the process, consider a scented candle making kit that comes with all necessary supplies including jars or tins ready to use.
Otherwise, do your research. Finding the best container, wick, wax, and fragrance combinations take time. You have to consider the type of jar, its size, wax type, the size of your wick, and so forth. Allow yourself to go through the process because patience can help you avoid dangerous situations in the long run.