Making your own candles is a great activity to do by yourself or with friends and allows you to creatively express yourself. You get to design your own color and fragrance for your candle to fit what you love. There are many different types of coloring agents that people use in candles, though. One of these coloring agents is mica. There’s a question that comes along with using mica, though. Is using mica safe for your candles?
Mica is better when used to add shimmer to the top of your candle instead of coloring your whole candle. There are other options that are much healthier for your candle’s lifespan. While mica is pretty and shimmery, it can cause problems with the burning of your candle.
While mica may seem like a great idea to add to your candle because it creates a shimmery melted wax, there are better options for you to choose. There are also other ways you can use mica to where it isn’t affecting the health of your candle.[cboxarea id=”cbox-w5evFBTt6PAdQlvd”]
What is Mica and What can it be Used for?
Mica is a stone mineral that has shiny flakes in it. To create the mica in question in this post, the mica stone is ground into a fine powder. The powder produced is like an ultra fine glitter because of the shiny flakes embedded in the stone. The glitter-like powder gives products a metallic or shimmery look.
Mica can be used in many ways. One of the most common ways mica is used is in cosmetic items. Shimmery cosmetics are incredibly popular and mica powder is responsible for quite a bit of the shimmery makeup on the market. It is also a mineral that naturally occurs, many makeup brands use this product to keep their products green and eco-friendly.
This shimmery powder is also popularly used in crafts. Because of its aesthetically pleasing appearance, many people use mica powder as a finishing touch in their artwork. This powder can be added to decoupage to create a shimmery finish of projects that need to be held together, brushed or painted onto clay to give the finished product a metallic finish, or even brushed onto wax stamps to give the dried wax a shimmer.
There is one way you can use mica powder in a home fragrance method. If you enjoy creating wax melts to use in your home, mica could be a great option as a coloring agent. Because there is no flame needed for the wax melts, you don’t have to worry about the mica affecting the health of the melts.
The mica will color the wax but won’t necessarily make the wax look shimmery when it’s in a solid form. Instead, the shimmery effect will be prevalent when the wax melts are warmed. Not only will you have a lovely fragrance filling the room, but you’ll also have a metallic, shimmery melt that will make your warming dish look like you have a magic potion brewing!
Why Can’t Mica be Used in Candles?
While mica is a great way to color wax melts or add shimmer to makeup and crafts, it’s not the best choice for coloring your candles. Mica is a powder and doesn’t fully dissolve into your wax. The shimmery flakes in the mica are, while very fine, still solid in the wax. This can cause problems with the burning of the candle.
When you burn a candle, wax travels up the wick, which is how the wick stays lit. The wax is the part of the candle that is actually on fire, not the wick. The wick is just the agent to channel the fire through. As the wax burns, it turns from a solid into a liquid. The cotton wick then pulls the wax up through it. Once the wax gets to the top of the wick where the flame is, it turns from a liquid into a gas and is released into the air.
When you use mica as a coloring agent in your candle, that mica goes up through the wick with your wax. Because the shimmery flakes in mica aren’t fully dissolved, you risk the chance of clogging the wick. When the wick is clogged, the wax can’t make it to the top to evaporate and will in turn stop the flame from being able to burn healthily. You’ll be met with a weak flame, if any at all.
Because of this, it’s best to stay away from mica as a coloring agent for your candle. One way you can use mica in your candle, though, is as a finishing touch. If you’ve created a jar candle, you can rub a small amount of mica along the top of the candle to create a bit of shimmer at the top. This small amount won’t have much, if any, of an affect on the wick.
If you’ve made a pillar candle, you can use mica along the sides to give it a shimmery look without having to worry about the health of your candle being affected. This will create a healthy and aesthetically pleasing candle that will make a great decoration for any time of the year.
What Should You use to Color Your Candle?
So now that we know that mica is not a great option for coloring your candle, let’s figure out what we should color our candles with. A great option for coloring your candles is dye that is specifically designed to add color to a candle. These dyes can come in liquid or solid forms.
When using solid dyes, they come in a few forms. You can purchase them as flakes or as a block. When using the solid dye method, you’ll want to keep in mind that you won’t get a super vibrant color from these. Solid dyes are better for creating pastel or medium colored candles.
If you choose to use a solid dye, you can put the dye in at the beginning of the melting process to allow the dye to melt with the wax. When the wax is melted, give it a good stir to ensure that the dye is completely mixed in with the wax and then you can add your fragrance and pour.
With liquid dyes, you can expect a more vibrant color than you would get from solid dyes. When using this kind of dye, less is more when it comes to color. You only need to use one or two drops to start out with and then add one drop at a time to get your desired color. Unlike solid dye, you can’t add this until the wax is melted. The ideal point to add this dye is at 185 degrees, which is the same time you add fragrance.
One thing to be careful of when using liquid dye is that you don’t add to much. If you add too much dye to your candle, the burn may be altered and it can throw off the scent of your finished candle. Luckily, liquid dye is a highly pigmented coloring agent so you don’t have to can be sure that you’ll get a vibrant color with even just a few drops of the dye.
Mica powder is definitely a great way to add some shimmer into your projects. Unfortunately, candles aren’t the best project to add mica into. If you enjoy wax melts, then mica powder is a great coloring agent for that. With candles, though, you should stick to using a small amount as a finishing touch if you use any at all.
A better way to color your candles is to use candle dyes in either solid or liquid forms. These coloring agents are specifically designed to color your candle and won’t provide the risk of clogging the wick and affecting your candle’s health. While it may be tempting to add some shimmer into your candle’s color, it’s better to stick with a matte color and a healthy burn than a shimmery color and little to no burn from your candle.