Wax comes out of my solar melter clean enough for candle dipping most of the time. I like solar melting...simple and low cost. Mine is an old styrofoam cooler with piece of salvaged glass on the top. Inside I put a small bucket with muslin or cheesecloth tied to cover the top. The wax remnants are placed on the cloth and the glass placed on the top of the cooler. Oh...put some water in the bucket...an inch or so. That will make it easy to get the wax out later.
As Barry said, a solar wax melter is the best. they can be cobbed together from about anything, or an expensive one can be purchased from any of the beekeeping supply companies. You can also buy candle molds, wicks, oils for scented candles, etc. Or you can make candles the old fashioned way, by dipping a wick repeatedly in molten wax, letting the wax build up until the desired thickness is reached. To melt the wax pieces and cakes, always use a double boiler. Do not melt wax over an open flame, it is highly flammable. Ohertwise-it wouldn't be much good for candles. Good luck, and keep us posted-preferably with photos of the candles.
My melter is like Barry's, except I have been using the heavy "shop" paper towels as filters. Works great! The down side to that is I think the paper towel soaks up more wax than cheesecloth, which is then lost to you. Oh, and if you think to save time and effort by using rubber bands instead of tying the strainer to the bucket, don't bother. The rubber bands snap in the heat.
Hi Debbie, :wave:
Welcome to another beek from the eastern side of the Atlantic.
A lot of the wax's impurities disssolve in the water at the bottom of the collecting container. By running the wax through the solar melter a few times, you can get yourself a nice light colored wax from the meltings of dark combs. Each time you melt it into the water it comes out a bit cleaner.
When in late summer the intensity of the sun makes melting the wax slower, by setting up mirrors to direct more light and heat) into your extractor you can speed up the process.
Making the candles themselves is done either by repeatedly dipping a wick in a deep melted wax (follow Gunsmith's instructions) or by pouring hot wax into an upside down rubber mold with a wick threaded out the top (which is at the botom when upside down). Make sure the mold isn't bent and the wick is taut, otherwise the wick won't stay in the center of the candle and it won't be much good for burning.