Using Crisco/shortening in candle making, and also cleaning paraffin

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Anstarx

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I bought a bag of vegetable shortening for soap making but I only use it a little at a time. It has a long shelf life but I'd love to find some other uses while it's just sitting there..
Which made me turned to candle making.
I've read about using crisco as emergency candle/fuel. My shortening isn't the crisco brand but is also made from hydrogenanted vegetable oil (palm and soy) and worked pretty similiar.
It's softer than soy wax (but still pretty solid at room temp) so I figured it's not good for pillar candles, but should be good for container. I just bought some tea light containers on sale and thought I could blend it with soy wax to make tea lights or small container candles. Had anyone experimented with using crisco/shortening in candle making? What percentage do you use and how does it behave?

Also, I'm considering picking up some paraffin wax to make pillar candles and wax tags. I heard it's not as easy to clean as soy wax because it's mineral-based? Can you clean paraffin wax with regular soap and hot water like you with soy wax?
 

Quanta

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I bought a bag of vegetable shortening for soap making but I only use it a little at a time. It has a long shelf life but I'd love to find some other uses while it's just sitting there..
Which made me turned to candle making.
I've read about using crisco as emergency candle/fuel. My shortening isn't the crisco brand but is also made from hydrogenanted vegetable oil (palm and soy) and worked pretty similiar.
It's softer than soy wax (but still pretty solid at room temp) so I figured it's not good for pillar candles, but should be good for container. I just bought some tea light containers on sale and thought I could blend it with soy wax to make tea lights or small container candles. Had anyone experimented with using crisco/shortening in candle making? What percentage do you use and how does it behave?
I've never used it for that, but I've heard of it being done with shortening by itself. As far as I know, you can't put additives in it like fragrance and dye but I'd be interested in what you discover if you decide to experiment. Usually, things that are substituted for emergencies are only used that way in emergencies because it's not as suitable as the stuff that's more normally used.

Also, I'm considering picking up some paraffin wax to make pillar candles and wax tags. I heard it's not as easy to clean as soy wax because it's mineral-based? Can you clean paraffin wax with regular soap and hot water like you with soy wax?
I have no idea what you're talking about. Why would you wash wax with hot soapy water? The only wax I've ever bought (paraffin, soy, candelilla, carnauba, and even beeswax) have been clean already when I got them. Sometimes it's even in flake or granule form that you would have a hard time washing and drying. Where are you buying your wax from that it's getting dirty? It should be wrapped in something to keep it clean. Unless you mean you have to filter it somehow?
 
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I'm not into making candles myself, but I tried out once to use refined palm oil as a candle fuel. It works, but it smells like something has burnt in the kitchen, or like over-used frying oil. You can just give it a try. Stick a tealight wick into your shortening, and judge if you would consider it tolerable.

I heard it's not as easy to clean as soy wax because it's mineral-based? Can you clean paraffin wax with regular soap and hot water like you with soy wax?
I guess you mean cleaning up the workplace after making the candles? My first priority would be to not make a mess 🤣, and to put old newspaper underneath every spot in spilling danger. I imagine cleaning up tools, moulds etc. about equally tedious with waxes regardless if they are based on vegetable oils, wax esters, or mineral oil.
 

Quanta

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I guess you mean cleaning up the workplace after making the candles? My first priority would be to not make a mess 🤣, and to put old newspaper underneath every spot in spilling danger. I imagine cleaning up tools, moulds etc. about equally tedious with waxes regardless if they are based on vegetable oils, wax esters, or mineral oil.
Ahh, that makes more sense. It didn't occur to me because I don't have to clean up because I don't make a mess. I usually wipe my tools and wax melting pots with paper towels while the wax is still warm. If I did use soap and water, I would still use a paper towel because I don't want wax in my rags or sponges. So if I'm using a paper towel anyway, I'd rather use it dry.

Regardless, if you use aluminum pillar molds, you can't get them wet anyway. You have to heat those in the oven after unmolding, and wipe out with a dry paper towel.
 

Anstarx

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@Quanta @ResolvableOwl
Thanks for the input, guess I will just have to experiment with ratios. I will report back the results on this thread if I experimented.
And yes, I meant cleaning up the workplace hahaha. I try to protect my surface as much as I can and I rarely make messes, but I'm mostly concerned with my beakers. I use glass beakers (the kind you use in labs) for candle making but I use them for other stuff, too, like melting MP soap. I was using soy wax so I can clean it free of any soy wax residue using soap and hot water, so I wonder if the same can be done to paraffin. I will buy candle-dedicated beakers once I'm sure candle-making is something I want to do, but they are a big investment.
 

Quanta

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@Quanta @ResolvableOwl
Thanks for the input, guess I will just have to experiment with ratios. I will report back the results on this thread if I experimented.
And yes, I meant cleaning up the workplace hahaha. I try to protect my surface as much as I can and I rarely make messes, but I'm mostly concerned with my beakers. I use glass beakers (the kind you use in labs) for candle making but I use them for other stuff, too, like melting MP soap. I was using soy wax so I can clean it free of any soy wax residue using soap and hot water, so I wonder if the same can be done to paraffin. I will buy candle-dedicated beakers once I'm sure candle-making is something I want to do, but they are a big investment.
I recommend a metal melting pot intended for candle making. Your wax will melt much more quickly in the water bath that way. I used to use borosilicate glass measuring cups (intended for kitchen use) but once I got my aluminum ones, I could really tell the difference. Also, the ones for candles have handles that do not transfer heat, so you can always pick it up without having to protect your hands from the heat of the beaker. Leave the handle out of the water bath of course. I always have a hard time heating things in my lab beakers (I have those too) in a water bath because the entire thing gets hot. Sometimes I have to use tongs to get it out and my tongs aren't meant for that so it's tricky. Even more tricky if you're melting a lot of wax for multiple candles and it gets heavy.
 

Anstarx

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I recommend a metal melting pot intended for candle making. Your wax will melt much more quickly in the water bath that way. I used to use borosilicate glass measuring cups (intended for kitchen use) but once I got my aluminum ones, I could really tell the difference. Also, the ones for candles have handles that do not transfer heat, so you can always pick it up without having to protect your hands from the heat of the beaker. Leave the handle out of the water bath of course. I always have a hard time heating things in my lab beakers (I have those too) in a water bath because the entire thing gets hot. Sometimes I have to use tongs to get it out and my tongs aren't meant for that so it's tricky. Even more tricky if you're melting a lot of wax for multiple candles and it gets heavy.
I have stainless steel pitchers but they are too massive for my teeny tiny test batches, 40g wax would just disappear in my 500ml pitcher. I also don't use water bath since I have a small electric stove that I can adjust the temp. If I need the wax to melt faster I will just turn the temp up a bit. And with a glass beaker, I found as long as I just lift it by the top rim it's actually not very hot, at least safe for me to transfer it to a coaster.
 

Quanta

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I have stainless steel pitchers but they are too massive for my teeny tiny test batches, 40g wax would just disappear in my 500ml pitcher. I also don't use water bath since I have a small electric stove that I can adjust the temp. If I need the wax to melt faster I will just turn the temp up a bit. And with a glass beaker, I found as long as I just lift it by the top rim it's actually not very hot, at least safe for me to transfer it to a coaster.
I wouldn't put the pitcher directly on the stovetop. Not unless you actually have a temperature display on the stove, and you have verified its accuracy with a thermometer. Otherwise, it could start a fire that you can't extinguish with water. I would still always use a water bath for safety. I have an aluminum pitcher that has a capacity of 1.25 pounds of wax (so about the size of yours, more or less), and I used it a few days ago to make three wax melts for a FO test, and those are smaller than tealights.

ETA: Using a water bath also means you have much more even heating, whereas with a stovetop, it is usually very uneven and you could get hot spots.
 

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Crisco or shortening will soften your wax, consume very quickly and cause harsh soot. It was an old trick people used to use way back before blends, or soy were available. It would also help with hot throw because back then they really didn't have all the wicking options they have now,
If it were me, I'd find another use other than candles for your shortening. I definitely would not recommend it for candlemaking.
NEVER put wax on direct heat (well, paraffin and palm, I don't work with soy, so I'm not sure) wax on direct heat can heat up too fast and combust causing a fire. So you really shouldn't use a stovetop. Easiest way to melt wax is using a presto pot, then pouring your melted wax into an aluminum pour pot. All inexpensive and can be easily found on Amazon.

using soap and hot water, so I wonder if the same can be done to paraffin.
No, soap and water won't clean paraffin wax. The easiest way to clean paraffin up is to heat it with a heat gun and then wipe it up with a paper towel, or if it's on the counter, just scrape it off with a putty knife.
Once you make candles a couple times, it gets easier to have smaller messes.
 

Anstarx

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@Quanta @jcandleattic
Thank you for the advices.
The stove I described is more of a hot plate similar to this and even smaller, like palm size, so it's hard to find a pot small enough to fit on it without topple over. It's usually used a portable device to make tea on the go here. If I use the lowest setting it will never go hotter than 70c and that's what I used to make shampoo bars, solid perfume, etc.
I'll try the double broiler method once I cleaned out my spare pot that I don't use for cooking any more.

I thought you want softer wax for containers so it sticks well? I've tried soy wax 100% in containers in the past and it doesn't stick very well. I've got some coconut wax from previous experiment buys and it's soft, even softer than shortening at room temp, and it's recommended to make blends with soy to make container candles, which inspired me to have the candle idea in the first place.

As for paraffin, guess I will have to scrap-paper-tower-proof my work bench and give it its own pitcher ;)
 

jcandleattic

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I thought you want softer wax for containers so it sticks well?
Softer waxes have lower melt points, that's why you want a softer wax for containers, not because of adhesion, although that is a perk of soft waxes. You want the lower melt point so the wax doesn't burn as hot, and be a potential hazard to the container itself.
There is no wax available that will give 100% adhesion in every situation. That's why most candlemakers give up on trying to get rid of wet spots. It's aesthetic only, and 99% of the time, consumers either don't notice them, or don't care.
 

Anstarx

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Softer waxes have lower melt points, that's why you want a softer wax for containers, not because of adhesion, although that is a perk of soft waxes. You want the lower melt point so the wax doesn't burn as hot, and be a potential hazard to the container itself.
There is no wax available that will give 100% adhesion in every situation. That's why most candlemakers give up on trying to get rid of wet spots. It's aesthetic only, and 99% of the time, consumers either don't notice them, or don't care.
Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification. I don't care much about wet spots, either, as these candles are just for myself and friends. I was mostly inspired because I saw a post on other forums blending soy wax and coconut oil (yes oil, not wax) for container candles. Guess I will use the shortening to make test batch soaps...
 

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Crisco or shortening will soften your wax, consume very quickly and cause harsh soot. It was an old trick people used to use way back before blends, or soy were available. It would also help with hot throw because back then they really didn't have all the wicking options they have now,
If it were me, I'd find another use other than candles for your shortening. I definitely would not recommend it for candlemaking.
NEVER put wax on direct heat (well, paraffin and palm, I don't work with soy, so I'm not sure) wax on direct heat can heat up too fast and combust causing a fire. So you really shouldn't use a stovetop. Easiest way to melt wax is using a presto pot, then pouring your melted wax into an aluminum pour pot. All inexpensive and can be easily found on Amazon.


No, soap and water won't clean paraffin wax. The easiest way to clean paraffin up is to heat it with a heat gun and then wipe it up with a paper towel, or if it's on the counter, just scrape it off with a putty knife.
Once you make candles a couple times, it gets easier to have smaller messes.
Crisco was originally for candles. Look at the label and it has a small candle in logo. Stupid Americans were marketed this as food. Lolz. And we wonder now about obesity that grew in US..But it is a legit candle wax.
 
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Crisco was originally for candles. Look at the label and it has a small candle in logo. Stupid Americans were marketed this as food. Lolz. And we wonder now about obesity that grew in US..But it is a legit candle wax.
That’s interesting …. I do use “Crisco + Butter in my “pie crust” comes out so flaky. Not in soap’ @ least Walmart Brand Shorting.
 

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Crisco was originally for candles ... But it is a legit candle wax.

I can find zero about Crisco being specifically produced for making candles. All the references I can find clearly state the original makers wanted to solidify liquid fat (cottonseed oil) for use in SOAP making. But if you have a reference that says otherwise, I'm quite willing to be corrected.

"...There can be little doubt that, at this point [in 1911], the goal was to completely harden oils for the express purpose of producing raw materials for soap making...." Publication : USDA ARS

Also see Crisco - Wikipedia and check into the other references listed for this article.
 
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Crisco was originally for candles. Look at the label and it has a small candle in logo. Stupid Americans were marketed this as food. Lolz. And we wonder now about obesity that grew in US..But it is a legit candle wax.
It's a drop of oil, not a flame. Crisco is not a wax, it's an oil, but that's besides the point. Wax is non digestible...so it would not cause obesity (maybe an intestinal obstruction though).
 

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It's a drop of oil, not a flame.

I agree- it's a drop of oil, not a flame. According to Logopedia, Crisco did not even start including that oil drop in their logo until 2003. If one looks at all the earliest cans of Crisco from way back when, that oil drop is not there.

I'm not a candle-maker, but I do agree it has a legit use in candles, though. Here's my reasoning (please correct me if I'm wrong)- tallow and lard are not waxes- they are solid-at-room-temp fats, yet that's what candles were commonly made out of for centuries. And a lot of folks make candles out of soy 'wax', which is not a wax either....it's simply hydrogenated soy oil- a solid-at-room-temp fat........and Crisco is a solid-at-room-temp fat. True, Crisco is a softer solid-at-room-temp fat and may or may not be the best candle fuel compared to other harder candle fuels or waxes, but it can legitimately used in jar candles as many folks that make such candles can attest and who also say they burn clean (don't cause soot or smell). I haven't made them or used them myself, but that's what I'm hearing/reading out there over and again in internet-land. I didn't think I'd be spending most of last night before bed and this morning after getting out of bed researching Crisco and candles out, but the more I dug into it, the more fascinating it became to me and now I want to try making a Crisco jar candle. lol 😂

Whether or not Proctor and Gamble also used their Crisco in their candles as well (they made and sold their candles up until 1920 when electricity became widespread), I can't say for 100% sure, but I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility since from what I read they were always voraciously experimenting with things to improve their business, but their candle sales were a much bigger part of their business and accounted for a larger part of their profits in comparison to their soaps in their early days before electricity took off. It was more important for most people to be able to see in the dark than to smell good back then I suppose. 😂


IrishLass :)
 
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Thx Ya’ll ‘knowledge Is Power’ Which you give freely 🤗💫🤍.

Update:
I gotta go down the rabbit hole at least to the first bind, 🤣😉
Proctor & Gamble Fun Facts

Enough With the Schmaltz
Food historian Dann Woellert makes the case that Procter & Gamble single-handedly ruined Jewish cooking by introducing Crisco shortening. Until Crisco came along, Jewish mothers used schmaltz (rendered chicken or goose fat) to prepare kosher meals for which lard, bacon drippings, or butter were prohibited. The marketing department at P&G realized Crisco could be certified kosher and negotiated with the appropriate authorities to ensure it got that seal of approval. The result, Woellert says, caused “a whole generation of Jewish housewives and Jewish deli cooks to convert to vegetable fat, and lose the secret ingredient that made their dishes so delicious.”

Going Vegan
Although built on a foundation of lard, two of Procter & Gamble’s iconic brands derive from plant-based ingredients, specifically cottonseed oil. Ivory Soap grew out of James N. Gamble’s experiments in using cheap and abundant cottonseed oil as a substitute for the olive oil used in expensive castile soaps. P&G also used cottonseed oil in its candles and found itself with a surplus as electric lights ate into the candle market. German chemist E.C. Kayser showed P&G how to make cooking fat by crystalizing cottonseed oil. They named the product Crisco, short for “crystalized cottonseed oil.”

Like a Candle in the Wind
For most of Procter & Gamble’s first century, soap was an also-ran product, as lard oil and candles brought in much more income. Boxes of candles, marked with a star to designate P&G’s boxes on south-bound riverboats, were the inspiration for the company’s moon and stars logo. Electric lighting eventually demolished the candle market, and P&G finally surrendered in the 1920s, shipping its last box of Star Brand Candles.

Thx for reading’ 💫🧼🕯hopefully not by candlelight…
 
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Ladka

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Thank you so much, Peachy Clean Soap, for your instructive post! I have no clue what Crisco is and thought the best approximation would be margarine which I never liked.
Your report from the Procter&Gamble rabbit hole is most interesting. It's a shame they ruined the use of schmaltz in (Ashkenazi) Jewish cooking. Schmaltz cracknells are so yummi!
 
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