Section 2. EQUIPMENT
First you will need something to melt your gel in. The double boiler on the stove method takes far too long with gel. We've found that Presto Kitchen Kettles work perfect. These are multi-cookers that you can buy at a local store like Wal-mart, for under $30. They are black metal with a non-stick coating, so they are fairly easy to clean out. They have a concealed heating element and a plug in temperature dial you can set to your desired temp. You do not need water with these, you can melt the gel directly in the pot. Use a glass (pyrex) measuring cup to scoop out the melted gel to pour into your candle jars. For larger batches, we recommend a direct heat unit with a heated pouring valve.
You will also need a thermometer. This is still necessary even though the Presto pot has a temp dial. You need to be able to get an accurate reading on the liquefied gel. I recommend a Digital Alarm Thermometer. These have a metal rod you put down in the gel, and you can clip the thermometer box onto your pot. Set the desired temp, and the alarm will beep when your gel reaches that temp! This way you can go about getting your jars and wicks ready while your gel is melting safely.
For stirring the gel, you can use metal knitting needles. You could also use a long metal or hard plastic spoon. Do not use wooden spoons as they can add bubbles into the gel.
And never forget your safety equipment! It is imperative to have a working fire extinguisher nearby at all times! It must be the chemical kind, not the water kind. Never put water on a wax fire, it will only spread the flames. Sand or baking soda can be thrown on a wax fire also. I recommend wearing safety glasses, a heat & liquid resistant apron, as well as gloves when making candles. Better safe than sorry!
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