How To Get Candles Out of Molds

  • By: homeshacks
  • Date: January 3, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Whether it’s for their own home or a gift for just about everyone on their list, Americans can’t get enough candles. Candles are a $3.6 billion industry that is projected to grow to nearly $6.7 billion by 2027.

Candles can be expensive — upwards of $200 for some elaborate candle gift boxes — and that has led to a rise in at-home candle making that is inexpensive and endlessly flexible when it comes to color and fragrance.

Making candles at home is also easy, but it sometimes comes with frustrations, especially if a candle is stuck in a mold made out of silicone, glass, plastic, or another common material.

If your candle creation is stuck, there are several tips on successful removal. Here’s how to get candles out of molds. 

Start By Taking Some Precautions

There are a few things you can do even before you pour the wax to ensure an easy candle release.

Lubrication with a type of releasing agent will help your candle detach more easily from the mold once it cools. 

You likely don’t need a releasing agent if you’re using a silicone mold, but for other types, consider spraying the mold with an agent specifically develop for candle making, vegetable oil, or other cooking sprays.

Just wipe or spray the agent into the mold, lightly coating it, and make sure to wipe off any excess of the agent on the mold’s edges.

Another option: adding a hardener to the candle wax. Many candlemakers swear by adding 10% stearin, also known as stearic acid, a fatty acids mixture. Such additives accelerate hardening while shrinking the wax, making it easier for a candle to slide out of a mold.

Cool It Down

The wax needs to cool before mold removal. Depending on the size of your candle, either let it cool overnight or determine the amount of time needed for it to cool completely. 

Another approach is cooling the candles in your refrigerator either in or out of a water bath. Fridge times vary depending on your mold. Plastic, acrylic, or glass molds just need about 20 minutes or so, but metal molds take longer.

Steps For Removal

Once your candle is cooled thoroughly, follow these steps for easy removal. 

  • Remove putty mold sealers typically on the base of the mold. It should just peel off easily. If you have magnetic mold sealers, which prevent wax leakage, you’ll need to snap those off too. Aluminum and plastic molds usually don’t have magnetic mold sealers. Rubber mold plugs should be pulled out as well.
  • Holding the mold firmly, flip it upside down and lightly, and slowly tap the mold’s bottom, which will loosen it without making it fall out quickly and potentially damaging the candle. Banging a mold against something hard, like a counter, can also damage it. Be sure to put one hand under the mold so you can catch the candle if it falls out.
  • If tapping the mold isn’t working, take the wick and tug it lightly. Just be sure not to pull it too strongly or the wick may slip out or break. This will also help loosen your candle.
  • Still having issues with a stuck candle? Try putting it in the freezer, but for just a small amount of time, about 5 minutes. If it’s still not coming out easily, put it back in the freezer for another 5 minutes. A warning: If you leave it in the freezer for more than 10 minutes, the candle will crack.
  • Another option: Go with heat. Putting hopelessly stuck candles in boiling water will soften the candle and you should be able to get it out after a few minutes. The downside is that you won’t have a usable candle, but you can try again by melting down your wax.

Other Removal Options

  • The less heat the better when it comes to a candle, but some homemade candle makers who use a metal mold have found running boiling water on the outside for just a few seconds, along with pulling on the wick, will dislodge it, but it will likely be damaged.
  • You can also try a knife. Use a butter knife by working it around the mold’s edge, separating the wax. If this helps to dislodge the candle, turn the mold upside down and ease it out.

The Bottom Line

Using heat, tugging on the wick, or using a sharp instrument are risky approaches to getting candles out of molds. The best approach: be patient. Let it cool completely and then first try the tapping-the-bottom-lightly option while holding the mold upside down. It’s your best bet to get the candle you want out of the mold.

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