Friday, January 25, 2013

Emergency Candles from Used or Rancid Oils & Fats

Emergency Candles from Used or Rancid Oils & Fats 

No matter where we live in this great country, emergencies happen. The power goes out and winter or summer you may need light and a little heat. When we lived in Michigan each member of our family had one of these candles in the trunk of their car.  If you got stranded in a snow storm, you could light it and keep yourself warm inside the car. *(Never abandon your car in a snow storm). You can even use it to heat a can of soup.

This candle is easy to make and will burn for up to 48 hours.  It is made primarily from things you would throw away with the exception of a good wick. You can substitute a heavy thread or twine but experience has taught me that they do NOT burn as well as a good wick. You can buy them wherever you buy oil for lamps/candles/etc.

This one is an old coffee can but a 46 oz. juice can works equally as well. We don't drink coffee so I have friends save their coffee cans for me . . . 

You will also need old and used candles, crayons or paraffin
                              saw dust
                              a dowel, pencil or other similar item

Once you select your can, measure the wick to be just a bit longer than the height of the can. Attach one end of the wick to the bottom of the can with a thumbtack, bit of putty or any other creative way so that it will stay in or near the center. Attach the other end to the dowel, pencil, etc. and lay the dowel across the top of the can. 

Melt the wax (candles, crayons, etc.) slowly over low to medium heat. Watch it closely so it doesn't burn. Stir it occasionally until it is all melted. Stir in some saw dust (about half a can full) and before it begins to set up, pour it into the can keeping the wick as straight and centered as possible.

Let it set up (overnight is good) and then remove the dowel or whatever you used. You can do as I did and spray paint the exterior of the can if you wish. You can even add scent but make sure it is an oil since water-based scents will not emulsify with the wax.

Below is a link for directions to make 'Everlasting' Candles from Crisco. You can also use lard.
This is an excellent use for used (and filtered) shortening that has been used for frying or if for some reason you stored it too long and it turned rancid.