Have you ever seen or used mica powder in your candle? There’s nothing quite like the sparkle of mica in a candle. It adds a lovely reflective shimmer, and the beautiful colors will help with decorating.
Can you use mica powder in candles? Some candle makers are worried that adding mica to their candles may cause them not to burn properly or even clog the wick. You’ll be glad to know that, yes, you can add mica powder to your candles.
However, you should know that using the proper techniques when adding mica powder to your candle will make all the difference. This article will tell you how to add mica powder safely to your candle to create a perfect result.
What Is Mica Powder?
Mica is a mineral that has a bright and shiny appearance. When it’s ground into a powder, it will resemble a fine glitter. Since it’s made from potassium aluminum silicate, it can be yellow, white, or brown naturally, but it can be dyed whatever color you like.
There are various ways in which mica powder can be used. Thanks to its safe, eco-friendly nature, as well as its beautiful appearance, it’s often utilized in cosmetics, especially natural and eco-friendly cosmetic brands.
Besides being used in cosmetics, it can also be used in various crafts, especially when you want to add a decorative touch to your creations. It’s a great substitute for glitter, and you can add the mica powder to anything to give your project a metallic or shimmering finish.
Because of these amazing properties, you may consider adding it to your candle as a coloring agent or even to make your candle sparkle. If you’re set on trying it out, we suggest taking a look at this set of 26 different colors from Amazon.
In the next section, let’s take a look at whether mica powder is safe for candle making.
Is Mica Powder Safe To Use In Candles?
Some candle makers avoid using mica powder to dye their candles due to their fears that it could clog the wick or cause a fire hazard. This is partly true.
When you burn a candle, the wax goes up to the top of the wick to keep the flame burning. Although the wick helps channel the fire, the candle’s wax is still a vital part. Once the candle burns, the liquid inside turns into a gas, and this is why the candle slowly evaporates as it burns.
Although the presence of mica can help create vibrant colors, it can also clog the candle’s wick. This is because mica powder does not dissolve completely into the wax.
When the wax burns, the powder can also travel to the top of the wick and prevent more wax from traveling to the wick. If the candle’s wax can’t go up to the top of the wick to evaporate, the flame will become smaller and smaller.
Despite this, some candle makers still use it to create glowing and vibrant colors. When the flame gets too hot, the mica powder will start shimmering, creating an incredibly charming effect.
You can avoid the wick clogging issue by making a candle with no wick and ‘burn’ your candle using a heat lamp instead. The colors will still be quite vibrant, and there will be no wick clogging issues.
Having learned the pros and cons of using mica powder in candle wax, if you’re still interested in using it, let’s take a look at how to add mica powder to your candle wax safely and effectively.
How To Add Mica Powder To Wax
There are two ways you can add mica powder to your candles. One of these is by coloring the wax before it melts, similar to mixing a coloring agent. You can also add the shimmering pigments around the surface of the candle.
A small amount of mica can go a long way in making beautiful colors for your candles. However, it’s important to start with a small amount of mica powder and work your way up. If you add too much, your risk of the mica powder clogging up the wick can increase.
Here’s a great tutorial on how to make a mica candle form GROWing In Lov3 on YouTube.
Let’s take a look at two ways to add mica powder to your candle wax below.
Coloring Candle Wax With Mica Powder
One of the most important things to do when it comes to reducing the candle’s wick clogging effect is to add only a tiny amount of mica powder to your wax. It’s recommended to add only 1 tsp of mica powder to 1 pound of wax.
You should also know that since candle wax is actually opaque when the candle is cured, the shimmering effect will be substantially reduced. Since the mica particles need to reflect and shine through the light, the powder can turn into pastel colors when the wax is cured.
The shimmering effect is only seen when you start burning the candle, and the candle will melt the wax and expose the mica powder to the light, creating a beautiful shimmering effect.
Another issue with adding a lot of mica powder is that it can cause a concentration of colors at the bottom of the candle. Since the particles don’t fully absorb into the wax, they can sink to the bottom of the wax.
So how do we add mica powder to candle wax safely and effectively?
First, you should use a double boiler to melt your pot. This is because mica powder tends to sink to the bottom of the container, and exposing it to direct heat is not a great idea.
As soon as the wax is melted, you can add a small amount of powder into the mix and stir it thoroughly until the wax is ready to be poured. You will want the mica powder to be fully incorporated into the wax mixture before pouring it into the mold or container.
Keep in mind that some mica powder can still sink to the bottom of the mold as the wax cures, but if the wax is well-mixed, this issue will be kept to a minimum.
Adding Mica Powder To The Surface Of Candles
One of the best ways to get the most out of mica powder is to only use it on the outside of the candle.
This method significantly reduces the chance of the candle’s wick getting stuck, and it also allows the mica powder to be exposed to the light so that you can still see its shimmering effects even when the candle is not lit.
If you are pouring your candles using molds, then you can also use a brush to dust the inside of the mold with mica powder before pouring. Once the candles are cured, the mica particles will stick to the surface of the candle, creating a pearlescent effect.
With this technique, the wax inside will remain pure so that the particles don’t clog the wick.
After the candle has cured, you can also rub a small amount of mica powder on the top surface of the wax. This will allow you to create a shiny surface for the candle.
If you want to ‘paint’ using mica powder, you can also dilute some powder in alcohol, which will make a paint-like mixture that you can pick up with a brush. Then, you can use your paint and brush to decorate the outside of your candle as well.
As the alcohol evaporates, the decor will become permanent, and the mica powder won’t lose its shimmering effects.
How To Clean Mica Out Of Your Melting Pot
You should know that some melting pots are not designed to be submerged in water, so it’s generally safer to just clean them with minimal water. This makes it tricky to remove the mica that’s left at the bottom of your melting pot.
After you have poured your wax, it’s usually a good idea to remove the thin layer of mica that remains at the bottom of your pot, as this can be easily cleaned with a dry towel.
The remaining bits of wax will harden and become difficult to remove if you wait too long, so it’s important to wipe the pot while the wax remains in its liquid form. A dry towel is enough to wipe away the leftover mica on your pot.
If the mica still remains in the pot after you have wiped it, you can wait until it cools down and then use a damp towel to remove it. Since it’s water-soluble, the towel can help lift the remaining pigment from your pot.
Some candle makers avoid using the addition of mica to their melting pot or double boiler, as it can potentially lead to messy cleanups.
If you’re concerned about this, you can simply transfer your hot wax into an easy-to-wash pitcher and mix the mica into the wax at this stage before pouring it into your molds.
You’ll have to work faster since the wax will start to cool down the moment that it is lifted off the stove, but it will save you the trouble of having to clean mica from your melting pot.