Let's be honest, why wouldn't you want to spruce up your DIY candles with some shimmer or sparkle? Since mica-based pigments are non-toxic and have an unparalleled glass-like sheen, they seems to be a good option for adding that "wow" factor to your wax creations. So in this article, we'll be answering the question, can you use mica powder in candles?
Well, it depends. Although Micas aren't very susceptible to fading, as they do not migrate or bleed, most crafters advise against using mica powder to color the candles because this mineral powder does not dissolve into the wax. So its fine particles can clog the candle's wick, resulting in a smaller flame. However, some candle makers say they still use it, and it works. In addition, when the flame's heat melts the wax, a shimmering effervescence starts, and that process is incredibly charming to watch.
Now that you know some crafters advise against using mica powders to color the candle wax, you’re probably wondering if there are other ways to add mica powders to candles. Or you might want to try coloring the candle wax with micas anyway but in the best way possible. So read on to find out more.
How do you add Mica Powder to candles?
There are primarily two ways to add mica powder to your candles: one is coloring the melted wax before pouring, and the other one is decorating the outside or top surface of your candles with these shimmering pigments. We’ll describe both options below with their pros and cons.
Coloring Candle Wax with Mica Powder
The secret to reduce the wick clogging effect when using mica powder to color your candles is adding only a tiny bit of Mica to your total amount of wax. It's important to know that most candle waxes out there are not translucent but opaque white or even yellow when cooled down, affecting the mica powder's original color. Since mica particles need direct light to reflect and shine, they turn into pastel colors on a finished candle. When candles melt with the flame's heat, though, the pearlescent particles will be visible again. So using a pinch of Mica will produce a very light pastel color. Still, it is the most effective way to color your candle wax without compromising the burning capabilities of the final product.
Here is another unwanted side effect of adding a lot of mica powder to the wax: Since mica does not fully incorporate into the wax, the particles might sink to the bottom or produce uneven color.
Mica Powders would be more suitable, though, to color wax in projects such as wax melts with no wick, and the effects are stunning!
Decorating the surface of a Candle with Mica Powder
One way you can get the best of both worlds is to use mica powder to decorate only the outside of the candle. It drastically reduces your chances of clogging the wick, which means you can still light the candle and have some fun, creating beautiful designs.
If you use molds to make your candles, you can use a brush to dust them with mica powder before pouring the wax. Once the wax cools down, the mica powder will stick to the surface of your candles, making them look pearlescent and colorful, but the internal wax will be pure so it shouldn't clog the wick.
You can also sprinkle the mica on top of your wax after the candle is cooled down and gently smear it in with your finger. That way, you can get a shiny top surface and a little bit of that charming effervescence when the flame melts the top layer of your wax.You can use mica powders diluted in alcohol to paint the outside of the candle. It can be great for when you want to make beautiful patterns all along the side.
Even though mica powder is not the most recommended colorant for candles due to the wick clogging issue, they are still a valuable option to accessorize the outside of your candle as mentioned above or just to create decor candles. Either way, micas will give you that pizzazz you are looking for in your wax projects.
Another way to use Mica powders in your wax creations is experimenting with wax melts. Check this article if you are curious about making mesmerizing wax melts to add even more sparkle to your life. They are super fun to create and the results are a true gift to the senses!
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