Crafts & DIY
Scientist combines oil and salt to show how to make “waxless candles” in case power goes out
What makes this type of candle particularly useful is that the oil doesn't need to be "fresh". Used cooking oil will work just as well and makes it more cost-effective to burn.
Elijah Chan
12.12.22

Do you know how to make a candle using only household things?

If you find yourself in an emergency, you need to know how to make things from scratch just in case you need to.

This is one of the easiest.

Pexels - Brett Sayles
Source:
Pexels - Brett Sayles

A scientist from the Philippines showed their viewers how they can make a waxless candle, also known as an oil lamp, out of things you can find in the kitchen.

This project is surprisingly easy and it’s worth storing in your memory in case of emergency.

For this project, you’ll need:

  • cooking oil
  • salt
  • a jar
  • a stick or toothpicks
  • cotton balls

For the jar, you can use a mason jar if you have one as the handle is convenient.

Pexels - Ghanashyam Hazra
Source:
Pexels - Ghanashyam Hazra

It’s also recommended that the jar has its own cap.

A pint-size or a half-pint jar is also recommended.

Please use non-flammable jars like glass and not plastic ones like peanut butter tubs.

First, pour in a cup of salt.

You can adjust the amount accordingly depending on the size of your jar.

You can use rock salt for this. It’s cheaper and abundant.

YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist

Flatten the salt in the jar.

You can press it down or shake the jar a bit until the salt settles evenly.

YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist

Pour an equal amount of oil.

Back in the day, different kinds of oils were used to fuel oil lamps. This ranged from plants and nuts like almonds and walnuts to seeds like olives and castor.

Animal fat was also used like fish oil, whale oil, and butter.

For this project, we will use a household item for fuel.

Cooking oil is definitely something you keep in the kitchen. This can be canola or vegetable oil.

YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist

Even better, you can use oils used for frying.

Instead of discarding them altogether, you can use them for emergency purposes.

Just remember to filter our debris like burnt flour from battered fried food, meat bits, or other materials suspended in the oil.

Next, we’ll make the wick.

Tape toothpicks by the ends to make a longer “stick”.

Then, shred some cotton balls and wrap them around the stick.

YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist

Dip one end of the wick in oil then push the stick into the salt un-oiled part down. Make sure that it’s secure and upright.

You can use natural cotton, especially discarded shoe laces.

Some people make hooks out of paper clips to keep the rope-like wick upright.

Now it’s a light source.

YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist

This lamp can last several hours.

The good thing about this is that it’s using used cooking oil, which you probably have a good supply of.

Then, when the light comes back on, you can simply put on the jar’s cap, screw the lid, and watch the flame get extinguished.

YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Hungry SciANNtist

Again, since this is an open flame, please keep away from children’s reach or near flammable objects like gas tanks, curtains, paper, or bedding.

Being in an emergency is hard enough so always be extra careful with other things.

Learn how to make these “waxless” candles in detail in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Elijah Chan
[email protected]
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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