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    Fire Hazards with Candle Magick

    I have been working with candle magick, dressing them with oils and herbs. I use all of the common sense fire safety measures (bowls of water under the candles, glass/metal plates underneath etc). However I'm terrified I'm going to dress a candle in an exceptionally flammable oil or herb and not be aware. It makes meditating difficult because I'm constantly making sure that the candle hasn't caught anything on fire.

    I sorted through all of my oils and have not found any warning labels. Are there any oils/herbs that you are aware of that I should not use?

    Many thanks

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    Re: Fire Hazards with Candle Magick

    Quote Originally Posted by Blu3Wanderer View Post
    I sorted through all of my oils and have not found any warning labels. Are there any oils/herbs that you are aware of that I should not use?
    I wouldn't be as worried about 'this oil is more flammable' as other things.

    Here's stuff to think about:

    - Many herbs extract differently in different materials: some do best in water, some do best in oil, some do best in alcohol. Obviously, these three things are differently flammable. (Water not very much, oil somewhat but you usually have to work at it in the amounts we're talking about here, and alcohol is very flammable.)

    - If you're talking about essential oils, Wikipedia has what looks like a good summary, both about different kinds of extraction methods (which may make a difference) and that notes that a number of essential oils are class 3 flammable liquids (which means roughly they are flammable over 60C or about 140F.)

    - In practice, a few drops of essential oil in some other suitable oil (I like olive or almond oil for candle dressing, because they can both be used for cooking and I know how they behave) is not going to be a big deal, but applying larger quantities is.

    Likewise, applying sizeable pieces of dried herbs to a candle may be an issue, though not a dangerous one necessarily if you take other precautions like watching closely, having the candle on a heat-resistant steady surface, etc.

    - The bigger risk, honestly, is that various herbs have different effects when burned than in other uses, and I'd worry that there may be some herbs you're using which are okay for skin (in appropriate dilutions) but not good to breathe (or not good for *you* to breathe, allergies and reactions being a thing some people have.) Also, some things just smell foul when burned but not in other applications. Again, a drop or three in a dressing oil is probably not a big deal, but more than that, or actual pieces of dried herb is worth a lot more research.

    - For that reason, people often stick to minimal amounts for candle dressing (enough to get the influence of the plant/herb/etc. but not more than that) and use incense-safe herbs for larger proportions of plant material, burned as incense, not a candle. (Easier to manage, better tools for doing so, less issue with a burning piece dropping off the candle unexpectedly, etc.)

    - An alternate option would involve containing the candle a bit more: some people save 7 day candle jars for this purpose, or mason jars work. (Glass *can* crack and shatter, which is why I don't do this: I have a generally lousy run of luck with glass in general, but it's less likely).
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    Re: Fire Hazards with Candle Magick

    Quote Originally Posted by Blu3Wanderer View Post
    I have been working with candle magick, dressing them with oils and herbs. I use all of the common sense fire safety measures (bowls of water under the candles, glass/metal plates underneath etc). However I'm terrified I'm going to dress a candle in an exceptionally flammable oil or herb and not be aware. It makes meditating difficult because I'm constantly making sure that the candle hasn't caught anything on fire.

    I sorted through all of my oils and have not found any warning labels. Are there any oils/herbs that you are aware of that I should not use?

    Many thanks
    The only oil I know of that's scary flammable (as in it can spontaneously combust under the proper conditions) is linseed. And even that will just REALLY burn, it won't shoot flames or anything.

    I'd say that any oil that's safe to cook with is safe to dress a candle in.

    As far as herbs, most dried ones can be safely burned as incense, and incense doesn't really flame up, so I think you're okay.


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    Re: Fire Hazards with Candle Magick

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcha View Post
    The only oil I know of that's scary flammable (as in it can spontaneously combust under the proper conditions) is linseed. And even that will just REALLY burn, it won't shoot flames or anything.

    I'd say that any oil that's safe to cook with is safe to dress a candle in.

    As far as herbs, most dried ones can be safely burned as incense, and incense doesn't really flame up, so I think you're okay.


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    Good advice overall- it's also worth remembering that candle wax is just as flammable as oil. You're worrying about putting a thin layer of a flammable substance onto the outside of a big chunk of equally flammable (just more solid at room temp) substance. It doesn't really change the flammability of the candle in any significant way, so take normal fire precautions (keep it contained, don't leave unattended, have extinguishing materials nearby) and you'll be fine.

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    Re: Fire Hazards with Candle Magick

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctua View Post
    Good advice overall- it's also worth remembering that candle wax is just as flammable as oil. You're worrying about putting a thin layer of a flammable substance onto the outside of a big chunk of equally flammable (just more solid at room temp) substance. It doesn't really change the flammability of the candle in any significant way, so take normal fire precautions (keep it contained, don't leave unattended, have extinguishing materials nearby) and you'll be fine.
    This too. The whole point of a candle is flammability. As long as you don't light it under dangling curtains or something you shouldn't have a problem. It's not going to explode. I burn candles all the time and I just make sure they're stable and the cats aren't going to knock them over.


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    Re: Fire Hazards with Candle Magick

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    I wouldn't be as worried about 'this oil is more flammable' as other things.

    Here's stuff to think about:
    Thank you for your wealth of information Jenett! I appreciate all of ya'lls replies!
    Last edited by Darkhawk; 17 Feb 2017 at 12:39 PM. Reason: fixquote

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