Can You Put Glitter in Candles? 9 Things You Should Know

So, you’ve been wondering if you can put glitter in candles? It would make the candle look cool and all, but should you be putting glitter in candles? Some say glitter clogs up the wick and makes the candle not burn properly. Others say glitter catches on fire, but are these statements true? Let’s find out. 

It is possible to put glitter in candles when the wax is melted and still warm. However, some types of glitter should not be used in candles as they may clog your candle or be a potential fire hazard when exposed to a naked fire. Lastly, some glitter types, such as PLA and PET, may cause toxic fumes when burnt.

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People would want to put glitter into their candles for many reasons. Some may enjoy creating new colors by adding small pieces of colored glitter to their wax. In contrast, others may wish to create an unusual effect that will catch everyone’s eye when lit up on a dark winter evening or night party.

Can you put glitter in candles?

Generally speaking, you can put many types of items in your candle, from essential oils or vanilla extract to things like glitter, without problems. The only thing to remember is that the type of glitter can only be the extremely fine kind. This is because a little bigger can cause your candle to clog, and this is, of course, the worst thing that can happen to your candle. In fact, if you’d search online, you’ll see that most recipes containing glitter only contain extremely fine glitter. 

With that being said, it is also not recommendable to use the traditional glitter you find in most stores for your candles as they’re made of plastic and might pose a hazard for you and your family. Craft glitter isn’t an option either because, as a paper product, they have a notably low burn point. Hence, your candlewick may end up clogged, and you’d have created a potential fire hazard at home, which can potentially set off your fire alarm.

Shimmer dust is a specific glitter product that is 100% safe to use in candles. It is safe to use in candles, and you can also incorporate any other product that has a similar structure into the recipe, like mica powder. 

There are some other safe options out there, but it is all about testing and choosing the one that suits you better. For instance, mica powder gets everywhere but is really shiny, while shimmer dust is easier to manage.

Alternatively, you can also use polyester glitter. Although it can be a bit expensive, you have plenty of color and size choices, and it should also not have similar effects to your candlewick, thanks to its high burn point.

Is glitter toxic?

Glitter is considered an ecological hazard for multiple reasons. If you’re an enthusiast of utilizing this material in your homemade candles, please note that it contributes to environmental pollution as most glitter products are plastic-based.

As you can guess, glitter is composed of tons of tiny plastic pieces – making each one a “microplastic” object. Besides that, its components include agents that cause harm to the human body and the environment as well. This list includes elements like iron oxide and aluminum. Titanium oxide is also commonly found in most glitter products. All these layers build a potential fire and ecological hazard when burned.

PLA and PET are some of the most common materials utilized for manufacturing glitter–both of which are plastics. According to the companies that sell it, PLA glitter is supposed to be “biodegradable.” However, this information is misleading as it is impossible for polymers to biodegrade. In addition, breaking polymer into extremely tiny particles during the production of glitter makes it as harmful as other plastic products.

Furthermore, microplastic only starts degrading after 100 years have passed – and during that time, it has already made an excellent job of contaminating and causing harm to the planet’s flora and fauna.

Is glitter flammable?

On average, glitter has a burn point of 212ºF or 100ºC. With the many different types of materials that can be used to create glitter, there is an incredible array in terms of what temperature they melt at.

Even if many of us are glitter enthusiasts, it is important to have in mind that not all glitter types are safe to use in candles due to their flammable properties, which are caused by the small particle size.

It’s important to know that most glitter products in the market are made of plastic or aluminum sparkles. In ordinary conditions, these materials do not pose a fire hazard, but they can catch on fire because there is an increased ratio between fuel and oxygen when near open flames, which causes them to become more likely during times when you least expect it.

Therefore, exposure to a naked flame can easily cause the glitter to catch on fire.

So, glitter can burn because of its small size. This leads to a higher volume-to-surface area ratio, which may even cause it to become explosive and catch fire.

If you’d like to utilize glitter in your candles, please make sure to utilize a safer product instead of what’s regularly offered in most stores. Although most of the glitter found in the world burns, there are safer options that won’t turn your candle into a potential fire or explosion hazard.  

Is glitter safe for candles?

As mentioned above, some glitter is safe to utilize in candles, while others may pose a fire or explosion hazard when exposed to a naked flame. Due to this, it is advisable to use alternatives. For instance, certain craft glitters are not flammable and are completely safe to use in candles – some of them are even made specifically for this purpose. 

Most glitters cannot be utilized in candles because they will likely clog the wick. Thus, you’d be creating a fire risk at home. However, there are a few other materials that you can use safely, such as mica powder or shimmer dust.

Polyester glitters often possess a high burn point – usually between 170 and 180ºC – and come in multiple colors and presentations.  You can also find them in diverse sizes, from considerably big flakes to VERY fine particles.

There are multiple considerations when it comes to utilizing glitter for candles. Although they can be a pretty fun addition to your candles, it is crucial for you to figure out what the glitter is made of and be sure about their burn point. 

In the sections below, we’ll discuss what glitters can be used in candles and what others you should avoid.

Is it toxic to burn glitter?

Most glitters are made of plastic, producing potentially toxic fumes when burnt. For instance, polyester glitter is quite recommendable when it comes to making candles. However, please note that it is still microplastic, which releases toxic fumes as they burn. As a result, the air quality will diminish, affecting your health in the long term.

Polyester glitter can be a good option if you’d like to add sparkles to your candle without creating a fire hazard. However, if you care about your health, maybe avoiding this material is the best thing to do.

With that being said, most glitters are microplastics. Hence, not only do they contaminate the environment when you dispose of them, but they also create pollution when burned. Moreover, considering it takes up to 100 years for this material to start degrading, it can be quite toxic.

For this reason, it is never recommendable to utilize traditional glitter while making DIY candles. However, you can use a few alternatives if you’d like to make your candles shimmer and shine like crazy without all the harmful effects that come with common glitters. We’ll discuss what safer alternatives you can use in the section below.

What glitter is safe to put in candles?

Even though not all glitter found in the market is safe to use in candles, there are a few glitters you can utilize without creating a fire hazard. Thanks to these products, glitter enthusiasts like yourselves can make perfectly safe candles with everything we love about these sparkling particles.

  1. Cosmetic grade glitter, like shimmer dust

Cosmetic grade glitter is very similar to polyester glitter, except that the former is made of non-toxic PET. Hence, it is 100% safe to use in your skin – and in your candles too!

This glitter type is composed of non-toxic PET, although sometimes aluminum is added to the mix. None of these materials are flammable under regular circumstances, although a flame is not exactly what you’d call “regular.” Hence, extra caution is still advised if you’re going to use it.

As mentioned, this glitter is often utilized in cosmetic products. However, it can be utilized for candles thanks to its fineness and resistance to solvents. Still, please remember to check if the glitter indicates that it is safe for candles – otherwise, avoid it.

  1. Crushed glass glitter

Crushed glass or crystal glitter is the best option for candles. People utilize it as a topping most of the time, although it can also be embedded in the candle’s sides. It all depends on your preferences.

Still, you’d be surprised about how underhyped this glitter type is! It is 100% safe to burn and creates a gorgeous effect. It is the most recommendable option to use if you’d like to add glitter to your candles.

With that being said, not all crushed glass or crystal glitter is completely safe – sometimes, manufacturers add an extra paint coat to give it an extra twinkle. Hence, please make sure that this extra layer is inflammable before purchasing it.

On the other hand, crushed crystal glitter is quite expensive – more than most of the options listed. However, it is safer to burn and doesn’t pose a threat to your health. 

  1. Mica powder

Next up, we have mica powder. This option is excellent if you’d like to add a bit of shimmer to your candles instead of shine.

Please note that you will only obtain the desired effect when you mix it in the wax melt. If you sprinkle it around the candle’s top or on the sides, it will have little to no effect.

Additionally, please don’t be upset if the candle doesn’t “shine” at first. Mica powder’s magic only happens when you light up the candle. You’ll see the shimmer acting once the candle starts melting!

Can you put polyester glitter in candles?

Polyester glitter is an excellent option if you’d like to add some sparkles to your candles. Its balanced structure makes it strong and easy to blend with most solvents. Furthermore, thanks to its high burn point (350ºF), it is often inflammable.

However, this versatility doesn’t come cheap – polyester glitter is actually quite expensive. This glitter is utilized in products meant for long-term use, such as automotive paint or nail polish. Hence, the price tags are often high, even if there’s a lot of variation in colors, shapes, and sizes.

As its name suggests, polyester glitter is made of polyester or PET. This material becomes flame retardant during the manufacturing process, which makes it safe to use in candles as the flame won’t cause it to explode or burn too high.

However, please note that putting polyester glitter in your candles isn’t the healthiest thing to do. Please remember that polyester or PTE is plastic, which then turns into microplastic during the glitter manufacturing process. Therefore, when burned, this material will produce toxic fumes that are bad for your health and the environment.

Yes, it is 100% safe to burn a candle with polyester glitter, but if you’d like to make sure that you’re using the healthiest option out there, opting for an alternative is a better idea.

What can you put instead of glitter?

It may be time to consider a new option for your candle-burning ritual. If you’re not interested in glitter, there are still many ways to have the same stunning shine and sparkles without any pesky particles flying around during or after burning.

  • Shimmer dust, which is prominently utilized in the cosmetic industry, is an excellent alternative to traditional glitter. However, it is important to make sure that the product you’ll use is safe to burn.
  • Mica powder, which needs to be mixed into the wax melt. At first, you’ll obtain a solid color candle. However, once it starts burning, you’ll see how the wax pool starts shimmering, adding a magical effect to the process. Be careful with how much mica you add; otherwise, the candle won’t burn as desired.
  • Crushed glass, or crystal glitter, is quite expensive most of the time. However, it is the best option you can choose as long as it isn’t painted with any flammable coating. Crystal glitter is more expensive than any other glitter type, but it’s the safest option you can choose.
  • Polyester glitter is more common and easier to find. Although it isn’t a fire hazard, please note that it isn’t the best idea as it is made of plastic, which creates potentially toxic smoke when you burn it. Hence, although it is easier to add glitter to your candles, it can also harm your health and the environment.

You can use several alternatives to traditional glitter to avoid creating a potential fire hazard at home. However, please evaluate the product you’ll utilize before purchasing to make sure that it is 100% safe to burn. If you’re going to make decorative candles that won’t be burnt, you can choose basic craft glitter.

How do you put sparkles in a candle?

If you’d like to make sparkling candles, you must add your preferred glitter to the mix while you’re at it. It’s just an extra ingredient that doesn’t modify the process at all.

Once you’ve melted the wax, place it carefully in the candle jar. Then, start pouring the desired amount of glitter until you’re satisfied with the results. At first, it may seem like the glitter is “floating” at the top of the melted wax, but the truth is that a considerable amount of it is also blending into the wax. 

It’s crucial to add the glitter only when the wax is still warm; otherwise, it will not have the desired effect. If you’d like to add magical sparkles to your candle, we recommend utilizing crushed glass glitter or crystal glitter for a better effect.

Once you’re finished, please continue by letting the soy wax dry for a while before cutting the wicks to ¼ inches in height so the candle burns at the optimal pace. Then, please wait at least 24 hours to burn the candle.

How do you add glitter to candles?

You can add glitter to your candles after the wax has liquified completely. Remember to remove it from the flame once it has melted. Then, add the glitter once the melted wax is melted into your preferred mold or candle jar.

Most people would recommend using Martha Stewart glitter, but the truth is that you can utilize any fine glitter you find, from polyester glitter (although it isn’t the healthiest idea) to crushed glass or crystals. 

Adding mica powder to the wax will not immediately affect it, but it will add a nice shine to the wax pool once it starts melting. 

On the other hand, if you’d like the flame to twinkle a lot, it’s recommendable to use crushed glass glitter.

Adding glitter to your candles isn’t complicated – it’s all about choosing the best product and spending a few extra minutes while making them. 

Last but not least, try not to add too much glitter to the candle, especially if you’re using mica powder. When you add too much of this material, the candle will not burn as much as it should or won’t burn at all.

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