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It’s hard to imagine a prepper without some emergency candles. It’s literally one of the first things you buy when scrambling to prepare for a hurricane or some other looming disaster.
My mother had a drawer full of long white candles. The only problem with those is they only lasted about six hours and it was easy to knock them over. A much better solution is the famous “100 Hour Candle.”
There are some great options on Amazon, but if you want to spend a fraction of the price, you should consider making your own. It’s a lot easier than you might think.
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In this video, UK Here We Grow explains how to quickly make a candle that will last over 100 hours. Here’s what you need:
- A typical tall white candle like one of these.
- A glass jar that’s about an inch taller than the candle (so about 7.5″ in this case).
- The glass jar’s screw-on lid (so you can cover the candle when not using it).
- Some kind of vegetable fat (not lard).
Now here’s how to make it:
1. Get enough shortening to fill the jar and melt it in a saucepan. Stir it over low heat until it’s completely melted. You can add some essential oils if you want. Lavender or eucalyptus essential oils will repel mosquitoes.
2. While the fat is melting, boil some water and pour it into the jar. This preheats the jar and makes it less likely to crack. Then pour out the water and thoroughly dry it.
3. Let the fat cool off for about 10 minutes, then carefully pour it into the jar. Fill the jar until there’s about an inch of space left at the top.
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4. Let the jar of fat cool off until it is no longer a liquid, but not so hard that it will be difficult to push the candle into it. About like this:
5. Gently push the candle into the fat until it reaches all the way to the bottom. Let it cool off outside (or in the fridge).
6. Use the handle end of a spoon to create a moat in the fat around the candle. Smooth it out with your finger. When you light the candle, the wax will melt into this moat. This helps the candle burn more slowly.
Watch the video below for more information and to see what happens when you light it.
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Rick Palmer says
I have made Crisco candles several times using clay flower pots . safer than glass , no preheating needed . A cork in the drain hole with a 1″ layer of crisco over it prevents leaks . Center your wick or use multiple wicks , pour in the melted Crisco . These can also be used as a heater by placing a larger clay flower pot over the candle . Raise the larger pot slightly for combustion air to enter . Any non combustible material at least 1/4″ thick will work . CAUTION :All COMBUSTION USES UP OXYGEN, USE COMMON SENSE !
David Wilmot says
There is no way that this candle can heat a greenhouse or a poly tunnel. There are just not enough BTU’s produced. Doies it last 100 hours? Yes have tried it and it does but produces no usable heat…
Jim Coyte says
What is the shelf life of the candle after it is made? Does the Crisco go rancid over time? If so, can that time be extended by topping off the head space in the jar with water, salt water or other similarly to the science behind a French Crock and butter to block contact with air? How about using oxygen absorbers?
That’s a REALLY GOOD question👍
Still no reply to my questions above. I realize that operating the site is a daunting task but is there any way that this post questions could be answered?
Thanks, and keep up the good work.
Alan Urban says
Sorry, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately, but I’m planning on hiring a virtual assistant to help. As far as shelf life, Crisco lasts two years unopened and six months to a year after being opened (depending on room temperature). However, the melted wax from the candle will cover the top and make it last longer. I’d guess a year from the day you make it, but I don’t know for sure. As far as covering it with water, that’s not something I’ve ever tried, so I couldn’t say. If you make one of these candles, I wouldn’t plan on keeping it more than a year. It’s more for an emergency situation where you know that power will be out for a long time. If that happens, you could make one of these using a propane or wood stove.
What’s with the face blot? It’s a candle diy. Always suspicious of people who are suspicious.
How long g do those glasscandles burn? I have been tempted toobuythem at dollar tree
Elbert Jones says
Go to an arts and craft store. Buy several feet of candle wick. Plus some wick holders. Ask someone about how to use the wick holder.wrap the wick around a #2 pencil.(so the wick is properly centered in your jar. Then pour the melted shortening.
I live at 7000 ft in so cal. Every big storm creates power outages. Ive found that Tea candles work best. I have 1000 candles on hand for emergencies.
They last 3 hours so i can fall asleep and not waste precious resources.
Timothy Jalbert says
Thank You: I like 100 hour candles and the pemmican
Wont the vegetable shortening go rancid in a short time as it does when you leave it in the cupboard too long?
Vegetable fatrarely solidifies. It isn’t lard.
use Crisco, which is processed vegetable oil.
I would rather preheat the jar in the oven and cut out the water part altogether.
Otherwise good info.
I bought 48 candles from dollar tree
online, they shipped them to the store
And they last 80 hours apiece!! I also have a few.
Grandma Meyer says
What candles burn 80 hours please
NP Duncan Adam says
Excellent instructional vid with good demo anyone wanting to copy that might want to put a metal spoon into the jam jar and pour boiling water onto the spoon as if the jar is cold and you pour boiling water into it there is a chance of the jar bursting and boiling water going all over the place.
You should always employ Sod’s Law (If It Can Go Wrong It Will Go Wrong Just For You ) so prep for the worst and experience the best.
The glass is always half full before it bursts ;0).
Mensa Graham says
Or buy one at the Dollar Tree for a $1. Seriously, 8″ glass candles very similar to the one shown here for a buck.
Ok, ok… Party Pooper…
Vickie Lyn Epps says
How pretentious of you… if it’s even true.