Friday, May 3, 2019

An Experiment...

Some time back I saw a few videos on homesteading and prepping channels about using Crisco to make candles.  As it happens, I have three or four large cans of Crisco that I bought at Sam's Club several years ago.  I find that I rarely use it for baking or frying like my mother did.  So the cans were taking up space that could be used for other things.

I filled a pint jar with Crisco, leaving about an inch of space at the top.  I have some utility- type candles that are about half an inch thick and 6 inches long.  I shoved one of these down into the center of the jar and lit the wick.  I let it burn for 8 hours and found it had burned down less than half an inch.   I don't yet know how far down it will burn before it goes out. There was no noticeable odor or smoke.

The Crisco burns sort of like the wax in any other container candle.  It melts as it burns so there is very little unmelted Crisco clinging to the inside of the jar.  I used a regular pint jar.  I'm not sure if the Crisco would have melted from the sides of a wide mouth jar as well as it does in the small mouth jar.

I have 6 more of the utility candles, so I will make more of the Crisco candles to use as emergency lighting.  I also have a couple of cases of the very small canning jars that hold 1/2 cup each.  I am wondering if I could also fill them with Crisco and use thick birthday cake candles for the wicks.  Those would be like over sized tea lights.

Sometimes ideas work and sometimes, not so much.  I was kind of surprised that the Crisco candle actually worked.  Candles don't give off a lot of light, but in a pinch, they are better than no light at all. 

15 comments:

  1. That's a great idea, Vicki! ...Far out...

    The good thing about candles; enough light to see by, but not enough to advertise your presence "out there..."

    You ought to try just greasing a string with the Crisco and shoving that down into the jar instead of the candle. You wouldn't be restricted by the size of the candle or the jar that way. I don't know if the wick would burn hot enough to combust the Crisco, but it might be worth a try. ...Just a thought...

    Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Pete...Considering my location in the downtown area of a suburb, low light when things go bad is a really good thing. I also keep black trash bags to cover windows for the same reason.

      I don't have any cotton string for wicks. All my yarn is acrylic which won't work (melts but won't hold a flame). I plan on getting some cotton yarn for crocheting washcloths and dishcloths when I go to the fabric/craft store and that will work. I think maybe I can tie one end of a length of yarn to something heavy like a nut or washer (I have lots of those), put that in the bottom of a jar, tie the top end to a pencil laid across the top of the jar to hold the yarn taut, an then pour melted Crisco in the jar like one would do with candle wax. The Crisco solidifies as it cools like wax does. As long as the string is saturated with Crisco, it should continue to burn. I hope. :)

      I will use the rest of my emergency candles for wicks as they will last much longer than when burned alone, but will get cotton string/yarn for the rest. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  2. Interesting use of Crisco, Vicki, and the emergency candles, lengthening the duration of light. Very interesting. Thanks! Fern

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    1. Fern...I can't take credit for the original idea as others put out videos on the subject. But I like the idea of using what I have on hand rather than spending money on ready-made candles or candle making supplies. I wouldn't use Crisco candles for ambiance, but I'm glad to have a way to keep emergency lighting on hand, just in case...

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    1. Gorges...It is kind of fun to be able to make something useful with stuff I already have. Waste not - want not. :)

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  4. Vicki, I have some "aging" Cisco that I would not want to use for cooking. This is a great idea to repurpose the old into something usable! Thank you for the idea! CW

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    1. CW...I wish I were smart enough to come up with the idea myself, but I'm not. If you are at all concerned with the candle's having a rancid smell because of the 'aging' Crisco, maybe you could melt it down and add a little scent like is used in candles. Mine is old but smells perfectly fine. I keep thinking from that saying from the Great Depression, 'Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.'

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  5. What an awesome idea!! I'll put candles on my buy list for the next time I go to the dollar store.
    Cheers, SJ

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    1. SJ...I like the idea, too, especially since I had the materials on hand. Pete, in his comment above, suggested string wicks and I am going to do that instead of buying candles for wicks. Let me know how it works for you.

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  6. OK, first off, I see I misspelled Crisco in my comment above...sorry about that.

    Second, Vicki, I would like to use your blog to share something that I feel must be seen by anyone who cares about this country...no matter your political, religious, or personal beliefs. This week Glenn Beck produced a show about socialism and how it will affect ALL of us. He demonetized it and has made it available free on You Tube. It is called "Socialism: A Warning from the Dead. It is so well done! It is approximately 2 hours long, but oh so worth your time. Most people in this country are unaware of what socialism is and how it is going to destroy our country. If I had your email I would have asked your permission beforehand. I hope you don't mind. Thank you! CW

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    1. CW...Dang spellcheck. :)

      I don't mind at all. You read this blog so you pretty much know how I feel about government interference in our lives, and with the new breed of Democrats, socialism seems to be catching on with them as well as with Bernie. If it happens, in my opinion, it is all over except for the crying. Thanks for the heads up on the video. I will watch it this evening. And feel free to email me whenever you like.
      vickimiller63@gmail.com

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  7. So does the apt smell like fried food??

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  8. Some Dems are dead set against Socialism!

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