Re: Paraffin disposal (---> candles?)

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From:"Ford M. Royer" <>
To:"''" <>
Date:Fri, 03 Sep 1999 08:40:54 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Many moons ago, I used waste paraffin from the lab to make "fire starters" to
use in a fire place or while camping in the woods.  There was a time commitment
involved to assemble these gems, but I did it mostly at home in the evenings and
on weekends.  I used the small Dixie Cups (approx. 2" high by 3" in diameter)
that are used at parties to put nuts and candy in.  I would fill the cups with
wood chips and wood shavings (procured from a local woodworking shop) and then
fill the cup with the waste paraffin.  When it solidified, it made a nice solid
package that could be kept in a cupboard or thrown in a back pack.  The "fire
starter" would be placed below and in the middle of your kindling wood.  To
ignite, you would put a match to the paper cup and nature would do the rest.
Before you knew it, you had a nice roaring fire in the fireplace or camp fire.
All my friends and neighbors thought that they were neat and I was soon selling
them to all interested parties and at craft fairs. It wasn't much but it kept me
in beer money.

I, too, would not recommend waste paraffin for candles that are intended for use
on a dinning room table or inside the home.  With the residual xylenes,
polymers, and fat (Ugghhh), this wax burns hot and fast (great for getting a
fire started) and gives off certain levels of toxic fumes, not to mention black
smoke.  It works well in the camp fire or fireplace as the fumes and smoke are
readily dissipated in the open air or exhausted up the chimney in a fireplace.

For candles it's best to stick with a combination of virgin canning paraffin and

~ Ford
Ford M. Royer, MT(ASCP)
Analytical Instruments, Ltd
 (Refurbished Histology, Cytology, & General Lab Equipment)
9921 13th Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55441-5004
800-565-1895 phone
612-929-1895 fax
web site:

"Saby, Joseph" wrote:

> John-
> I've thought about doing that, but with all the plastic polymers in the
> waxes currently on the market I didn't think it would be such a good idea.
> Not to mention any residual xylenes, fats, etc. from the tissues...
> Joseph A. Saby, BA HT
> Diagnostic Pathology, Pathology & Experimental Toxicology
> Parke-Davis/Int. Pharm. Res. Div. Warner-Lambert
> Ann Arbor, MI 48105
> Phone: (734) 622-3631
> Fax:     (734) 622-5718
> e-mail:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: J. A. Kiernan []
> Sent: Thursday, September 02, 1999 11:58 PM
> To: Edna_J_Gonzalez/
> Cc: HistoNet Server
> Subject: Re: Paraffin disposal (---> candles?)
> On Thu, 2 Sep 1999 Edna_J_Gonzalez/ wrote:
> > ... what are type of container are you using to dispose used paraffin
> > wax?
>   I collect it in cardboard boxes. (You need to make sure any cracks
>   in the bottom are securely taped up before pouring in the wax.)
>   When a box is full it makes a rather satisfyingly solid cube, which
>   goes out with the general garbage. With smaller boxes and a centrally
>   dangled string you can make candles, but they don't work very well.
>   Does anyone know how to make good candles from thrown out wax
>   without too much time and effort?
>  John A. Kiernan,
>  Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
>  The University of Western Ontario,
>  LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1

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