Will Candles Melt in a Hot Car? (And Heat a Car?)

Candles can come in handy in plenty of ways—from providing warmth to lighting the car. However, they tend to be fragile, especially in hot cars. The interior temperatures of most cars can range between 130 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. But how long a candle will take to start melting will depend on the exact temperature of the vehicle and the melting point of the candle wax.

And because wax has a melting point of about 99 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that candles exposed within this temperature range will automatically melt. This post will walk you through everything you need to know about candles, including the best environment for keeping candles. So without further ado, let’s dive deep into it.

Can Candles Melt in a Hot Car?

Yes, candles can melt inside a hot car, but how long it takes will depend on the vehicle’s temperature and the candle wax type. The temperature inside a car can range between 130 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and wax melts between 99 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a general rule, candles should melt within 25 minutes or up to 2 hours. So if you’re wondering whether or not candles will melt in a hot car, the short answer is yes. However, all this depends on two primary factors—the internal temperatures of the car and candle wax type.

So, depending on the type of wax and the internal temperatures, a candle placed in a hot car will melt within 25 minutes or up to 2 hours. That said, these are the two primary factors involved in the melting of a candle.

Will a Candle Heat a Car?

Yes, candles can help keep the inside of a car warm with the heat they produce. However, it’s recommended to burn the candle in the coffee can and open the window slightly to have enough air circulation. Furthermore, opening the window allows in the air that supports combustion and prevents fire accidents.

See also  Can Ants Eat Through Plastic? (And Smell Food?)

Meanwhile, make sure that the exhaust isn’t covered with snow as this could start a fire in the car. However, if you’re skeptical about burning a candle inside the vehicle, then it would be best if you run the car for about 10 minutes every hour to keep the internal temperatures high.

Most importantly, you should keep your gasoline tank full to reduce the chances of condensation forming inside the tank. This will go a long way to prevent freezing, especially in subzero weather conditions.

Should You Light Candles in Your Car?

While candles may come in handy during cold weather or when your car’s interior lights have failed, it’s never a good idea to drive around with an open flame. Any sudden movements or sharp turns could lead to a flying fire.

Having a candle burning when your car is sitting at the gas station is perhaps even the worst idea. There have been several incidents of candles setting vehicles on fire, and you don’t want to be a victim of this.

Avoid lighting candles inside the car at all costs—not just at a gas station but also when you’re driving down the freeway and using your phone at the same time. Nothing good comes out of it, and your phone probably has a flashlight component that could serve as a candle. 

The internal temperatures of most vehicles can range between 130 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit in extreme conditions. So, probably, on most occasions, you won’t need to light a candle as these temperatures can melt a candle in 25 minutes or even two hours, depending on the type of candle wax.

If your car breaks down in cold weather, lighting a candle in the car will go a long way to provide a significant amount of light, as well as warmth. There are no restrictions on what type of candle one should use, but tea lights tend to be neater and don’t consume much space. Toss a few into your car’s tool kit, and you’re suitable for the day. 

That said, candles keep best in relaxed environments as they tend to melt at hot temperatures, damaging the items around them. Garages are some of the few spots you shouldn’t store candles because they tend to form puddles upon melting and solidifying. 

How Long Would It Take For a Candle to Start Melting?

Again, how long a candle takes to start melting will depend on the previously mentioned factors—candle wax type and the internal temperatures of the car. The size of the wick will also determine its melting time.

See also  Can You Use Wax Melts to Make Candles? (7 Clever Uses of Old Wax Melts)

For example, candles with smaller wicks will burn slower at about 7 to 9 hours per 28g of wax. However, candles with larger wicks will burn at a slightly higher rate of about 5 to 7 hours per 28g of wax consumed.

Generally, candles lose an inch after every hour of burn time. But that doesn’t mean you should leave your candle unattended—always keep a close eye on a burning candle and blow it out once the initial layer has completely melted.

Upon burning the candle, a mixture of fuel and oxygen occurs by diffusion and convection. This mixture is then converted into liquid energy, which rises through the capillary forces in the wick and later evaporates due to the extreme temperatures of the flame.

The hot gas then rises and combines with the ambient air through diffusion. After that, cold air is directed into the lower part of the flame through convection, where it mixes with the gaseous fuel produced by the cold flame.

At What Temperature Does Wax Begin To Melt in the Car?

Again, it all goes to the two factors involved—the vehicle’s internal temperature and the type of candle wax. And because wax has a melting point of between 99 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it will start to melt within temperatures of that range.

Also, how long candles take to melt will depend on the temperature inside the car, but they generally melt in 25 minutes or up to 2 hours.

It’s also worth noting that different waxes have different melting temperatures. For example, paraffin wax has the lowest melting point, ranging between 99 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, while beeswax has the highest melting point of about 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, soy wax has a moderate melting point of about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To put it simply, candles with the highest melting temperatures won’t take long to melt, and vice versa is true. However, lighting a beeswax candle in the car will prevent that melty, gooey mess produced by the other candle types. 

Unsurprisingly, paraffin candles will melt on their own when your car hits 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You can prevent such occurrences by removing any items from the vehicle before leaving them out in the sun. But if you accidentally leave them, just know that these are the factors involved in determining the melting temperatures. 

How To Increase the Chances of a Candle Surviving in a Hot Car?

To enhance the surviving chances of your candle, you can add some additives to protect against ultraviolet rays. Such include Ultraviolet Light Absorber, which acts as a sunscreen for candles, thus reducing fading.

See also  Can Candles Be Painted? (And Glass Candle Holders?)

Another additive is the stearic acid that increases the melting point of lower melt points candles, such as beeswax and soy wax. Stearic acid has a melting point of about 150 degrees Fahrenheit and comes in two types, tailored for each wax.

The last additive on our list is Micro 180, which enhances the firmness of the candle. This additive works best on paraffin candles and would work perfectly during hot summer days.

While additives interfere with the burn properties, they are the ultimate solution to alleviating the chances of candles melting in a hot vehicle. However, you need to use them in moderation. Otherwise, they’ll affect the color, scent throw, and overall combustion. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will A Candle Melt in the Heat?

Yes, a candle will melt when exposed to extreme temperatures, including hot cars. Generally, candles withstand temperatures of up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and melt or soften in direct sunlight.

2. How Do You Keep Candles From Melting in the Heat?

Simply put your candles away from light in a cool, dry place to prevent them from melting. Or better still, you can keep your finished candles in a jar to protect them from heat. If you’re a candles vendor, you could purchase an outdoor tent to protect you and your candles from the damaging rays of the sun.

3. Can You Put a Candle in Your Car To Smell?

Yes, you can put a scented candle inside your car to enhance the fragrance of your car. If the candle is purposely for fragrance, then don’t light it up. Simply put it in your car’s cup holder and let it soften on its own. Once it melts, it’ll automatically release the scent of the candle in your car.

4. Does Putting a Candle in Your Car Work?

Yes, candles can come in handy in many ways, including heating your car, enhancing fragrance, and providing interior lights. However, you need to ensure that the internal temperatures are below freezing not to melt or soften. If you cannot control the temperatures, please take the candles with you when leaving the car.

5. Should You Keep a Candle in Your Car?

Yes, it’s always a good idea to keep candles inside your candles. In case of a breakdown during cold weather, a candlelit inside a car will provide significant amounts of light, as well as warmth. What’s more, these candles are storage-friendly! You can use any candle, but tea lights tend to be neater than all available options.

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.