Tallow candles & liquid paraffin bottles - Where do I find them?

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In J.T. Stevens book "Making the Best of Basics" he mentions tallow candles which he says burn longer, brighter, and fairly smoke free and also liquid paraffin bottles with wicks which burn 100 hrs. min. Do any of you know where I could find either one of these? Has anyone else bought them? Thanks Mary

-- Mary Howe (doesnotmatter@thistime.com), November 20, 1998


It's my understanding that tallow candles smoke a lot from discussions on a list devoted to candlemaking and other related crafts. Not a pretty sight when you're stuck indoors and hate cleaning as much as I do. Liquid paraffin is lamp oil. Get a lamp.

Want to make some candles that will burn a long time? Put lots of stearic acid in them. Go to www.pourette.com and check out what they have available.

-- Karen Cook (browsercat@hotmail.com), November 20, 1998.

A neighbor says last she knew, candle wax in a block goes for about $20 for 10 lbs. Also that "Sterine" makes them last longer. Also from the Last Whole Earth Catalog, soaking wicks in turpentine then drying before using, makes them burn steadier, longer and brighter.

Of course the flame off a 1/2 to 1 inch candle will spread a lot more light than those that melt themselves into a hole in the middle. We need a candle engineer to tell us the best construction details. Can they be made to burn extremely slow and still bright? Do reflectors or chimneys help?

-- Floyd Baker (fbaker@wzrd.com), November 20, 1998.


I was shopping for lamps and stuff today and noticed that wal-mart supercenters had a good selection of paraffin oils. I also noticed that this type of oil is over twice as expensive as regular oils.

I have purchased a pretty good selection of wall mounted lamps and am about to purchase the Aladdin lamp as it will put out much more light. The lamp is rather expensive but I think that it should justify the added expence in performance.

I also have purchased a special light kit to fit the top of the coleman propane bottles found in any sporting section. I have had to use propane lighting in a pinch as our power already goes out often due to the remoteness of our location.

Propane lighting is my prefered way to light the house. It is a little warm in the summer but in the winter that can be an added bonus. Plus it may be a little higher in $ but what the heck to me the convience is well worth it.

My experience has been that the smaller oil lamps (oil candles) like you describe are not really worth there salt when the power goes out other that to dispell absolute darkness. :-)ww


Mary, the bottles of "Ultra Pur(e)" lamp oil at Wal-mart are $2.97 for 22 ounces. This is the same exact oil that Lehman's sells by the gallon. No smoke, no smell. It is a little cheaper to buy it by the gallon, but for convenience, buy it from Wal-mart. Also, lots of Lehman's oil lamps come from Lamplighter- same company that makes most of the oil lamps at Wal-mart.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), November 21, 1998.


are you saying that the oil for $2.97 at walmart is the same stuff as the paraffin. That would be funny wouldnt it. The paraffin is right next to the oil and is twice as much.

I have had to use the lamps for a period of time before and to me, while they did not smoke like pure kerosine, they still emitted a smell into the house.

I have worried about CO2 as my house is tight. So I have also purchased and installed CO2 monitors. Does anyone know what real danger exists with CO2 and propane or oil light?



Isn't paraffin a kind of wax? Is liquid paraffin the stuff sold as lamp oil? I have bought Lamp Oil, from Lamplight Farms manufacturer. On the bottle, only thing it says is "contains petrolum hydrocarbon".

Looking up paraffin in the dictionary, it says "waxy, white or colorless, solid hydrocarbon mixture" then third definition is "British. Kerosene (see)." Definition of kerosene explains that it's used in british parlance for "paraffin", kerosene derives from keros wax, and ene (from the use of paraffin in it's distillation.)"

This lamp oil I bought smells like some sort of fuel, not wax. I don't like the fumes. It also says to use in well ventilated area. So then, is liquid paraffin different and does it light as well? Can I use that in my oil lamp instead? Does it also give off toxic fumes?

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), November 21, 1998.

Ultra Pur(e)- (I've seen it spelled with and without the e) is distilled from 99% pure paraffin, so it burns cleanly and efficiently. (No odor or smoke) The oil will temporarily harden into solid paraffin if stored below 32 degrees.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), November 21, 1998.

My friend just bought a box of 12 cone-shape candles from www.sonlightcandle.com 1-888-224-4863 If burned only 3 hrs/evening, they will last a year; cost is $68. I'm not sure, but seems like she mentioned they were tallow. She hasn't used one yet, so I don't know how they burn and give light.

-- Sylvia (in Miss'ippi) (bluebirdms@aol.com), November 21, 1998.

A friend the other day went to a restaurant supply store & bought a case of liquid paraffin(I think that's what they were)(then again they may have been some sort of gel?)little candle "lamps". She had seem them on the tables at a restaurant & asked where they had come from & they told her at the restaurant supply. They come 24 to a case & a case cost about $18.00. Think she said they burn about 100 hours. I'll be going soon to pick myself up a couple of cases. I think these would make great y2k gifts.

Have a great evening everyone!!

-- Donna in Texas (Dd0143@aol.com), November 21, 1998.

Guess I'm just cheap. Get some old fashioned kerosene lamps and a few gallons of K1 kerosene. Lamps can be had for about ten bucks. Wicks are cheap. A pint of kerosene will burn for a long time in one of these lamps. 50 gallons would last a long long time. If you just have to have scented lamp oil - just add a bottle of oil of whatever (I kinda favor oil of cinammon myself) to a 5 gallon can. Believe me, a 1 dram bottle of oil of cinammon will stink up 5 gallons of kero real good. Seal scented oil well, it will loose its scent to the atmosphere quickly.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), November 23, 1998.

Tallow candles are really very easy to make. First you need to locate some firm beef tallow at a butcher. This should cost very little .05/lb or less. I cut this up in .5 to 1in cubes and place in a large pot with .5 in of water. Heat on high and this will bring the water to a boil. Boil the water off and then you are left with fat. This liquid is very hot and the liquid will boil out of the chunks that you cut. I stir every 10-15 min or so. After it appears that you have gotten as much as possible out of the chunks skim them off and discard. These are cracklins. I then pour the hot fat through my wife's old hose to take out any small chunks. The strained liquid is then poured into bread pans that have a .25in of water in the bottom. Let cool and then place in frig. The chunks can be removed from the pans the next day. Wrap in wax paper and store in frig. You can make the candles at a later time.

We use the candles and have very little smell. The answer is starting with good clean tallow to start. Also the modern wicks are designed to bend over so that the excess is burned up, this minimizes the smoke. I have been very impressed with the amount of light that we have gotten. We keep a tupperware container in the frig that is filled with tallow candles. If you need more info advise.

-- Pete Avery (avery83@aol.com), November 26, 1998.

A link to more information than you'd ever wish to know about making/using candles & soap:

Candle and Soap Making

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), June 25, 1999.

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