Orange you amazed!

red-lantern-1202514Xin Nian Kuai Le! Happy Chinese New Year!

By Gauri and Danny

Here’s Part III of our orangey line-up of experimental goodies! Learn how to make an all-organic candle with the fruit that’s making its rounds all over this Chinese New Year season!

Orange Candle:
Ever wanted unique decorations for Chinese New Year or a way to use leftover orange peels? How about making a candle out of an orange!

1) Mandarin Orange (other oranges would not work as they have more juice in them which would make the wick moist and unable to light up!)
2) Paring Knife
3) Vegetable or Olive oil
4) Matches or lighter


  1. Insert the pointed tip of the knife into the middle of the fruit (deep enough to penetrate the orange peel). Make a slice across the middle of the orange, then continue by rotating the orange in your hand (to cut off the peel).
  2. Gently peel the orange so that it separates from the orange without tearing. You should be able to see a white ‘wick’ in the middle of the peel.
  3. Twist the wick to bunch the fibres into a single strand.
  4. Pour enough vegetable or olive oil into the base of the peel so it reaches just below the wick (ensure the wick is wet with oil).
  5. Let it sit for an hour.
  6. Carve out holes on the other half of the orange peel which can be used as a cover. The design would make the candle pretty and at the same time functional as it allows the candle to breathe.
  7. Light the wick with the lighter or match.
  8. Cover the candle with the carved peel.

How does this work?
The Orange wick draws the liquid fuel (oil) up the wick and to the flame through capillary action which enables it to continue burning till the fuel runs out.

Science Hack (my dad’s way!): An alternative wick using cotton as a quick and easy fix

  • Use a cotton ball and gently pull out part of the cotton.
  • Spin it between your fingers to make a strand (leaving the rest as a base).
  • Position it at the centre of the orange peel (ensuring it gets wetted by the oil).

Film Production: Kimberly (Filming), Gauri (Editing)

Click here for Part I – where we experimented if an orange floats or sinks!
And here’s Part II – where we popped a balloon without even touching it!

Gauri produced this video during her internship at Science Centre Singapore. She is currently enrolled in JC1 at Temasek Junior College under the IP Programme.

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