At what temperature does glass begin to melt

Melting glass - explained step by step

By melting glass, new glass objects can be made relatively easily, which means that this hobby is not only creative, but can also produce beautiful art objects. In this article, we have briefly summarized how you melt glass and what you should pay attention to.

Collect waste glass

In order to melt glass, you first need the appropriate raw material: waste glass. This is available everywhere and can also be easily accumulated over time. In general, every glass bottle is suitable for melting: you can select, collect and combine everything from water, beer and wine bottles to perfume bottles and preserving jars.

It is only important that the waste glass is dry, clean and free of labels. If in doubt, clean the glass with water and washing-up liquid before melting it and remove the labels and any adhesive residue from it. This can be simplified and accelerated by soaking, but it is also possible to scrape it off with a pointed object.

Materials and furnace required

In addition to the waste glass, other materials are also required for melting glass. The most important role is played by a suitable kiln that can generate correspondingly high temperatures (up to around 1,000 degrees). Since this is very expensive to buy, it is particularly advisable for beginners to look for a club or a neighbor who may offer their stove for shared use.

In addition, casting molds are required for pouring the molten glass, which can either be purchased ready-made or made by yourself. You should also prepare copper wires for hanging up the old glass. And as with many other projects, the following applies: Make sure that you take adequate protective measures! It is therefore imperative that you use protective goggles, fireproof gloves and appropriate clothing before you start melting.

This is how glass is optimally melted

As soon as you have taken all the necessary precautions, the melting process itself can begin. You can use the following steps as a guide:

  • Prepare the oven: The furnace must be cleaned thoroughly before the melting process so that no residues or dust residues cause a deterioration in the purity. At the same time, you can also briefly check whether the furnace is in order in terms of safety.
  • Place old glass: Hang the old glass on the copper wires in the kiln and place the casting mold underneath. If, on the other hand, you don't want to soften the glass, just shape it, you can leave out the latter.
  • Heat up the oven: Now heat the oven to the desired temperature. Depending on the glass and the duration of the process, the firing profile can be set individually, which can be optimized primarily through empirical values. As a rule of thumb, glass softens at around 540 degrees Celsius and liquefies at around 650 degrees Celsius.
  • Slow cooling: After the molten glass has glowed, it should gradually cool down in the kiln at a slowly reduced temperature. Too abrupt change in temperature can lead to jumps.
  • Harden: Let the new glass object cure completely for about 24 hours before working on it any further.