How to Make a DIY Double Boiler- 2 Ways!

Making your own DIY double boiler can come in handy when you are making foods and skin care products (like salve, lip balm, and herbal infusions) from scratch. Let’s talk about 2 different ways to make one!

What is a Double Boiler

A double boiler is a set up of two pots (one slightly smaller than the other) in which delicate ingredients like oils, chocolates, and waxes can be melted without worry of scorching or catching fire.

The small pot sits inside the large pot. Water simmers on the bottom and the material to be melted goes on top. This keeps your food/wax out of direct heat.

Why Make a DIY Double Boiler

I don’t like keeping a double boiler in my kitchen because it is a single use kitchen tool. I prefer to use items that I already have in my kitchen as a double boiler or water bath. These items can be in use for other projects when they are not being used as a double boiler.

An actual double boiler also comes with an unnecessary lid. A lid is rarely if ever needed so this piece is a waste.

Two Ways to Make a Homemade Double Boiler

There are two ways that I make a double boiler. I choose the method that works best for the type of material that I am melting. Let’s dig into both of these methods.

1. DIY Mason Jar Double Boiler (Water Bath)

This DIY version of a double boiler is actually considered a hot water bath because the top container sits in the water instead of on top of the water. However, it works great as a double boiler for herbal infusions and in candle making. I use it to melt beeswax into oil for salves.

>>Learn to render your own beeswax here<<

Mason Jar double boiler / water bath

What You Need

How to Make a DIY Mason Jar Double Boiler


Place rings from mason jar lids in the bottom of the saucepan. This will create a base for your jar to sit on without allowing it to touch the bottom of the pan.  Mine held 3 rings snugly.


Add your oil and/or wax into the jar.


Fill the saucepan with water halfway up the jar.


Bring the water to a simmer over gentle heat and wait for the wax/oil to melt. 


Carefully remove the jar from the water and pour the liquid into your prepared containers. 

Homemade salve in 2 oz tins

2. Homemade Double Boiler with a Bowl or Second Pan

Use this double boiler substitute if you need the top container to not be in direct contact with the simmering water. This is a great DIY double boiler for melting chocolate!


  • Saucepan
  • Heatproof bowl (stainless steel or a glass bowl) OR Additional Saucepan

How to Make a DIY Double Boiler


Pour water into the bottom pot. Enough water to sit just under the second pan or bowl without touching.


Place a heatproof bowl or a second, slightly smaller, pan on top of the one with water. 


Bring the water to a simmer and add your food or wax to the smaller pot / saucepan. 


Remove from heat source when the product (like melted chocolate chips) is melted.

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