Whether making or buying candles, deciding on the type of wax the candles will be made of can impact how successful the candle will be, or how well it will burn. The wax type of candles can also be based on personal preference, so determining your wax of choice ahead of time will help you enjoy your candles more.
Is Your Wax of Choice Beeswax?
Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the beehive of honeybees. Although firmer than soy wax, beeswax itself is a fairly soft wax and can be pliable at room temperature if in a thin sheet. This makes it an easy approach to getting into candle making. Here are some facts of beeswax:
- Beeswax candles burn longer and cleaner than paraffin wax candles.
- This wax burns slow. It is virtually smokeless; it emits more light and heat than other waxes.
- Beeswax has the highest melting point of any wax and the candles are virtually dripless
- Beeswax candles are usually more expensive than paraffin wax candles, but because they burn longer you will not need to purchase as many.
- Beeswax color varies depending on the purity of the wax and the type of flowers gathered by the bees. In many cases the candles are left in their natural color and can range from white to tan, but are most often a shade of yellow.
- Fragrance is not a requirement for beeswax candles. Even in their natural state, beeswax still emits a pure, pleasant aroma.
Individuals with allergies may find burning beeswax candles alleviates their symptoms by ridding their homes of toxins. Negative ions are released in the burning process which attracts the positively charged allergen particles, burning them off.
Is Your Wax of Choice Soy Wax?
Soy wax is a natural wax produced from the wax of soybeans, which is processed from soybean oil. Soy wax is generally made into jar candles due to the low melting point and generally does not fit into pillar or dinner candle applications unless other additives are added.
Here are a few facts about soy wax:
- Because soy wax has a low burning point, it can be used in electric candle warmers to melt the wax without an open flame. This provides a higher level of safety.
- The melting point ranges from 120 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the blend.
- Soy wax is available in flake and pellet form and naturally has an opaque white appearance.
- Color and fragrance oils are generally added to soy candles.
- Soy wax tends to burn cleaner because of its purity and gives of a more fragrant scent.
- When used in an electric warmer, soy candles can be melted more than once providing a cost savings.
- Soy wax can have variations in color and texture depending on the quality. This variation component can cause the candle making process to be a bit more challenging.
Is Your Wax of Choice Paraffin Wax?
Paraffin wax is one of the most plentiful and multi-use waxes used today. It is mostly found as a white, odorless, tasteless, waxy solid. It is the by-product of the crude oil refining process and can also be known as Kerosene.
Here are some facts about Paraffin Wax:
- Paraffin candle wax is usually sold in 11 lb. slabs and can be purchased at a craft store.
- There are several types of paraffin wax depending on the type of candle being made.
- Low melt point paraffin (less than 130°F) is used container candles or jar candles.
- Medium melt point paraffin (130°F – 150°F) is needed for votive, dinner candles or pillars which need to stand on their own.
- High melt point wax (greater than 150°F) is used for more special candle needs such as dipping.
- Most candles found in stores are made of paraffin wax.
- Colors and fragrance can be added to paraffin wax.
Paraffin wax is sometimes criticized for containing toxins that can be released into the air during the burning process. The best way to ensure your wax is safe is to purchase is that you use a high-quality wax or candle.
Depending on your needs and experience level, your wax of choice may be different. No matter which wax you choose be assured that they each can produce beautiful and fragrant candles. Share what types of wax you prefer and what applications you used.
Thanks for reading,
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