Candle Wax Types
When it comes to candle wax, there are four main types used in candle making: paraffin, soy, palm, and beeswax. Each wax type has unique properties that offer different advantages and disadvantages for the finished product. Let's take a closer look at some of the most known waxes available.
Paraffin wax is a petroleum-based candle wax that is easily accessible and economical for candle makers. It melts quickly and cools slowly, which can help prolong the candle's burning time. On the downside, paraffin candles may produce smoke or soot when burned incorrectly and release volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the air. These candles tend to be the cheapest and havea. killer scent throw but it's at the cost of air quality and craftsmanship.
Made from hydrogenated vegetable oils such as soybean or coconut. Soy wax burns slower than paraffin, making it an excellent choice for candle makers. This wax also has a low melting point, making it easy to work with and pour into candle molds. It is also non-toxic and biodegradable, making it an environmentally friendly option. Soy candles come from renewable soybeans, while paraffin candles come from limited fossil fuels. While some farming practices can be questionable, they aren’t as damaging to the land and waterways as drilling for oil.
At CGC, we use a coconut wax blend that is colorless and odorless and made from cold-pressed coconut meat or coconut oil mixed with soy wax. It is considered one of the best and healthiest types of wax to make candles because it doesn't produce as much soot as the other types.
Made from hydrogenated palm oil and produces beautiful crystalline patterns when lit. It can be harder to find than other types of candle wax but provides an excellent scent throw when used in candle making. The downside to palm wax is that it tends to burn faster than paraffin or soy waxes, so candle makers may not get as much burning time from their candles.
The downside is palm wax production has big environmental issues. Land is being cleared out to grow palm trees (from which palm oil and wax are derived) and this harsh deforestation has a dramatic impact on biodiversity. It also generates a big amount of CO2 emissions.
One of the oldest candle waxes available and is naturally derived from bee hives. Beeswax burns slowly and cleanly, releasing a pleasant honey scent when lit. It also has a higher melting point than other waxes, making it harder to pour into candle molds and increasing the candle’s burning time. The downside is that beeswax can be expensive and may need to be blended with other waxes for a better candle-making experience.
Beeswax is controversial as commercial beeswax operations may be considered cruelty-free if harvesting is done at a slow rate, with enough of the hive left intact so as not to harm the overall colony. Make sure to check where your candle wax is harvested and ask about that process.
Each type of candle wax offers unique advantages and disadvantages; candle makers should experiment with different types of wax to find the best one for their candle-making needs. When selecting candle wax, they should also consider environmental factors such as biodegradability, VOCs, and sustainability. With careful consideration and experimentation,
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