The Difference in Candle Waxes

When you get into the world of candle making, you will find that there are so many waxes you can choose to work with. I would highly recommend you testing a few before deciding on one. 

Below I have compiled a very brief post on the common waxes used and their pro's and con's. Please carry out your own research and testing as well. 

Lets begin with Paraffin

Paraffin wax starts off as a crude oil. The wax is extracted or refined from the mineral oil and then is boiled to become purified. This substance is then cooled and pressed into a filter to make the wax. (1)

Pro’s

  • It has no smell so adding fragrance to it will not be an issue.
  • It is pale yellow to white in colour.
  • It is easy to work with, also great for candle sculpting.

Con’s

  • Burns faster than other waxes unless and additive is used.
  • It releases unwanted chemicals into the air, causing health risks (2)
  • Sourced from a non-renewable fossil fuel.

  

Next we have Soy

Soy wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil. It is softer, slower burning and less transparent than paraffin wax.

Pro’s

  • Slow burning which means it produces longer lasting candles.
  • It is renewable and comes from fast-growing crops.
  • Does not release toxic chemicals when burned.
  • There are vegetable blends for the harder wax to use in wax melts and pillar candles without having to use paraffin.
  • Easy to clean. Simply use hot soapy water.

Con’s

  • You cannot use the same wax for containers and wax melts/pillar candles as it is very soft and it needs an additive or a vegetable blend to harden the wax.
  • Soy is an allergen and those allergic to soy are likely to stay away from candles made with it.
  • 100% soy wax can be hard to master for beginners, as it is very temperamental.

  

We also have Beeswax

Beeswax is made from a secretion from the honeybee when it is forming a hive. It has been used in candle making for thousands of years and it is the most natural form of wax.

Pro’s

  • You get a 100% all natural candle (unless it is blended with another wax)
  • Minimal shrinkage.
  • Has a high melting point and you get a clean burn.
  • It won’t trigger allergens.

Con’s

  • Very expensive.
  • Can be sticky and soft when unmoulding.
  • Has a honey aroma, not ideal for those wanting to make scented candles.
  • Trickier to clean spills.

 

And the last one I’d like to mention is Gel wax

This wax is largely made from mineral oils and a small percentage of polymer resin in order to thicken and establish the gel like texture.

Pro’s

  • If you would like to be creative and add your own touch to your candles, this wax is for you. It is crystal clear and transparent.
  • Very little dye is needed to colour the gel.
  • It is another slow burning wax but melts at a high temperature.
  • No additives needed.

Con’s 

  • Only liquid dyes should be used as it is easy to over colour the wax.
  • Some fragrances can cause the candle to catch fire.

 

Have any questions?

Feel free to message me over on instagram/facebook/twitter or email and I will do my best to get back to. 

 References:

 

Click here to get my FREE guide on making wax melts at home.