When making candles, it’s important to know the different types of wax to use. Each type of wax has its own properties, which are important to consider when making candles.
Different Types of Wax for Candles
There are different types of wax used in candlemaking. Different types of wax have different properties associated with them, this is what you should know about the various types of wax that can be used when making candles at home or for business purposes.
Beeswax is a soft, shiny wax that can be found naturally in honeycombs. It comes from the bee’s abdomen, where they store honey and other food for the hive.
Candles made primarily of beeswax are expensive because it takes 6-10 pounds of raw wax to make 1 pound of the finished product. Despite this, beeswax candles are highly favored because they have a natural golden color, burn longer than other kinds of candles, and produce little to no smoke when burned. Beeswax has a very distinctive scent which many find pleasant; others find it overpowering or too sweet.
Because soybeans are readily available in both organic and non-organic varieties, soybean-derived candlemaking waxes are a popular choice. Soybean wax is a renewable resource, and it burns cleanly and has a long burn life.
Soybean wax candles have the same or similar burn life as beeswax or paraffin-based candles, but they burn at a much lower temperature. The soy-based wax emits negative ions which can help to purify the air in your home when burned (and this also means that soy-based candle wicks do not emit toxins when the candle is burning).
Another benefit of soy-based wicks compared with cotton or paper: it doesn’t make any noise! If you’ve ever heard the hiss and pop of a well-used candle snuffer taking out the flame from a dripping candle, you know the annoyance of hearing the wick noise each time.
Palm wax is created from the fruit or pulp of oil palms, which are naturally occurring trees in certain parts of Africa and Asia. Palm wax has a natural bright white color that makes it ideal for candles with colors that need to be vibrant. It also requires no additives, thus making it very pure. As palm wax is very hard at room temperature, it should be brought to just above its melting point before pouring into containers to avoid any distortion once cooled.
Paraffin wax is a nondescript term for any commercially produced candlewax made from petroleum. It is very inexpensive to produce and can be dyed or scented easily in a liquid state, but cannot hold up well in a hot liquid state.
Scented candles made with paraffin wax may not burn as cleanly as other types of candles due to the toxins given off by the burning process. Because it is derived from oil, this type of wax does not have a natural scent.
Gels and Pastes
These waxes fall into the “other” category, as they cannot be categorized into either soft or hard wax. They burn at a wide variety of temperatures and produce different effects depending on their usage method. Gels and pastes can also be made from beeswax, soybean, or palm wax.
Gel candles use liquid paraffin as the fuel source for the flame, which allows them to produce brighter flames than most other types of candles with less soot produced. Their burning time is generally shorter than regular candles because they are not self-supporting. They need to be set in a container that will hold up to the heat it emits during burning (and since gel candle containers are usually very decorative, this means that gel candles are usually not used in practical containers).
Gel candles also use less fuel than solid wax or liquid paraffin candles. The best part? Gel candles can be made at home when you combine clear liquid paraffin with dye and other additives!
A paste candle is one that has a melted layer on top that contains different ingredients than the rest of the candle. It is especially good for making layered candles (for example, if you want to have color changes in your candle), or for mixing certain complementary scents together into one candle.
How to Choose the Best Wax for Your Candles
Liquid soy wax is a great choice if you’re looking for a vegan candle or just a candle that burns cleanly and leaves minimal soot behind. Palm wax has a bright white color that makes it popular with jewelers and crafters who make candles in different colors.
Paraffin wax has been used to make candles since the 19th century- it’s readily available, inexpensive, melts at a low temperature, and produces very little soot when properly prepared.
Beeswax can be expensive compared to other types of waxes but gives off a lovely natural scent which many people find pleasant. Many people choose paraffin because it’s widely available and can hold scents well. It also will burn cleanly once the right amount has been found. There are also many sources for wholesale paraffin wax candles in a variety of colors.
Gel and paste candles allow for unique designs and shapes, as well as different scents in one candle. Waxes have a wide range of melting points so it’s important to consider the temperature you’ll be burning at before choosing a type of wax. Gel candles produce brighter flames due to their liquid fuel source but they cannot burn on their own and must be placed inside containers that can handle the heat from the flame.
There are different types of wax used in candlemaking, so knowing these various properties can help you decide what type best suits your purposes! For more candle articles, visit our site!