Which Candle Wax Should I Purchase?
When you're new to candle making, choosing a wax can be overwhelming. There are a lot of waxes on the market! So where do you start?
- Trial a small batch to see if you enjoy working with that wax. Experience is key. One candle maker might swear by a particular wax for outstanding results, while another chandler might dislike it.
- Different waxes have unique properties. Soy wax from one manufacturer will be different to soy wax from another manufacturer. One manufacturers might offer unique blends with specific characteristics. These waxes are suitable for a wide range of candle making. What do you want to make? Some waxes are suited to making container candles, and others are suited to making pillar candles. Most importantly, we recommend that you work with a wax that resonates with you.
- Container wax is softer with a low melt temperature, which means that it melts easier. For this reason, it will not hold its form as a free standing candle, and therefore needs to be poured into a container such as glass, ceramic or tin.
- Wax for pillar candles or melts is suitable when you are creating stand alone products, with high melt temperatures. Basically, they won't melt to a puddle of mush without a container. This kind of wax is also useful for melts, because it enables the melts to pop out of the moulds easier.
Soy wax is made by the soy bean industry, from processing soybeans, which are cleaned, crushed and rolled into flakes. Oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated, which change the melting point and composition of the oil. The fatty acids in the oil are converted from unsaturated to saturated, so that the oil solidifies at room temperature into wax.What Is The Difference Between Soy Wax And Paraffin Wax?
Paraffin is a by-product of the petroleum industry. As candles burn, their ingredients are released into the air we breathe, yet there are few regulations governing the manufacture and sale of candles in Australia. Environmental and health concerns are highlighted daily in the media, and there has been a shift towards plant-derived goods.
100% Soy wax is completely natural and renewable and is therefore better for the environment and health. It is biodegradable, soot free, cooler burning (so lasts up to 50% longer than paraffin) and is therefore better value for money. Purchasing soy supports the farmer, paraffin purchases support the petroleum industry. Because soy wax is water soluble (unlike paraffin), you can wash out your glass jar with hot soapy water, which means recycled jars can be reused. Paraffin must be blended with chemicals to be able to release fragrance. Soy wax has superior fragrance holding capacity and releases fragrances naturally, further, faster and longer.
Paraffin is a non-renewable energy source and a waste product of petroleum refineries—derived from crude oil. When burnt it emits a toxic black soot, similar to burning diesel fuel. Research shows that burning paraffin wax emits human carcinogens into the air you breathe such as toluene, benzene, methyl ethyl ketone and naphthalene. All candle wax consists of long hydrocarbon chains, which produce carbon dioxide when burnt. So the effect on the environment depends on the source of these hydrocarbons. The carbon in paraffin wax was once trapped underground in old deposits, and when burnt, contributes towards global warming and releases black soot, which is damaging to your health and discolours walls and furnishings. The carbon in Soya oil is derived from the atmosphere in which a plant creates this oil, and there is a comparatively small impact on the environment.
What's 'wrong' With Palm Wax?Palm oil is an edible plant oil extracted from palm fruit, now widely used to make food, soap, personal care products and candles. To learn more please see our blog.