Paraffin wax is the most commonly used wax in candles. Unfortunately, it is a by product of the petroleum industry and releases toxic carcinogens including acrolein, acetaldehyde, and formaldehyde according to the EPA. Each candle wax type has a different melting point and density. These variances influence the recommended candle wick type.
- Beeswax is one of nature’s beautiful products.
- The beeswax separates as a layer on the surface of the hot water.
- It is natural, sweet smelling, smokeless and dripless.
- Beeswax also has a higher melting point then other waxes, which means the candle burns more slowly.
- It has very little shrinkage when cooling which means that the liquid volume is close or equal to its dry weight. Therefore extra care needs to be taken to prevent it sticking in the moulds.
Soy Bean Wax
- Soy wax is the latest craze in candle making.
- Pure, 100% natural, soybean is made from renewable resources and produces a clean burning, non-toxic candle, with significantly less soot that is safe around children and pets.
- It burns longer than paraffin wax but not as long as beeswax.
- It is very easy to work with because it comes in an opaque, creamy off-white solid in flake form
- It is self-releasing for moulded candles
- Larger wicks may be necessary due to the burning characteristics of soy wax. Use at least one size larger than recommended for paraffin based candles. Trim your wicks to 1/8” from candle surface for best burning results and keep trimmed as the candle burns.
- Even though soy wax can be used with most types of dyes and fragrances, it doesn’t quite give the scent throw of paraffin wax. It is an acceptable alternative because it is a natural and cleaner burning wax.
- Crystallizing wax is an organic, renewable, earth friendly palm wax.
- Easy to use and produces candles that have a stunning, frost-like appearance.
- Sold in granular form for easy pouring
- Single pour resulting in a level surface with little to no shrinkage upon cooling
- Exceptional container adhesion for container candles
- You can use standard size wicks with almost any type of dye or fragrance.
- Paraffin is the most widely used wax in the candle making industry.
- It is a petroleum based wax that is available in a wide variety of melting points from 120 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Paraffin waxes are commonly identified by melt point and oil content.
- Typically lower melt point paraffin waxes (130 °F) work well for container candles and higher melt points (145 °F) work well for free standing candles and dipping tapers. In the middle (139 °F) is best suited for molded candles.
- The second method to characterizing paraffin waxes is by their oil content. The lower the melting point of the paraffin, the more oil there is in the wax.
- Low melting point: 3-5% oil
- Medium melting point: 1-3% oil
- High melting point: less than 0.5% oil
- Fairly new to the candle industry, gel wax is used to make clear, see through candles. Often, these are the candles with a theme that usually have some type of objects embedded in the clear wax.
- It’s one of the simplest and most enjoyable waxes to use.
- Merely heat it, add colour, add scent and pour.
- They make great theme candles
- Not every fragrance oil is compatible with gel wax. Some will cause the wax to get cloudy while others will not properly bind in the wax. In order to work properly with gel wax, the flash point of a fragrance oil must be at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You also might notice gel candles have a tendency to produce tiny air bubbles in the wax. Avoid excessive stirring. High heat reduces the air bubbles
- Remove the Wax from Primed Wicks
Here’s a list of the correct temperatures at which to pour different types of wax. Temperatures are in Fahrenheit.
- Beeswax: 150-170
- Paraffin: 190-200
- Soy wax: 155-165
- Crystallizing wax: 160-180
- Gel wax: 185-203