Candles Wax Compared: Soy vs Palm vs Beeswax vs Paraffin


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The truth behind every candle is that the major component is made of wax – which makes it equally important to understand what is burning inside your home and how that impacts your home and your health.

There are several different waxes used in candles. The most common are soy wax, palm wax, beeswax, and paraffin. So the question is, which type of wax is the best?

Some of the main things to consider are melting point, natural wax or not, soot generation, the best choice for scented candles, and renewable credentials. When looking at melting temperatures, also consider how this impacts the ability to level the surface of the candle while the candle is lit. This will help with extending the lifespan of your candle.

Here is everything you need to know about different waxes found in candles, and what to look for when shopping for candles.

Soy Wax

Soy wax is derived from soybean oil extracted from soybeans which makes it the most sustainable wax available for candles and it is ethically produced. The great thing about soy wax is its versatility and availability around the world.

It does not pose any health concerns and melts at a temperature of 48’C. This makes soy wax candles easy to store, and with a higher melting temperature, it means the longevity of soy wax is slightly better compared to coconut wax.

Palm Wax

Palm wax is typically sourced from the forests of Malaysia and Indonesia where 84.9% of the world’s palm-based products are farmed and sourced. As palm wax is a by-product of deforestation in the south east asian region, it has the greatest negative environmental impact of all wax varieties. 

It does have one of the highest melting temperatures of 80’C which also means the level of fragrances are higher, and will take longer to fill your home with a scent. Farmed in the multitude of thousands of acres per day, we strongly recommend against purchasing palm wax products.

Beeswax

Beeswax is found within the hives of honeybees. Beeswax is regarded as sustainable, however, with recent global impacts and bees being considered as the most important living beings in the world, we’ve steered clear of supporting beeswax due to the potential environmental threats.

With a natural honey-like scent and an amber color, they do make for great candles to burn, but the challenge for most candle makers is to mask the honey scent with something different as it can smell overly sweet quite easily.

Beeswax has a melting temperature of 62’C which makes it slightly longer lasting as compared to soy wax and coconut wax. Scientific research has found that burning beeswax releases negative ions that bind with potential toxins in the air and remove them. Making them great for asthmatics.

Paraffin

Paraffin candles derive from petroleum, making them the cheapest wax available. Known to have a wider scent throw than most, paraffin does have properties including a melting temperature of 37’C that allows it to burn longer, but at the cost of health.

Many researchers have found that burning paraffin releases harmful chemicals including toluene which is not recommended for asthmatics or those sensitive to polluted air. If you’ve found yourself with difficulty breathing while a candle is burning – it’s likely that it is paraffin. 

Paraffin poses a health hazard for those with sensitivities and we recommend against purchasing paraffin candles. You can tell when a candle is paraffin as compared to others as the surface feels denser.

Coconut Wax

Coconut wax is relatively new when it comes to candle wax and the art of candle making as compared to the ones previously listed. Similar in properties to soy wax, and ethically sourced, it makes it a great alternative to soy wax candles.

Coconut wax does have a burning temperature of 80’C which does make it longer lasting for the burn duration of your candle, however it does lack in scent throw as compared to soy wax. Coconut wax is slightly more expensive as compared to soy wax, but that doesn’t make it any better (or worse than).

Our Pick: Soy Wax

All of our candles are made with soy wax that’s sourced from local distributors. We took careful consideration with our candle wax before we started and our customers love the soy wax scent throw and burning time.

FAQ

Q: What are the different types of candle wax compared in this article?

A: The different types of candle wax compared in this article are soy wax, palm wax, beeswax, and paraffin wax.

Q: What is paraffin wax?

A: Paraffin wax is a type of candle wax that is petroleum-based. It is one of the most common and affordable waxes used in candle making.

Q: What is gel wax?

A: Gel wax is a transparent and rubbery wax that is used to create unique and decorative candles. It has a different texture and appearance compared to other types of candle wax.

Q: What is rapeseed wax?

A: Rapeseed wax is a type of vegetable wax that is derived from the oil of the rapeseed plant. It is often used as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to other waxes.

Q: What are the main differences between palm wax and soy wax?

A: Palm wax and soy wax are both natural waxes, but they are derived from different sources. Palm wax is made from the oil of palm trees, while soy wax is made from soybean oil. They have different melting points and characteristics when used in candle making.

Q: Can I use palm wax or soy wax to make container candles?

A: Yes, both palm wax and soy wax can be used to make container candles. They have good scent throw and provide a clean and even burn.

Q: What other products can be made using candle wax?

A: Candle wax is not only used for making candles. It can also be used for soap making, creating wax melts, and other crafts.

Q: Are beeswax candles better than other types of candles?

A: Beeswax candles have their own advantages. They are known for their natural fragrance, long burn time, and clean burn. However, the choice of the best wax for candles depends on personal preference and the specific purpose.

Q: Is palm wax environmentally friendly?

A: Palm wax can be considered environmentally friendly as it is a renewable resource and is typically sourced from sustainable plantations. However, it is important to choose palm wax that is certified sustainable to ensure ethical production practices.

Q: Is soy wax the best wax for making candles?

A: Soy wax is a popular choice for making candles due to its renewable and biodegradable nature. It has a clean burn and good scent throw. However, the choice of the best wax for candles depends on various factors such as the desired characteristics of the candle and personal preference.

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the best wax for candles, it is important to consider factors such as melting point, natural or synthetic composition, soot generation, scent throw, and renewable credentials.

Conclusion

Soy wax is a popular choice due to its sustainability, easy availability, and higher melting temperature compared to coconut wax. It is a safe option that does not pose any health concerns.

Palm wax, on the other hand, has a high melting temperature and strong fragrance, but its negative environmental impact through deforestation makes it an unsustainable choice.

Beeswax, although sustainable and known for its natural fragrance, should be used with caution due to the potential threats to the bee population and concerns about masking the honey scent.

Paraffin wax, the cheapest option, has a low melting temperature and wide scent throw. However, it releases harmful chemicals when burned, making it a health hazard.

Coconut wax, a relatively new option, is ethically sourced and comparable to soy wax in terms of properties. It has a higher melting temperature, making it longer lasting, but may lack in scent throw compared to soy wax.

Considering all these factors, our pick for the best wax for candles is soy wax. It offers a sustainable and safe option with a good balance of melting temperature, scent throw, and longevity.

Ultimately, the choice of wax depends on personal preference, specific needs, and environmental consciousness. With a better understanding of the different wax options available, you can make an informed decision when shopping for candles.

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