Wax is a vital component of candle making and makes a difference when it comes to selecting the perfect candle for your home. Candlemakers must take into account the desired result of their product since the wax affects wick, scent, and appearance as well as scent throw and burn time.
Ranging from natural to man-made, there are three main categories of wax: Beeswax, Soy Wax, Paraffin Wax, along with the vital additive Stearic Acid. Of these choices, beeswax is generally considered to be the best because it burns cleaner than other types and has a better scent throw while burning than other waxes.
Candle Making as a hobby is often found to be enjoyable. It’s easy to make them from home though the process requires an elaborate setup as well as a lot of preparation. Many people may find buying wax a bit intimidating or confusing if they don’t know anything about it. Here’s a handy guide to help!
Here’s a tip: Wax melts like our Southern Elegance Jumbo Wax Melts are easier to learn to make than candles!
What is Wax?
Wax is the base for all candle making and is a type of hydrocarbon that is solid at room temperature and is usually obtained from petroleum or natural gas. They are made up of long molecular chains and can be broadly classified into two types: animal and vegetable. When making a candle, manufacturers must take into account their exact goals for their candle when they choose the types of wax that will serve as their base.
Consider: Candle containers and sizes (such as the 9 oz canning jars vs the travel tins) will also affect your candle making process.
Types of Wax For Candle Making
Beeswax: Beeswax is made from honeybees for use in constructing their honeycombs cells. The production of wax is encoded into their natural life cycle during which they create spaces in honeycombs for the storing of food which we know as honey. Long used for candle making, this traditional wax has been used in numerous ways, from candles to cosmetics to furniture. It produces a high quality light when lit and naturally possesses a honey fragrance. Unfortunately, beeswax is harder to obtain, is expensive to use, and is harder to work with due to its hardness.
Soy Wax: Made from the oil of soybeans, this wax option has gained ground due to its eco-friendly properties. Soy wax burns at an extended pace and cleaner than most waxes which candle lovers greatly appreciate. When soy wax suffers spillage it can easily be cleaned up by soap and water instead of household chemicals. This also makes production cleanup go a lot quicker! Due to soy wax possessing a lower melting point than waxes such as paraffin, candlemakers have a much harder time producing a candle with a strong scent. However, light scents are great for customers that are sensitive to intense fragrances and are actually desired by many.
Southern Elegance uses hand poured Soy Wax for a clean and smooth candle experience!
Paraffin Wax: Paraffin wax is made from hydrogenated crude oil and is the most common wax up to date. Its scent throw capabilities are high and it’s budget friendly for the beginner candle maker. Also known as straight wax, this wax option is free of additives.
Travel tins make a great gift for the holidays or friends on the go!
Stearic Acid: Used for well over 150 years, stearic acid is extracted from vegetable oil or tallow. With a melting point of 158°F,stearic acid is available in pellet or powder form and is added to wax to manipulate the melting point of other waxes such as paraffin wax, create pastel appearances, retain fragrance over a longer duration, and increase burn time. If you’re having issues with your candle “slumping” you can also add this acid to harden its consistency!
As you can see, there are plenty of elements to consider when making candles. Believe it or not, this is only the beginning! There’s plenty more to learn when it comes to additives and the candle making process but understanding waxes is the perfect place to start. So long as you do your research along the way and remember to have fun with it, we’re sure you’ll do great