Don’t we all love candles? By lighting a few candles, you can bring a cozy atmosphere to any boring room.
Learning how to make candles is easier than you might think. Especially if you use a premade candle making kits.
However, there are many different types of candle wax available. Since the type of wax will determine what candles you can make, choosing one is crucial.
So in today’s article, we will go over all the different waxes for candles and how to choose one
Best wax for candle making
The best candle wax of course depends on many factors such as you experience, budget, and your project. Below you can find more information about each type of candle wax, however I normally recommend beginners the following:
- If money is not an issue go with beeswax
- Go with paraffin wax if you want the cheapest option
- Consider soy wax or palm wax if you want to make natural candles but can’t afford beeswax
Where to buy candle wax
Many big art and craft stores have a special section on candle making and sell different types of wax and other candle ingredients such as dyes and fragrance oils. This is a great option if you want to pick and choose exactly what you want.
If you don’t really know what you need, you can also look for a candle making kit that already includes everything you need. You can normally find these in even smaller art and craft stores or toy stores.
However, for the widest choice in candle wax you should probably turn to the internet. There are many websites that specialize on selling candle making ingredients and equipment. But if you want to stick with something familiar, I would recommend taking a look at the waxes sold on Amazon, which you can find by clicking here.
Different types of wax
Over the centuries people have come up with different way to make candles. However, wax is and will always be the most essential candle ingredient.
The most popular candle making waxes are:
- Soy wax
- Paraffin wax
- Palm wax
While other option like gel, stearin and microcrystalline wax are less common.
Even though the different waxes may look similar, every single type is a little different from the other.
Although going over all the differences would be impossible in this article, the most important thing to remember is that each type melts at a different temperature.
For example, beeswax has a higher melting point than most other natural waxes.
We are all familiar with good old beeswax. Beeswax candles have left a clear mark on history.
The beeswax is created by bees in their hive to make honey or incubate their larvae.
It has a naturally has a faintly sweet smell to it since it normally has some honey mixed in. Although the exact fragrance depends on the flowers and plants that the bees have access to. But if you don’t like the natural smell, you can always use candle fragrance oils.
You can normally find beeswax in the store as blocks, slabs or pastilles that can be melted into candles. Sometimes you can also find sheets of beeswax that can be rolled into a candle without any heating.
Beeswax is pretty soft and has a high melting point compared to other candle waxes. Overall, beeswax is great for making candles but it is also a bit more expensive than other types of candle wax.
Paraffin wax candles
Most candles you can find in the store are made with paraffin wax, because this type of wax is easy to work with and mass produce.
Paraffin is relatively hard, has no color or odor and burns pretty consistent. All these factors together make paraffin an ideal wax for candle making.
At home you can use paraffin wax to make candles such as pillars, containers, and votives. However, paraffin wax can differ a lot from brand to brand, so always make sure to check the melting point.
Paraffin wax is made out of the by-products found in the oil refining process. This is what makes paraffin wax so cheap compared to other types of wax. However, some people choose don’t use paraffin because they aren’t comfortable supporting the petroleum industry.
Soy wax candles
Although soy wax is relatively new, it has stolen the hearts of many candle makers. Normally it is made from the oil of soybean and processed to make it solid at room temperature.
Sometimes other vegetable oils or waxes are mixed in as well such as vegetable oil or palm wax. As long as at least 51% is soy, it can be classified as soy wax.
The melting point of soy candle wax depends on the exact processing method and the combination of oils. Normally the temperature is indicated somewhere on the package.
Candles made from soy wax are a good alternative to the paraffin wax derived from petroleum. Especially for people that prefer natural candles but can’t afford the more expensive beeswax.
Compared to paraffin wax, soy wax is pretty soft and less transparent. Moreover, soy wax candles last a lot longer since they burn slowly.
Palm wax candles
Palm wax is similar to soy wax in that they are both made out of natural oils. Although most of the worldwide production of palm oil is used in the food industry, a small amount is used for candle making.
The palm wax is relatively brittle and burns very bright compared to other types of candle wax. You can see this the best in candles made out of 100% palm oil, since they display a crystalline or feathered pattern.
Sometimes a small amount of soy wax can be mixed in to make the palm wax stronger and more sturdy.