Pillar candles are typically decorative candles; therefore, the best wax for pillar candles is paraffin wax. Good waxes for pillar candles are colorful, and most do not require a strong scent throw since their main purpose is decoration-only. Any type of wax that prioritizes appearance is a good option for pillar candles because these are usually stand-alone candles that people rarely burn.
In addition to paraffin, palm, beeswax, and blended waxes are great options for pillar candles because they are strong enough for freestanding candles. These waxes are good at taking shape without needing a container, jar, or permanent mold. However, pillar waxes are not good at throwing smells like container waxes because they do not hold scents as well.
There are many differences between container wax and pillar wax, the most notable being the purpose of the candles. Pillar wax is a stand-alone wax that takes shape well and does not require the wax to reform after melting.
What wax do you use for pillar candles?
Decorative paraffin wax is the best wax for pillar candles because it easily takes the shape of candles and holds color well, which most pillar candles require. This wax has a low melting point and dries quickly which makes it easier to make pillar candles. In addition to paraffin wax, beeswax and palm wax are also good alternative for making pillar candles.
The main priority with pillar candles is to retain their shape after each burn, refrain from pooling at the bottom, and create a consistent burn. Synthetic and blended waxes are the most common for pillar candles mainly because their low melting points help them dry quickly after melting, instead of pooling and requiring a mold to form.
Blended waxes can change the melting point, but they are great for adding scent to the wax. Most pillar candles hold color but not scent, something that paraffin wax is great at doing. Fortunately, pillar candles do not need to smell good because they are decorative.
Can you use container wax for pillar candles?
Some waxes are interchangeable between pillar and container candles. Refrain from using container wax to craft your pillar candles, or they are likely to melt poorly. Although many people typically think poor melting results from improper burning or candle care, the mixture and process can be a major part of the candle burning process too.
When you use container wax for pillar candles, the container wax will pour over the sides. Container wax requires something to encase it during and after it melts. During the melting process, the high melting point prevents it from evenly melting if there is nothing to capture the heat of the flame. Without something to capture the heat, the wax does not melt.
If your container wax heats enough, then it will spill over the sides and run. Unfortunately, the high melting point of container wax means that it also takes a long time to dry. The container wax will run and then pool at the base of your pillar candle before drying, most often in a large and unappealing clump rather than aesthetic drops along the side.
Be careful, these unaesthetic lumps at the bottom can leave stains or damage the surfaces they are sitting on top of.
What’s the difference between pillar wax and container wax?
The main difference between pillar wax and container wax is the ingredients inside each type of candle wax and the intent for the candle. Container wax cannot stand alone because it requires something to reform it each time it melts and capture the heat while it’s melting. On the other hand, pillar wax is durable and can stand on its own without reforming its shape each time it melts.
Common container waxes include beeswax, palm, coconut, and a combination of soy blends. Pillar waxes consist of synthetic waxes and wax blends because these candles are easier to form without the need for remolding. Each time container wax melts, it requires a mold to reform.
The need for a mold each time your container wax candle melts is why people use blends of synthetic and natural waxes to create a colorful, scent-throwing pillar candle instead.
A major difference between pillar and container waxes is their ability to reach a melting point without containment. Your pillar candle can heat unevenly if you use the wrong wax. Container wax, for instance, can take an excessive amount of time to heat up if it is used for a pillar candle because it does not have an outer encasing to hold the heat in and melt the wax.