Instructional Video! How to choose the right wax 🕯️🎞️

We all know how challenging, expensive, and time-consuming it can be trying to decide which wax type to choose for your products. We can help you here! Candle Shack chemist, David, will go through the definitions, compare, and discuss both advantages and disadvantages of each wax type in the video below. So, when the time comes to make a decision, you will be able to make an informed one.

Waxes fall into 2 general categories: Paraffin and Plant. Not only do these wax types originate from different sources, but they also have different chemical structures. Not surprisingly, they also behave differently in candles.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax (also known as mineral wax) is a by-product of the petrochemical industry. The properties of a paraffin wax will be different for each blend due to the chemical structure. As each mixture is unique, some blends will be softer than others, the melting ranges will be different, and they might have a slightly different colour and texture. Typically, the melting ranges will be somewhere between 46-68C.

Benefits:
- Shiny tops.
- Gives a great scent throw.
- Gives more vibrant colours.

Drawbacks:
- Double pour if no additional tools acquired to obtain a smooth top.
- Higher likelihood that the incorrectly wicked candle will be sooty.
- Can struggle with glass adhesion, especially when clear jars are being used.
- You might need to heat the glasses when working with some paraffin wax blends.
- Even though paraffin waxes produce a much more vibrant colour, it is not compatible with some wax-based dye colours.
- Associations with petrochemical industry.

Plant Wax

Plant waxes are also often referred to as ‘natural’. The most common types of plant waxes are soy, rapeseed, and coconut. The life cycle of a plant wax begins with the harvesting and crushing of the soy, rapeseed, or coconut to extract the oil. The liquid vegetable oil is then purified and filtered. The oil is then reacted with hydrogen gas (a process called “hydrogenation”) to transform the liquid oil into solid wax.

Benefits:
- Wider selection of wicks that can work in a candle.
- Cleaner burning performance, less likely to cause soot.
- Some plant-based waxes have great sustainability credentials. A great example would be RCX rapeseed and coconut wax. It is farmed in Europe and therefore not associated with deforestation. It is made from European rapeseed and coconut that originates from smallholding farmers in the Philippines who are being supported and trained in sustainable farming techniques.

Drawbacks:
- Matt tops.
- Sometimes fragrance oils interact differently with plant waxes. This can cause the candle to appear uneven/distorted, which can be challenging to rectify.

So remember, there is no such thing as the best wax – only your choice. It is up to you to decide what benefits you want and what drawbacks you can live with.


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