So what’s with all these different types of candles? Does the type of wax used for candle making make a difference? Should I pay attention to the kind of wax when buying a candle? The answer is yes! There are four main types of candle wax: paraffin, soy, palm, and bees. Each has its properties, offering different advantages and disadvantages for the finished product.
Best for: colorful, scented candles of all types
Paraffin wax is the most widely used and inexpensive of all the waxes used for candle making. If you want to make scented candles highly saturated in color, paraffin wax is the way to go, as it holds both color and scent very well. It is a highly versatile wax that can be used for everything from container candles to taper and pillar candles.
Paraffin wax is a byproduct of petroleum and releases soot when it burns, which has raised some questions regarding its effects on the environment.2 Paraffin candles continue to be sold, however, as does paraffin wax for candle making.
Best for: free-standing candles such as pillars, scented candles
Palm wax is a natural material derived from palm oil. Palm oil is a prevalent ingredient in packaged products such as lipstick, laundry, detergent, and ice cream. Unfortunately, palm production is a huge contributor to deforestation. As demand for palm oil and its derivatives grows, more land is cleared for plantations. This destroys essential wildlife habitats and is primarily to blame for endangered orangutans and other species.
Palm is typically grown in poorer countries where governments cannot prioritize conservation over economic welfare. It is up to consumers to decrease the demand for palm products by refusing to purchase products containing palm derivatives.
Best for: pillar and taper candles
Beeswax is a natural wax secreted by honey bees to build their hives. Generally, beeswax candles are unscented as the wax does not hold onto scent very well. Beeswax candles have a unique benefit: they purify the air while burning by producing negative ions that attach to positive ions such as pollen and dust. However, they are also the most expensive type of candle and tend to tunnel.
Beeswax candles also have the longest burn time and produce a warm-toned flame that doesn't give off any smoke, which is good for your home and the environment. You can use this wax for numerous types of candles, but it is particularly well suited for pillar and taper candles as it doesn't drip very much and is, therefore, great for candle holders and seasonal wreaths.
Best for: container candles
If you want to make highly decorative candles, consider using gel. Technically, it's not a wax but a mix of resin and mineral oil that creates the see-through look that gel candles are known for. This material is an excellent choice for clear container candles, as you can add various small objects such as dried flowers, seashells, or berries into the containers before you pour in the gel, and they'll stay visible as the gel firms up.
Gel candles give off a very bright light, so bright that it's almost twice as bright as a regular wax candle. They also have a very slow burna prolonged burn for nearly twice the time of a traditional wax candle, but like paraffin candles, they release soot as they burn.
Best for: container candles, scented candles
Coconut wax is an eco-friendly, vegan, and sustainable candle-making choice. It releases very little soot as it burns, making it a safe choice for your home. It also has a slow and even burn. While you may think it has to smell like coconut, this colorless wax is odorless and carries scent very well, so it's a good option for making scented candles. It is often combined with soy wax and is best suited for making container candles.
Best for: container candles
Soy wax is among the most popular waxes on the candle market today. It is a 100% natural wax made from soybeans, a natural and renewable source, which makes it an eco-friendly choice. One of the best things about soy wax is the fact that it has a soot-free burn. It is also a slow-burning wax, so while soy candles do tend to be more expensive, they last for longer.
Soy wax usually comes in flakes and is easy to work with. It burns at 120 degrees Fahrenheit; the best way to use it is for container candles. If you are using jars, tins, or teacups for your candles or making tea-light candles, soy wax is a great choice. It is also a perfect scent carrier; using it for scented candles will give you a pure-smelling candle.
Why Do We Use Soy Wax?
As outlined above, each type of wax has its advantages and disadvantages. We chose soy wax because it is a natural, non-toxic material with a great scent throw. Scent throw describes how a candle's scent circulates a room. We decided our scents carefully, and it is essential that they can fill a space and be thoroughly enjoyed.
Soy wax is also denser than paraffin wax and has a lower melting point; soy candles have a longer burn time. Longer burn time means you’ll get more use from a soy candle than a paraffin candle of the same size. Soy wax is also very easy to work with. Because all of our candles are hand-poured, it’s super important that the process is simple so we can guarantee a high-quality product every time!