Whether it is the scent of warm cinnamon and pumpkin or crisp ocean breeze or winter evergreens, candles and their scents add ambiance to any room. The flickering flame provides a warm and welcoming light in any room.
There are several types of candle wax available for candle makers; each wax has its own properties that make it the best burning for different reasons. Understanding wax and the various types typically used for candle-making will let you select the right wax for your purpose.
Candles with their scents and flames are a relaxing addition to any home. Whether buying or making candles, continue reading for information about the properties of different waxes.
What is Wax and Burn Time?
Wax is the fuel source for a candle. Candles are a solid form of wax, which becomes liquefied when it is heated. Some of the first candles were from tallow or solidified animal fat. Now, many oils can be turned to wax through a process called hydrogenation. This has opened the options for candle-making wax to a wide variety.
All waxes from which candles can be produced have different assets. Some waxes create wonderful aromatic candles; other waxes hold their shape better and can be used for tapers. There is not one wax that is a stand-alone best and will burn the longest. Each wax offers great options for candle-makers. Burn time for a candle is how many hours it will stay lit.
The speed or slowness of a candle burning depends upon several factors. The location in which you place the candle will impact its burn time. Candle sizes and shapes create a variance in how long a candle will burn. Proper storage of a candle will increase its useable life. Wicks, depending on the type you choose, will affect the burn rate of a candle. Room temperatures change how long a candle will burn for you. How long you burn the candle for when it is lit also impacts the burn time for a candle.
Most candles that you purchase in stores today are produced with paraffin wax. If the candles are not paraffin, they usually have a label denoting the wax used. Paraffin is a product created from petroleum. When crude oil is refined into gas for our cars, paraffin wax or mineral wax results. For over one hundred and fifty years, paraffin has been produced as a by-product in refineries and widely used in the candle making industry.
Since paraffin is connected to the oil businesses, there are a growing number of people concerned with its impact on the environment and shy away from using it. However, though paraffin wax is a result of the crude oil business, many consider using it in candles as preferable to landfilling the by-product of petroleum.
Paraffin wax is readily available, economical, and a versatile element in candle making. This wax can be obtained in a range of melting points. With the scope of melting points, from 90 degrees to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, this wax can be used to form a variety of shapes and sizes of candles.
Additionally, paraffin is favored by many because it does not readily lose its scent when burned. So, the coffee scented candle you light each morning to get your day going will last for many mornings. Another feature of paraffin wax is its ability to retain strong colors. These candles do not easily fade; the richness of the dye lasts for many hours of burning.
As the name implies, soy wax is produced from soybean oil. Developed in the 1990s, soy wax is a by-product of the soybean industry. Many people view soy wax as a preferable option to paraffin. Soy wax is considered more natural. However, there are growing concerns that the proliferation of soybean fields is causing deforestation. Pesticides and fertilizers are also used in the production of soybeans, so for some, it is not as natural as many perceive it.
Soy wax is an affordable material for candle making. It melts about twenty degrees lower than paraffin, so soy wax is not suitable for freestanding candles. Since soy wax heats at a lower temperature, it lasts longer than paraffin wax candles. However, soy wax is a great choice for producing container candles.
Creating candles with varying scents can be accomplished with soy wax. These candles will release a more delicate fragrance than paraffin, which will appeal to many who prefer a scent that lingers in the background.
Blending soy and paraffin wax is another option. If the blend of wax contains more than 51 percent soy; it will be considered a soy wax blend. These blends can provide you with the best of both waxes.
One of the oldest waxes used for candle making is beeswax. It is another wax created as a by-product; when bees are making honey, they discharge the wax. Beeswax is one of the most natural forms of wax used by candle makers.
Beeswax is one of the more expensive waxes to purchase. It does have a high melting point at 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, beeswax can be used to produce all shapes and types of candles, from tapered to pillars to containers.
Naturally scented with the fragrance of honey, beeswax will emit a general natural scent. Depending upon the flowers and plants that the bees feed on, the honey scent will vary. However, beeswax can also be fragranced with other oils to create different aromatics. Some candle makers will blend beeswax with other waxes before infusing scents. This lessens the scent of the honey and can make the new scent sharper.
Another natural wax for candles comes from palm trees. Produced from palm oil, palm wax is from renewable sources. However, as concerns with the growing of soybeans; in some regions, palm trees are being harvested more quickly than they are being replaced. Issues with deforestation are resulting from overharvesting of palm trees. Environmental organizations are seeking a means to balance the harvesting and growth of palm trees.
Palm wax melts at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes palm wax a great option for all shapes and sizes of candles. Candles from large pillars to thin tapers to small votives can be made from palm wax. Burn times for candles made from palm wax are comparable to soy candles.
Colors used in the creation of palm wax candles will hold their vibrancy. Additionally, these candles will emit wonderful scents for their long hours of burn time. However, palm wax is more expensive than soy wax due to the cost of processing.
A more recent addition to the choices of naturally produced waxes is coconut wax. This wax is from a sustainable crop. A plus to the use of coconuts for wax is that the harvest of coconut tends to produce a large yield. Even with high-yield harvests, coconut wax is one of the more expensive waxes.
For candle colors, coconut wax is an excellent option. The wax itself, before adding colors, is a bright white. This allows the wax to absorb a multitude of beautiful colors. Additionally, coconut wax holds its scents for a long time. So, when you burn your coconut candles, the aromas from them will fill your rooms.
Another new addition to the options for candle making is rapeseed wax. The rapeseed plant is part of the mustard family of plants. This plant produces canola oil. It is a renewable source of materials for candle making that is starting to make a strong presence in the candle making world.
Thus far, rapeseed wax produces candles with a good burn time. Candles made from this wax throw their scents well and infuse a room with great fragrance.
What causes a candle to melt?
Candles begin to melt after the candle wick is ignited. Once the candle wick is set alight, the wax near the area of the wick softens. The melted wax, which is a source of fuel, travels up the wick and keeps the candle’s wick lit.
What is the purpose of a candle wick?
The purpose of candle wicks is to bring sustenance to the flame to keep it lit. Wicks need to be permeable, so it creates a passageway for the melted wax to travel. The melted wax burns keeping the flame at the end of the wick glowing.
What are candle wicks made from?
Higher quality candle wicks are created from woven or braided material. With the plaited formation, a consistent flow of fuel, melted wax, is supplied to the flame. Materials selected for wicks depend upon the type of wax used in making the candle.
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Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.