Have you ever wondered if the wax in all the candles is the same? Where does the candle wax go when it burns? Or what are the main differences between the different types of candle wax? We have prepared a short but handy guide to share everything you need to know about candle wax.
What is wax and where does it go when it burns?
Wax is a combustible solid matter that when heated at high temperatures it turns liquid, dissolving into the air as it burns. Wax solidifies again at room temperature. There are many different types of wax depending on its origin: mineral or petroleum derived wax, animal wax and plant wax.
Where does wax come from?
Wax can be made from different sources. They can be split into 3 main categories: natural, synthetic and a combination of both. Each type of wax has its own properties and characteristics.
The most common types of wax used in candle making are:
Paraffin wax, also known as mineral wax, is made from saturated hydrocarbons and it can be either white or colourless. It is obtained from petroleum by de-waxing light oil stocks. It can hold scent and colour very well and it is the most inexpensive kind to use. Paraffin wax is the cheapest option in the market and burns very fast. Therefore, candles made from paraffin wax won’t last very long. Why we don’t use paraffin wax: Paraffin wax usually contains harmful chemicals such dioxin and acrolein and it is often mixed with stearic acid from animal origin.
Beeswax is another 100% natural type of wax, produced from the bees’ excretion into their combs. Beeswax is one of the oldest wax types to exist. Beeswax has one of the highest melting points (around 62-64°C (144-147°F) and therefore it’s a great choice for natural pillar candles, as it won’t melt as quickly.
Why we don’t use beeswax: Although beeswax is 100% natural it is not a vegan option. Here is a link to read more about why beeswax is not vegan.
Soy wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil, which makes it 100% natural. It is obtained as a result of a complex process of harvesting, cleaning, cracking, dehulling and rolling the beans into flakes.
Why we don’t use soy wax: There are two main reasons why we do not use soy wax: 1) It has a high carbon footprint as soy grows in temperate and tropical climates. 80% of soy originates from America (United States, Brazil and Argentina). 2) There are growing concerns that the soybean industry is causing widespread deforestation and displacement of small farmers and indigenous peoples around the globe. For more information on this topic visit: https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/soy
Coconut wax is made from cold-pressed coconut meat or coconut oil, often mixed with other plant waxes, either soy or rapeseed. It does not have color or smell and it is one of the more expensive alternatives.
Why we don’t use coconut wax: Coconut wax also has a higher carbon footprint as it travels all the wax from South East Asia, mainly the Philippines.
Rapeseed wax is made from the oil harvested from the yellow rapeseed flowers that are part of the mustard family. You can find rapeseed fields all over Europe and the UK in the early summer months. It is a 100% natural and sustainable option, offering a clean and long-lasting burn.
Why we have chosen 100% rapeseed wax?
After conducting extensive research and evaluating the different options available in the market we reached the conclusion that rapeseed is the right choice for us for the following reasons:
It’s 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free
Made in the UK by a family run business with a fully traceable supply chain
Low carbon footprint, being locally grown and sourced
Has a clean, toxin-free burn
Is non-hazardous for us, our pets and our environment
Offers an extended burn time due to the low melting point temperature
Keeps and releases scent very well, making it the perfect match for our essential oils
At Elm Rd. we know exactly what goes into each and every candle. We can guarantee that they are free from paraffin, additives and any harmful chemicals.
We hope you find this article insightful and that it helps you make considered decisions when choosing to buy scented candles and home fragrances that are good for you, your home and the planet. Be clean, kind, conscious.