Comparing Candle Waxes: Which is Best For You?
Scents are an important part of choosing the perfect candle, but there may be other reasons behind your pick. Wax type is something to think about when selecting your candles because what you burn does end up in the air and ultimately exposes your lungs to these chemicals.
Here we will be discussing the benefits and disadvantages of some popular wax types so you can make an informed decision on which one is best for you.
First, Paraffin Wax is a candle wax used by many large corporations due to its low cost and high availability. Paraffin comes from the byproduct of refining crude oil. The benefits of using this wax are its ability to have strong fragrances and its excellent scent circulation (although other waxes are catching up!). The downfall of Paraffin Wax is that Paraffin is linked to the unsustainable resource, crude oil. Additionally, low-quality Paraffin candles may also release compounds that could be hazardous in the home.
Soy Wax is a wax type developed in the 1990s. This wax is made from soybean oil, making it 100% natural. The benefits of this wax are that it is clean burning and it comes from a sustainable resource. Furthermore, Soy Wax is specifically known for having the longest burn time compared to other popular waxes. In comparison, Soy Wax tends to have a gentler scent. This may be preferred to those who are more sensitive to strong smells or just looking for something more subtle.
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Next, Coconut Wax is one of the newer 100% natural wax types that are popular today. Like Soy wax, Coconut Wax is slow-burning, sustainable and circulates the scent well. This wax is known as the most eco-friendly because coconuts can be sustainably farmed at a high yield. A disadvantage of this wax is that it is generally a more expensive wax for candles.
Another all-natural wax is Palm Wax. Palm Wax is made from palm oil and is overall a solid choice for candle wax. More recently, Palm Wax is recognized as a less sustainable option for candles compared to other natural waxes. This impact is due to the deforestation that occurs to replace the natural forests with palm trees for farming.
The most ancient candle wax is Beeswax. This wax is an excellent option for those looking for a 100% natural wax with a clean burn (a popular choice for many people!). The downfall of Beeswax candles is that the wax already has a sweet scent. This scent can create a barrier when developing a range of smells because the added fragrance must complement this natural scent. With this in mind, many great candles are still available for those who enjoy this range of smells.
Gel WaxFinally, Gel Wax makes an entirely different style of candle. This “Wax” is actually a mix of mineral oil and polymer resin. Gel Wax forms a transparent candle that is dyed for a fun effect. Overall, this type of candle is known for making novelty products. For instance, objects like seashells are placed within the transparent gel to create a unique design. The disadvantage of these candles comes when developing them. Specifically, adding the wrong fragrance could create fires during candle making. This hazard may be why many makers opt for other waxes unless the transparency adds to their product.