USING PARAFFIN WAX
There are various types of homemade candles ranging from paraffin to soy or palm to beeswax. This may seem overwhelming when choosing which wax to use in candles for the first-time crafter. Thus, our P&J Family wants to kick off our “What to Know Candle Series” by discussing the ins and outs of paraffin wax. Follow along below to learn the basics of what it is, pros and cons, and tips when making a candle with paraffin.
WHAT IS PARAFFIN WAX
Paraffin is known as a flammable, opaque or transparent, solid wax. This wax typically contains a mixture of saturated hydrocarbons, also called fats and oils, obtained through distillation from petroleum or shale. Paraffin is referred to as a staple in most beauty products and is typically found in several ingredient labels. It is also one of the most popular waxes found in candles.
The wax gives products like balms and lotions a velvety feel, meant for moisturization of the skin. This wax also has a melting point close to the human body temperature, making it easier to spread across the skin. Thus, safe to use in various skin-care products. However, there are many controversies when it comes to paraffin wax. Since it contains chemicals like petroleum, the question is whether or not it is toxic for humans; especially breathing it in from candles.
PROS AND CONS
Learn more about the pros and cons of using paraffin wax:
- Paraffin is one of the most common waxes found in candles; mostly from its opacity.
- This wax is very easy to find and is most cost-effective when making large batches.
- It is valued in the craft world because of its lack of odor and color, making it easier to add various scent blends and dye.
- It is non-toxic and non-poisonous and goes through federal tests to market as candle wax.
- The scent throw is stronger because it is not as dense as other waxes like soy or beeswax.
- Using only paraffin wax, allows for more experimentation with additives and designs.
- The cure time is less than a soy wax candle.
- This type of candle burns quickly because it is not as dense as other waxes.
- Paraffin wax candles can create a “soot” that is not great for you to breathe in.
- It can cause harm if it is burned 24 hours a day everyday and emit alkenes and toluene.
- The material is sourced from non-renewable fossil fuel; creating soot if not properly made. However, there is no such thing as a soot-free wax.
TIPS FOR PARAFFIN WAX
Here are a few tips you should consider if you are new to the candle making world:
An additive are substances blended with the wax to enhance the finished candles. When making a paraffin wax candle, you can add vybar or stearic acid to help bind the fragrance to the wax.
This is the amount of time it takes for a candle to completely burn. There is also burn rate which is the amount of wax, in grams, consumed per 60 minutes. Paraffin burns at a faster rate than other waxes because it is not as dense.
These are lines that appear on the finished candle because the container was too cold when the wax was poured or the wax was too hot/cold. This is why it is important, when using paraffin, to pour between 130-150 °F.
This is the amount of time a candle should rest for before it is lit to help increase scent throw. When using paraffin wax, it is recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours before burning.
We recommend using 1 ounce of P&J Trading Fragrance Oil for every 1 pound of paraffin wax. This will give a proper scent throw, depending on how strong you want the fragrance and the size of the room the candle is placed in.
This is the various colorants used in the candle making process. We recommend using dye black in paraffin wax for a darker more vibrant color. Liquid dyes will produce a lighter more pastel color and may change the way the candle burns.
Is the fragrance emitted from the candle. Paraffin is said to have a better scent throw around the room because it is not as thick as other waxes.
A cotton or wood material that is used to ignite the flame of a candle. For paraffin, it is best to stick with cotton or a LX wick that is specifically braided for a controlled flame.
Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or want to know more about paraffin wax!