The first decision you will have to make when making candles is what wax you should use. In the past, you could only stick a piece of wax into a lump or dip a reed through some grease to make rush lights. However, there are many options today.
Many kinds of candle wax can be used to make candles today. Some are natural, others synthetic and some have some unique characteristics. While some candle makers choose a particular type of wax, others prefer to use different types for different purposes.
Paraffin wax is one the most widely used waxes today. There are several melt points that you can use for various applications, such as containers, pillars, and votives.
Many candles sold in shops today are made from paraffin. However, it is not widely accepted. Paraffin wax, a by-product from crude oil refinement, is often avoided by green-minded individuals.
Soy oil is an emerging wax, but it has firmly established itself in the candle making industry. As natural candles are becoming more popular, soy wax was first developed in the 1990s to replace petroleum-derived paraffin and natural (but more costly) beeswax. There are many melting points and blends for soy wax, just like paraffin. The most popular soy waxes, however, are container candle blends.
Many soy waxes contain 100% soybean oil. Others may be made with vegetable oils, such as coconut, or waxes like palm and beeswax. Many paraffin/soy combinations take advantage of the advantages of both waxes. You can call it a soy-wax blend if the blend has at least 51% soy.
Candle wax isn’t wax. If you are making gel candles from gel wax, chances are that they made it. It works in the same way as other waxes. It can hold scent and colors and melts and also burns. Transparency allows for completely different types of candles from it. Gel wax can be used to imitate liquids such as beer or wines in novelty candles.
While gel wax is most often used for container candles or votive candles, firmer gel wax can be used to create pillar candles.
Beeswax, which is the oldest known candle wax, is often argued to be the best. Beeswax candles could even have been found in the pyramids. The honey-making process produces beeswax. The bees turn the wax into “combs”, which are used to incubate their larvae. Because it was infused with honey, its naturally sweet scent changes depending on which flowers or plants are being used to make it.
After being harvested from the honeybee hive, beeswax must be melted and filtered multiple times. Candle makers have the option of purchasing beeswax in either blocks or slabs (like paraffin), which melt quickly, or pre-rolled sheets which can be made into candles easily without melting.
Palm wax is similar in nature to soy oil, as it is made of natural oil. In this instance, palm oil. Palm wax is a firm wax that is almost impossible to break down, which makes it ideal for votives and pillars. It can create a beautiful crystalline effect or “feathered”, in candles. Soy wax can be used to mix palm wax with it.