Which is the best and safest wax for candles and melts?

Which is the best and safest wax for candles and melts?

In my recent candle buying guide I briefly discussed some of the pros and cons of different waxes used in candle making. In this article I will be looking at wax types in more detail, discussing the relative merits of the different waxes to allow you to choose candles and melts with confidence. 

There are many claims made by candle and melt manufacturers regarding the environmental credentials of different waxes with a large movement towards soy and other plant-based waxes these being marketed as greener and cleaner than paraffin. Is this true or just marketing hype? We will be looking a little deeper into the facts behind such claims. 

Paraffin Wax 

This is commonly used wax for both melts and candles. It is a by-product of petroleum refining, is relatively inexpensive and has a plentiful supply while we are still producing fuel for cars, lorries and airplanes. Some much-quoted research carried out at the University of South Carolina has indicated that there might be some release of harmful chemicals, however other studies have found this is not the case and there is little difference in the quantity of harmful products produced during the combustion of plant and paraffin waxes.[1] 

 Advantages of paraffin wax: 

  • It has a high melting point. 
  • Good burn quality 
  • Gives an excellent colour when pigments and dyes are included. 
  • Can be moulded into shapes and sculpted. 
  • Good supply 
  • By product from another process -no land used 
  • Relatively inexpensive 
  • Gives excellent hot and cold throw allowing less fragrance to be needed. 
  • Has a long burn time? 
  • Is vegan. 
  • Good for free standing pillar candles 

Disadvantages of paraffin wax: 

  • Non-biodegradable 
  • Is made from a non-renewable resource which will eventually run out. 
  • Not suitable for container candles 

Soy Wax 

Soy wax has often been promoted, perhaps incorrectly, as the green and clean alternative to paraffin. Soy wax is derived from oil extracted from soybeans. In 2014 over 80% of all soy produced globally originates from the United States, Brazil and Argentina combined. [2] The production of soy has been linked to deforestation in the Amazon. 

Advantages of soy wax: 

  • It is renewable and biodegradable. 
  • Burns with a clean flame. 
  • Makes a good container wax. 

 

Disadvantages of soy wax: 

  • Some soy is genetically modified. 
  • Soy production has links to deforestation. 
  • Has a relatively low melting point so can melt in high temperatures. 
  • Does not hold wax as well as paraffin so more fragrance needed making the candle more expensive. 
  • Has a shorter burn time than paraffin? 

Rapeseed Wax 

This is a plant-based wax made from rapeseed oil. Rapeseed can be grown in many countries as part of the agricultural rotations on existing farmland so has good sustainability credentials. 

Advantages of Rapeseed Wax: 

  • Made from a sustainable, renewable resource. 
  • Low environmental impact 
  • Burns cleanly. 
  • Vegan 
  • biodegradable 

Disadvantages of rapeseed wax: 

  • has a low melting point and can easily melt and deform, therefore not good for pillar candles. 
  • does not hold fragrance as well as paraffin therefore more fragrance needs to be used in the candle or melt making the product more expensive. 
  • may be more expensive than paraffin. 

Coconut Wax 

Coconut wax is produced from oil extracted from the coconut flesh. As with all plant waxes it is processed to produce a solid wax. The production of coconuts is sustainable, however is not produced in large quantities resulting in it being relatively expensive. Coconut wax is generally vegan friendly, however in some countries monkeys are used to help with the harvesting. 

Advantages of coconut wax: 

  • renewable and sustainable 
  • biodegradable 
  • clean burning flame 
  • nice natural odour 

Disadvantages of coconut wax: 

  • expensive 
  • less abundant 

Which Waxes Go into Quaver&Lyric Candles and Melts? 

Paraffin and Rapeseed Wax Blend Container Candles 

Our main range of candles contain a high-quality paraffin and rapeseed wax blend which produces a very white candle although some fragrance oils such as Dark Honey and Tobacco are quite dark resulting in a cream-coloured candle. This wax is the same wax as used by many top end candle brands as it gives an extremely stable and clean flame. This wax has the longest burn time of all our container waxes and has excellent scent throw properties meaning that less fragrance is needed. The result is that this is our cheapest candle with the best scent throw properties and longest burn times meaning that you will get more bang for your bucks when purchasing these candles. I would recommend these to anyone who does not have a problem with the petroleum industry and loves a strong scent throw. 

Soy Wax for Container Candles and Melts 

We use soy golden wax for our wax melts and soy container candles. The supplier of this wax responsibly sources its soy and is on a pathway to guarantee its soy as 100% verified deforestation free by 2025[3]. It is vegan friendly, however does need more fragrance to produce a good scent throw and does burn faster than our main container wax. So, the price is a little more and your candles will not burn as long but would be the candle I would recommend for anyone requiring a vegan plant-based wax in their candle. 

Coconut and Rapeseed Wax 

We also supply scented container candles made from coconut and rapeseed blended wax. This has similar properties to soy wax but produces a whiter coloured candle than soy. The wax is blended in Europe and contains only coconut and rapeseed oil from GMO free sources and is completely free from paraffin, soy, palm, beeswax and synthetic additives. This is our most expensive candle  and has a similar burn time but I would strongly recommend these candles to anyone who wants a soy-free plant-based vegan-friendly candle.  

We will also be developing tealights and wax melts using a similar coconut and rapeseed blend made by the same supplier but developed to be suitable for these uses. 

Paraffin Wax 

We are developing a range of pillar candles which will be using highly purified paraffin wax of the best quality with excellent clean burning qualities. We use this wax as it retains its shape once moulded or sculpted, it combines with pigments and fragrances brilliantly giving excellent scent throw and vibrant colours.  These qualities make it the perfect wax for the creation of stunning works of art to compliment your home interior design. 

 

 

[1] https://candles.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Measurement-and-evaluation-of-gaseous-and-particulate-emissions-from-burning-scented-and-unscented-candles-2021.pdf 

[2]https://wwf.panda.org/discover/knowledge_hub/?247030/Mapping-the-soy-supply-chain-in-Europe 

[3]https://www.aak.com/sustainability/better-sourcing/soy/all-about-better-sourcing-of-soy/ 

https://citizensustainable.com/paraffin-wax-sustainable/ 

https://www.candleers.com/coconut-wax-101-coconut-wax-for-candle-making/?utm_content=cmp-true 

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/67544872.pdf 

 

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