Selecting the ideal paraffin wax to use in your candles requires an analysis of several key factors, the first of which is deciding what type of candles you are going to make. For example, the type of paraffin one would use for container candles is very different from the type of paraffin one would use for pillar candles.
Next, you need to decide what wax traits are most important to you.
- Is it important that your wax is easy to work with
- Do you want one that requires little or no additives
- Are you looking for the strongest scent throw possible
Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preferences and finding the best wax to match your desires.
Paraffin comes in many varieties with some being soft and scoopable, while others are harder and must be cut from slabs. Typically, the softer the wax, the lower its specific melting point will be.
The melting point is the term used to describe the temperature at which the wax will begin to melt. Melting points of paraffin wax range from approximately 127 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degrees Celsius) on the low end to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius) on the high end. As a rule of thumb, the higher the melting point, the harder the wax.
One of the benefits of lower melting point paraffin waxes is that the softer wax helps to retain the fragrance of the candle until it is burned. This characteristic makes lower melting point paraffin waxes ideal for container candles. In addition to their wonderful ability to retain scent, these low melting point waxes are extremely malleable and almost never requires the use of additives.
While some candle makers may love the benefits of these softer waxes, they can be sticky to work with, and they tend to emit more soot than some other waxes. While the stellar scent throw may be a benefit, some may not feel that the drawbacks are worth it. Again, it comes down to personal preference.
Medium melting point paraffin waxes are most commonly used for votives and sometimes containers. Medium melting point paraffin will be harder to the touch and will keep its shape better than the lower melting point paraffin waxes.
It still manages to hold scent fairly well, but this type of wax often requires use of additives, thus resulting in more experimentation in making your candles. The medium melting point paraffin typically come in blocks, and can either be chipped off or cut off in chunks for use.
The higher melting point paraffin’s are usually reserved for making pillars, hand-dipped tapers, molded, and shaped or carved candles. These waxes are used for making such candles because of their extreme firmness, and because these types of candles do not often require the stronger scent throw of other types.
The firmness of the wax makes them ideal for molded and shaped candles because they will not cave in on themselves while cooling. High melting point paraffin waxes will usually require the use of additives, and they do not retain fragrance as well as the softer paraffin waxes.
Many craft stores have begun carrying a small range of paraffin waxes. However, these waxes are typically of mediocre quality and are not intended to meet the needs of more serious candle makers. For a wide array of quality choices, visit one of the many specialty online candle making supply websites.
Not only do they offer a wide variety of waxes, but they also offer detailed instructions on how to work with each one. You will also find the other supplies you may need, making these websites excellent one-stop shops for purchasing your entire candle making supplies.