Candlelit dinner sounds very romantic, right? And is there anything more relaxing than a warm bath surrounded by scented candles? Whether you like the light and glow of a burning candle or the beautiful fragrance that can relieve stress, chances are you have a few of them around. All candles are made from some type of wax, and if you are in the candle-making business or like to make your own candles at home, you have come across various kinds of wax.
Although the end products might look the same, they all have their distinctive features. Different properties can result in different effects, creating unique candles. Depending on the types of candles you want to create and the desired qualities of the finished product, you can use different waxes. Among the most popular choices for candle-making are soy wax, coconut wax, and traditional beeswax., each with its own set of characteristics and advantages.
• Source: Soy wax for candles is derived from soybeans, making it a renewable and environmentally-friendly option. After the beans are harvested, they are cleaned and rolled into flakes. The extracted soy oil is then extracted and hydrogenated, turning it into wax.
• Appearance: When you take a look at cosy and inviting candle soy wax sets, they often have a smooth and creamy appearance, which gives them a clean and modern look. You should expect variations in the look of different soy waxes. Some are very soft when solid, while others can be quite hard. The melted wax can range from clear and translucent to a bit cloudy.
• Burn Time: Soy wax candles tend to burn longer than paraffin candles because soy has a lower melting point. However, candles from soy wax burn cleaner and there is less soot. They do not emit any toxins and are suitable for indoors, giving a white, cool-toned flame.
• Scent Throw: Soy wax has a good scent throw, meaning it can effectively carry fragrance oils, resulting in a pleasant aroma when burned. It has a strong scent pre-burn (cold throw) and during the burn (hot throw).
• Environmental Impact: When you buy soy wax you should look for 100 % soy and make sure it’s not a blend with paraffin. The vegan wax is biodegradable and comes from a renewable source, making it an eco-friendly and cruelty-free option.
• Issues: Soy wax can be sensitive to temperature changes and may experience frosting (white crystalline appearance on the surface) and adhesion issues.
• Source: Coconut wax is derived from the oil of coconuts. It is considered a sustainable option as coconuts are a renewable resource.
• Appearance: Coconut wax has a smooth and luxurious appearance. It can have a slightly shiny finish, giving candles an elegant look. It’s softer than soy wax, which makes it easier to work with.
• Burn Time: Coconut wax also has a good burn time due to its high melting point, as well as a cleaner burn because of the fewer ingredients. This might be shorter than soy candles, but the release of scent is quicker.
• Scent Throw: Coconut wax has an excellent scent throw, often producing a strong and long-lasting fragrance. It has a lower melting point, which translates to a better hot throw due to the flexibility and consistency of the coconut wax.
• Environmental Impact: Like soy wax, coconut wax is biodegradable and sourced from a renewable resource.
• Issues: Coconut wax can be more expensive compared to other waxes because of the limited methods of production, and it may be a bit harder to work with due to its higher melting point.
• Source: Beeswax is produced by bees, as a byproduct and is a natural substance with a long history of use in candle making. With this wax you know exactly what you get, a product from nature.
• Appearance: Beeswax candles have a warm, natural colour and a distinctive honey-like aroma when burned.
• Burn Time: Beeswax candles burn slowly and emit a naturally bright, warm flame within the spectrum of the sun. Since the wax is denser, it tends to burn longer than soy
• Scent Throw: Beeswax has a subtle natural scent and may not carry artificial fragrances as well as soy or coconut wax. That said, it also mixes well with a variety of essential oils and fragrances.
• Environmental Impact: Beeswax is also considered a natural and renewable resource. Using beeswax can also support beekeeping and pollinator conservation efforts.
• Issues: Beeswax can be more expensive than other waxes, and it requires special handling due to its higher melting point.
Candle-Making Kits and Tips
If you opt for candle soy wax sets, for example, consider the varieties as they might also have slight differences in holding scent, or which type is more suitable for pillar candles, wax melts, or tarts. They also have different melting points and recommended pouring temperatures, as well as maximum fragrance loads.
If you are a beginner in candle-making, follow the instructions from the manufacturer until you get the hang of the process. You can easily find candle-making kits that will include all the ingredients you need, from wax, wicks, melting pitchers, containers, dyes, fragrances or essential oils, thermometers, and more.
You will need to do some calculations before you start the process so that you know how much wax per candle you need, and how much fragrance you can add. Make sure you have the right wick size for the best burning performance. If the wick is longer the candle may flicker, and if it’s shorter you will get candle tunnelling.
Are Soy Wax Candles Better?
Ultimately, the choice between these waxes depends on factors like your candle-making goals, desired appearance, fragrance preferences, burn characteristics, and environmental considerations. It’s a good idea to experiment with different waxes to see which one aligns best with your vision for your candles. Be ready for some trial and error, but that’s the fun part of creating something yourself.