Paraffin wax is a type of wax that is derived from petroleum. It is a white or colourless solid that is insoluble in water. Paraffin wax has many uses, including candle making, food packaging, and cosmetics. When it comes to candle making, paraffin wax is the most popular type of wax used. It is easy to work with and has a high melting point, making it ideal for making candles. Paraffin wax is also relatively inexpensive, making it a good choice for those just starting in candle making. If you’re interested in learning how to make candles using paraffin wax, then this guide is for you!
What is Paraffin Wax?
Paraffin wax is a petroleum-based wax that is made from the residue of crude oil refining. It is the most common wax used in candle making because it is inexpensive and easy to work with. Paraffin wax can be found in both block and liquid form, and it has a high melting point, making it ideal for use in candles. The wax is a white or colourless solid supplied in either slab or flake form.
How is Paraffin Wax made?
Paraffin wax is made from the residue of crude oil refining. Paraffin wax is a by-product of the oil purification process. The process begins with distilling petroleum to create a light hydrocarbon fraction. This fraction is then cooled and fed into a second distillation unit, where it is condensed to form a solid paraffin wax.
What are the properties of Paraffin Wax?
There are several properties that we have reviewed with Paraffin Wax candles. The findings were scored on several 1 to 10 scales listed below. In the tables below, we have ranked the properties of Paraffin Wax for candle making.
|Melting Point in Fahrenheit (°F)
|Melting Point in Celsius (°C)
|115 to 154
|46 to 68
|Melting Point in Fahrenheit (°F)
|At what ambient temperature is the candle at risk of melting? (°F)
|How long can you leave the candle before it melts? (Minutes)
|115 to 154
|Flash Point in Fahrenheit (°F)
|Flash Point in Celsius (°C)
|Add Fragrance Oil at Fahrenheit (°F)
|Add Fragrance Oil at Celsius (°C)
|185 to 200
|85 to 93
|Add Essential Oil at Fahrenheit (°F)
|Add Essential Oil at Celsius (°C)
|Pour Wax at Fahrenheit (°F)
|Pour Wax at Celsius (°C)
|155 to 165
|68 to 74
|Type of Wax (Pure)
|Suggested Cure Time
|3 to 5 days
|Soft (1) or Hard (10)
|High (10) or Low (1) Cost
|White, Translucent, Smooth
|Strong (10) or Weak Hot Throw (1)
|Fragrance Oil Blending Ease
|Possible health concerns
What are the pros and cons of Paraffin Wax?
Various waxes can be used for candles, each with its distinct benefits. The most common type of wax used in candles is paraffin wax, which is a petroleum-based product. Paraffin wax is inexpensive and easy to work with, making it a popular choice among candle makers. However, it has some downsides, such as being a potential health hazard when inhaled and producing black soot when burned. For this reason, many candle makers are moving away from paraffin wax and instead choosing alternatives such as soy wax or beeswax.
To learn more about whether paraffin wax is toxic and what the research says, you can look at our article. We review elements of sure candles that can cause you harm.
Benefits of Paraffin Wax
- Inexpensive – one of the main benefits of paraffin wax is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to other types of candle wax. This makes it an excellent choice for those on a budget or for those who are just starting in the candle-making business.
- Easy to work with – another benefit of paraffin wax is that it is easy to work with. This makes it a good choice for beginners, as it is easy to melt and mould.
- Produces a strong scent – paraffin wax is also known for its ability to hold fragrance and produce a powerful hot throw (the smell released when the candle is burned).
- Readily Available – paraffin wax is widely available and can be purchased from most craft stores or online retailers.
Drawbacks of Paraffin Wax
- One of the potential drawbacks of using paraffin wax is that it can be a health hazard when inhaled. Paraffin wax is made from petroleum products, which can release harmful chemicals into the air when burned.
- Another potential drawback of paraffin wax is that it can produce black soot when burned. This soot can be harmful to your lungs if inhaled, and it can also stain surfaces and clothing.
Paraffin Wax Sustainability Issues
One of the issues with paraffin wax is that it is a petroleum-based product. Petroleum is a non-renewable resource that cannot be replenished once used. This makes paraffin wax unsustainable in the long term.
Another issue with paraffin wax is that it is often sourced from countries with poor environmental and labour standards. This means that the production of paraffin wax can negatively impact the environment and the people who work in the industry.
For these reasons, many people choose to use sustainable alternatives to paraffin wax, such as soy wax or beeswax.
Is Paraffin Wax Vegan?
Paraffin wax is vegan, made from petroleum products and does not contain animal products. You may want to consider soy wax if you are looking for a sustainable and vegan-friendly alternative to paraffin wax.
What are the substitutes for Paraffin Wax?
The most common substitutes for paraffin wax are soy wax and beeswax.
Soy wax is a renewable resource made from soybeans. It is eco-friendly and produces little to no soot when burned. However, it can be more expensive than paraffin wax and may not hold fragrance either.
Beeswax is a natural wax made by bees. It is eco-friendly and sustainable but can be more expensive than paraffin wax. Beeswax also has a higher melting point, making it more challenging to work with. There is also the argument that the processes used for wax extraction are unethical.
To learn more about the different types of candle wax and which one is right for you, check out our Candle Wax Blending Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions – Paraffin Wax
Does Paraffin Wax frost?
Paraffin wax does not frost and you should not face this issue when using purely paraffin wax with the correct additives included in the wax blend.
Can I colour Paraffin Wax?
You can add colour to paraffin wax by using candle liquid or hard wax dyes – these are added to the melting candle wax alongside the fragrance oil.
What is the melting point of Paraffin Wax?
The melting point of paraffin wax is between 115 and 154 degrees Fahrenheit.
How do I remove Paraffin Wax from fabric?
If you have paraffin wax on your fabric, you can remove it by freezing the wax and then scraping it off with a blunt object, such as a credit card. You can also try using a hairdryer to melt the wax and then blot it up with a paper towel.
Does Paraffin Wax go bad?
Paraffin wax does not go bad, but it can degrade over time. This means that it can become brittle and less effective at holding fragrance.
What is the difference between Paraffin Wax and Soy Wax?
The main difference between paraffin wax and soy wax is that soy wax is a renewable resource, while paraffin wax is not. Soy wax is also less likely to produce soot but will not provide the hot throw that paraffin candles can.
What kind of wax does Yankee Candle use?
Yankee Candle uses a blended wax made from paraffin wax and other ingredients including several addatives.
Does Paraffin Wax release toxins?
Paraffin wax can release toxins when burned. This is because it is made from petroleum products, which can release harmful chemicals into the air.
Is Paraffin Wax sustainable?
No, paraffin wax is not sustainable. This is because it is a petroleum-based product and cannot be replenished once used. Additionally, paraffin wax is often sourced from countries with poor environmental and labour standards.
While paraffin wax has some drawbacks, it is still the most popular type of wax used in candle making. This is because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. If you are concerned about the potential health hazards of paraffin wax, you can always choose to use a different type of wax, such as soy wax or beeswax.