So what’s with all these different types of candles? Does the type of wax used for candle making make a difference? Should I pay attention to the type of wax when buying a candle? The answer is yes! There are 4 main types of candle wax: paraffin, soy, palm, and bees. Each with their own properties offering different advantages and disadvantages for the finished product. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of candle wax, and why we chose to use soy wax for Weekday Candles!
Paraffin wax is the most common type of candle wax as it is cheap and can take on a multitude of shapes. It is a petroleum-based product first created in 1830 in Germany. It was a major advancement in candle technology as it burned cleaner and was much cheaper than the tallow (animal fat) candles that were common at the time.
There is a misconception that paraffin wax candles release toxins into your home as they burn, this is false. As long as the candle is properly made there is no risk in lighting a candle made of paraffin wax. However, as it is a product of crude oil it does have the same environmental impacts as other petroleum products. Any opportunity to replace a petroleum product with a naturally derived material is an easy way to live a little more green.
Palm wax is a natural material derived from palm oil. Palm oil is an extremely common ingredient in packaged products such as lipstick, laundry, detergent, and ice cream. Unfortunately, palm production is a huge contributor to deforestation. And as demand for palm oil and its derivatives grows, more land is cleared for plantations. This destroys important wildlife habitats and is largely to blame for the endangerment of orangutans and other species.
Palm is typically grown in poorer countries where governments are unable to prioritize conservation over economic welfare. It is up to consumers to decrease the demand for palm products, by refusing to purchase products containing palm derivatives.
Beeswax is a natural wax secreted by honey bees to build their hives. Generally, beeswax candles are unscented as the wax does not hold onto scent very well. Beeswax candles have a unique benefit in that they purify the air while they burn by producing negative ions that attach to positive ions such as pollen and dust. However, they are also the most expensive type of candle and tend to tunnel.
As the name suggests soy wax is a biodegradable wax derived from soybeans. It was developed in the 1990s as demand for natural candles took off. It is more affordable than beeswax while boasting many of the same benefits. It is also non-toxic, clean-burning, and produces very little soot. It is one of the most popular types of candle wax, second only to paraffin.
Why Do We Use Soy Wax?
As outlined above, each type of wax has its advantages and disadvantages. We choose soy wax because it is a natural non-toxic material with a great scent throw. Scent throw describes how a candle's scent circulates a room. We chose our scents carefully and it is important to us that they can fill a room and be fully enjoyed.
Soy wax is also denser than paraffin wax and has a lower melting point, this means soy candles have a longer burn time. Longer burn time means you’ll get more use out of a soy candle than a paraffin candle of the same size. Soy wax is also very easy to work with. Because all of our candles are hand-poured it’s super important to us that the process is simple so we can guarantee a high-quality product each and every time!