Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Candle Waxes

Wax is the material that fuels a candle as it burns. Throughout history, people used many various substances as candle waxes. Various fats and oils were used, as well as materials obtained from animals and insects. Nowadays there are several different candle waxes from which scented candles are made. Different waxes have different properties.

Paraffin Wax: The most common wax is paraffin wax. Most scented candles are paraffin candles. Paraffin wax is a white odorless wax. It is a blend of organic compounds and it is derived from filtered petroleum.

Soy Wax: Soy wax is made from the oil of soy beans. After soy beans are harvested, they are washed, crushed, and rolled and the oil is drawn out and hydrogenated in order to be used as wax.

Beeswax: Beeswax is the most expensive wax. It is made from the material that honey bees use to build the honeycomb. It is produced from the glands of worker bees. It has a naturally sweet scent. Beeswax is yellow due to the natural coloration from the pollen and propolis that the bees gathered. But beeswax is often refined to remove the yellow coloring and therefore is available in both yellow and white.

Gel Wax: Gel wax is not really a wax at all. It is a clear jelly-like substance that consists of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin. Gel candles burn much slower than regular waxes and last longer. Due to it's transparency, gel wax is used to make many beautiful designer candles and because it has a jelly-like consistency, objects can be embedded inside the candles.

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