In researching the Candle Box I soon realised there were a few different choices for candle wax. Learning a whole new 'language' with scent throws, burn times, melt points and pour temps, I also realised candle making can be as easy or complicated as you like depending on your project.
As all of our boxes are an introduction to crafts, of course I chose the easy options.
The first ingredient I needed to learn about was wax as this is the main ingredient in candle making (Captain Obvious with that statement).
The traditional wax for candles since crude oil was drilled has been paraffin wax. This wax is a by-product of petroleum and is used in candles, wax paper, polishes, cosmetics, and electrical insulators. It assists in extracting perfumes from flowers, forms a base for medical ointments, and supplies a waterproof coating for wood. In wood and paper matches, it helps to ignite the matchstick by supplying an easily vaporized hydrocarbon fuel.
In 2009, a study by South Carolina State University found that burning paraffin wax candles give off harmful fumes (toluene and benzene) (same study also states that it would take years of exposure for health problems to occur).
Paraffin wax was never on my list of waxes to include in the Candle Box.
Soy candles haven’t been around for long, with soy wax only being invented back in 1996. Soy wax is a vegetable wax derived from soybean oil. To get to the oil, harvested soybeans are cleaned, dehulled, cracked, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from these flakes and hydrogenated, a process where the unsaturated fatty acids present in the oil are saturated. This alters the oil’s melting point, making it solidify at room temperature and ready for candle making.
Soybean oil is a byproduct of the massive soybean industry and there are concerns over deforestation and the use of pesticides and fertilisers used to grow soy beans. So my first research for this wax was to ensure the supplier used sustainable soy wax from farms that have no deforestation history.
Soy wax burns slower than paraffin, but it does not have a good 'scent throw' meaning you need to add more scent to get the same effect. The good thing about soy wax is that it likes to be friends with other waxes.
I didn't even realise you could get a wax from coconuts! Coconut Wax is a soft creamy white color and is the eco-friendly choice. Harvesting the oil is an organic process with coconuts themselves being a sustainable high yield crop. It is considered as one of the best and healthiest types of wax to make candles because it doesn't produce as much soot as the other types of wax.
It has a fabulous scent throw, but it is expensive and melts faster than soy wax. Mixing the two waxes together, soy and coconut, creates a fabulous candle wax that melts slowly, has a lower heat and a great scent.
In short, the SOYACOCOA wax I include in the Candle Boxes is:
contains no paraffin
is easy to use
and gives a fantastic scent
Oh, and is vegan.
(I also looked at Beeswax and Palm wax. Beeswax is not as easy to use, and Palm wax, well.... let's just not got here shall we.)
You can find the Candle Box in our shop here. It comes with your choice of scent as well.