OK, so if you've done any research at all on candles, you have no doubt come across the term paraffin. But, what even is paraffin wax??
By definition, paraffin wax is a milky, translucent chemical wax substance with a hard texture and consistency. It is a mixture of solid straight-chain hydrocarbons with a varying melting point of between 120° and 150° F. Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct from the processes used to refine crude oil into fuels such as gasoline.
Commonly used in candle making, paraffin wax has a variety of other uses in the industrial, beauty, and food industries. According to Britannica, paraffin can be found in candles, wax paper, polishes, and electrical insulators, as well as its use as heavy-duty floor wax, waterproofing for textiles and paper, tanning agents for leather, rust preventives, and for masonry and concrete treatment. Paraffin can also be found in beauty products or cosmetics, or as the waxy texture on some foods such as non-organic apples. (Organic fruit producers cannot use petroleum-based wax on their products). Due to its high melting points, paraffin is even used as an additive to some chocolate and candies to keep them from melting in your hand.
HISTORY OF PARAFFIN WAX IN CANDLE MAKING
Introduced in the 1850s, today, 95% of candles use paraffin wax. After chemists learned how to efficiently and economically refine petroleum byproducts to create candle wax, paraffin became a key ingredient. It was also much cheaper than any other candle fuel. Although the advent of the lightbulb created a decrease in demand for candles, they soon enjoyed a renewed popularity when the growth of U.S. oil and meatpacking industries emerged in the first half of the 20th century. Paraffin is known in the candle industry as a go to due to its ability to effectively hold color and scent. In the 1990s there was an unprecedented global surge in candle popularity and new forms of waxes were tested and developed from soybean wax to palm wax.
ARE PARAFFIN WAX CANDLES SAFE
Burning paraffin wax candles can release harmful chemicals into the air and can lead to respiratory and skin irritations, especially when burned in unventilated or poorly ventilated areas.
This is a list of some common chemicals often present in paraffin wax:
We Do Things Differently
At Willie C. Candles, we hand craft all of our candles using a 100% natural blend of coconut soy wax which has many benefits even beyond health and sustainability, including burn performance. While our candle wax may be more costly and require a more lengthy product development stage than competing candle wax options, it is important to us that we produce a beautifully scented, luxurious candle without the sacrifice to your heath or the environment.