Complete Benefits of Plant Based Wax for Candle Making

pet friendly Candles

Plant based wax offer natural, renewable options for sustainable candle making. As consumer demand grows for eco-friendly products, candle crafters have an increasing selection of interesting botanical waxes to explore beyond conventional paraffin and soy wax.

From coconut to sunflower, candelilla to rapeseed, and hemp to palm wax, this guide surveys popular plant-based candle waxes noted for their unique sustainable qualities and creative applications.

Soy Wax

As an early alternative to petroleum-derived paraffin wax, soy wax from soybean oil pioneered renewable waxes for modern candle making starting over 20 years ago. It remains a top choice among hobby candle crafters and commercial manufacturers today thanks to good performance, accessibility, and competitive pricing.


With a low melting point near 115-125°F, golden-colored soy wax suits container candles well, pooling completely liquid across tops when lit. The softer wax also adheres nicely to glass surfaces. Soy wax burns cleanly too with very little wax residue. A faint nutty aroma comes through in unscented candles.


Soy wax offers several advantages that popularized it for candle production, including:

  • Clean, Even Burning – Soy wax exhibits excellent wicking characteristics.
  • Good Fragrance Release – The wax effectively carries and releases added essential oil scents.
  • Accessible and Affordable – As a major commodity crop, soy wax remains cost-effective and widely available.
  • Renewable and Sustainable – Soy wax comes from an annually renewable crop with good sustainability metrics.


The mild scent and golden tone of natural soy wax blend well with woodsier essential oil fragrances like cedarwood, pine, sandalwood, and vetiver. Warmer scents such as vanilla, amber, and cinnamon also pair nicely.

Coconut Plant Based Wax

Coconut wax infuses candles with a deliciously tropical personality. Derived from processed coconut oil, the bright white wax holds gentle coconut essence within a smooth crystalline structure meriting exploration by candle enthusiasts seeking natural wax diversity.


With high oil content, coconut wax offers a clean burning character for vividly scented candles. The raw pressed wax gives off a faint coconut milk aroma flanking added essential oil fragrances. Bleached versions present no scent at all. Hardness and excellent glass adhesion suit coconut wax well for container candles as the pool melts fully from the edges when lit.


As a byproduct of coconut food production concentrated primarily across tropical regions, this abundantly harvested cash crop wax aligns well with sustainability goals around renewability, biodegradability, and utilizing agriculture residuals that might otherwise get discarded. Supporting fair trade coconut farmers helps as well.

Creative Uses

The solid crystalline formation of raw coconut wax makes rolling pillar candles a popular application, often blended with beeswax for enhanced structure. Container methods work too for intensely scented candles. Increasing popularity expands coconut wax blend options for crafters, including mixing with soy, palm, and sunflower waxes to balance qualities.

Palm Wax


plant based waxPalm wax, processed from palm oil, presents candle makers with an eco-friendly alternative to paraffin wax. Filtered from crude palm oil during food production, the refined crystalline vegetable wax congeals into sparkling opaque blocks exhibiting appealing physical properties amendable to creative candle crafting techniques producing visually stunning pieces.

Crystalline Structure

The highly crystalline material opacity diffuses light dramatically. Varying the rate of cooling molten palm wax predetermines the final crystal dimension, harnessing this phenomenon for artistic effect. Fast cooling yields dense microcrystalline density showing opaque. Slow cooling encourages large lathe-like formations displaying slight translucency resembling quartz.


As a wasted byproduct from palm food oil manufacturing, upcycling abundant residual wax supplies into candlemaking channels helps reduce environmental impacts over extracting new non-renewable resources. Yet sustainability concerns remain, balanced against conservational land use practices independent small farmers follow allowing wildlife to coexist productively.


The exceptional hardness and opacity suit techniques like overlapping candles in layers to build up elaborate molded shapes. Varying palm wax pour temperatures and cooling rates allow creative control over crystalline formations suspended within, varying translucency. The versatility invites considerable innovation potential.


Prized for centuries throughout history for candle making thanks to its sweet honeyed aroma and golden radiance, natural beeswax remains an unparalleled artisanal medium evoking images of glowing amber hues shimmering with natural beauty as flames flicker, channeling and transporting observers aesthetically across time through commanding sensory experience connecting humanity over millennia through crafted works of illuminated art.

Fragrance and Glow

Burning beeswax candles bathes spaces in a warming golden glow unique to this ecologically produced medium while emitting a delicate, rich, sweet, honey-like scent complementing added essential oil aromas. The slow release encaptivates the senses through tranquility dancing candle flames soothing away stresses of modern life.

Historical Significance

Beeswax candle making from honeycombs dates over 5,000 years. For ages across cultures globally, beeswax symbolized positive spiritual attributes like wisdom, clarity, and purity. Affordability rarity made beeswax a historically high-value commodity, often restricted to noble class usage, further elevating status appreciation. Ancient applications spanned lighting, medicine, cosmetics, and artisan crafts.

Ethical Sourcing

Ensuring beekeepers utilize ethical, sustainable practices prevents long-term environmental harm protecting fragile colonies already under stress from modern agricultural systems and climate changes. Supporting local apiaries committed to nurturing bee fitness fortifies regional food crop pollination essential for ecological health and food supply abundance benefiting communities.

Candelilla Wax

Candelilla wax, derived from arid-climate Euphorbia shrubs, presents candle makers with an intriguing vegan-friendly alternative. Requiring no animals for production, the purified plant-sourced wax gives candles a subtle natural sheen and firm structural stability worth exploring as artistic vegan candles surge in market popularity.

Vegan Alternative

As awareness grows around ethical concerns from commercial beekeeping needed for beeswax production, Candelilla wax made from wild desert shrubs offers a compelling 100% vegan substitute free of animal inputs. The purified wax performs similarly in candles as beeswax regarding burn profile, appearance, and versatility yet avoids harvested bee labor exploitation increasing environmental stresses on already threatened bee colonies.

Practical Uses

Naturally glossy candelilla wax adds luminous elegance to rolled candles when blended with oils for enhanced pliability. Container methods work too, often mixing with soy or coconut waxes to modify structural profiles. Pairing with essential oils boosts aromatic enhances through clean burning. Vibrant colors infuse well for added decorative flair.

Aromatherapy Pairings

The light natural aroma interplays nicely with essential oils like bergamot, geranium, and ylang-ylang for soothing stress relief and aromatic harmony while burning cleanly due to wick-friendly wax properties ensuring reliable unwinding effectively without attention disruption.

Rapeseed Wax

Rapeseed wax, filtered from rapeseed oil, offers candle crafters an eco-sustainable alternative to paraffin waxes. As a natural vegetable byproduct wax already gaining popularity for cosmetics uses, versatile rapeseed wax works well blended with other waxes for quality candle making applications due to favorable burn properties and creamy off-white color.


Derived from pressing rapeseeds for culinary oil production, rapeseed wax aligns with sustainability goals as a reused byproduct that would otherwise get discarded into waste streams. The agricultural renewal cycle of seasonal planting also keeps rapeseed wax in the eco-friendly category for sourcing. Energy to process and refine remains the largest lifecycle impact.


The high oil content gives rapeseed wax good burn properties with a clean flame and even wax pool melting. The naturally creamy appearance accepts infused dyes well for decorative candles. Testing combinations with soy, coconut, or palm waxes helps optimize melting points and structural profiles catering to exact candle-making uses.


Blended with palm wax, rapeseed wax makes durable sculpted candles, capitalizing on rapeseed’s creamy surface contrasting with glossy palm. Adding soy or coconut wax instead curates customized container candle properties. Finding percentages dialing target texture and scent throw expands creative possibilities for rapeseed wax combinations.

Sunflower Wax

hazelnut wax

Grown abundantly across temperate climate agricultural regions for oilseed production, sunflowers offer another plant-based wax in sunflower wax filtered from oil pressings. The mildly scented creamy wax makes an intriguing candle material for those who favor eco-friendly ingredients.

Mild Scent

Pressed from sunflower plant seeds like hybrid oilseed varieties, a subtle grassy aroma traces moderately through candles unenhanced by added essential oils, unlike strongly scented beeswax, appealing for a naturalistic one-note herbal candle ambiance simplicity.


As a leftover byproduct stream from harvested sunflower oil manufacture, minimally processed sunflower wax aligns with emerging circular economics guiding consumer support through retail sustainability movement purchasing trends driving innovation.

Creative Blends

The smooth wax blends nicely with soy or palm waxes for tailored container candle properties modifying melting behaviors and textural finishes according to percentages mixed. Light green hues infuse well when adding chlorophyll for decorative natural sunflower candleCachesthetics symbolic of the popular summertime blooms.

Hemp Wax

Hemp wax presents candle makers with an eco-sustainable plant-based wax choice as consumer interest grows around versatile applications for industrial non-psychotropic hemp strains. Filtered from hempseed oil production waste streams, hemp wax’s emerging specialty availability rides accelerating commercial hemp crop expansion.


Beyond aligning with environmentally focused agroecological product philosophies guided by holistic land management nurturing natural soil fertility cycles, hemp wax uniquely processes using waste biomass from textile and food manufacture rather than dedicating standalone candle wax crop needs decoupling resource pressures otherwise inflating dedicated commodity supply ecological impacts through displaceable utilization demand.


Reminiscent of soy wax yet harder in texture, hemp wax easily blends with natural waxes for enhanced structural characteristics lending improved molding definition and rolling density accentuating artistic candle design details with good adhesion and self-extinguishing safety from concentrated essential oil and whole hemp infusion variability.


Following the 2018 U.S. Federal hemp production program expansion, collateral innovations now seek to raise market profitability and sustain this multifunctional ecological regeneration crop. As large acreages stabilize over seasons, opportunities abound for startups to answer demand for previously cost prohibitive hemp wax now accessible with economies of scale through specialized mechanical oil filtering infrastructure investments during temporary market vacuum gaps before dominant firms consolidate operational control.


The growing diversity of plant-based waxes opens new creative possibilities for eco-conscious candle makers to consider. As global consumer interest expands around renewable materials supporting sustainable business models, niche opportunity emerges for artisanal candle producers attentive to specialty agriculture commodity trends.

By creatively experimenting with tailored wax blends cocooning clean burning feeds with essential oil aromatherapeutic enhancements, next-generation craft candles incorporating materials like hemp, rapeseed, and palm wax invite inspiring seasonal gifting ideas reinforcing cherished renewable cycles. Ultimately, mindful materials selection enables regenerative ideals to take root through inspiring illuminated eco-artisan wares celebrating nature’s seasonal bounty.

What plant-based waxes intrigue your inner candle artisan? Share creative inspirations or wax insights by leaving comments below. Let’s collectively kindle sustainability through our energetic passions and ethical local purchasing decisions supporting positive change.


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