Stearin wax 101: A Beginner’s Complete Guide to Candle Crafting

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Stearin wax refers to a group of hard, saturated hydrocarbon waxes used for candle making. Commercially produced from animal fat and vegetable oil sources using a chemical saturation process called stearinization, stearin waxes balance cost with useful properties, making them common candle ingredients. Their production method and composition impart unique qualities worth understanding when formulating quality stearin wax candles.

What is Stearin Wax?

Stearin wax gets its name from stearic acid, a key wax component. By saturating natural fats and oils, commercial stearin waxes standardize melt points, hardness, and transparency properties. Categories include animal-based tallow stearin, vegetable-sourced palm stearin, and soybean stearin waxes meeting FDA regulations for candle use.

Where Does Stearin Come From?

As a commercially processed product, stearin waxes trace back to natural fats/oils found globally – including soybean and palm crops from Asia, while beef cattle byproducts generate North American tallow wax sources. Abundant agricultural output ensures a steady commercial supply for food and candle wax production needs.

How is Stearin Wax Made?

Stearin wax production utilizes a chemical saturation process called stearinization, which transforms natural oils into saturated compounds, effectively boosting hardness, crystallinity, and melting behaviors. Controlled hydrogenation processing times create specialized stearin waxes tailored for applications like candlemaking.

What are Stearin Candles?

Serving key properties, stearin waxes are commonly blended with paraffin or beeswax to compose candle bases. The controlled saturation process givesversatile melt points between 115°-130°F useful for container candles. Medium hardness also strikes a favorable balance for rolling and molding pillar candles. The neutral transparency readily accepts standard candle dyes as well.

Is Stearin Good for Candles?

With adjustable properties by design, stearin waxes serve candlemaking well for everyday usage in a variety of ways. As low-cost hardening agents, versatile stearins boost paraffin matrices while remaining FDA-compliant. The neutral transparency blends into most color palettes. Burn performance also benefits from increased density and thermo-stability stearins provided to wax blends, supporting longer shelf life.

Benefits of Stearin Wax Candles

  • Hardens Wax Blends – Stearin wax builds dense, rigid-candle composite structures.
  • Controls Melt Points – Tailored crystallinity carefully guides wax melting behaviors.
  • Enhances Burn Time – Tighter molecular packing fights burn-off.
  • Boosts Color Depth – The transparent medium intensifies dye shades.
  • Improves Shelf Life – Resistance to oil separation and temperature changes assures longevity.

Best Stearin for Candles

Seeking stearins designed specifically for candlemaking ensures ideal properties. Top commercial suppliers like Cargill provide soybean and palm oil stearins meeting FDA safety standards for candle waxes. Paramount’s tallow stearin qualifies as well. Asking sales representatives helps select grades that best complement primary wax bases regarding melt profile, crystal structure, and color depth needs.

Stearin Candles DIY

Incorporate stearin wax into candlemaking projects by first melting primary wax, then introducing powdered stearin additive in 5-15% ratios once the base liquefies fully. Stir thoroughly to evenly disperse throughout. Then add colorants and fragrances as desired before pouring into candle molds and vessels. Allow adequate cooling and curing time before unmolding finished candles containing stearin wax blends.

Why is Stearin Wax Used for Candles?

  • Hardens Wax Blends – Dense grain reinforces composite strength and rigidity.
  • Controls Melting – Careful crystallization guides melt transition points.
  • Lengthens Burn Times – Tight pack structure resists rapid melting.
  • Color Enhancing – Transparency aids light permeability through waxes.
  • Stabilizes Formulas – Stearins fortify wax blends against oil separation issues.

How to Use Stearin for Candles

Melt primary wax first, then stir powdered stearin in once the base liquefies fully. Mix thoroughly while heated to evenly incorporate throughout the wax blend. Then remove from heat, add desired fragrances and dyes, mixing again completely before carefully pouring into candle vessels. Allow full cooling and extended curing time to develop hardness.

Why is Stearin Wax Inexpensive?

stearin wax

As commercially processed on a large scale utilizing abundant crops, stearins offer very cost-effective vegetable-based wax options, ranging between paraffin and premium beeswax pricing. Regional harvesting keeps transportation costs low as well. When buying direct in bulk volume, stearin waxes cost noticeably less than one dollar per pound generally, keeping blended candle costs affordable.

Stearin Wax Candle Recipe

This blended pillar candle formula utilizes soybean stearin wax to harden the paraffin base. Makes a 3″ x 6” pillar candle.

  • 1 lb paraffin wax pellets
  • 0.25 lb soybean stearin powder
  • 1 oz red dye blocks
  • 1.5 oz essential oil blend


Melt paraffin wax completely, then sift in stearin powder, stirring thoroughly. Once fully incorporated, mix in oils and dyes. Pour into pillar molds. Allow to fully cure for 48 hours before carefully unmolding finished candles.

Environmental Impact

As animal and plant-based products, most stearins rate as eco-friendly renewable candle waxes, supported by agricultural industry groups. Yet palm production raises land use concerns balanced against soy and tallow sustainability. Compared to petro-waxes, stearins generally align better with green product goals while remaining economical candlemaking choices. Further process innovations may continue improving lifecycle impacts.

Beeswax vs Stearin Wax Candles

  • Source – Beeswax comes directly from honeycombs built by bee colonies. Stearin waxes are commercially processed from animal fats and plant oils.
  • Scent – Beeswax delivers a sweet, rich honey aroma. As highly purified compounds, stearins have no detectable inherent scent.
  • Texture – Brittle beeswax needs blending to make durable candles. Stearins remain hard and rigid on their own.
  • Appearance – Golden beeswax offers warm aesthetics. Colorless stearins blend into candle dye colors.
  • Price – Wholesale beeswax can cost over 5 times more per pound than economical stearins.
  • Sustainability – Both natural beeswax and bio-based stearins score well on renewable sourcing.

Soy Wax vs Stearin Candles

  • Source – Soy wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil. Soybean stearin comes from chemically saturated soybean oil.
  • Scent – Soy wax retains a faint nutty aroma. As a highly refined product, soybean stearin has no scent.
  • Texture – Soy wax remains flexible enough for container candles. Soy stearin is hard and rigid, blending well with softer waxes.
  • Appearance – Off-white soy wax accepts coloring transparently. Clear soy stearin also blends into candle dyes.
  • Price – As a major commodity wax, soy wax costs less per pound than value-added soybean stearin.
  • Sustainability – Both soy wax and soy stearin rate highly as renewable bio-based candle waxes.


Offering formulation versatility blended with paraffin or natural waxes, processed stearin waxes bridge performance and pricing needs for quality candle production. Striking a favorable balance between cost and melting behaviors, abundant stearins should continue serving sustainable candle manufacturing into the foreseeable future as economical options.


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