20 Top Candle Making Wax Ingredients For Your Craft

gel wax

Candlemaking is an enjoyable hobby and craft that allows you to explore your creativity while producing delightful works of art for your home. An integral part of the candle-making process is selecting the proper wax, as the wax provides structure and texture, and influences burn properties. With so many wax options available to candle makers today, it can get overwhelming trying to decipher the best ones to use.

In this guide, we’ll explore 20 top candle wax options, discussing what makes each type of wax unique and how it performs. Let’s get started!

Soy Wax Ingredients

Soy wax has become an immensely popular choice of candle wax over the past couple of decades. Made from hydrogenated soybean oil, this renewable wax burns cleanly without producing much smoke. Soy candles have an excellent scent throw and last longer than paraffin varieties. Soy wax has a lower melting point compared to other waxes, which makes it easy to work with either on its own or blended with other waxes. Its soft texture allows for distinctive visual effects. The natural compatibility of soy wax with essential oils eliminates the need for additional additives.


Prized for centuries, beeswax produces candles with a delightful honey aroma. The wax is secreted by worker honey bees to build the honeycomb structure of beehives. Beeswax has outstanding burning properties with very little soot or wax dripping. It burns brighter and longer than most commercial waxes. The high melting point of beeswax makes it difficult to work with, often requiring the addition of other waxes with lower melting points to facilitate pouring candles. But its natural beauty and aroma make beeswax candles a top choice.

Paraffin Wax

The most widely used candle wax, paraffin is a byproduct of refined petroleum. Its chemistry allows paraffin wax to be very stable with a high melting point. This makes it ideal for producing consistent candles. Paraffin wax is available in various melt points, allowing the candles to be tailored for the appropriate climate. Paraffin forms hard, long-lasting candles that accept dyes and fragrance oils easily. However, paraffin wax produces more soot than other waxes which can result in more residue.

Coconut Wax

This natural wax comes from the flesh and oil of coconuts. Coconut wax contains more natural oils than other wax types, giving candles a smooth finish and exceptional performance. The oils ensure excellent scent throw by holding fragrances captive until heated. Coconut wax has a high melting point, similar to paraffin while remaining soft and flexible when set. This gives creative candle makers more leeway when designing layered and carved candles. One downside is coconut wax is prone to frosting on the candle surface.

Hemp Wax

Hemp wax comes from the oil that is extracted from pressed hemp seeds. The wax burns slowly with a consistent flame. Its soft texture lends well to container candles rather than freestanding pillar candles. Hemp wax has an earthy scent complemented by nutty and grassy notes. It pairs nicely with natural fragrances like essential oils. The eco-friendly qualities of hemp wax appeal to green-minded crafters.

Palm Wax

This vegan-friendly and sustainable candle wax is derived from the fruit of palm trees. Palm wax has excellent scent projection, releasing aroma efficiently when burned. It creates clean-burning candles that are harder than soy wax but softer than paraffin. Palm wax works well for pillars, containers, tarts, and votives. It responds well to colorants while requiring less fragrance oil than other waxes. Palm wax comes in two varieties: hydrogenated palm oil and palm kernel oil. Each offers slightly different qualities when making candles.

Candelilla Wax

Candelilla wax comes from the dried stalks of the Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. After the stalks are boiled, the wax rises to the surface and hardens. Candelilla wax helps harden candle blends consisting primarily of softer waxes like beeswax or soy wax. It has a high melting point and mixes well with essential oils. Candelilla wax burns cleanly while allowing subtle fragrances to shine through. The pale wax also takes dyes nicely.

Tallow Wax

Tallow wax is rendered from beef or mutton fat, providing candles with a smooth appearance and vibrant color distribution. It has an excellent scent throw as temperature increases during burning. Tallow wax helps harden softer wax blends while imparting glossy finishes. The very hard tallow wax needs to be blended with oils to make candles. It works well for both container and dipping candles. Tallow may develop a rancid smell over time if not stored properly.

Joy Wax

This proprietary soy-paraffin blend combines the beneficial qualities of both waxes. Joy wax has excellent scent retention with vibrant aromas and comes in easy-to-use flakes. It melts and pours effortlessly at relatively low temperatures. Joy wax makes exceptionally strong candles suitable for carving and embellishing with creative designs. The customization provided by Joy Wax makes it a top choice for professional candle makers. It’s also praised for producing candles with evocative scents using less fragrance oil.

Rapeseed Wax

wax ingredients

Also known as canola wax, rapeseed wax comes from crushed rapeseed, a member of the mustard plant family. This popular candle wax has a very low scent throw. It is often blended with small amounts of beeswax or paraffin to improve aroma diffusion. Rapeseed wax has a putty-like consistency. It produces hardy container candles or can be blended with harder waxes for pillars. The soft texture allows creative applications like modeling, hand rolling, and carving candles. Rapeseed wax burns slowly with a consistent flame height.

Hazelnut Wax

Hazelnut wax comes from roasted hazelnuts rendering a tasty wax with an excellent scent throw. This newer candle wax alternative burns clean and holds high oil content. Hazelnut wax is coveted for its ability to fully release fragrances as its temperature rises slowly through its melt point. Making candles with hazelnut wax requires mixing with oils that lower its melting point to make pouring easier. The resulting candles have an exceptionally glossy, smooth texture.

Sunflower Wax

Sunflower wax is extracted when pressing sunflower oil. The wax is then filtered to remove solids. Sunflower wax has grown in popularity for its ability to hold high fragrance loads which translate into incredible hot and cold scent throw. It also influences how quickly the candle burns and at what temperature. Sunflower wax needs to be blended with other waxes or oil because it cracks and shrinks easily. When mixed properly, sunflower wax makes extremely effective candles.

Montan Wax

Mined from lignite coal deposits, Montan wax is fossilized plant matter extracted through a distillation process. Adding small amounts of Montan wax to other candle waxes helps harden the blend. Montan wax improves burn rate, scent throw, and shine. Too much Montan wax can make candles brittle. The wax imparts a glossy coating to candles, helping colors look extra vibrant. Montan wax also gives candles a finished appearance.

Olive Wax

Olive wax comes from the waste materials left over from olive oil production. The crude wax gets bleached and purified before use in candle making. Olive wax helps harden softer waxes like soy or palm. It increases the burn rate for longer-lasting candles. With amazing scent projection and crystallization properties, olive wax makes effective container candles on its own or in blends. The natural olive fragrance provides a subtle savory undercurrent.

Ceresin Wax

Ceresin wax is a botanical wax derived from plant oils like bayberry, palm, soybean, and candelilla. It has a very low scent throw but blending small amounts with other waxes gives pleasing results. Ceresin wax helps harden softer blends of wax while increasing burn time. Adding too much ceresin wax to a candle blend can make the candle prone to frosting. This versatile wax is used in both pillars and votives to encourage a smooth appearance.

Polyethylene Wax

Made from polymerized ethylene, polyethylene wax looks like small plastic beads. Polyethylene wax is frequently used to help harden soft waxes like soy, beeswax, and palm. Inclusion rates only need to be 10-15% to be effective. Polyethylene wax increases rigidity and shine while allowing a small amount of flexibility to decrease chipping. It also helps the candle burn longer. Too much polyethylene wax leads to sweating, cracking, and poor scent throw.

Gulf Wax

Gulf wax is a byproduct from oil refining originating in the Middle East. It has some properties similar to paraffin wax but a much higher melting point up to about 200°F. Gulf wax helps harden soy, palm, and beeswax blends. It produces durable, high-gloss candles with enhanced texture definition. Gulf wax boosts scent intensity allowing less fragrance oil to achieve noticeable aromas. Issues with incomplete melting during production make Gulf wax challenging to work with.

Microcrystalline Wax

Microcrystalline comes from petroleum refining. The tiny, dense crystals form hard, opaque candles. Microcrystalline wax has an excellent scent throw and works to stabilize and harden softer waxes like soy or beeswax when blending. Too much microcrystalline wax leads to sweating, cracking, and shrinkage. But used sparingly, it makes great container candles by increasing rigidity for a finished decorative look. It also helps homemade candles mimic the appearance of store-bought candles.

Stearin Wax

Commonly used in candle making, stearin wax is derived from animal fat and plant oils. The wax helps harden soft blends and aids in scent throw for pleasing aromas. Stearin wax increases the melting point so candles retain their shape in warmer environments. It improves mold release making for easy candle removal. The plant-based version creates vegan-friendly candles with excellent shine. Blended appropriately, stearin wax makes pleasing, durable candles.

Gel Wax

Gel wax continues revolutionizing the candle industry with its quality textural results. A blend of mineral oil and polymer resin, gel wax provides various visual styles perfect for creative layered designs not possible with standard waxes. Gel wax container candles boast remarkable clarity and long-lasting fragrance. Creating gel candles requires following exact specifications for ingredients and heating to ensure proper setup and burning. But the stunning finished candles make gel wax a favorite.

Wax Overview Melting Point Cost Per Pound Workability Notes
Soy Made from soybeans; natural, clean burn Low $2-3 Blends well to improve burn
Beeswax From honeycomb; burns long, bright High $4-8 May need softener
Paraffin Petroleum byproduct; hard, long-lasting High $1-2 Prone to frosting
Coconut From coconut oil; natural, good scent throw High $2-3 Mix well to avoid separation
Hemp From hemp seed oil; slow, even burn Low $7-12 Best in containers, not pillars
Palm From palm oil; eco-friendly, good hot throw Medium $2-3 Cool slowly for best shine
Candelilla From candelilla shrubs; hardens blends High $7-12 Use in blends, not solo
Tallow From beef/mutton fat; glossy finish High $4-8 Need to blend with oils
Joy Wax Soy-paraffin blend; customizable Medium $5-10 Excellent for carving, designs
Rapeseed From mustard plants; putty-like Low $7-12 Mix with harder waxes for stability
Hazelnut From hazelnuts; glossy, smooth High $7-12 Needs added oils to lower melt point
Sunflower From sunflowers; great scent throw Low $7-12 Prone to cracks if not blended
Montan Fossilized plant wax; glossy coating High $10-15 Use sparingly to avoid brittleness
Olive From olive oil production; hardens soft waxes Medium $5-10 Subtly savory fragrance
Ceresin Plant-derived; increases burn time Medium $3-5 Avoid excess to reduce frosting
Polyethylene Plastic-like beads; hardens blends Very High $5-10 Limit to 10% to reduce sweating/cracking
Gulf Petroleum byproduct; durable, glossy Very High $3-6 Challenging to work with fully
Microcrystalline Petroleum byproduct; opaque, hard High $3-5 Use in small amounts up to 10%
Stearin Animal/plant fat; stable, good throw High $5-10 Improves melting point
Gel Mineral oil/resin; creative designs Very High $15-25 Exact specifications crucial for success

There you have it – 20 common waxes used in modern candle making! As you venture into crafting candles, reference this guide to understand the qualities of each wax and how they perform in candles. Wax selection impacts plenty of factors from texture to scent throw and burn time. While individual waxes have benefits, most candle makers find blending different waxes produces the best results. Experiment, take notes, and let your imagination shine!


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