What is Paraffin Wax Candle? Reviews


Paraffin wax is a white or colorless soft, solid wax derived as a petroleum byproduct from crude oil refining. It is composed of saturated hydrocarbons, consisting mainly of straight-chain alkanes ranging from 20 to 40 carbon atoms. Paraffin wax is separated from the leftover residue after gasoline, diesel fuel, and other products are extracted from crude oil through the refining process. It provides an abundant commercial wax widely used in candles and other products.

Where Does Paraffin Wax Come From?

Paraffin wax originates from the heavy residue remaining after crude oil is refined into finished petroleum products. This bottom-of-the-barrel residue, referred to as sludge or slack wax, undergoes further refining through a process called solvent de-oiling. The sludge gets treated with solvents like propane, MEK, and toluene to dissolve the remaining oils. What remains is a waxy crystalline solid called crude paraffin wax comprised of normal alkane-heavy hydrocarbons. Additional refining and purification steps produce the purified paraffin wax used commercially in candles.

How is Paraffin Candles Made?

Paraffin wax manufacturing involves extracting the wax crystals from petroleum residue and then intensive filtering and separation processes to achieve desirable properties and purity. The basic production steps include:

  1. Solvent De-oiling Treatment – Sludge wax gets dissolved in hot solvents separating remaining oils. Upon cooling the wax fraction crystallizes leaving a wax cake behind after solvent removal.
  2. Sweating – Refining involving melting and long controlled cooling to grow purer, larger wax crystal formations that get separated from impurities.
  3. Filter Pressing – Liquid hot wax forced through filter cloths traps impurities leaving clarified wax.
  4. Hydrotreating – Chemically treating wax to improve color and scent.
  5. Bleaching – Clay filtering further removes trace color and aromatic compounds.

The finished paraffin candles meets purity specifications for making candles and other wax products.

What are Paraffin Candles?

Paraffin candles are composed of paraffin wax, plant-derived stearic acid to harden the wax, and dyes or pigments to color the candle. The ingredients get melted together and then poured into molds containing a centered wick as the candle foundation.

After cooling and setting up, the finished candle contains the embedded wick needed for clean even burning. Paraffin candles may also include added perfumes or essential oils to give the candles aromas. The high-quality purified wax produces rigid candles in a variety of shapes, colors, and scents.

Is Paraffin Wax Good for Candles?

Paraffin wax offers excellent capabilities for candle making which has made it the dominant commercial candle wax for over a century. It has desirable properties including:

  • Ability to form very hard, rigid candles able to retain shape
  • A high melting point above 120°F suits most environments
  • Excellent scent throw to disperse fragrances efficiently
  • Readily accepts dyes and colorants for decorative candles
  • Produces long burning candles with low soot
  • Cost-effective as a major byproduct of petroleum refining
  • Easily adaptable to large-scale candle manufacturing

Paraffin wax is ideal for making durable, decorative candles able to be produced affordably on a mass commercial scale.

Benefits of Paraffin Candles

Quality paraffin wax candles provide benefits sought after by many consumers:

  • Rigid Structure – Solid paraffin wax allows carved candle designs to retain intricate shapes
  • Vibrant Colors – Paraffin readily accepts dyes for colorful decorative candles
  • Great Scent Variety – Essential oils scent candles nicely without muting aromas
  • Smokeless Burn – Purified paraffin wax doesn’t emit heavy soot when burning
  • Long Lasting – Large multi-wick candles can provide light for up to a week per burn
  • Shape Versatility – Paraffin pours easily into many candle shapes and molds
  • Decorative Finish – The polished wax surface looks elegant like a fine sculpture
  • Low Cost – Inexpensive to produce allowing very affordable consumer pricing

Best Paraffin Wax for Candles

Seeking paraffin wax with higher melting points between 130°F to 140°F makes the best quality candles. This allows finished candles to maintain shape without collapsing in warm environments. Fully refined paraffin with low oil content, minimal odor, and light color produces the best burning candles. Gulf Wax and IGI waxes offer refined grades well suited for candle production.

Paraffin Candles DIY

Making basic paraffin candles is relatively easy perfect for beginners. Follow this simple tutorial:


  • Paraffin Wax Slab
  • Wick – paper cored for containers, braided for pillars
  • Fragrance/Dye Oil If Desired
  • Candle Vessels – Heat-Safe Containers
  • Double Boiler
  • Thermometer
  • Stool & Spoon


  1. Cut the wax into chunks to melt in a double boiler
  2. Heat wax to 185°F – 190°F, remove from heat
  3. Add 1oz fragrance or dye oil per 1 lb wax
  4. Carefully pour the wax into candle vessels
  5. Leave wick centered allowing wax to fully cool
  6. Trim the wick then enjoy your handmade candle!

Why is Paraffin Wax Used for Candles?

Paraffin wax became the wax of choice for modern commercial candle making because it has properties ideal for making excellent quality candles:

  • The ability to hold scents makes candles pleasingly fragrant
  • Capacity to form rigid, durable candle structures
  • bountiful supply keeps costs affordable
  • Can be adapted easily to mass production
  • Burns cleanly with minimal sooting issues
  • Takes colorants well for coloring candles vividly

How to Use Paraffin Wax for Candles

paraffin wax

Using paraffin to make great candles follows similar basic steps as other waxes. Key tips include:

  • Melting point between 130°F – 140°F makes the best rigid candles
  • Add stearin or cyber to further harden for sculpting detail
  • Use an adequate double boiler to evenly melt wax lump-free
  • Prevent overheating wax which impacts texture and burn performance
  • Cool molded candles gradually to maximize the surface appearance
  • scent with oils up to 1 oz per pound of wax
  • Dye darker colors sparingly as less dye needed to show

Why is Paraffin Wax So Expensive?

In commercial candle making, paraffin wax is very affordably priced, often as low as $1 per pound. This allows profitable production of low-cost consumer candles. The high supply as a petrochemical byproduct prevents paraffin wax costs from exceeding the prices of more labor-intensive waxes.

In artificial candle circles, paraffin gets a bad reputation as an inexpensive short-cut wax. But refined paraffin wax makes excellent quality candles accessible at modest pricing for crafters and major manufacturers alike.

Paraffin Candle Recipe

Once familiar with basic paraffin candle making, try your hand at this elegant star candle:


  • 2 lb Paraffin Wax
  • 1 oz Powder Dye – Blue, Red, White
  • Pine or Cedarwood Essential Oils – Approx 2 tsp
  • Wick – Paper cored #2 for 3” diameter pillar


  1. Melt wax fully in a double boiler and remove the heat
  2. Separate into three equal amounts in heat-safe mixing cups
  3. Add one dye color and 1⁄2 tsp scent per cup, and stir to combine
  4. Allow to slightly cool but still pourable
  5. In the star-shaped mold, carefully pour colored wax creating a design
  6. Insert wick keeping centered before final layer sets up
  7. Allow to fully cool for 48 hours; trim wick, then enjoy!

Creating unique candles allows self-expression while developing your paraffin crafting skills!

is Paraffin Wax Vegan

Paraffin wax raises questions about vegan diet choices – what exactly is it? And does burning paraffin candles fit ethically concerned lifestyles? Let’s explore what science says.

Paraffin wax is derives from petroleum oil. Through industrial processing, crude oil gets converted into waxy remnants used widely in candlemaking delivering cost-efficient production and burning properties. However, fossil fuel origins place paraffin wax production impactfully amid environmental considerations rather than animal ethics regarding veganism specifically.

So are paraffin candles vegan? Technically yes – no animal parts or byproducts compose the wax itself, aligning with dietary restrictions. However, sustainability-focused vegans may still prefer alternative waxes like soy, palm, or beeswax based on ecological impact factors. We all play roles in reducing fossil fuel reliance – evaluate what works best for your situation and prioritize candle composition accordingly.

Environmental Impact

While paraffin wax produces quality candles, some consumers express concern about its environmental impact stemming from fossil fuel origins and emissions created during combustion.

Paraffin wax depends on petroleum, a non-renewable resource, for manufacturing. Refining and transport also contribute to carbon emissions into the atmosphere. However, utilizing a waste byproduct of existing petroleum processing does offset impacts somewhat by eliminating the need for alternate disposals.

Burning paraffin wax candles release additional carbon dioxide and very small traces of other combustion gases, although in nominal amounts per candle. Soot accumulation and wax dripping can also dirty surroundings requiring cleaning. Proper wick size, trimming, and enclosing flames in heat-safe containers or votives help minimize residue accumulation even further.

Consumers seeking sustainable living alternatives may wish to explore natural wax options like beeswax or soy wax. But those less worried about environmental impacts can still enjoy clean burning paraffin wax candles knowing emissions pale in comparison to other hydrocarbon-based energy solutions providing lighting.

In conclusion while often viewed by artisan crafters as inferior to natural beeswax or soy wax, paraffin wax produces quality candles in its own right. It burns cleanly and holds pleasing scents. Vibrant colors easily brighten paraffin wax candles with polished finishes.

The capacity to achieve intricate sculpted designs also gets overlooked even though additives help harden paraffin nicely for carving candle masterpieces. Its abundance and affordability enable hobby crafters to easily dip a toe into candle making as well. Don’t underestimate versatile paraffin wax for making stunning decorative candles on any budget! Give it a try.


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