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What kind of candle wax should I use?

Soy wax has gained popularity in recent years as a natural and eco-friendly alternative to traditional paraffin wax. Made from soybean oil, read my BLOG Bean to candle HERE if you’d like to know more. Soy wax is biodegradable, renewable, and sustainable (washes off with soap and water) It burns cleaner and slower than paraffin wax, extending the candle’s burn time because it burns cooler. Another bonus for those interior decorating conscious candle lovers (who loves black walls right?) – it’s virtually soot free. Soy wax also has an excellent cold scent throw, opaque and creamy in appearance. Additionally, soy wax is easy to work with, this is the wax I use in my candle-making workshops. I use two types for candle making Cargill C3 (flake form) and Goldenwax 464 Container wax.

soy wax

Paraffin wax is one of the most commonly used waxes in candle making due to its affordability, versatility, and ease of use. Derived from petroleum, paraffin wax offers an excellent scent throw, making it ideal for scented candles. Paraffin wax comes in various grades, including fully refined and semi-refined, each with different melting points – around 46 – 68 degrees C. Slightly harder than soy wax, translucent with a slight blue tinge.

paraffin wax jo macfarlane

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honeybees and harvested from beehives.Beeswax has a high melting point around 70 degrees, it almost resembles plastic. It allegedly emits negative ions when burned, which can reputably help purify the air and reduce indoor pollutants. Beeswax candles have a natural honey-like scent and a warm, amber glow that adds ambiance to any space. Beeswax tends to be more expensive than soy or paraffin wax and obviously not favoured by Vegans.


Palm wax is derived from the oil of palm trees and is known for its unique crystalline structure and aesthetic appeal. It has a higher melting point than soy or paraffin wax, resulting in beautiful, textured candles with a marbled or frosted appearance. The problem with Palm is deforestation – read this WWF article HERE.

Coconut wax is a natural wax made from the oil of coconuts and is prized for its clean-burning properties and excellent scent throw. It has a creamy texture and a slightly lower melting point than soy wax at around 30- 39 degrees, non GMO. Coconut wax is also sustainable and renewable, making it an attractive option for eco-conscious candle makers seeking a natural alternative to traditional waxes.

Rapeseed wax, derived from the oil of rapeseed plants, is a relatively new entrant in the candle-making world. It offers similar benefits to soy wax, including clean burning and excellent scent throw, but with the added advantage of being produced with GMO-free and 100% vegan. Rapeseed wax has a smooth texture and a natural creamy colour, melting point 40-46 degrees centigrade.

Gel wax is a transparent, rubbery material made from mineral oil and polymer resin. It offers unique opportunities for creativity, allowing candle makers to embed objects, create layered designs, and achieve a variety of visual effects. High melt point of around 82 degrees Centigrade, Gel candles have a distinctive translucent appearance and a longer burn time than traditional wax candles. its versatility and visual appeal make it a popular choice for decorative and novelty candles.

gel wax

*There are a lot of additional waxes and blends, too many to indicate here – so please just use this as a rough guide and complete your own trials.

If you like this BLOG you might enjoy ‘Which type of wick should I use?’


Hey candle lovers! 

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