Beeswax - Beeswax is the secretion of honeybees used to form their honey storage combs. After the honey is removed, bee keepers generally melt down the combs and reform it into blocks of beeswax. The beeswax has a slight honey smell and is yellow brown in color and contains bee parts and bits of pollen. To obtain refined beeswax, the wax needs to be filtered and bleached to get white wax. Beeswax burns slowly, doesn't shrink as it hardens (so you don't need to top of your candles as they harden), and tends to be soft and tacky (making it difficult to release from molds).
Petroleum Waxes or Paraffins - Paraffin wax is a by product of refining crude oil into motor oil. It can be made to have various melting points and in general are classified as low, medium and high MP waxes. The most commonly used paraffins have melting points between 120 and 150 F. Always make sure you are buying a good quality paraffin so that you get a good, clean and odorless burning candle. Synthetic waxes - these can be highly refined petro waxes or synthetic polymers.
Vegetable Waxes - Waxes such as carnauba and candelilla are obtained from waxy plants that grow in Mexico, Texas and Brazil. These waxes are much more brittle than beeswax and have very high melting points and are therefor used mainly to raise the melting point of softer waxes and to make them harder. Use these waxes when you need to add strength to a wax blend. Soy wax is a softer wax and is good for container candles and small 3 inch pillars. Soy wax is an earth friendly wax, it burns longer, cooler and cleaner than paraffin wax, it comes from a renewable, sustainable source, it is not carcinogenic & it supports American farmers.
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