Candle wax is messy, but we deal with it because we all love candles. Candle maintenance can sometimes be a pain, not only is wax hot, it sticks to you, it can absorb into your clothes, and it also drys really fast. Here is some information on why wax drys so fast.
Candle wax drys fast because it has a melting point of 99 °F for paraffin, soy wax melts at 120 °F, and beeswax melts at about 145 °F. It can be more accurately described as cooling and solidifying.
These melt points mean that any time wax is below those temperatures, it is a solid not a liquid. So it must be near the flame to be a liquid.
What types of candle wax are used?
There are mainly three types of wax that are used in making candles and each one has its own melting point. Then you have a variety of wax blends that are used and sold that also have their own melting points.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
The most commonly used wax in candle making is paraffin. Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct of the refinery process where crude oil is turned in to gasoline.
Paraffin comes in two varieties. A low melt point variety and a high melt point variety.
Since it is so commonly used in candle making many scents, dyes and candle making guides are designed to work specifically with paraffin.
It is also so popular because it is the cheapest form of candle wax.
Paraffin Melt Points:
- Low Melt Point 99° F
- High Melt Point 130° F
Soy candles are natural and renewable, being made from soy beans.
Benefits of Soy Candles:
- Burn cleaner than paraffin
- Lasts longer than paraffin
Candles made with soy wax have a melting point of 120 °F.
Soy is a popular form of candle wax as it is all-natural, produces less soot, no toxins is renewable and vegan. It is slightly more expensive than paraffin but still less expensive than beeswax.
In addition, soy is sometimes blended with paraffin to produce slightly higher quality candles that can still be had at a low price.
A metabolic product of the honeybee, beeswax has limited availability. Honey bees produce wax to make honeycomb, but it is also the oldest known raw material for candles.
Benefits of beeswax:
- Cleanest burning wax
- Longest burning wax
Candles made with beeswax have a melting point of 145 °F.
Beeswax candles have been found in the pyramids of ancient Egypt. It is said beeswax candles are the best option for those with allergies or asthma.
Candles made with beeswax are among the most expensive and sought after candles on the market.
How do you remove candle wax?
Wax can be stubborn to remove, particularly on certain surfaces. Here is a quick run down of how you remove wax from different types of surfaces, even when the wax is dry.
Scrape away as much of the wax as you can, then put a paper bag on each side of the wax stained area. Iron with medium-low heat until the paper bag absorbs the wax.
Heat wax stained area with a blow dryer and wipe away as much of the wax as possible. Then use a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts water to remove any residue.
Scrape away as much excess wax as possible, then finish removing the residue by cleaning the glass with hot soapy water.
Scrape away as much of the excess wax as possible, then place a freezer pack on the wax stained area. When the wax hardens crumble away as much as you can. Then place a damp wash cloth on the remaining residue and iron it on a low to medium heat to absorb the rest of the wax.
Place a freezer pack over the wax stained area and let the wax harden, then scrape away as much as you can with a credit card or similar object. Then rub away any remaining residue with a dry rag and furniture wax.
Scrape away as much excess as possible, then clean the spot with hot water and a reputable floor cleaner until the wax has been removed.
Press a damp wash cloth against the wax stained area and begin heating the wash cloth with a blow dryer, pressing it against the wax. When the wash cloth absorbs the wax you can clean the wax stained area with a mind soap and then treat with your leather treatment of choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for candle wax to harden?
When making candles it generally takes anywhere from an hour to two hours for candle wax to harden. However, it is not fully hardened until it has had the chance to cure which can take anywhere between three days and two weeks.
What is the longest lasting candle wax?
Beeswax is the longest lasting candle wax however it is not often used in container candles and scented candles. Beeswax is often reserved for pillar candles that are decorative or used in religious settings.
How do you harden candle wax?
Harden candle wax simply by letting it cool at room temperature and it will begin to harden as it cools off. In addition, you can harden candle wax when making candles by adding an additive known as Vybar. Vybar will harden the candle wax and increase the melting temperature of the wax.
Can you pour hot wax into glass?
You can pour hot wax into some types of glass. Glass that is specifically designed to be heated and under pressure works best. This includes mason jars, jelly jars, and any type of glass container made for canning.
In summary, was does not really dry. It just turns solid at a much higher temperature than many other liquids that we are used to.
Each type of wax has its own melt point.
Molten wax can be a pain to remove from surfaces after it hardens but with a little but of effort you can take care of it.