Waxes Explained


Waxes explained

Elume is one of the longest running existing candle companies in Australia, and it has always been a goal of ours to educate consumers in understanding how candles are made and what they are made of. However, there are still so many misconceptions about waxes and how they are derived. We are still often asked, “Are your candles natural?” This is a difficult question to answer because soy wax, palm wax and paraffin wax are not found naturally.  Whilst all three are produced from natural sources they are all the result of highly complex refining processes. Therefore, we feel the need to be honest and not market our candles as ‘natural’.

Also, most candles companies use fragrant oils instead of essential oils because they work better with the waxes and are cost effective, thereby making the type of wax used irrelevant because the oils are not ‘natural’ either. Elume’s approach is to focus on using the best quality ingredients available to create the best quality products. We use soy for some of our candles and paraffin for others because we believe that there are different waxes ideal for different purposes.

About soy wax:

Soy wax is derived from the soybean oil that is extracted from soybeans, and through a process called hydrogenation is turned into a solid wax. It is considered to be made from a renewable resource and is mostly produced in the United States.

Soy wax is known for its clean burning qualities. It also produces a quick and long lasting scent throw which is a result of a lower melting point and cooler burning candles. This creates a larger wax pool around the burning wick to promote the release of the fragrance from within the wax. Soy wax also produces very little soot. Soy is definitely the best type of wax to use in container candles for these reasons. Wax spills are also very easy to clean up with hot soapy water.

For use in our container candles, we have created our own blend of predominantly soy wax with a small amount of paraffin to help extend the burn time. This blend has proven to be the best option for scent throw and longevity.

Elume melts, which can be used in oil burners instead of oils, are also made with soy wax. Soy wax is ideal for this purpose and the melts have superb scent throw! Soy wax in its purest form does not produce satisfactory pillar candles by our standards. We have conducted extensive trials to come to this conclusion.

About paraffin wax:

There are many misconceptions about the use of paraffin wax in candles, but we find that it produces excellent quality, long burning, beautiful candles. Paraffin wax candles are most definitely not toxic and they are the only type of candles you will find in such stunning colours! Production of paraffin is not harmful to the environment and is in fact a natural wax derived from ancient plant and animal forms that lived millions of years ago. Once obtained from the ground, this product is transported and processed (refined) into many different product forms, one of which is paraffin wax. Fully refined paraffin wax is non-reactive, non-toxic and is effective as a clean burning fuel.

About palm wax
We do not believe that there is any way to be certain of the sustainable production of palm wax. Since it is widely known to play a major role in the destruction of rainforest and animal habitat, we do not feel that it is ethical to use palm wax. There is plenty of information available on this topic and if you would like to find out more, www.candlescience.com is a useful resource.