Paraffin Wax Candles
- A white or colorless soft solid derived from petroleum, coal, or oil shale. It is made of saturated hydrocarbons.
- Melting point between 47°C and 64°C (116°F and 147°F). Low melting point makes it easy to work with.
- Odorless and tasteless. Chemically inert and non-toxic.
- Used for making candles, wax paper, polishes, lubricants, crayons, cosmetics, and so on.
- Candles made from paraffin wax became popular in the late 1800s as a cheaper alternative to beeswax and tallow candles.
- Paraffin wax revolutionized the candle-making industry because it burned clearly and consistently, and was inexpensive to manufacture.
- Paraffin candles are made by adding color and fragrance to purified paraffin wax and pouring it into a wick-holding mold.
- The wick is usually made of braided cotton to provide a sustainable flame. The wick draws up the liquid wax via capillary action during burning.
- Downsides are a lack of aromas when unscented, and petroleum origins. But paraffin remains the most widely used candle wax today due to cost efficiency.
- So in summary, versatile and inexpensive paraffin wax revolutionized candle-making by allowing mass production of low-cost candles with a consistent burn.