Wax is the main ingredient in candles, so it’s important to know the difference. Which kind of wax is safe to burn in your home? 

At Valiant Candle, we use soy wax for our candles. There are actually lots of different kinds of wax you can use for container or votive candles. You can even just put a wick in vegetable oil and burn it like an old oil lamp if you want.

In this candle wax guide, I’m going to go over the most common kinds of wax used for candle making, and the pros and cons for each. 

Paraffin wax is the most commonly used wax for candles. It’s a petroleum by-product created when crude oil, is refined into gasoline. It can also be made from coal or oil shale. First invented in Germany in 1830, paraffin wax quickly gained in popularity over tallow because it wasn’t as smoky when it burned and it was cheap.

Paraffin wax holds fragrance and color well, but it has a short burn time and is not environmentally sustainable. It also doesn’t burn quite as cleanly as soy, coconut, or beeswax. 

Paraffin Wax Score:

Burn Time: 🔥

Fragrance: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Sustainability: 🔥

Soy Wax burns cleanly and has a medium burn time. It also holds fragrance well, though not as well as paraffin. We like to use soy wax because it’s very clean and environmentally sustainable. Soybeans are one of the most popular crops in America, so we can easily make more year after year without having to destroy rainforests.

Soy Wax Score:

Burn Time: 🔥🔥

Fragrance: 🔥🔥🔥

Sustainability: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Coconut wax is made from coconut oil. Compared to soy wax, it burns for longer. We don’t use coconut wax because it supports environmental degradation, deforestation, and destruction of natural habitats for tropical plants and animals.

Coconut Wax Score:

Burn Time: 🔥🔥🔥

Fragrance: 🔥🔥🔥

Sustainability: 🔥🔥

Beeswax is a natural and sustainable wax which has been used for many years. Harder than the other waxes, it doesn’t handle fragrance very well, but its hardness imbues it with an excellent burn time, longer than coconut, soy, or paraffin.  

Beeswax Score:

Burn Time: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Fragrance: 🔥

Sustainability: 🔥🔥🔥🔥