What You Should Know about Mixing Paraffin and Beeswax to Make Candles
If you've been making candles for a while, or if you're thinking about starting your own candle making business, you've probably wondered about mixing paraffin and beeswax to make candles. After all, beeswax is expensive, and learning to make candles by mixing paraffin and beeswax could allow you to make more candles for the same amount of money.
Differences between Paraffin and Beeswax
Before you even think about mixing paraffin and beeswax to make your candles, you need to know what the differences between the two waxes and what will happen if you combine them.
Beeswax is an animal product: a natural substance harvested from beehives. Bees secrete wax when they store honey in their beehives, and beekeepers collect the beeswax for processing into candle making supplies. Beeswax is more expensive than paraffin, and it makes a very hard candle.
If you have any doubt whether your beeswax candles are made of 100 per cent beeswax, press your thumbnail into the bottom of the candle. The candle should be very hard and should resist any indentation from your thumbnail. Candles made of beeswax burn slowly and evenly and emit a pleasant natural aroma of honey when they burn.
Paraffin is a mineral product: a natural substance harvested from the earth. Paraffin wax is less expensive than beeswax, and it makes softer candles and must be mixed with stearic acid to make it hard enough to make candles.
Formulas for Mixing Paraffin and Beeswax to Make Candles
What formula you use to blend paraffin and beeswax depends on the kind of candle you want to make. With dipped candles, you need to add stearic acid to your wax blend to make the wax set up. Dipped candles are made by dipping a length of wick in hot wax, letting that layer of wax set, dipping the wick again, letting that layer set, and repeating the process until the candle reaches the desired thickness.
Molded candles can be made with a straight 50/50 mix of paraffin and beeswax. Mixing paraffin and beeswax to make molded candles is easy; just add equal amounts of paraffin and beeswax to your double boiler. You can even re-melt old candle stubs if you don't mind a few imperfections in your finished candles. Be sure to mix the waxes thoroughly, and hold the temperature between 165 and 185 degrees. As always, never leave melting wax unattended.
After the wax is completely melted, stir in any desired additives. The addition of paraffin will mute the natural fragrance of the beeswax, so you may want to add fragrance that will enhance the aroma of honey. Select natural plant scents of fruits and flowers that bees pollinate: vanilla, lavender, rose, apple blossom, and cherry. Mixing paraffin and beeswax to make candles can be a fun, rewarding project and an economical way to reuse your old candle stubs.