Paraffin wax is a byproduct of the oil refining industry. The waxes are categorized by their “melting point”. The melting point is the temperature at which a wax from solid to liquid will turn. They are divided into 3 categories: high melting point, medium melting point and low melting point. Everyone has different properties, making it suitable for various applications
Low melt point wax approx (40-54 degrees C)
This wax is suited best for container candles. It is soft and has good adhesive qualities, allowing it to shrink from sides of the container does not, as it cools. The small amount of shrinkage has the added benefit of requiring only one pour, with no top up required. The softness and adhesive make this wax properties unsuitable for molded candles. It must not the stiffness to support and maintain a rigid pillar free form, and it is not as simple as a wax that has a stronger contraction upon cooling from a form. You often find this wax as a “Container wax” sold and is suitable for candle jars, filled glass containers, candles or each candle not designed to be removed from the container before burning.
Medium Melt Point Wax approx (54-65 degrees C)
Not as soft as container wax, but still doesn’t have the rigidity to maintain a large pillar shape without the aid of additives, this wax is best suited to container candles and smaller moulded candles such as votive.
High Melt Point Wax approx (65-75 degrees C)
A strong, hard wax, suitable for shaped and pillar candles. It has a lot of shrinkage as it cools, so of course something pulls away from the sides, so remove the candle from the mold. The downside is it need “Topping up”, probably a couple of times to leave a lap around the wick as the wax cools and shrinks.