Candles have been in demand, all over the world, for quite some time now. For several thousands of years, people around the world have been using them for several uses which include the following; some people use candles as decorative tools, or as a source of indoor illumination. However, the major use of candles relies heavily on scented candles. Scented candles are usually used to aid people’s relaxation and stress relief. They are used mostly by people who react positively to pleasant fragrances, which are derived from natural essential oils (the main ingredients used in adding fragrance to scented candles).
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF CANDLES?
Candles occur in different types and shapes. They have been in existence for thousands of years, and for that reason, there have been different versions of them over the passage of time. The different kinds of candles include the following:
- Tallow candles
Tallow candles are said to be some of the oldest versions of candles in the world. They are made from rendered fat, which had been obtained from the carcasses of slaughtered animals. Tallow candles were used in many places around the world several decades ago, because they were among the most popular and cheapest versions of candles in the world, before paraffin wax was invented, in the 19th century.
The invention of paraffin wax candles changed the game in the field of candle production. Tallow candles used to give off a large amount of soot, which used to contribute to the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is because they used to burn uncleanly, due to incomplete combustion that takes place during their candle burning process. Also, as tallow candles burn, they tend to give off the fragrance of burning fat, which a lot of people find unpleasant. This candle does not absorb fragrance easily, which makes it an unsuitable choice for the production of scented candles. Tallow candles also do not absorb dyes well. This is because they already have a yellowish color due to carotenoid pigments present in the fat used in making the tallow wax. They are also a bit difficult to produce en masse, by candle makers who use molds in factories.
The long history of tallow candles is one of the reasons why it is considered a crucial part of the evolution of the candle making process.
- Beeswax candles
Beeswax candles are some of the most expensive candles in the world; this is because the material which is used in making them is relatively rare, as far as candle making materials go. Beeswax candles are known to be some of the cleanest candles in the world. This is because, when they burn, they do not emit soot the way tallow candles do. Beeswax candles also have wonderful wax structures, which are some of the most stable waxes in the world. They also burn much slower than other types of candles. Also, beeswax candles tend to emit a pleasant aroma which many people find alluring. However, they are usually too expensive for candle makers to work with.
- Soy wax candles
Due to the fact that beeswax candles are expensive (even though they are some of the best qualities of candles in the world), people have been looking for suitable replacements for them over the course of time.
Soy wax candles are some of the least expensive alternatives to beeswax in the world. They are made from soy oil (i.e. oil extracted from soy bean, which is a natural product). Soy wax candles are completely natural, if they are made the right way. And this means that they burn cleanly, with suitable wax structure; factors which them suitable replacements to beeswax. Soy wax is a relatively new form of wax that was created in 1992. However, since then, a lot of advancements have been made in its development (a lot of these advancements and developments are still ongoing, since people are always looking for ways to make it better).
A lot of natural candles are made with some percentage of soy wax, since it is one of the most suitable natural waxes out in the global markets, which is guaranteed not to release a lot of harmful materials into the atmosphere.
- Palm wax candles
Palm wax candles are some of the most suitable alternatives to beeswax out in the global market. This is because it burns cleanly, and has a solid wax structure, especially when exposed to a wide range of temperature changes. Palm wax candles are perfectly natural, and do not require the use of a (chemical) catalyst to form, as in the case of soy wax candles. They also do not give off toxic effluents of concern. However, there are certain concerns about palm wax candles in the global candle making industry, as most people believe that the production of palm wax candles places an extra demand on palm trees and result in deforestation.
- Paraffin wax
Paraffin wax candles are the most popular types of candles in the world. They are odorless and are the best at absorbing dyes and fragrances. However, they are also petroleum based, which means that of all the candles on this least, paraffin wax candles are the least natural. They are also some of the cheapest versions of candles in the world. They are also very easy to work with, and many candle makers around the world prefer to use paraffin wax for these reasons. But in recent times, there have been a lot of changes.
WHY ARE CANDLES SO EXPENSIVE?
As more interest in candles is building all over the world, people are also becoming increasingly aware of global warming. This is why a lot of efforts are being made, by candle makers, to make use of more natural sources of candle wax such as beeswax. However, due to the fact that beeswax is expensive, candle makers have begin to shift their attention to soy wax and palm wax; which are much cheaper alternatives to beeswax. Nevertheless, these alternatives are still reasonably more expensive than paraffin wax candles; and so, this is one of the reasons why candles are so expensive nowadays.