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Paraffin Wax vs. Candle Wax: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 7, 2023
Paraffin wax is a specific type of petroleum-based wax used in candles, while candle wax can be any wax, including paraffin, soy, or beeswax, used for making candles.

Key Differences

Paraffin wax is derived from petroleum, coal, or oil shale, making it a common type of candle wax. Candle wax, on the other hand, refers to any type of wax used in candle making, including paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, or other blends.
Paraffin wax is known for its excellent burn quality and stability, often preferred in traditional candle making. Candle wax can vary widely in composition, with some types using natural materials like soy or beeswax, offering different burning characteristics.
Paraffin wax tends to have a higher melting point, which can result in a longer burn time for candles. Different types of candle wax, like soy wax, have lower melting points and may burn more quickly but more cleanly.
In terms of environmental impact, paraffin wax is less eco-friendly due to its petroleum base. Some candle waxes, particularly those made from natural sources like beeswax or soy, are marketed as more environmentally sustainable.
Paraffin wax is often more affordable and widely available, making it a popular choice for commercial candle production. Alternative candle waxes, such as those made from natural or renewable resources, might be more expensive but are sought after for their natural properties.

Comparison Chart

Source Material

Petroleum, coal, or oil shale
Variety including soy, beeswax, paraffin, others

Environmental Impact

Less eco-friendly due to petroleum base
Varies; natural waxes like beeswax are more eco-friendly

Melting Point

Generally higher, leading to longer burn time
Varies; natural waxes often have lower melting points


Often more affordable
Can vary; natural waxes tend to be more expensive

Burn Quality

Good stability and burn quality
Depends on the type of wax; some burn cleaner than others

Paraffin Wax and Candle Wax Definitions

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is a cost-effective option for candle making.
Many commercial candles are made with paraffin wax due to its lower cost.

Candle Wax

Candle wax is integral to the candle's performance, including how it burns and smells.
The candle wax was infused with essential oils for aromatherapy benefits.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is versatile, used in both candles and industrial applications.
Paraffin wax is also used in making wax paper and lubricants.

Candle Wax

Candle wax varies in melting point and burn time, depending on its composition.
Soy candle wax burns slower and cleaner compared to traditional waxes.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is commonly used for its excellent burn quality in candles.
The paraffin wax candles lasted longer than expected.

Candle Wax

Candle wax is chosen based on desired characteristics like scent throw and eco-friendliness.
Beeswax is a popular candle wax for its natural, subtle honey scent.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax melts at a higher temperature, providing longer burn time.
Paraffin wax is ideal for outdoor candles due to its higher melting point.

Candle Wax

Candle wax is any type of wax used for making candles, including soy, beeswax, and paraffin.
The candle wax used in these candles was a blend of soy and beeswax.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is a white, odorless wax made from petroleum.
Paraffin wax is widely used in making plain white candles.

Candle Wax

Candle wax can be natural or synthetic, affecting the candle's burning properties.
Natural candle wax tends to produce less soot than synthetic waxes.


What is paraffin wax?

A petroleum-derived, white, odorless wax commonly used in candles.

What is the melting point of paraffin wax?

Generally higher than natural waxes, leading to a longer burn time.

Is paraffin wax eco-friendly?

Less so, as it is derived from petroleum.

What is candle wax?

Any type of wax, including paraffin, soy, or beeswax, used for making candles.

Can candle wax be made from natural sources?

Yes, like soy, beeswax, or palm wax.

Can candle wax types impact allergies or sensitivities?

Yes, some individuals may react differently to various wax types.

Does paraffin wax produce soot when burned?

It can produce more soot than natural waxes.

Do different candle waxes burn the same way?

No, burning characteristics vary based on wax type.

Do natural candle waxes have a lower melting point?

Typically, they do, which can affect burn time.

Are all candle waxes biodegradable?

Not all; it depends on the wax type, with natural waxes more likely to be biodegradable.

Why might someone choose soy wax over paraffin wax?

For environmental reasons, or for a cleaner burn.

Why is paraffin wax popular in candle making?

It's affordable, stable, and has good burn quality.

What are the benefits of using natural candle waxes?

They are often more eco-friendly and may burn cleaner.

How does the cost of paraffin wax compare to natural waxes?

Paraffin wax is generally cheaper than natural waxes.

Is paraffin wax safe for indoor candles?

Generally yes, though proper ventilation is recommended.

Does paraffin wax hold color and fragrance well?

Yes, it's known for good scent and color retention.

Can you mix different types of candle wax?

Yes, blends are often used to combine desirable properties.

Are beeswax candles a type of candle wax?

Yes, beeswax is a popular natural candle wax option.

Can candle wax affect the scent of a candle?

Yes, different waxes can influence scent throw and quality.

Is paraffin wax used in any products other than candles?

Yes, in cosmetics, crayons, and as a lubricant.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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