Over the centuries, candle waxes have been developed from a variety of fats, oils and waxy-like substances derived from animals, insects, plants and rocks.
Scientists consider “wax” to be a generic term for classifying materials that have the following characteristics:
- Solid at room temperature; liquid at higher temperatures
- Primarily hydrocarbon in structure
- Water repellent; insoluble in water
- Smooth texture; buffable under slight pressure
- Low toxicity; low reactivity
- Low odor
Waxes are widely used throughout the world for a range of applications, including packaging, coatings, cosmetics, foods, adhesives, inks, castings, crayons, chewing gum, polishes and – of course – candles.