DENK'S QUICK CANDLE GUIDE

I have been working with candles and wax since we developed our wax burner.

Many customers ask which candles I would recommend. There is no easy answer to this question, which is why I have written this little candle guide. I also want to give people who are interested a little background knowledge.

Rule of thumb

Candles made from stearin wax look powdery and their wax is firm with an ice-like structure. Paraffin wax is usually softer and milky in colour.

Fabian Denk

PARAFFIN CANDLES

In addition to sealing boats in Egypt, the earliest use of petroleum discovered in cultural history was gor lighting and fire. Since the 18th century, candles have been made from paraffin that, like today, was extracted from petroleum. As long as people use petroleum, paraffin will be available. The paraffin used in good candles provides enough light and warmth, because paraffin has a high energy content and is completely soot-free and odourless when it burns if it has been highly refined and has a perfect wick.

STEARIN CANDLES

Lamps using animal tallow or fat as a fuel have been used for lighting from time immemorial. In the 18th century, the first stearin candles were also made from this raw material through the breakdown of fat. In principle, this process is still used today, but the stearin obtained is then carefully cleaned. Stearin candles use around 20% more fuel for the same flame, but in comparison with paraffin, they hardly drip at all. Stearin, especially of basic quality, gives off a typical “rancid” odour when burned. Unfortunately, some stearin is extracted from palm oil. Use of palm stearin results in deforestation of rain forests.

BEESWAX CANDLES

Honeycomb is processed to make beeswax candles. When it burns, the wax has an odour and the flame is usually very large. This is because of the many, light, combustible elements that are found in beeswax.
The wick in beeswax candles must always be slightly larger, so the wax is still transported to the flame, despite the solid matter in the wax. Beeswax candles are soft and usually do not keep their shape very well.

My tip

I recommend using paraffin wax as fuel. Treat your wax burner to good-quality wax and enjoy a soot-free, clean flame for a long time!

Fabian Denk

PURE CANDLE WAX TABS FOR REFILL

An alternative to candle remains. 
Wax tabs, packed in a cotton bag with a little shovel for portioning 2 kg or 4 kg

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WHICH CANDLE REMAINS MAKE THE BEST FUEL FOR THE WAX BURNER?

You can apply the principle that, if the fuel, i.e. the wax, is poor, then the wax burner will also burn with a poorer flame and produce more soot. 
It is a bit like a car engine. If you use high-quality fuel, your car has more power, runs better and needs fewer services.
However, unlike a car engine, poor-quality wax will not cause the wax burner to break down, but it will require more frequent maintenance, such as soot removal and wick adjustment.

Pure wax

Coloured, impure wax

HOW DO I TELL WHAT KIND OF WAX A CANDLE IS MADE FROM?

High-quality candles are usually made from a mix of paraffin and stearin. Paraffin burns better, but does not keep its shape as well as stearin and softens more quickly. This is why candle manufacturers always use different materials to satisfy different requirements.
Large decorative candles are mainly or completely made from stearin. You can tell this from the “powdery” consistency of the wax. These candles should also not be distorted by sunlight. The melting point of the wax is therefore very high. However, it burns less well as a result. You will have certainly noticed that these candles burn more poorly and with a smaller flame. 
This also applies to drip-free candles or altar candles. These candles need thicker wicks to improve burning performance, but they burn more cotton.

COLOURED CANDLES BURN LESS WELL

Für Farbeffekte wird Wachs mit Pigmenten oder Anilinfarben eingefärbt. Je dunkler eine Kerze ist, desto schlechter brennt sie. Farbpigmente können im Baumwolldocht Saugfähigkeit und Wachszufuhr verringern und den Docht verstopfen. Die Flamme ist dann meist klein und der Abbrand der Kerze ist schlecht.

Faustregel: Je heller das Wachs und geringer die Farbbeigabe, desto besser und rußfreier brennt eine Kerze.

WHICH CANDLES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?

It depends what you want to use them for and your personal preferences. If you want attractive candlelight, paraffin is best. If you want a candle for decorative purposes, then choose stearin. Candle makers make their wax blends accordingly. You should always pay attention to where a candle is manufactured. If manufactured abroad, stretching oils, waste polymers and sometimes harmful substances are mixed in. These can lead to irritations, odour and a lot of soot during burning.

ARE HARMFUL SUBSTANCES GIVEN OFF WHEN WAX IS BURNED?

All burning can produce harmful gases if not enough air (oxygen) is available. For example, carbon monoxide can be produced if wax is burned when there is insufficient air. The same goes for paraffin, stearin and beeswax. In rooms with normal ventilation, no harmful gases will be produced as long as the wax is not contaminated with other substances.
People sometimes wrongly claim that poisonous dioxin is given off when paraffin wax is burned. However, dioxins can only be formed if chlorine or chlorides are present. Neither of these substances are found in paraffin and, even if they were, the candle flame would not be hot enough for dioxin to form.

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