Which Type of Candle Wax Burns Longest (Slowest)?


When first making candles you won’t know which wax burns the longest without a lot of trial and error. I thought it would be useful to have this information close to hand so I did some digging.

100% Poured beeswax candles will burn the longest / slowest due to the hardness of the wax and the high temperature needed to melt the wax (149°F/65°C) but soy wax, made from hydrogenated soybean oil is a better choice as it is cheaper, burns almost as long / as slowly as beeswax but has a lower melting point (120°F/49°C) making it a bit easier to work with.

Here is a comparison with burn length from longest / slowest to shortest / fastest.

Wax TypeCandle by weightAverage burn length (time)
Poured beeswax4oz29 hours
Soy wax4oz18 hours
Stearin4oz18 hours
Parrafin4oz15 hours
Rolled beeswax4oz14 hours

These burn lengths can vary according to the dimensions of the candles. Short and fat candles will generally burn slower than candles that are taller and thinner. Rolled beeswax candles, for example, are thinner and have less wax so will generally burn faster than poured beeswax candles.

Most people want to make candles from wax that will last as long as possible. Sure, there are benefits to just using beeswax but there are also a few drawbacks too. Let’s have a look at some of the wax types you can get, what the pros and cons are for each type and what you can do to extend the life of your candles.

For a Long Burn Time Use Beeswax Candles

If you are just looking for the longest burn time then beeswax candles will definitely be the way to go but bear in mind the price of these candles can be quite high. Also, you need to be extra vigilant that there are no additives and that the candle you choose when buying should be 100% pure with no additives listed on the product.

That said you are probably looking to make your own at some point. Making your own candles can be very rewarding whether you are intending to use them yourself or to spoil someone with a nice gift.

Beeswax had a very high melt point and the wax is quite hard. This makes for a very slow-burning robust candle but it also makes the manufacturing process a little more tricky as you need to use a stronger heat source to melt the wax. It will also be tricky if you are adding color or fragrance as you will also need to know the correct temperature usage for the ingredients so you don’t spoil your hard work.

Higher melting points mean longer burns usually but you need to take other factors into consideration:

Approximate Burn Temperature in Fahrenheit

  • Beeswax usual burn temperature 149°F/65°C
  • Soy wax usual burn temperature 130°F/54°C
  • Paraffin usual burn temperature 99°F/37°C

Other Factors to Consider

  • Wax blend: Mixing different grades of wax as well as different wax types together will greatly change the burn rate
  • Adulteration: Adding foreign substances like colours and perfumes will affect the candles performance
  • Not caring for your candles: quick burns or leaving them in the wrong temperature room can affect their longevity. (See below for tips on getting longer burns out of your candles).

Medium Burn Time Use Soy Candles

Soy candles have a slightly softer wax than beeswax and is not quite as hard. This means the burn time is not as long as beeswax. So if they do not last as long why do we use them?

Well, there are many benefits to choosing soy wax candles over beeswax.

  • Cost: Soy candle wax costs much less then beeswax so you get more bang for your buck but is that reason enough?
  • Eco friendly: Much cleaner and more eco friendly than paraffin so it’s a good middle ground when make a choice
  • Lower melting point: A lower melting point means it’s easier to make them at home. A lower melting point means you are less likely to overheat the wax and spoil any dyes or oils you may wish to add
  • Higher availability. It’s going to put a real downer on your project if you cannot get hold of the ingredients. Soy is widely produced so this ensures not only a good supply but a good price too.
  • Less harmful: Soy Candles do still actually contain a small amount of paraffin which is needed to aid in processing.
  • Home made is best: Interestingly a candle only needs to be 51% soy in some countries to be classed as pure so making them at home will guarantee you know exactly what is going into them and just how safe they will be. It would be upsetting to find your lovely soy candle is actually made from 40% paraffin and quite unhealthy to burn repeatedly in your home.

Shortest Burn Time: Paraffin Candles

Paraffin candles have been around for as long as we can remember and for a good reason. They are super cheap to make and last forever. However, there are many toxic ingredients that are put into paraffin candles that are now known to be hazardous to your health. Here are a few of the ingredients which may find their way into your innocent-looking paraffin candle:

  • Formaldehyde: Used for preserving dead bodies
  • Toluene: A hydrocarbon found in coal tar and used as a solvent
  • Benzene: Found in the emissions from leaded petrol and diesel vehicles

The main takeaway from this section is that paraffin candles are just not worth the savings you make in your pocket. Lighting one of these is like having a car running in your living room and you breathing in all those chemicals.

Extending Your Candles Burn Time

So now you have chosen your wax and a ready to begin making. What else can you do to make your great creations last longer? Here are a few tips you can use to help increase the lifespan of your candles:

  • Proper first burn: Keeping your candle lit properly for it’s initial burn. Let the wax melt until it almost reaches the outer rim of the candle. When it has done this extinguish the candle and let it set. This will create the baseline melt area for the rest of the candle
  • A pinch of salt: Sprinkle a small pinch of salt into the melted wax. This can help slow down future burns and will stretch the life of your candle
  • Tidy wick: Trimming the wick to a 1/4 inch length before use will not only keep the wax pool clear from debris, which makes it look ugly and can add a second ignition point to your candle but will make your candle burn slower as the flame will be smaller and less hot.
  • Storage: Storing your candles away from heat and light will help keep them in their best condition for every occasion.
  • Avoid drafty areas: Keep your candle away from drafts wherever possible. It makes the candle flicker, which can be very annoying. It also makes the candle burn erratically which can shorten burn times.
  • Lying down: If you have long thin candles like those you may have at a dinner party. Keep them lying flat to stop them warping. A bent candle will not burn evenly and may not be as stable as a perfectly straight once

If you are interested in making candles or other crafts then have a look at these articles below:

Profitable Candle Making Business: Can I Do It? Spoiler: Yes!

Best Candle Making Kits

Make Big Money Recycling Cardboard Boxes (Thanks Amazon :o)

Make Money Recycling Aluminum Cans ($500+ A Week Easily)

Conclusion

Before jumping in and buying your ingredients to make your candles first think about what you will use them for and how long? How much is your budget? Can I use cheaper ingredients and still feel satisfied/happy with my results? Once you have decided on these factors then you can go ahead and make the best candles for your needs. Happy making!

Related Questions

My candle tunnels, what can I do? Try to burn the candle for at least one hour per inch of width but if this does happen after you have done this then you can use a hairdryer to melt the top of the wax taking the candle back to square one where you can try again. If this doesn’t work then you can remove the wax with a rounded tool like a butter knife and either keep the wax elsewhere if it’s scented or save it for future candle-making projects.

Why does my candlewick smoke after I have blown it out? When the candle is burning normally the fuel, the melted wax is being burnt properly with the right amount of oxygen, heat, and fuel. When you blow the candle out there is incomplete burning as you have still got fuel in the wick and oxygen but no heat. This results in the half-burnt fuel particles rising up from the candle. This is the smoke you see. Wetting your fingers and quickly pinching the wick for a fraction of a second can eliminate the residual heat and stop the burning and the smoking.

Recent Posts