What Kind of Wax Do I Use to Make My Candles?

Golden Wax 416 is a type of soy candle wax that was originally created by Golden Brands LLC. This wax was specifically formulated for the creation of pillar candles i.e. candles that may stand on their own such as the tart candle pictured below.

While other types of soy wax typically hold up to 1 oz. of fragrance per pound of wax, the 416 variety is extra firm and may use up to 1.6 ounces of fragrance thereby creating candles with stronger scents. With a melting point of 130 ° -135° F, this wax will retain its shape better in hot weather. Since I live in Southern Nevada where hot summer days typically exceed 100°F, if and when I ever decide to ship candles through the mail, a higher melting point would extend my ability to mail candles on all but the very warmest of days.

Although the casual observer might point out that a melting temperature of 130° is higher than the 110° degree days we get in Southern Nevada at the height of the summer, the temperature inside a locked delivery van can get a lot warmer. Studies by Arizona State University and the University of California at San Diego have found that the internal temperature of a parked vehicle can get as high as 200° which would certainly be enough to melt Golden Soy Wax 416. Even if the temperature didn’t get that extreme, a warm day could soften the wax which could then deform even if it didn’t completely melt.

In 2011, Golden Wax was acquired by AAK. While many candle making suppliers continue to sell the wax produced by this company as “Golden Wax” other suppliers are now selling this product as Akosoy Wax.

When making candles with this wax, it should be heated to 185 °F. After the wax has reached the proper temperature, add a coloring dye and a candle fragrance. While the manufacturer says that the suggesting pouring temperature ranges from 140 – 150°, I have found that 145 °F seems to be the most optimal.

Regardless of whether you purchase this as Golden Soy or Akosoy Wax, this product is sold in flake form and comes in a variety of different weights depending upon who your vendor is. I currently purchase this product in 50 lb. boxes from Bulk Apothecary which offers 15% off on orders of $250 or more.

While Amazon sells 50 pounds of wax for $147.99 with free shipping, Bulk Apothecary sells the same amount for $103.50. With a shipping charge of $59.54, one might initially think that the latter store is more expensive BUT customers who purchase $250 or more of product also get a 15% discount. A discount would drop the price for a fifty pound box of wax to $87.98 bringing the cost of this wax (with shipping) to $147.52.

Although this only results in a net savings of just 47 cents, the real value of purchasing from Bulk Apothecary lies in the acquisition of candle fragrances. The fragrances sold via Amazon are typically geared towards home hobbyists and are sold in small bottles that are rarely larger than two ounces. While Bulk Apothecary sells half ounce and two ounce bottles, I like purchasing fragrances in 16 oz. bottles. The fifteen percent discount on bulk purchases helps with offsetting the shipping costs.

My most recent purchase from this store included two 50 pound boxes of Akosoy Wax, three 16 oz. bottles, and two 2 oz. bottles of candle fragrances. The total order came to $284.73. With 15% off, I saved $42.71 which helped to offset the cost of shipping.

Blended Wax:

As an alternative to using a wax that was specifically designed for use with pillar candles, you could use a softer wax meant for container candles and votives. This soft wax has the consistency of shortening and needs to be blended with a harder wax to give it the internal strength it will need to be a free standing candle. I made the apple empanada candle pictured below using a mixture of 3 parts NatureWax C-3 Soy Wax flakes to 1 part of beeswax.

Pictured below are two stacks of apple butter palmier candles. The candle on the left was made using Golden Wax 416. The one on the right was made using a blend of NatureWax C-3 Soy and beeswax. Since beeswax can hold up to 1/8th its weight in fragrance while NatureWax can hold 1/10th, I used the same amount of fragrance (1/10th) as I did for the candle that was made from Golden Wax.

A quick word about using fragrance oils:

Why is it important to know the amount of fragrance your candle can hold? When used in the proper proportions, fragrance oils bind with the wax to give a consistent throw scent as the candle burns. When too much fragrance oil is used, the oil that didn’t bind with the melted wax will burn off and create an unsightly dark smoke.

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