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Wax Facts

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

Wax is what candles are made out of, right? Right – but there is so much more to wax than candles – read on!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

crayonsWhat is Wax?

Wax is a very interesting substance. It’s officially described as: Any of various solid, usually yellow, substances that melt or soften easily when heated. They are similar to fats, but are less greasy and more brittle. Most waxes don’t melt until the temperature reaches 113°F (45°C), and waxes can be natural, such as the wax bees produce, or made synthetically.

 

Where Does Wax Come From?

That depends on what type of wax it is.

For example:

  • Beeswax is obtained by removing the honey from honeycombs and melting it in boiling water.
  • Spermaceti is a wax made from oil found inside in the head of a sperm whale, but as the sperm whale is now a protected species, it can’t be bought any more.
  • Vegetable waxes usually form naturally on the plant, such as carnauba wax, which forms on the leaves of the carnauba palm tree.
  • Bayberry wax is obtained by boiling bayberries and skimming the wax from the water.
  • Montan wax is obtained by refining coal — it turns out green!

 

Wax is what candles are made out of, right? Right – but there is so much more to wax than candles – read on!

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