Knowing which wax to use for your candle-making projects is essential to becoming a better candle maker. But also knowing your wax’s shelf life and knowing how to store your wax is crucial to being more efficient and saving more money in the long run. Over time, your wax will begin to lose its ability to hold scent and color due to the natural deterioration of its organic elements. Most waxes can be stored for a year or close to two depending on how it is kept and where it is kept.
To have a more in-depth understating of why natural waxes expire with age, we must first understand the science behind it all. Like all natural products, the elements are derived from plants and other natural resources. All organic life forms eventually deteriorate with time, including the natural products used in candle wax. While there are synthetic waxes that may last over a lifetime if stored correctly, the performance of your candles will noticeably decline when using non-natural waxes.
Knowing how to properly store your wax is important in extending the life of the product. The first thing to consider when storing your wax is the temperature at which your wax is being held. Having your wax in an environment with a higher temperature can cause your wax to deteriorate at an extended rate.
Keeping your wax in a cooled environment will protect the chemical bonds within your wax from being altered or destroyed. Making sure to keep your wax sealed will also assist in delaying the product from expiring sooner than you would have wanted. Once the wax has been fully melted and cooled, it can still be housed within a suitable environment to prevent the candle from expiring before it can be lit. Make sure to also consider the melting point of the wax before choosing where to store it in. A wax like Paraffin, which has a lower melting point than other waxes, can not be held within a warm closed environment with no airflow. This will likely cause your wax to melt within its packaging making it unusable.
One last thing to consider when storing your wax would be the light that the wax would be exposed to. Natural sunlight can cause chemical reactions within the wax due to the harmful UV rays contained within the sunlight. Artificial light can also have the same effect, although not as immediate as sunlight. It would be best to keep your wax within a dark environment in order to improve the life span of the wax. Best to keep your wax away from non-cooled areas and keep away from the sun!
While most waxes can last over a year if stored correctly, there are several factors that can affect your wax’s life span. As discussed before, the temperature will have the most impact on how long your wax can perform at its peak while it slowly deteriorates. Even if your wax is held within a room with a lower temperature, you may want to consider how much sunlight is being exposed to the wax.
Sunlight is known to have harmful UV rays that can disrupt the chemical bonds with natural waxes. Because natural waxes do not contain additives that contain a UV Protectant, they are more likely to lose any ability to hold scent or color due to the UV rays of the sunlight affecting the chemical makeup of the wax.
Although additives may help slightly with preventing a chemical reaction from UV rays, over time the additives will deteriorate just as any other chemical would when exposed to harmful UVs. Humidity also plays a key role in affecting the performance of your wax. Humidity can cause unwanted air bubbles making the candle unappealing and less effective in holding scent. Due to the difference in temperature, humidity affects the way your wax cools, leaving unwanted cracks or bubbles within your final product. While humidity affects more of the performance of the wax rather than the life span, it is still important to keep away from humid places in order to sustain the life and performance of your candles.