Paraffin wax is a tasteless, odorless, white or colorless, hard wax that is obtained from petroleum. Paraffin wax has a wide range of uses and plays a vital role in everything from heavy industrial applications, to spa treatments, hair products, and even food. It is very versatile as both a liquid and a solid, and its heat insulation properties make it useful in a variety of fields.
Paraffin Wax Applications
Paraffin wax is most commonly associated with candle making, but it is also useful for applications such as making: wax paper, drywall, electrical insulators, and acting as a base for medicinal ointments. In its liquid form, paraffin wax acts as fuel and lubricant.
Fully & Semi-Refined Paraffin Waxes
Fully and semi-refined paraffin waxes range from white to pale yellow colors and have a melting point in the range of 56-58 and 60-65 degrees centigrade, respectively. These types of paraffin waxes are commonly used in making candles and in the paper industry for making wax paper.
Granulated Paraffin Wax
Granulated paraffin wax is typically white-colored and has a melting point of roughly 58-62 degrees centigrade. This type of paraffin wax is used most in candle making, art applications, the tire industry, and for cosmetics purposes.
Liquid Paraffin, White oil, and Mineral Oil
Liquid paraffin is also known as “white oil” or “mineral oil.” It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. This form of paraffin wax is often used in hair care products and cosmetic grade cleansing creams because of its ability to soften and resist moisture loss. White oil is also common in pharmaceutical products, food, and textiles.
White Petroleum Jelly/ Vaseline
White petroleum jelly is a white, tasteless, odorless, semi-solid material. It is commonly used in ointments and hair pomades and waxes as a moisture loss barrier. White petroleum is also used in skin conditioning products because of its ability to seal in moisture and protect the skin from the elements.
The fuel kerosene is also commonly called “paraffin” in the United Kingdom. However, it is highly flammable and radically distinct from paraffin wax. While kerosene is also a byproduct of the distillation of crude oil, it is molecularly different from paraffin wax with regard to its shorter carbon chain length and its ability to vaporize at room temperature.
References and ResourcesParaffin Wax
Uses of Paraffins
ResourcesParaffins in Food
Paraffin Wax and Heat