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Does anyone actually like working with coconut wax?


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I am only about a year into my candle journey so take what I say with a grain of salt but I seriously want to know...does anyone out there actually like working with coconut wax?

 

From reading (and re reading) the coconut wax topics here, the general consensus I am seeing seems to be that it is great in theory, but the issues seem to outweigh the benefits and most people end up switching to something else??  I initially chose coconut wax to try because in my area everything is soy and I wanted to try something different.  I can walk into any boutique, craft show, or farmer's market and have my choice of soy candles.  Also, most people who I have talked to around me have been convinced that paraffin is bad (not saying that I agree with them, just what I am finding). Coconut wax seemed like a good option...it sounds luxurious and "special."

 

So far I have only tired 2 different types of coconut wax (ccn1 and C&S coconut brew).  I like the coconut brew better than the CCN1 but so far I don't love it.  HT is decent but not amazing.  I still have a lot of testing to do with wicks and will continue to work on that.  I've messed with adding some beeswax to it as well just to see what happens.

 

I guess I just wanted to get some honest opinions on coconut waxes.  Thanks so much!!!!

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I feel like I’m just as new as you are and recently just started working with/trying out coconut wax, specifically EC-26 from NorthWood. I’ve had some “relearning” to do in regards to wicking but I’m getting great HT but I feel like it’s so much easier to work with... in my opinion. The advice that was given to me was keep experimenting and testing.
 

Candle making is hobby for me but I want to understand as much as can about what I’m using.

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All the new coconut blends on the market rival the range of selections of soy and parasoy blends.

 

it is so confusing to not know actually what is in the box since people cannot agree about conversations with resellers or with the manufacturers. One coconut lover says coco83 is vegan while a partner who talked with the actual maker at accublend says it is not. I tend to trust the guy who is putting the ingredients into the machine that churns it out. At the end of the day everyone hides behind “proprietary” and we are all at the mercy of someone’s word. 

 

 It takes a lot of time to find “the one”. I ended up, like others, blending my own from scratch because nothing on the market is all that great any more. Coconut jumped in to fill a void left by soy problems that still plague us all. 
 

the problems I have been seeing with coconut waxes are that the better ones are nearly always out of stock and the batches still vary from shipment to shipment. I used easybeads as an additive and as a base for additives for a couple of seasons. It is not available any more. Some say it is the same as coco83, but my cartons in the shop are very different 🤷🏻‍♀️. Accublend is having production issues with coco83 so it is nearly always OOS, and prices are jacked up by the people who started businesses reselling it. 
 

with coconut oil shortages hitting, I wonder how the coco blend availability will hold up as raw materials stock levels fall and prices skyrocket. It is hard to get coconut oil for soaping recently, so the tip of the iceberg is poking up from the abyss. 
 

 

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6 minutes ago, TallTayl said:

the problems I have been seeing with coconut waxes are that the better ones are nearly always out of stock and the batches still vary from shipment to shipment. I used easybeads as an additive and as a base for additives for a couple of seasons. It is not available any more. Some say it is the same as coco83, but my cartons in the shop are very different 🤷🏻‍♀️. Accublend is having production issues with coco83 so it is nearly always OOS, and prices are jacked up by the people who started businesses reselling it. 

It’s also interesting and complex... like a puzzle that doesn’t stop moving. I always appreciate your insight and try to tuck away little nuggets to remember for when I might need them.

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Coconut wax on it's own..... I won't go through that ever again... but in a blend with something like soy then it can work out pretty good after some experimenting. I actually really liked Northwood's own coconut wax but the price is just absolutely ridiculous. If it was the 'be all and end all' of coconut wax then I might have considered using it as one of my main waxes, but it's not, it's still nice though.

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I am currently working with two wax manufacturers to create my own wax blend.  If they cannot duplicate the wax that I am seeking, then coconut would be my choice of wax.  IMO, I think coconut wax is the best among what we can get from the candle suppliers.  So far, I like the coconut 83 by Accu-blend most.

 

As TallTayl mentioned, coconut oil and palm oil supplying situation is getting worse.  Coconut & palm candle makers would need to keep an eye on the supplying situation.  

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Coconut waxes on their own - I do not like them. Have not met one that I could get close to an ideal burn with. Blended - yes. I have used coconut waxes in a variety of blends and found that other waxes add qualities that coconut waxes lack.

 

It's a shame coco83 is hard to find these days. I just started FO testing with a very promising coco83 blend I stumbled upon a while back.

 

My issue with coconut waxes is the lack of transparency and rampant rebranding. Some coconut waxes contain petroleum products, and some retailers fail (intentionally) to mention it. Then, there are several retailers using something (that used to be) as common as coco83 and coconut-apricot and rebranding it with all sorts of flashy words, "luxe" and "creme" being very popular.

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Totally agree @Kerven. Renaming something to capture a market and hold hostage is bitter tasting to me.

 

Overall, if I have to make a candle I prefer to pour coconut to pouring soy 100%. I just love the look in my containers and the manufacturing friendliness of it. No waiting until temps drop to 105* while stirring and following voodoo rituals while hoping for the best. Plus, no need for ridiculously high FO% like with many soy.

 

i am so over the soy cavities, cracks, and the appearance after sitting on the shelf for a while.  Just pulled a c1 blend made last season and it has cracked across the entire candle in the jar 🤬
 

likewise coconut blends have not changed wick needs with cure as dramatically as soy and many paraffins. The coco83/easybeads blends burn the same at 2 weeks as at a year. 
 

coco also heat guns prettier than soy and colors more smoothly. 

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How does the process of creating your own wax work? Is is mixing different already available waxes or base components? Or a combo of both? I'm not asking for your blends...I know that takes a lot of time, energy and money to figure out. I would be interested in trying this in the future but I don't feel that I have the knowledge to do it efficiently (or cost effectively 🤑). I wouldn't even know what components to start with let alone at what ratios.

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I started by blending different prepared waxes based on how it appeared they interacted. For instance, c1 can sometimes have too much palm in the blend, so adding a “naked wax” such as 415 or midwest soy can help minimize the issues. 
 

My smelly product career began with soap and beauty products, so I had on hand already a set of skills and ingredients to start designing from the ground up. The process is ongoing since a new challenge always presents itself.  Reading patents, product descriptions and purchasing candles that people recommended passionately helped reveal a direction. 

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I love my coconut apricot wax. I did post a pan test I did 3 different ones so 18 different wicks. I also really liked Joy wax but I did not care for IGI 6006 only because I was spoiled with the Joywax that didn't give me sink holes. 6006 does have a killer HT though. When I was doing my pan tests with the coconut apricot I did notice that it seemed to purify the air. I know that is a known thing with beeswax but this is what I came to notice when I was doing my pan tests. So I am all for non scented candles with this wax.

There is a lot of different information for the same wax. I had to leave all the facebook groups it was too much. everyone had different temps they said you needed to add FO to and to use 12% FO load. Which I have great results with 6%-8% and I play with adding FO at the temps I got directly from the manufacturer to make sure my FO binds properly. I play with it adding stearic acid and paraffin wax. I make wax melts out of the wax by mixing additives.

 

I find a lot of people get turned off by it because of the 2 week cure time. Its been hard finding a coconut apricot buddy.  There isn't a ton of info just about coconut wax.  Paraffin, soy, vegetable, and beeswax candles are usually talked about the most. So as long as you have patience and are prepared to try a ton of different wicks and fail a lot its pretty fun. I feel like a scientist and since coconut wax is the least talked about (in my recent experience) there is less pressure to get it right, right away. That is my experience anyway. 

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3 hours ago, Marisa11 said:

I find a lot of people get turned off by it because of the 2 week cure time. Its been hard finding a coconut apricot buddy.  There isn't a ton of info just about coconut wax.

I don't mind the cure time.  With 2 small kiddos running my life 2 weeks passes quickly.  I did look into the coconut apricot but I am looking for something without paraffin.  I enjoy the testing.

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@jmspgh

Don't be scared of mixing waxes, oils & vegetable shortenings!  It will take several tries to make it work, but it is not that hard thing to do.  Treat Paraffin or Coconut wax as main body wax, and treat all other waxes, oils & shortening as enhancer and/or additives.  Ratio of main body wax should be about 70 to 80% and others are remaining percentage, but you can increase or decrease however you like to.  Also, try not to use pre-blend waxes as the main body of wax!

 

Here are some wax blend ingredients of name brand companies' candles!  I don't have mix ratio, and this is best I can find.

 

Voluspa Candle Waxes!  [This ones is for you @TallTayl!]

Glass jar candle just use Hydrogenated coconut oil CAS # 84836-98-6.  Just coconut wax!

Mini tins & 3 wick Tin use same Coconut wax as above plus Petrolatum & Paraffin Wax. 

 

Bath & Body Works!

Hydrogenated Soybean oil CAS # 8016-70-4:  something like GW 415

Paraffin CAS # 8002-74-2:  IGI 1230 (10 - 30%)

Hydrogenated Palm Oil CAS # 68514-74-9

Microcrystalline Wax CAS # 63231-60-7

 

Yankee Candle!

Paraffin

Polyethylene CAS # 9002-88-4:  IGI 2000 series

 

Paraffin and Palm blend is used by many name brand also.  Soy wax can be used as main body wax, but HT is going to be weaker than others even though CT could be awesome.

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I love that you dive right in @Busy Bee
CAS numbers are pretty standard, while the actual item under that number can be very different (as you know!). Once you find a particular supplier and ingredient you like never change and NEVER substitute. I learned the hard way that white beeswax is not interchangeable, and we all know soy is never interchangeable. 
 

my glass jar candle from voluspa in my hand was a little “dewy” on top when I received them in th mail. It so far melts differently than my normal hydrogenated coconut oil.  Maybe it is their hydro process? Or particular brand? If I still have it when summer comes around it will be simple to see if it is just coco92, lol. It will pour right on out. 
 

the other two tins do seem to have paraffin-like adds. 
 

all of them are beautiful. It’s nice to not see frosty, sooty candles.

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So essentially...coconut wax is coconut oil mixed with other "stuff"?  When I first started thinking about making candles I thought I could just mix good ol' coconut oil with beeswax, stick in a wick, some essential oils and call it a day. I never actually tried that but I did buy quite a few coconut oil/beeswax/essential oil candles and was not super impressed with any of them.  Then I bought some "coconut wax blend" candles and much preferred them.  I did reach out to a few of the people that I bought them from but no one (understandably) would tell me what wax blend they were using.  That's what lead me down the path of trying some of the already made blends (Calwax CCN1 and C&S coconut brew).  I haven't really found much information on them...they don't seem to be the more popular coconut waxes available but after reading here about the issues with some of the other coconut waxes I thought I'd give them a try.

 

I would be interested in coming up with my own blend but I think that will have to wait for a while...at least until I use up what I have already bought so my bookkeeper/husband doesn't try to shut me down before I ever even started lol.  He does think that my expectations are too high and that if it were a candle that anyone else made that I would be happy with it.  He's probably not wrong. 🤪

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Every vegetable wax starts from being an oil, and general specification term in the industry would be oil even it is in a solid state which is wax.  Oils are hydro processed to make them into solid state which we call it wax.  Partially hydrogenated oils are something like shortening and fully hydrogenated oils could be called wax.

 

Just coconut oils alone have about 150 different CAS number specifications (Soybean oil has 650 CAS specifications & surprisingly Paraffin only has 54.), but most candle company would just use general specification code CAS number for coconut oil on their SDS.  Even if they specified exact CAS number on their SDS, that does not mean anything since two coconut oils from two different manufacturers with same specific CAS number could perform in different ways. 

 

Yes.  One particular supplier’s wax can never be substitute with another supplier.  Everyone’s hydro process should be different, and end result could be different.  However, I pay close attention to melting point, viscosity, and needle penetration to assume its hydro process stage.  My wife will never understand why I am poking candles with a nail. 😊

 

The pictures below are just Crisco alone.  It burns better than any other candle wax.  Well!  Crisco was originally developed as for candle usage hundred year ago.  I added this to GW 464, and HT increased by miles and burns a lot easier.  But it killed its CT by miles also.  It looks like there were big wave about adding Crisco to candles some years ago in candle making forums including this one.  Yes!  It works to certain stage.

 

One more thing to add is that when you add vegetable oils, you need to treat it like FO.  Wax cannot hold too much oil.  I find that mixing waxes would be close to cooking rather than science.

 

We are into candle making thinking that we can do better than big boys.  And we should do everything to make better candles than big boys otherwise there would be no place for us to stand.  This is a gigantic puzzle that we are trying to solve.  CAS number does not specify exact ingredients.  But at least, we can eliminate tons of unwanted puzzle pieces from it.  Like @TallTayl pointed out, reading patents, product descriptions, SDS, and playing with other candles will lead us to finish goal line.  Dream big and execute!  You will end up front of everyone even if you have failed your big goal.  It’s going to be long and lonely journey to the finish line.  That’s why we are here to pull and push each other to that finish line.  Have fun and be creative!

 

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@Busy Bee, you will probably love a fruit penetrometer to test your wax! 
 

crisco has changed the recipe over the years. The only thing I know about shortening is how bad the smell after a few months, lol. 
 

making a custom wax is super frustrating, but risk equals reward for sure.  One huge benefit is how quickly you can troubleshoot and fix problems in other candle waxes. It is a self paced candle college.  I love love love my own wax, but am reluctant to use it for retail because if something goes wrong there’s nobody to blame but myself. 

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Voluspa must use some processed coconut because my coco 92 in very hot weather goes liquid.

I will not work with manufacturered coco wax because the blends keep changing, blends are always out of stock,and some are just stupid expensive.

 

Like TT having tried many many waxes, I prefer to make up my own blends using the qualities of waxes I like then combining them.

 

Many people use Crisco for. Emergency candles. Just stick string in and light.

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@BusyBee and @TallTayl - Maison Louis Marie makes my all time favorite candles. The only info I can find is that they use a soy wax blend. Their scents are strong but not so strong that I get a headache or that it becomes off putting. 
 

I cannot find an SDS sheet but that could be I’m just not looking in the right place?

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3 hours ago, Kris10Tackles said:

@BusyBee and @TallTayl - Maison Louis Marie makes my all time favorite candles. The only info I can find is that they use a soy wax blend. Their scents are strong but not so strong that I get a headache or that it becomes off putting. 
 

I cannot find an SDS sheet but that could be I’m just not looking in the right place?

SDS is not required for US candle makers, so not everyone has them.  Only few companies do it voluntarily, and the ones in presence in Europe would have them.  I am getting most these SDS searching European websites.

 

Maison Louis Marie is located in Los Angeles, and they are close to me.  They might have good in-house scents, but I don't think they have good candles.  Sooting (see picture below) and I see some people complaining about lack of HT (typical for soy wax candle).  Soy has excellent strong CT, but HT is a problematic!  There is slight chance that you might be getting headache from excessive sooting from that candle.

 

I cannot find their SDS either.  FYI!  Most SDS can be searched using this key word if there is such in existence.

"(Maison Louis Marie candle) safety data sheet pdf Europe"

 

Websites like "SEPHORA" has ingredient description.  And some candle companies disclose their ingredients under "INGREDIENTS" section on their websites.  Like @TallTayl says, those ingredients does not mean we know exact ingredients unless we know the actual supplier.  But it is better than not knowing anything.  

https://www.sephora.com/

 

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1 hour ago, BusyBee said:

They might have good in-house scents, but I don't think they have good candles.  Sooting (see picture below) and I see some people complaining about lack of HT (typical for soy wax candle).  Soy has excellent strong CT, but HT is a problematic!  There is slight chance that you might be getting headache from excessive sooting from that candle.

That is fascinating. The one I had did not burn like that. It was completely clean and had an amazing hot throw. It’s also one of the first candles I burned that I didn’t give me a headache. Maybe I just got lucky of it was just a unicorn?

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2 hours ago, Kris10Tackles said:

That is fascinating. The one I had did not burn like that. It was completely clean and had an amazing hot throw. It’s also one of the first candles I burned that I didn’t give me a headache. Maybe I just got lucky of it was just a unicorn?

Hmm!  I am pretty sure they have excellent candles, since they have been business for quite some time now.  Maybe the one in the picture is a bad batch?  This could be one example that shows how inconsistent the waxes are that we are getting.  I did have experience of having a bad batch for 300 candles before which I ended up replace all of them even though it turned out to be about 15% had problem.  

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