I only heard about palm wax a couple of weeks ago. One of the interesting things about it is it’s supposed to make cool patterns when it cools. So once I established that it’s made from eco-friendly palm oil (because that’s just the kind of thrilling person I am), I got some.
I got small sample-sizes of four different kinds, which are supposed to make four different patterns.
Palm wax is… challenging to work with. It is definitely not meant for small candles. It needs to cool really slowly, or the patterns don’t form. And I mean really slowly. Room-temperature doesn’t do it. The instructions recommend insulating your containers or molds with towels or bubble-wrap, none of which would work for me.
As a result, my first batch ended up looking like regular candles.
So I had to get creative.
What I ended up doing was putting my candle molds in bread pans and, after pouring the wax into them, pouring boiling water into the bread pan. That seemed to work, but meant I had to wait ages before putting the wicks in, and the wicks had a really rough time staying straight. Furthermore, palm wax doesn’t just “harden” like other waxes – it crystallises. That means it gets really hard, so it’s almost impossible to move the wicks around… anyway, I could ramble about this for ages, so here are some pictures.
As I mentioned, my first pour didn’t go as well as I’d like. This was the second, and the first with my bread pan method.
The next two are probably meant more for containers than for molds. Actually they’re labelled as container waxes. This means you have no intention of taking the candle out of the container you pour it in, which means the wax sticks like crazy. It was incredibly hard to get these guys out of the molds; I had to freeze them, then beat them up and then pull them out with pliers. You can see the wicks are a bit smooshed on some of them.
The first palm wax I tried is supposed to have a tortoise shell pattern. I thought that cooling too fast made it not appear, but even when I did it “right” the pattern is barely visible. This photo is heavily edited to make it show better. That said, I might get another sample size of this guy and try again because I like the potential.
Now here’s the one where I just poured a teeny bit of leftover wax into a mold with each wax. I clearly poured some when it was way too hot so it ate through and mixed with the waxes below it. Still, I think it looks pretty cool.
In conclusion, I kind of like the results I got with some of the palm waxes, but they range from “kind of a hassle” to “oh my god my kitchen looks like I murdered a smurf in it” (long story, I may have crushed a few of the blue ones when they were still molten on the inside). I might try them again, and I may have some palm wax lying around for occasional projects, but I’m not ever using it as a regular wax.
Oh, one thing – the palm candles I burned so far have burned really clean. One of them left absolutely NO wax in the container I burned it in, and the rest left very, very little. That is actually very cool.
I do have a few soy waxes to experiment with, and that clean burn might also be a result or which wicks I used.