Wax Overview

Waxes/Raw Materials

  • Paraffin wax
  • Soy Wax
  • Microcrystalline waxes
  • Flaked and Beaded waxes
  • White Oils
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Stearic Acid
  • Beeswax

What is the difference between a vegetable wax and a paraffin (petroleum based wax)?

There have been several misconceptions floating around (especially on the internet) regarding paraffin waxes versus vegetable-based waxes.  Many proponents of vegetable waxes are making claims about their superiority to paraffin.  It is important to realise that both are safe, viable “natural” raw materials with different chemical compositions thus offering many varied benefits depending on end user applications.

Paraffin and vegetable-based waxes are derived from similar manufacturing processes where a “crude oil” is hydrogenated to obtain a “wax” product.  Both exhibit similar physical properties that give them their “wax characteristics”.  These properties include being solid at room temperature and having a relatively low viscosity with temperatures slightly above the melt point. Since each material is derived from a different natural base, the crude oil composition greatly differs resulting in a very wide range of functionality.

As vegetable wax proponents seek to establish market share, there is a misconception that it must be done at expense of paraffin waxes.  Various manufacturers who utilize vegetable wax materials have launched aggressive marketing campaigns designed to “disqualify” and “discredit” petroleum wax.  Unfortunately, their negative publicity campaigns have resulted in numerous misconceptions and generally unsupported scientific claims being promoted.
It is important to clarify that both quality paraffin and vegetable-based waxes have been found to be biodegradable, safe and effective when used in well-designed product systems.
Australian Wax Company uses both paraffin and vegetable waxes.  Our paraffins are classifed “food grade” which means they have passed the criteria required by the USF&DA regulations for direct food contact.  They are the most fully refined, quality paraffins available.

If you would like any further clarification on our paraffin or vegetable waxes please contact us on (03) 9546 4000.