What Is The Difference Between Soy 10 And 464 Wax?

Soy wax is made from soybeans and is a popular natural wax used in candle making, soap making, and other crafts. The two main types of soy wax are Soy 10 and Soy 464. Soy 10 wax has a higher melting point while Soy 464 has a lower melting point. Both offer benefits, but are best suited for different applications.

Soy 10 is frequently used for pillars and votives while Soy 464 works well for containers and has better scent throw. Candle makers often blend the two types together to achieve ideal properties. Besides candles, soy wax is also popular for soap, lotions, balms, and more due to its smooth texture and easy workability.

This article will do a deep dive into the differences between Soy 10 and Soy 464 waxes, comparing their manufacturing, appearance, melting points, fragrance oils, and usage in candle making and soap making. We’ll also look at the pros and cons of each type of soy wax.

Soy Wax Overview

Soy wax is a vegetable-based wax made from soybeans. It was developed in the early 1990s by Michael Richards, a candle maker who was looking for a natural, renewable, and affordable alternative to paraffin wax [1]. Richards worked to create a wax made from hydrogenated soybean oil that had properties suitable for candle making. The end result was a clean burning, eco-friendly wax made from American-grown soybeans.

Unlike paraffin wax which is a byproduct of petroleum refining, soy wax is made from a renewable resource. It is praised by many candle makers and consumers for being an environmentally-friendly alternative. Though a relatively new invention, soy wax builds upon a long history of soybeans being used for oil and wax products dating back thousands of years in East Asia [2].

Manufacturing Process

Soy 10 and 464 waxes are both manufactured from soybeans. The beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The flakes are then processed into crude soybean oil. The difference lies in how the crude oil is refined into the final wax product.

For Soy 10 wax, the crude soybean oil goes through a partial hydrogenation process. This process converts some of the unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fats through a chemical reaction with hydrogen gas. The partial hydrogenation achieves a melting point of 129-135°F (54-57°C).

464 soy wax is fully hydrogenated. The crude soybean oil is reacted with extra hydrogen to convert nearly all unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fats. This full hydrogenation results in a higher melting point of 135-145°F (57-63°C).

The hydrogenation process also makes 464 wax harder and more brittle compared to Soy 10. So in terms of manufacturing, the main difference lies in the extent of hydrogenation.

Appearance and Texture

Soy wax 10 tends to have a brighter white appearance compared to soy wax 464. It is opaque and not transparent. Soy wax 10 is quite hard and brittle, making it difficult to bend or shape.[1]

soy wax 10 tends to have a brighter white appearance compared to soy wax 464.

Soy wax 464 has a creamy off-white or ivory appearance. It is also opaque but tends to be softer and more flexible than soy wax 10. Soy wax 464 has a smooth texture that allows for easier molding and shaping.[2]

The differences in hardness and flexibility between the two waxes impacts how they perform for candle making. Soy wax 10’s brittleness makes it better suited for pillars and votives while soy wax 464’s pliability makes it preferred for containers.

Fragrance Oils

Soy wax is able to hold high fragrance loads, typically between 8-12%, without the need for additives (1). This allows soy wax to retain and release scent very well. The wax and oil do not chemically bind, but rather form a solution where the fragrance oil is dispersed throughout the wax (2). The high natural fragrance load and dispersion allows soy wax candles to have excellent hot and cold scent throw.

Paraffin wax, on the other hand, does not have as much natural ability to hold high fragrance loads. Paraffin wax can typically only hold 6-8% fragrance oil without additives. Because of this, various fragrance and essential oils may separate out of paraffin wax. Paraffin wax candles often require additives to boost fragrance retention and scent throw (3).

In summary, soy wax naturally holds and disperses fragrances better than paraffin wax. This allows soy wax candles to have excellent hot and cold scent throw without requiring additives.

Melting and Cooling

The melting point of wax refers to the temperature at which the wax transitions from a solid to a liquid state. This is an important property when making candles, as the wax needs to be heated to a liquid to pour into candle containers and embed wicks, then cooled to resolidify.

Soy wax has a lower melting point compared to paraffin wax. The melting point of soy wax ranges from 115-135°F depending on the specific formulation, while paraffin wax melts at 131-151°F (A Comprehensive Guide to Soy Wax). Lower melting points make soy wax easier to work with, as it melts at lower temperatures for pouring.

The cooling process is also different between soy and paraffin. Soy wax tends to set up and cure faster than paraffin due to the natural soy components. Paraffin can take up to 48 hours to fully cure and stabilize, while soy wax will cure in 24 hours or less (Melting Point Factors for Common Waxes). The faster cure time is advantageous for soy candle production.

Candle Making

Soy wax tends to work better for container candles, while paraffin wax is preferred for pillar candles. Soy wax has a lower melting point which makes it optimal for holding scents in container candles. The softer consistency of soy wax allows for easier release from the container.

Paraffin wax is harder than soy wax, so it’s better suited to freestanding pillar candles. The rigidity allows pillar candles to retain their shape without needing a container. Paraffin also offers excellent scent throw in pillars.

For soy container candles, use a smaller diameter wick since soy wax doesn’t melt as hot as paraffin. Test wicks to ensure a full melt pool without producing excess soot. A wider wick is needed for paraffin pillar candles to generate enough heat for fragrance release and prevent tunneling.

The type of wax determines the appropriate wick size, but testing is always recommended to optimize performance. Wicks are available in different materials like cotton, paper, and wood. Try various wick types with each wax to find the best pairing.

Soap Making

When used in cold process soap recipes, soy wax and 464 wax perform differently. Soy wax results in a softer bar of soap with more moisture. The natural glycerin content in soy wax helps retain moisture in the final soap bar, leading to a creamier lather. 464 wax makes a harder bar that is longer lasting. The higher melt point of 464 wax gives it more durability in soap recipes. However, some find 464 wax soap bars to have a drying effect on skin compared to those made with soy wax. Many soap makers use a soy wax and coconut oil blend for a balanced bar in terms of hardness and moisturizing qualities.

Pros and Cons

Soy wax 10 and 464 each have their own advantages and disadvantages that make them suitable for different candle making applications.

Some of the key pros of soy wax 10 include:

  • Smooth, glossy finish
  • Good scent throw
  • Holds fragrance oils well over time
  • Easy to work with

Some potential cons of soy wax 10:

  • Can be prone to frosting
  • May not adhere well to container walls
  • Can shrink or pull away from sides as it cools

The pros of soy wax 464 include:

  • Lower melting point makes it easy to work with
  • Creates a smooth topside appearance
  • Good hot and cold scent throw
  • Adheres well to container walls as it cools

Potential cons of 464 soy wax:

  • May not hold fragrance as long as soy wax 10
  • Can have a grainy, frosting appearance
  • May need an additive for glossy finish

In summary, soy wax 10 produces glossier, smoother candles but can pull away from container walls as it cools. Soy wax 464 adheres better to containers but may have a more frosted, grainy appearance.

When to Use Each One

Here are some recommendations for when to use soy 10 wax versus 464 wax:

Use soy 10 wax if you want:
– A higher melting point around 115-125°F (46-52°C) which is good for candles that will be shipped or sold outdoors in summer heat according to CandleScience.

– Excellent scent throw with fragrances according to Lone Star Candle Supply.
– A smooth candle surface and medium viscosity for easy pouring.

Use 464 soy wax if you want:

– A lower melting point around 110-115°F (43-46°C) which works well for containers and home use.
– Faster scent release but less scent throw overall.
– A thinner, more fluid wax that’s easy to double pour.

In summary, soy 10 is preferable for candles that will be exposed to heat while 464 works well for home use in average temperatures. Consider scent throw, surface finish, and pour viscosity when deciding.

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