Paraffin Wax: A Safe Alternative To Petroleum Products?
What are the benefits of using paraffin wax instead of petroleum products? What are some other advantages?
The main advantage is that it’s much cheaper than petroleum based products. You don’t have to worry about health hazards or environmental pollution caused by petroleum products. It’s also less expensive than natural oils used in making cosmetics and personal care items such as shampoos, soaps, lotions etc.
Another benefit is that it doesn’t require any additional chemicals to be added. It’s just pure paraffin wax. So if you’re looking for a safe alternative to petroleum based products, then paraffin wax might be the best choice for you.
There are many different types of paraffin wax available today. Some of them are solid paraffin wax, liquid paraffin wax, and even gelled paraffin wax. Each type has its own pros and cons.
Solid Paraffin Wax: Solid paraffin wax is made from solid blocks of pure paraffin oil (a petroleum product). These blocks are usually produced in a refinery. They’re very stable and resistant to heat, light, moisture and air.
Solid paraffin is considered to be the “original” wax and can be used for making candles (as shown in the picture above).
Liquid Paraffin Wax: Unlike solid paraffin wax, liquid paraffin wax is not made from pure paraffin oil. It’s a mixture of various petroleum products which have been refined at very high temperatures. It’s not suitable for making candles but it can still be used in various other ways.
Gelled Paraffin Wax: Gelled paraffin wax is a mixture of liquid paraffin wax and small amounts of gelling agents. These gelling agents are usually derivatives of petroleum. The purpose of these gelling agents is to turn the liquid paraffin wax into a gel-like substance.
This type of wax is usually used in lotions, creams and ointments. In fact most “cold creams” contain gelled paraffin wax.
Paraffin wax is considered to be a non-hazardous substance so you don’t have to worry about it catching fire or exploding. If you spill it on your carpet or some other place, you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes either. In fact it’s very difficult to make paraffin wax catch fire.
Even if it does catch fire, it will not burn very well. However it can melt nearby materials such as carpet, so be careful not to spill.
Paraffin wax is very cheap and affordable for most people. It’s also easy to obtain from your local grocery store or pharmacy.
This type of wax is not only cheap, but it’s non-toxic as well. You don’t have to worry about side effects or long term health hazards. Unlike petroleum based products, paraffin wax doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals.
So if you have children or pets, you don’t have to worry about them getting sick if they accidentally eat some paraffin wax.
Another benefit of paraffin wax is that it doesn’t produce a stench. Many people are allergic to the smell of petroleum jelly and other petroleum based products. But when using paraffin wax for the first time, most people can’t even tell that they’re putting on wax.
Even if you put on a lot of it, the smell is still very faint.
Paraffin wax is also easy to apply. It doesn’t require any special tools or equipment. You can either use your hands or warm it up a little and then apply it with your fingers.
As you can see, there are many benefits to using paraffin wax. But it isn’t suitable for everything. Paraffin wax doesn’t provide as much protection as other types of grease such as animal fat (lard, tallow).
Also, it isn’t very good for mechanical purposes such as gun lubricant (though it can be used as a base for gun lube).
Paraffin wax is also not very long lasting. It will generally last as long as the conditions in which it’s used will allow it to last. For example, if you’re putting it on your skin, it will probably last as long as your skin is capable of holding in moisture.
But if you’re putting in on a rifle stock, it won’t last nearly as long. In fact it’s entirely possible for the wax to be worn or washed off after just one trip out in the field.
Ingredients and Equipment Needed
Paraffin wax can be bought at most pharmacies or grocery stores. If you can’t find paraffin wax, you can also try hardware stores or online suppliers.
In order to make your paraffin wax, you will need a double boiler (or a saucepan and bowl setup), heat source, measuring device and paraffin wax.
You can use an old sauce pan or bowl for your outer vessel and a small metal bowl or cup for your inner vessel. Just make sure that the two vessels can fit together snugly and won’t fall off the heat source. If you need to stabilize the setup in any way, you can use small rocks or marbles to keep the vessels from tipping.
You will also need a heat source. An electric stove top works just fine. If you’re using a gas stove, make sure to turn the flame down really low.
You just need a slight warmth, not an open flame.
You will need a thermometer or a temperature measuring device of some sort in order to monitor the temperature of your wax. You can buy special thermometers made for this purpose at most hardware stores, but anything that tells temperature works: a meat thermometer (but aren’t accurate for the job), a cooking thermometer (inexpensive and does the job just fine), an infared thermometer (more expensive, but more precise than a cooking thermometer), etc.
If you’re using a double boiler, you won’t need to stir the wax as much, since the water in the upper pot will act as a gentle heat conductor. But if you’re using the saucepan and bowl method, you’ll have to stir often in order to make sure that the wax is heating evenly.
You will also need some sort of mold to pour your wax into for cooling. You can use an old cake or brownie pan, but you will need to cover it first with plastic wrap in order to make sure that the wax doesn’t stick to the mold. You can also buy wax paper at arts and crafts stores, this type of paper work well for this purpose.
Applying the paraffin wax is easy. Just rub it on your face, arms, legs, chest and any other exposed skin areas. Use a lot, you can never have too much.
Try to apply it everywhere, but avoid your eyes and don’t go out into the sun or bright lights afterwards (the sun will be reflecting off of your ultra-shiny-self and give you a sunburn! Not good).
Also, don’t use this stuff as a food. In fact, keep it away from food as much as possible. When it’s heated up, it can contaminate any food it touches.
After rubbing it on yourself, just allow the wax to cool and harden. Then you can use it as a protective barrier against moisture. When you’re ready to head out into the wilderness, scrape off the excess wax with a knife or your fingers and you’re good to go!
Tip: If you’re headed out for a long trip into the wild, you might want to have more than one coating of wax on. This will help keep you protected in case of rain or other inclement weather.
Tip: You can use this wax on your sleeping bag, tent or any other gear you want to keep dry.
Paraffin wax is best kept in a cool, dry place so it will last a long time. If it gets too hot, the wax will become more liquid that it should be and will lose some of its protective abilities.
When you’re done with the wax you can just throw it away in the trash can. Don’t put it in the sink or down the drain, as it will clog your plumbing.