Uses for Paraffin

    by Glenda Taylor

    About the Author

    Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.


    Paraffin (Alkane Hydrocarbons), is commonly known as a type of wax. Used as a component in making candles, protecting foods such as jellies and cheeses; it is also employed as a stabilizing agent in making a firm but pliable candy shell, allowing chocolate to enrobe delicious centers. Alternative health practitioners use it to relieve the stiffness associated with arthritis.

    Things You'll Need

    • Paraffin bars
    • Double boiler (for melting)
    • Heat protective gloves
    • Paraffin bath
    • Canning supplies
    • Candy coating
    • Candle molds
    • Crayons

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    Melt paraffin bars in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, taking care not to allow moisture droplets to enter the melting wax. Paraffin melts at a relatively high temperature and may burn sensitive skin. Wear protective gloves and a heavy apron to prevent injuries.

    Pour melted, but slightly cooled paraffin, on the top of homemade jams and jellies in heatproof canning jars to seal the jelly from the air. Pour only after the jelly has cooled to room temperature. Use approximately 1/4-inch of paraffin and allow the jars to sit undisturbed until the paraffin turns white. The while coloring indicates it has solidified.

    Add small bits of crayons to melted paraffin to add color before pouring into candle molds. Candles are an appropriate craft to do with children but an adult must handle the hot paraffin. Add a wick and allow the new candle to cool completely before removing it from the mold.

    Fill a paraffin bath with as many bars as recommended in the instructions and turn the machine on, allowing the paraffin to melt evenly. After the paraffin is ready, you can reduce the heat, cooling it slightly but not enough to allow it to re-harden. Alternately, choose a paraffin bath that automatically regulates the temperature.

    Dip arthritic fingers and hands into a paraffin bath and quickly remove them, allowing the wax to solidify around the fingers. Repeat the process many times until a deep coating of soft paraffin covers the hand and fingers. This allows a deep heat to penetrate the stiff joints and many arthritis suffers claim it offers needed relief. (See Resources)

    Grab a whole bar of paraffin and wax the underside of your snow skis or sleds. Paraffin forms a smooth coating on the bottom, reducing friction and allowing you to skim the surface of the snow with ease and speed.

    Add a teaspoonful of melted paraffin to 1-cup of melted chocolate when dipping candy centers. When the candy hardens, the chocolate will remain chewable. As a bonus, the paraffin will add sheen to the surface of your candy.

    • Do not allow children to chew on paraffin wax. Although it is used in small amounts in food production, ingesting a large amount may cause an abdominal obstruction. Call your doctor if you think your child has eaten paraffin.
    • Never dip fingers into paraffin melted on the stove or in the microwave. It may be very hot and serious injury may occur.

    Photo Credits

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