Differences Between Kerosene and Paraffin
While many people think that kerosene and paraffin are basically the same thing, there are some subtle but important differences. Both oils are designed to work perfectly for different appliances, which is why you should keep their differences in mind.
Why Do People Think Kerosene and Paraffin Are the Same?
For the most part, they are basically the same kind of oil. Kerosene is quite often referred to as paraffin in the UK; kerosene is a term typically used in the US.
Having said that, paraffin is mainly designed for use indoors, which is why there are a few differences.
Here are the main differences between kerosene and paraffin and how these differences can affect you.
If you have ever used kerosene for your home heating system, then you may have noticed that it can carry a particularly strong odour. While this isn’t really a problem when you are using it for your boiler, it would be an issue if you were using it indoors.
Paraffin tends to be a more refined and distilled version of kerosene. This makes it more suitable for use within the home. Because paraffin is more refined, it produces a lot less soot.
When Should I Use Kerosene and Paraffin?
Due to the reduced odour and the lack of soot, paraffin lamp oil is designed for use indoors. That’s why it is often a good choice for use in indoor oil lamps. Kerosene, on the other hand, is better suited for use in home heating systems.
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The London Candle Company are candle experts. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
There is no quality difference due to the production method, only related to the raw materials used.
Colour was added to the liquid wax before the candle was made.
Handle the wick with care, do not break it. Make sure that no foreign objects or debris (e.g. match tips) fall into the liquefying wax (wax pool).
Foreign objects soil the wax, which clogs the wick. The absorptive capacity of the wick might be reduced. Foreign objects can also catch fire and act as a second wick. As a result this second flame may destroy the candle. This might especially be the case when the foreign matter is at the edge of the candle. The candle edge is breached and the candle keeps on running.
At least long enough to completely fill the melt pool with liquid wax. Otherwise the candle may form a funnel if it is burned too often for a too short period of time.
a) sooting candles:
The wick is too long. Trim the wick in small increments until it no longer produces soot.
b) flickering candles:
Usually draught is the cause. However, the candle could also have a lack of oxygen (e.g. when pillar candles have a high edge and the flame is sunken). The edge of the candle should be trimmed down.
When the room is too warm, the candle is not placed straight, the candle is subjected to draught or air conditioning.
The colour pigment level might be too high so that the optimal absorptive capacity of the wick is limited. This can arise particularly with dark colours or fully dyed candles.
If a draught is pushing the flame to one side, either stop the draught or rotate the candle. Should the wick bend over to one side, however, gently straighten it when it is still warm.
In gerneral, the chosen wick is too small or colour pigments clog up the wick.
To be able to burn without residue while the candle burns, the wick requires oxygen. And oxygen only reaches the tip of the wick, if the wick curves out of the flame.
Pillars are often not able to burn down completely because they have a hole for spikes at the bottom sometimes. As soon as the flame reaches the top of the hole, the wick loses its footing, topples over and the flame extinguishes.
The candles should not be too close to each other because otherwise they heat up too quickly and start either to drip or to bend. Arranging candles one above the other might cause the top candle to burn irregularly as a result of heat rising from the candle below and it is inclined to bend. Candles are to be arranged on Christmas trees in a way that there is no combustible material (e.g. dry twigs) above them. A dry burning twig can quickly set the whole tree alight. To be on the safe side, you should always have a full bucket of water ready besides the tree. For flower arrangements, preferably candles of the same type and length should be used. Make sure there is no fire risk resulting from napkins and the like.
Air circulation must be good, i.e. there have to be ventilation holes in the teapot warmer and they must not be covered or closed. If the entire surface of a tea light starts to burn, it is usually the result of insufficient air circulation. In case of doubt, stop further use of the warmer.
Glass candlesticks in which the candles – particularly the conical ones – are completely burned could crack because of the heat. This can be avoided by extinguishing the candle before the flame reaches the upper edge of the candlestick nozzle. Or alternatively, you can use self-extinguishing candles (these candles extinguish before reaching the glass edge) or special aluminium sleeves for the base of household or tapered candles.
10-15 cm would be a rule of thumb. However, pay attention to the individual heat emission which might have an effect on the next candle. Room temperature looms large, too.
What we have here are carbon deposits, so called “mushrooms”, which should be removed with a pair of special wick scissors. After all, these carbon deposits may contaminate the liquid wax and thus impair proper candle burning.
A candle can go out on its own if the wick is not stable enough, tips over and drops into the liquid wax. It can also be caused by the wick clogging as a result of colour dyes or other impurities, when the wick has not sufficient suction and when no wax is being conveyed.
It is quite natural for the wick to glow a little afterwards. If it really glows strongly, you can dip the wick into the liquid wax and put it in an upright position then.
If the candle diameter allows it, the wick should be dipped into the liquid wax with a pair of scissors or another metal object, and immediately straightened again. This prevents the wick from continuing to glow, provides it with wax for being lit again and protects it from breakage when it is cooled down. You can also extinguish the flame with a candle snuffer. Never blow out a candle.
Lay 1 or 2 sheets of blotting paper on the wax spot and iron over it with a hot iron (without applying steam). Repeat this as often as necessary until the wax is absorbed. If colour spots remain, have them removed by professional cleaning.
Sometimes, even coldness works. Put some ice on the wax or place it in the fridge. The low temperature makes the wax brittle and it can then be carefully removed. Candle holders or, for instance, glass containers can be placed in hot water to dissolve the wax.
This is a sign that the wick has taken in moisture. Changed air humidity can cause this, especially when a candle is kept outside overnight.
Candles generally can be kept for an unlimited period as long as they are properly stored. Always place long candles (taper candles, household candles, thin pillar candles etc.) flat when storing! Otherwise the effect of warmth can deform them.
High fat-content candles can give rise to the packaging (plastic film, paper, cardboard) becoming discoloured or soft. But this is of no significance at all for the candle itself.
Place the wick upright when lighting a new candle.
Yes, because the manufacturer guarantees the correct labelling of the candle.
It is a matter of the specific characteristics of beeswax that a specific grey mould can form on the surface after a certain storage time. You can regard this layer as an evidence for the authenticity of the material.
Candle is too thin:
a) fix an adhesive wax slice at the bottom of the candle and press it in the candle holder.
b) pour some liquid wax of a burning candle on the bottom of the holder and fix the candle on it.
Candle is too thick:
a) scrape off some wax from the bottom of the candle.
b) put the cone of the candle in warm water and form it by hand so that it matches with the holder.