Is Johnson’s Paste Wax Flammable? (A 5-point guide)

This article will answer the following question: “Is Johnson’s Paste Wax Flammable?”. We will reveal important safety information about the product, how flammable it can be, and other important questions.

Is Johnson’s Paste Wax Flammable?

Johnson’s Paste Wax is a flammable substance when wet (as it comes out of the pot). The product contains organic compounds that are flammable and can become airborne easily, meaning they can ignite readily if there’s a source of ignition nearby.

What is Johnson’s Paste Wax?

Johnson’s Paste Wax is a finish for wood floors, furniture, and other household surfaces. It’s a furniture polish and cleaner.

The product luster wood, metal, sealed leather, plastic, cork, and vinyl surfaces, protect them.

What is Johnson’s Paste Wax made of?

We can assess better the flammability of a product if we understand what is it made of. Johnson’s Paste Wax is made mainly of 4 ingredients, they are:

  • Deodorized Naphta: acts like a solubilizer

The ingredient is a deodorized form of Stoddard solvent, also known as white or spirits. It guarantees that all other ingredients can have a more even distribution. It is not made of minerals, but organic compounds.

It also helps that the product doesn’t separate its ingredients, creating immiscible layers over time. It’s like an organic solvent.

  • Carnauba Wax: works as a film former.

Also called Brazil wax, it helps create a coating on the surface. It can also be a food additive. Has a fatty nature.

Its composition is mainly of fatty esters, p-Cumaric acids, hydroxycarboxylic acids, and fatty alcohols.

  • Microcrystalline Wax: also a film former.

This ingredient can be found in cosmetics, gum, and eye drops. Like other film formers, it creates a coating on the surface and helps enhance a nice shine to it.

Microcrystalline wax comes from the petroleum refining process, it’s similar to paraffin and is composed of aliphatic hydrocarbons. It has a low viscosity.

  • Paraffin: is also related to film-forming.

Is the same ingredient in candles and crayons.  It’s derived from crude oil. It’s a mixture of long-chain hydrocarbons. It’s a solid that can enhance several properties in products.

What is Wax?

Wax is a class of organic compounds that has lipidic-like properties. Although waxes have a low viscosity, a big aliphatic carbon chain, and melting points close to room temperature, some are still malleable enough to craft a wide variety of materials.

Wax can come naturally from plants, animals, or minerals, but can also be crafted or extracted from parts of them. There are also petroleum waxes, which are derived from ancient forms of life.

Aliphatic Hydrocarbons

Aliphatic hydrocarbons are a class of organic compounds made entirely from carbon and hydrogen. Fats and oils are the most prominent examples of them and the constituents or parts of waxes.

A hydrocarbon is a molecule made entirely of carbons and hydrogens. The carbons are bonded to one another forming a chain, like a skeleton or the stalk of a tree, which can have branches of other carbons on.

Hydrocarbons are named and classified according to their amount of carbon. Each carbon makes 4 connections, which are fulfilled by connections with carbons and hydrogens, only.

In the picture above you can see the example of one structure present in a wax like Johson’s paste wax. The total compounds are more or less similar to these structures. 

They can have more or less the same quantity of carbons, but sometimes the chain is not so aligned. 

The first structure named C27 alkane is an example of an aliphatic hydrocarbon. The other ones have almost the same structure, but different ligands in the end. 

These changes may seem small but they are more than enough so a compound can behave differently, especially when it comes to viscosity, flash point, boiling point, and other characteristics.

Waxes products use a mix of these structures to achieve specific characteristics. The smaller a carbon chain is, the more liquid-like properties it will be. All the structures in the image are solids.

So how can Johson’s wax become a paste? This is because of the “Deodorized Naphta (white spirit)” we introduced before. The compound has around C7 – C12 molecules, which are liquid.

White spirit looks much more like gasoline and diesel than wax. But it can dissolve waxes.

Understanding a hydrocarbon is the starting point for comprehending how other important molecules are, like esters, acids, and alcohols. These last three are classes of compounds, what makes a molecule be named after them is the ligands.

Now that we know what Johnson’s Paste Wax is made of, we can assess its flammability much more easily. The product is considered flammable.

Instructions

The manufacturer suggests that the surface is cleaned before, so Johson’s Paste Wax can have an optimized action. A thin coat of wax must be applied to the area.

More specifically, solvent-based is recommended to clean up the floor, and soap and water for furniture. After the application, the product must be left to dry, for around 30min.

Johnson’s Paste Wax properties

  • Form: solid
  • Color: opaque
  • Odor: solvent-like
  • Flashpoint: 31.1°C (87.98°F)
  • Density: 6.52 g/cm3 at 25 °C
  • Total Volatile organic
    compounds (wt. %): 80%

Can Johnson’s Paste Wax catch fire?

Yes. The paste is made of flammable substances. As we saw in the previous chapter, it is made of organic compounds, of long and smaller carbon chains.

The bigger a chain is, the less flammable the compound will be. Paraffin, for example, can be considered flammable sometimes (candle wax is made of it), but it can’t burst into flames easily.

A candle is made to burn slowly. Paraffin is what makes it possible.

The other waxy ingredients in Johnson’s paste wax are paraffin-like, besides one: Deodorized Naphta (white spirit), which we already spoke about.

This compound is similar to a mixture of gasoline and diesel, which means it’s very flammable. The paste presents a low flashpoint because of it.

When a compound has a low flashpoint it means that its particles can become airborne easily. Since white spirit can act as a fuel, reaching a vapor state results in high flammability.

Therefore, we can say that Johson’s Paste Wax is flammable and can catch fire. After the product dries, the flammability drops greatly, and the product becomes combustible only.

Can Johnson’s Paste Wax easily ignite?

If it’s still wet, yes. Johson’s Paste Wax is made of flammable substances that can readily ignite. The product has a low flashpoint, which means that an explosive mist can happen.

However, if the instructions on the label are followed, you are safe. Anyplace you’ve applied the product, make sure that the ventilation is the best you can get, so the vapors can fly away.

Never leave any source of ignition close by, lit a cigarette, a source of heat, or sparks close by. Remember that the vapors can fly away and eventually find an ignition elsewhere, at a distance of around 3 rooms.

is johnson paste wax toxic?

No specific toxicity is expected if the product is used according to the label’s instructions. The product is not very toxic, but neither is inert.

If the product eventually gets ingested or inhaled, can cause discomfort, dizziness, drowsiness, and affect the central nervous system.

If an individual is naturally stricken by respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, he/she will become more susceptible to irritating effects.

is johnson paste wax food safe

is johnson paste wax waterproof?

The constituents on the paste are very hydrophobic, which means they can repeal water. This is the reason why it’s used as a finisher for floors and furniture.

The wax is made of oily and fatty compounds, which coat the surfaces preventing moisture from getting in. 

Part of the paste is made of carnauba wax, which comes from a plant. This plant uses the wax in its cells to prevent dehydration, and as a natural barrier against moisture loss.

The plant comes from an arid region of Brazil. Its high wax composition is an adaptation to the dry climate.

is johnson paste wax good for hardwood floors?

Yes. It’s a good choice for unvarnished hardwood floors, linoleum, and unfinished cork floors. To use it properly, first clean up the surface and then apply a thin layer to coat it up.

Johson’s Paste Wax Safety Data Sheet

You can check some more relevant information in the Safety Data Sheet provided by the company, at this link.

Conclusion

Johnson’s Paste Wax is a flammable substance. It’s made with a solvent that can act as fuel. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label to safely apply it. When dried, the product can possibly become combustible only, rather than flammable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS): Is Johnson’s Paste Wax Flammable?

does johnson paste wax contain silicone?

No. The ingredients in Johson’s Paste Wax are the following: Deodorized Naphta, carnauba wax, microcrystalline wax and paraffin.

does johnson paste wax go bad?

The paste has low toxicity, its ingredients are known and used for many other purposes like cosmetics, and no big hazard is expected from it. The product can burn, but practically only when it’s wet.

is johnson paste wax food safe?

Paraffin and carnauba wax are two of the ingredients in the paste that are safe. However, it also contains petroleum-derived compounds, which are not considered food safe.

The company does not indicate rather the product is food safe or not, but other paste waxes that are food safe claim that their products are petroleum-derived products free.

Citations

Zeisler-Diehl, Viktoria Valeska, Wilhelm Barthlott, and Lukas Schreiber. “Plant cuticular waxes: composition, function, and interactions with microorganisms.” Hydrocarbons, oils and lipids: diversity, origin, chemistry and fate (2020): 123-138.

https://www.whatsinsidescjohnson.com/us/en/brands/sc-johnson/sc-johnson-paste-wax
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnauba_wax
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcrystalline_wax
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraffin_wax
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliphatic_compound
https://www.walmart.com/ip/SC-Johnson-Paste-Wax-16-oz-1lb/23142990
https://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/surface/how-to-wax-hardwood-floors/#:~:text=Choose%20old%2Dfashioned%20paste%20wax,for%20a%20long%2Dlasting%20shine.
https://www.freemansupply.com/MSDS/Combined/Accessories/Johnsonpastewax.pdf
https://www.whatsinsidescjohnson.com/us/en/brands/sc-johnson/sc-johnson-paste-wax

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