The top 8 soy candle benefits include great reasons to burn soy candles, but also great reasons to not buy paraffin wax candles. If you aren’t sure about the difference, we can help you learn more about how candlemakers choose their waxes and which companies are using paraffin over soy wax. First, a little bit of background on soy wax, versus its main competitor, paraffin wax.
Are soy candles toxic?
Candles made from soy wax are not toxic. They do use hexane which is a greenhouse gas used to extract any vegetable cooking oils or waxes. However, the candle market is a small drop across all vegetable based oils on the market. In fact, across industries all over the world, food grade oils are used in applications that demand safety. That can be pharmaceutical packaging or flavor manufacturers. Soy candles are one of the least toxic options available. And you have to be extra careful anytime you’re burning things in your home. You should also make sure that the scents are not toxic. Our company, Den Candle Co, uses clean scents wherever possible. That means no carcinogens, no mutagens, and no toxins.
Are soy candles better than regular candles?
In our opinion, absolutely. In targeted scientific studies, there hasn’t been enough research to make a real call. Regular candles which are based on paraffin wax, have several differences. The largest one is where they come from. Soy is grown in the midwest and is a made in america product. Paraffin uses crude oil which is imported or pulled from the ground. It’s not a renewable resource and is being phased out in industries from automotives to plastics.
There are 8 more reasons why we think soy candles are better, and we’ll get into that shortly.
Who came up with soy wax candles?
The first soy based candle was created as recently as 1998 by the indiana soybean development council! Compare that to paraffin which has been in use since 1830 when oil, coal, and other carbon heavy products were becoming popular. Soy was the American farmer’s answer to the classic petroleum candles. According to the Indiana department of agronomy, the soy candle was created in research and competitions involving attempts to find uses for soy as a wax. In a short amount of time, the group was able to introduce soy candles and soy crayons as viable options for the plant.
Why are soy wax candles bad?
Fans of paraffin wax will talk about the downsides of soy. There are two big downsides to the manufacturing process. The first is hexane, a chemical used to extract vegetable oils. It is a greenhouse gas and needs to be recaptured during use or else it will contribute to global warming. At this point, we are very good at capturing process gasses, so this becomes less of an issue as gas capturing technology improves.
The second downside is the amount of water used to farm soy beans. However, soy candles are a very small part of the soy economy. Water is also recyclable, recapturable, and reusable. So, without a proper environmental plan, an argument could be made against soy. But not very good ones.
How to tell the difference between soy and paraffin?
Soy candles will be labeled as soy, while paraffin probably won’t mention the type of wax. Any big box store probably supplies paraffin candles. When buying soy candles, we suggest going to a niche store like Den Candle Co or maybe an etsy shop. Small shops have to be price competitive while also using eco-conscious wax. When in doubt, if it doesn’t say soy, its probably not soy. So make sure to check the label to get the next 8 benefits of soy candles.
The Benefits of Soy Wax
1. Good for our environment
Soy wax is better for the environment than petroleum candles, which are not renewable. We also know that carbon creates emissions which is why the world is slowly moving away from plastics, oils, coal, and any carbon-based products. We acknowledge that soy wax is created with hexane and water, but with proper capture technology, soy candles provide many more benefits for the environment.
2. Good for our local economy
Soy is a local made in america products. Check out this image of the biggest crop produced by each state. The midwest thrives by the soybean. It is a vital source of protein that is used for all sorts of plant based foods, but it also lights our homes in beautiful ways. What’s better than that! The united state agriculture map was provided thanks to Malcom Tunnell.
3. Better for your homes
Since paraffin is a petroleum candle, it burns sootier and produces more black smoke than a soy candle. Paraffin candles will also burn hotter which can mean that its more of a fire hazard. It’s important to keep your homes safe by moving the candle far enough from walls or flammable material. This is especially true for the soot that paraffin candles will leave, possibly creating black streaks along the walls of your home.
4. Better smelling
This depends on the candle, however, soy wax disperses at a lower temperature, which provides a better more even scent throw. We buy scented candles for the scent, so its important that the wax can provide the proper scent load. Paraffin candle makers tend to have to overload their candles to get their scent throws to come across. There’s less science for this one, but tons of anecdotal stories about this.
5. Longer Burning
Since soy wax burns at a lower temperature, the candle will last longer. A 16 oz soy candle will last just as long as a 22oz paraffin candle. You get to spend less money on wax, while enjoying candles longer. Soy is great for smaller samples, because you get more bang for your buck while still getting a couple of long burns out of the candles.
6. Better Pooling
Because of the lower temperature (yet again), these candles will pool better. When candles burn too hot, they will dig a tunnel around the flame without melting the wax all the way to the edge. This tunnel means you don’t get full use of the candle, and much of it is wasted. Soy wax is much less likely to tunnel and much more likely to poll all the way to the edge.
7. Cooler Candles
Okay, we mentioned this one already. But the hot wax can be a problem. Spilled soy wax is cooler which means it is less likely to burn on skin contact. We don’t suggest testing it, but you can stick your finger in cooling soy wax without much trouble. So if the last several reason’s didn’t make it clear. Cool candles is a really good thing!
8. No CDC exposure limit
Paraffin wax has a CDC exposure limit. Manufacturers have to limit the amount that can be released into the air, or it will become toxic. This would irritate the skin, eyes, and nose. Soy wax burns do not have this problem because it is not carbon wax. Air quality is a big deal.
Your Soy Candle Source
If you’re shopping for soy wax candles, try out our products. They’re safe, homemade, and thoughtfully produced.