Why are Soy Candles Better?
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Do you ever wonder why you’re buying soy candles? Or you’ve been so die hard
pro-soy for years that you can’t remember why you began in the first place. Or, maybe you’re
just starting to kick the habit of purchasing Yankee Candles or Bath and Body Works after someone told you they’re not too good for you. We’ve been making candles from pure soy wax for years, and we started doing so because of this reason.
We were stunned to learn that big companies with great reputations aren’t really out there to sell you healthy products
We did some research and found out all the ways mysterious ingredients and unhealthy materials find their way into candles purchased from big retailers. What we found was down right gross. As a disclaimer, not all candles out there from big companies are terrible; with some knowledgeable shopping habits and a quick check of the labeling you can tell that you’re purchasing a healthier candle based on some of the advice below.
Plain and simple, soy wax is an all-natural, renewable, plant-based material that produces a cooler temperature flame and thus makes candles that burn at least 2 times longer than those with other waxes while also producing less soot and smoke. It’s also a renewable resource that actually makes the soil healthier by adding nutrients and fixing nitrogen for other crops to use. And, because it’s not a byproduct of petroleum, like paraffin wax, it doesn’t pollute the air with petrochemicals and is the top choice for people with emphysema and asthma.
Why do soy candles burn longer?
Soy candles burn longer, because soy wax has a lower melting point and is consumed by the wick at a lower temperature. It’s also less inherently flammable than paraffin wax, so the flame tries a bit harder to burn the soy wax, which feeds the flame at that lower temperature and creates a candle that burns 2-3 times longer than the same size candle made from paraffin.
The first thing we look for when buying candles is ‘100% pure soy wax’ displayed somewhere on the product labeling. This lets us know we’re getting a pure, uncut soy candle without any gross additives that may help it perform or look pretty, but are also going to burn off into the air we breathe. There really isn’t any legislation for candle labeling requirements, which is silly because we do consume it in some manner. So trusting your candle supplier is really important when you’re picking up something to bring into your home.
How is soy wax made?
Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. Soybeans are harvested, cleaned, cracked, de-hulled and then flaked. Soybean oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated. Hydrogenation converts some of the fatty acids in the oil from unsaturated to saturated. This process dramatically alters the melting point of the oil, making it a solid at room temperature. The leftover bean husks are commonly used as animal feed.
Why is soy ‘cleaner’ than paraffin wax candles?
Paraffin wax, because it’s a petrochemical and because it burns hotter and quicker than soy, emits more smoke and soot into the air of your home as the wick briskly burns away the materials of the candle. As a byproduct of the petroleum industry, you can imagine that paraffin wax isn’t ideal for bringing into your home and burning as a part of a healthy living environment.
People with house pets (especially birds) and children should avoid paraffin candles for this reason. But also because those candles are more likely to include harsh additives, carcinogens and phthalates that can harm their smaller and/or developing respiratory systems.