It seems like all of the sudden, soy wax candles are everywhere! And you may be wondering “What is so special about soy wax?”
Well, I’m glad you asked!
Prior to my “conversion” to soy wax, I was the person who simply grabbed the best smelling /cheapest candle off the shelf and called it a day. So I totally understand, if your a little confused by the “soy wax craze.” While this seems to be a new trend, in truth, soy wax has been around since the late 1990’s.
I’ve never been someone who is overly concerned with all things natural. But there is something about becoming a parent, that causes you to start examining the chemicals you are using in your home. In this article, I would like to share a little bit of the knowledge I’ve gained through that careful examination. Specifically, as it relates to the scented candles we burn in our homes.
One of the biggest reasons we, as a community, are falling in love with Soy Candles is because they are natural. Soy candles are made from soy beans (vegetable oil). As a result, soy candles do not increase the C02 level in the atmosphere like paraffin (traditional) candles do.
Paraffin wax is obtained from petroleum byproducts, gasoline refined from crude oil. When paraffin candles are burned they release the same carcinogens as those found in diesel fuel fumes. (benzene & toluene)
Soy candles burn cleaner and are non-toxic. As a result they do not produce the black soot that you often get from paraffin candles. (Soy candles may produce a negligible amount of soot, but this soot produces no known carcinogens into the air.) Another reason for the black soot is that many paraffin candles use Zinc (metal) wicks. Zinc wicks are not toxic, like lead wicks (lead wicks were removed from most candles made in the USA, when they were linked to numerous health problems, including cancers) but do produce more soot than a cotton or hemp wick would. If you have a soy candle that is producing black soot, you may want to check the type of wick and also, confirm that it is not a “soy blend” which may be a mix of soy and paraffin wax. At Melting Moon Candles, we use cotton core wicks.
Soy candles are a healthier alternative. Many people have switched to burning only soy candles, because they no longer get the headaches that they have come to associate with burning paraffin candles.
Soy candles, on average, burn 30-50% longer than paraffin candles. So while soy candles may appear more expensive “ounce for ounce” they can be much more cost effective in the long run.
Soy candles may have a “lighter” scent, but it is generally more of a pleasant scent than what you get from paraffin. One thing we quickly learned when opening Melting Moon Candles, is that scent is a VERY subjective and personal thing. So each person will have a different opinion on this one. Some people will say that soy is always going to have a lighter scent than paraffin candles, while others feel that the scents are more complex and therefore “stronger” as the scent will travel from room to room.
The Soy wax we use at Melting Moon Candles is made up of all natural soy wax/vegetable oils. If you have any additional questions about our candles, please feel free to check out out FAQ sections or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please note, this article is in no way meant to shame paraffin lovers. It is simply meant to share the knowledge we have gained through our own research and giving you the opportunity to do the same.
Paraffin lovers will dispute the claims made about soy versus paraffin and there is a lot of conflicting information out there, so if you are truly interested in knowing more and not just my opinion, I have linked some research facts from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) below. https://nepis.epa.gov/Adobe/PDF/P1009BZL.pdf
If the EPA file is too long for you, here is a much shorter article that summarizes some of the main points. http://www.theredheadriter.com/2012/03/the-truth-about-paraffin-wax-candles-are-they-toxic/