My candle addiction began about 12 years ago, since I am currently 28 years old, 12 years of my life is almost half of it! But I digress, there were times that I would have been be embarrassed at letting people see the number of candles I had at any given moment. I could not help but purchase every good smelling candle I came across. And one of my favorite things to do, at least once a week, was to put some music on and clean my room/apartment and light up a candle as a reward (for such a hard day of work), ahhh just the thought of it is so relaxing.
However, over time, I learned about how harmful paraffin wax candles are for those who ingest the fumes. Even still, a couple of years after that realization, I continued to buy the paraffin wax candles I loved so much but, inevitably, every time I burned one I felt a little bit of guilt creep onto me.
That is when my interest in a more natural lifestyle, coupled with my curiosity, need to make things and creativity morphed into making soy candles. So this week I wanted to share with you the things I have learned about soy wax over time and the benefits of burning soy candles in your home:
When compared to one of the most popular type of wax used in candles, paraffin, soy wax is definitely a natural source. In case you are not aware, paraffin wax is derived from petroleum. Petroleum is the substance that is used to make gasoline, kerosene and diesel oil. I don’t know about you, but the thought of essentially burning petroleum in my bedroom made me cringe. Soy wax on the other hand, is made from a natural source, soy beans. Sounds much better, huh?
Since soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin wax they burn for much longer. Some studies I have read state that soy wax candle lasts 50% longer than a paraffin wax candle! Talk about a bang for your buck.
I have read articles that state the soy candles do not produce any soot at all. I do not agree. I have tested different types pf soy wax and different types of wicks (wooden, cotton) and I found that they all produce some soot. So, while I cannot support the claims that soy wax does not produce soot I can say that they product significantly less soot than the amount of soot that a paraffin wax produces.
Soy wax is sustainable, it is after all made from vegetable matter (soy beans) and thus it is a renewable resource. It could be purely physiological but when I am burning one of my soy candles I feel that the air is crispier than when I burn a paraffin wax candle.
Fun fact: soy wax and tofu come from the same plant!
I am a big proponent of small businesses, farmers and other lines of work that are often undervalued in our society. Purchasing materials that I know help at least one of these undervalued lines of work makes me happy J.
easy to clean up
If some candle wax is accidentally spilled or if you want to reuse the jar the candle came in, it is much easier to wash off soy wax then paraffin wax. I re-use jars all the time and some warm soapy water and a regular sponge always does the trick for the jars that contained soy wax but the jars that contained paraffin wax is a different story - I have spent up to 15 minutes trying to wash off all of the wax from one container but it’s almost impossible to get it all off. This is just one more perk to burning soy wax candles over paraffin wax candles.
Now, I can’t write a blog post about the benefits of soy wax without mentioning other types of natural waxes that can be used to make candles – some of those are coconut wax, bees wax and bayberry (to name a few). Some may be better than others in certain aspects but I do not think that anything is 100% percent perfect or that one is that much better than the other. I think it is very important and I urge you to do some research of your own, understand what you purchase and what (if any) harmful effects it could have to you and those around you. Just like with anything we eat, we should also be just as aware about the items we bring into our homes whether they are candles, room sprays, cleaning products, personal care products and the list goes on and on. Happy learning!
So, do you have a preference for a certain type of wax? Soy wax, bees wax or coconut wax? Or maybe you didn’t know there were different types of waxes? Do share below!