Why Use Soy Wax?
The truth about paraffin and why soy wax is our go-to
There are many reasons why soy wax makes the best candles. Soy wax is eco-friendly, clean-burning, longer-lasting and provides a better fragrance throw than other types of wax.
Soy wax is a hydrogenated form of soybean oil which is extracted from soybeans plants, a natural, renewable and sustainable resource. Paraffin wax is made by removing the waxy substance from crude oil, a byproduct of gasoline refinement. Paraffin wax comes from a fossil fuel, a non-renewable resource. Therefore, using soy wax supports American farmers instead of big oil companies.
Palm wax is believed to be a cleaner, longer-burning alternative to paraffin wax. Palm wax is derived from palm oil, which comes from palm trees. Governments of Indonesia and Malaysia have allowed palm producers to clear out some of the oldest, most diverse rain forests which has contributed to mass deforestation and huge growth in CO2 emissions. Many suppliers have stopped carrying palm wax due to the negative environmental impact it’s causing.
While beeswax is an environmentally safe alternative to paraffin wax, there are some questionable ethics regarding the treatment of bees used to produce the wax, including intentional removal of the queen bee’s wings so she cannot leave the colony, and even killing bees.
Soy wax produces zero petrol-carbon soot, which means no black residue on walls, drapes and home furnishings. Soy wax is non-toxic and burns clean and is safe for people with asthma and allergies.
According to the American Lung Association, paraffin wax contains 11 documented toxins, two of which are known carcinogens (toluene and benzene). Back in 2009 researchers at South Carolina State University also presented comparable findings to the American Chemical Society (source: CNN.com).
Frequently burning paraffin candles can also aggravate asthma and cause allergy-like symptoms that could irritate the respiratory tract.
Soy wax burns up to 50% longer than paraffin wax because soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin wax. This means soy wax melts at a cooler temperature and doesn’t burn as fast.
“Throw” refers to the release of fragrance from a candle. The “cold throw” is the scent released when a candle is unlit at room temperature, the “hot throw” is the scent released when the candle is burning.
There are a handful of factors that contribute to fragrance throw in candle making:Wax
- According to Nature's Garden: "The molecular structure of soy wax contains various types of chemical bonds that make it harder to break down than paraffin wax. Its structure is more prone to trapping scent, than allowing it to evaporate freely. It takes more heat to break down these chemical bonds, therefore, you will need to use hotter burning wicks when making soy candles."
- The flashpoint is the highest temperature a fragrance oil can reach before breaking down, and it can differ from fragrance to fragrance.
- If you add the fragrance oil at too high a temperature, it’ll “burnoff;” however, you want to make sure the wax temperature is hot enough for the fragrance oil to properly bond with the wax.
- If the temperature is too low, the fragrance will not bond properly.
- The FDA regulates how much fragrance oil can safely be used in bath and body products including soaps, body wash, etc. When candlemakers use fragrance oil that’s safe for bath and body, it comes diluted.
- If candlemakers use fragrance oil that’s only rated for candles, it’ll throw a stronger fragrance because it’s not diluted.
- Not all fragrances are rated to throw a strong fragrance with soy wax so it’s important to work with fragrances that are highly rated to work well with soy wax.
After weighing out all these factors, we intentionally choose to use soy wax in all of our candles; not only does it support our mission for sustainability, it also helps us create the highest quality produce for you to enjoy.