• The Wax Debate | Soy Wax versus Paraffin Wax

October 25, 2020

A question that I am often asked is what is the difference between a soy wax candle and a paraffin wax candle! 

Well, there are many! But the two most important ones for us are their affect on
1. Our Planet
2. Your health

Soy Wax V's Paraffin Wax

If you check the labels on the candles you already have in your home, you'll probably find that. many of them are made from paraffin wax.

Do you know what paraffin wax is?

Well, paraffin wax is a wax derived from crude oil.  It is a leftover ingredient, after all other properties are removed.   This is then bleached into the innocent looking white wax that you buy, scented with various fragrances.

What is Soy Wax?

Soy wax is 100% plant 🌱 based.  It comes from soy beans! Good enough to eat and even better to use as a beautiful, pure non-toxic wax!

Paraffin wax supports the oil industy

Soy Wax supports the farming industry.

Here are 5 reasons we

prefer soy wax over paraffin wax

1. Soy | Pure 🌱 Plant Goodness

Soy wax is made from soybeans, while paraffin wax is made from petroleum (yes, the same petroleum used to make oil and gas). Discovered in 1850, paraffin wax is made by removing the waxy substance from crude oil. Soy wax was discovered in 1991 as an alternative to paraffin wax and is a hydrogenated form of soybean oil. Not only is soy wax all natural, it’s also sustainable since we can grow more soybeans. Paraffin wax is not sustainable because fossil fuels cannot be renewed.

2. Soy wax candles burn for longer.

Because it has a lower melting point, soy wax will burn anywhere between 30 percent to 50 percent longer than a paraffin candle. Again, this depends on the height and width of the candle, the length of the wick and other factors. To maximize how long your sox candle burns, you should trim the candle wick down to 6mm or ¼ inch before relighting again Don’t burn the candle for more than four hours, as this can cause the wax to overheat. Keep the candle away from drafts, and recenter the wick if it moves when the wax is melted.

3. Soy wax supports farmers.

Our soy candles are all sourced from family run farms using generations old farming practices and without any GMO used.  Being sustainably and renewably sourced, buying our soy candles helps support these farmers rather than the oil industry.

4. Soy wax emits less soot & less toxins that paraffin wax.

Paraffin wax candle are well known for the amount of black smoke (soot) that they release.  In fact, a common complaint and one that I had when I used them in my therapy practice many years ago, is that they can leave your walls with unsightly black soot marks.

While all candles emit some amount of soot due to the length of the wick, presence of a draft, etc. paraffin candles release more soot than a soy candle.

This soot can build up in the candle container itself and often end up on your walls or gathering in the corners of your ceilings or furniture and curtains as well.  If you have a lot of air circulation the soot will spread further.   A simple test to do is to simply burn a soy wax candle next to a paraffin wax candle and see for yourself.

Burning or melting paraffin wax releases 11 known toxins—two of which are carcinogens—into the air.  Because soy wax is a biodegradable wax made from soybeans,  which we eat, it does not contain these toxins and carcinogens. Not only is soy wax better for the environment, it’s also better for you, your pets and  family members. 

5. Soy wax has a better scent throw.

Known as a 'clean burning wax' due to it's pure plant properties, this leaves a wax that really shows off the aroma of the candle.   Soy wax candles have a stronger scent throw than paraffin wax candles. This is because the chemicals released by paraffin wax can interfere with the scent during burning.  

Not all candles are created equal.  

Sadly today there is a lot of 'green washing' and many candles claim to be 'natural' when in fact they only need to contain 50% of a plant wax to earn this label.  The other 50% can still be paraffin wax - and sadly, often is. 

Another issue with 'natural' candles is the use of unsustainably sourced ingredients such as palm oil and soy beans that come from South America or Asia where there are huge issues with deforestation and loss of habitat as more and more farmers cut down forests to grown these 'in demand' ingredients.

Now, more than ever, our planet really needs everyone to be more mindful in their buying choices! 

In addition to sourcing sustainably sourced ingredients, supporting your local economy is also incredibly important.

If we continue to choose the 'convenient', 'cheaper' or 'usual' options .... our planet and our health, will continue to be affected for the worse. 

Please feel free to share this article if you found it helpful. 



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