• Why We Never Use Paraffin Wax in Our Candles

December 03, 2019

At the core of Miller & Keane, London is a love of nature and this beautiful planet we all call home.  

We produce all our products in an eco-conscious way and this includes not only making our candles here in England ..... but of course starts with the ingredients we choose for our wax.

For this reason, we use only 100% PURE SOY WAX in our candles and will NEVER use paraffin wax in our candles


What is paraffin wax?

Firstly it is important to explain what paraffin is. 

Paraffin wax is actually a by-product of the oil purification process. Through a dewaxing process that crude oil undergoes, paraffin wax is derived and is then processed further and bleached for use in products such as candles.

Today, petroleum-based paraffin wax can be found in candles, cosmetics, polishes, wax paper and electrical insulators as well as many other commercial items.

Why we don’t use it.

When you buy paraffin wax you are supporting the oil industry.     

When you buy soy wax you are supporting farmers & nature. 

Much has been written in the media about paraffin wax and the effects burning them in our homes has.  It has been claimed that paraffin wax releases toxic fumes when burnt, which contributed to its fall out of favour.

In 2009, a study South Carolina State University found that burning paraffin wax candles give off harmful fumes (including toulene and benzene), which have been linked to health issues from asthma and cancer.

It is also reported that frequent lighting of multiple paraffin candles in an unventilated space could lead to problems commonly associated with paraffin wax such as irritation of skin and the respiratory tract. 

In the same research,  they tested soy wax candles among other natural wax options and these were not found to emit toxic chemicals during the study.  

This study garnered widespread controversy on the effects of paraffin wax versus that of soy wax, resulting in an increased demand for soy wax candles and a lot more awareness through the media for consumers to become more conscious of the ingredients in what they buy. 

The same study also states that these negative effects would most likely occur over years of exposure before health problems would occur. 

In any case, air quality and health effects aside,  paraffin comes from crude oil and this is not an eco-friendly source. It is not sustainable, non-renewable and also the cause of much pollution in our beautiful oceans.  This reason alone would be enough for us not to use it.  

Yes, paraffin wax is often cheaper but bear in mind, the lower cost often reflects a lower quality product.  Also, waxes have different melt points and paraffin has a high melting point ... meaning that it burns more quickly and lasts up to 30% less than it's soy wax counterparts.

As a consumer, should I care?

Even though its impact on human health continues to be studied,  the relationship with non-renewable fossil fuels is undisputable.  Soy wax - sustainably and responsibly sourced - is a much more eco conscious alternative and candles made from soy wax last 30% - 50% longer than their paraffin counterparts. 

Our range of 100% Soy scented candles are made from traceable, non GMO family fun farms in the US.  Once the oil is extracted from the beans, it is hydrogenated, turning it into the solid form we see in wax candles.

Soy wax is 100% plant based and unlike bees wax, vegan.  As it is obtained sustainably from a renewable source, it is widely considered to have less impact on the environment, compared to the paraffin option

For more information about our products, contact us at info@millerandkeane.com

References/ Resources used for this article include

Britannica, T. E. (2018, May 09). Paraffin wax. (As on December 3rd 2019)

The Burning Issue of Wax ttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/nov/27/lucy-siegle-candle-wax-ethical

Paraffin definition  from https://www.britannica.com

Effects of oil and gas on our environment


Study on the frequent use of certain candles produces unwanted chemicals.  https://www.scsu.edu/news_article.aspx?news_id=832

Resources for this article include the following

Paraffin Wax - Britannica.com 


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