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The Benefits of Soy Wax Candles

The Benefits of Soy Wax Candles

Candles have been a source of light, relaxation, and ambiance for centuries. They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, but one type that has been gaining popularity in recent years is soy wax candles. In this blog post, we'll delve into what soy wax is, how it differs from paraffin wax, and explore the numerous benefits of choosing soy wax candles over their paraffin counterparts.

What is Soy Wax?

Soy wax is a natural, biodegradable, and renewable wax that is derived from soybean oil. This type of wax is a popular choice among environmentally conscious consumers and those seeking a cleaner, healthier alternative to traditional paraffin wax candles. Soy wax is a byproduct of soybean oil production and can be considered an eco-friendly option due to its sustainability.

How Does Soy Wax Differ from Paraffin Wax?

Soy wax and paraffin wax are the two most common candle wax options, but they differ significantly in terms of their composition, production, and environmental impact.

Composition:

Soy wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil, which is a natural and renewable resource. Paraffin wax, on the other hand, is derived from petroleum, a non-renewable fossil fuel.


Environmental Impact:

  • Soy wax is biodegradable and doesn't produce harmful byproducts when burned, making it a more eco-friendly choice.
  • Paraffin wax is made from a non-renewable resource and, when burned, can release harmful chemicals, such as benzene and toluene, into the air.

The Benefits of Soy Wax Candles

Soy wax candles have garnered attention for their numerous advantages, making them an increasingly popular choice among eco-conscious consumers. Here, we'll delve deeper into the positives associated with soy wax candles, highlighting their environmental benefits, health advantages, and overall superior performance compared to traditional paraffin candles.

 

Renewable and Biodegradable:
Soy wax is derived from soybeans, a renewable resource that can be replenished, unlike paraffin wax, which is derived from non-renewable petroleum. The cultivation of soybeans contributes to sustainable agricultural practices and supports the diversification of crop usage, ultimately promoting a more environmentally friendly approach to candle production.

 

Cleaner Burning Properties:
Soy wax candles burn cleaner and produce significantly less soot compared to paraffin candles. This cleaner burn contributes to better indoor air quality, reducing the potential for respiratory irritation and improving overall breathing conditions within enclosed spaces. Consequently, individuals with allergies or sensitivities may find soy wax candles to be a preferable option.

 

Longer Burn Time:
Soy wax candles typically have a longer burn time compared to paraffin candles of the same size. This means that consumers can enjoy their favourite scents and ambiance for extended periods, making soy wax candles more cost-effective in the long run.

 

Enhanced Scent Throw:
Soy wax has a natural ability to hold and disperse fragrance oils effectively, leading to a stronger and more consistent scent throw when the candle is lit. This property allows for a more enjoyable olfactory experience, filling the room with delightful aromas without overpowering or artificial fragrances.


Versatile and Eco-Friendly:
Soy wax is versatile, allowing for easy customization and blending with essential oils or other natural additives. This flexibility enables candle makers to create a wide variety of unique and personalised scents, catering to diverse consumer preferences. Moreover, the biodegradable nature of soy wax contributes to reduced environmental impact and supports sustainable waste management practices.


Non-Toxic and Safe:
Soy wax is non-toxic and does not release harmful chemicals, such as benzene and toluene, into the air when burned. This makes soy wax candles a safer option for individuals concerned about their health and the well-being of their families. Additionally, the absence of harmful emissions contributes to a cleaner and healthier living environment.



The Negatives Associated with Paraffin Wax Candles

Paraffin wax candles have long been the traditional choice for candle enthusiasts, but a closer look at their production and use reveals several significant drawbacks. Let's explore the negatives associated with paraffin wax candles.


Environmental Concerns:
Paraffin wax is derived from petroleum, a non-renewable fossil fuel. The extraction and processing of petroleum have well-documented environmental consequences, including habitat destruction, water and soil pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Using paraffin candles contributes to the continued dependence on these limited and polluting resources.

Union of Concerned Scientists - Environmental Impacts of Natural Gas and Oil


Air Quality and Health Risks:
When paraffin candles are burned, they release a range of potentially harmful chemicals into the air, including benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde. Prolonged exposure to these substances can have adverse health effects, such as respiratory problems, allergies, and even more severe issues in the long term. Individuals with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, may be particularly sensitive to these emissions. American Lung Association - Indoor Air Quality and Allergies


Soot Production:
Paraffin candles tend to produce more soot and residue compared to soy wax or other alternative candle materials. This soot can deposit on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces in your home, requiring more frequent cleaning and potentially causing unsightly staining.

Environmental Protection Agency - Particulate Matter (PM) Pollution


Resource Depletion:
The production of paraffin wax contributes to the depletion of non-renewable resources, exacerbating concerns related to resource scarcity and sustainability. In contrast, soy wax is derived from soybean oil, which is a renewable and biodegradable resource, making it a more sustainable option.


Carbon Footprint:
The production of paraffin wax candles has a higher carbon footprint due to the extraction, processing, and transportation of petroleum. In contrast, soy wax candles have a lower carbon footprint as they are made from a renewable agricultural crop.


Beware of New Names

Due to the growing concerns around paraffin wax, some household brands are beginning to remarket their candles and/or ingredients in an attempt to fly under the radar. It’s important to always remain cautious and read the ingredients list carefully. So far, we’ve come across brands marketing their candles as including “high quality paraffin” or “mineral wax”. No matter what they call it, it contains the very same chemicals that damage your health and environment. 


Soy and Hormones

Soy has unique estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects on the body. For years, publications have cited both positive and negative correlations between the consumption of soy and hormone related health. However, results of recent population studies suggest that soy has either a beneficial or neutral effect on various health conditions, debunking the popular myth. 

Rest assured that you can burn soy wax candles care free!

Final Thoughts

Soy wax candles are a wonderful choice for those who are environmentally conscious, health-conscious, and seeking a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to traditional paraffin candles. With cleaner burning properties, longer burn times, and a lower environmental impact, soy wax candles provide all the benefits of traditional candles without the drawbacks associated with paraffin wax. When choosing your next candle, consider opting for soy wax to enjoy a healthier, eco-friendly, and more aromatic experience.

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