5 Reasons Why You Should ONLY Buy Soy Candles

5 Reasons Why You Should ONLY Buy Soy Candles

When you pick up a candle from the shelf at the store, do you look to see what kind of wax it’s made out of? Probably not. Sometimes the company will proudly feature the wax type right on the label (especially if it’s soy or beeswax), but more often than not it’s hidden away with tiny text or on the bottom sticker. Knowing what kind of wax your candle is made out of is only half the battle; the real question is: Why should you only buy soy candles?

Reason #1: Soy Wax Candles Have A Longer Burn Time

We love getting more bang for our buck! Soy wax has a lower melting point than any other type of wax used in candlemaking. Using soy wax means the candle will burn for longer. Percentages vary due to a number of factors (type of wick, how much fragrance is used, etc.) but you can get as much as 50% more burn time from a soy wax candle.

A closeup of several soy candles in a row.

Reason #2: No Soot? Soy Wax Candles Burn Clean

This is a vague statement, so let’s break it down. “Clean burning” is a phrase generally used to mean the candle doesn’t give off any soot. You know the black stuff that coats the inside top of your candle’s jar and gets darker after every burn? That’s what we’re talking about.

This type of soot is called petro-carbon soot, and it only occurs when a candle is made of paraffin wax because paraffin is a by-product of petroleum (which we discuss more below). Soy wax does not produce petro-carbon soot. This means that burning a soy candle in your home will have little to no effect on the air quality. Allergy sufferers rejoice!

Reason #3: Soy Wax Provides A Stronger, More True Smell

Because of its lower melting point (and longer burn time), soy allows for a larger melt pool of wax. These conditions allow the fragrance oils to evaporate better and produce a scent that is more even and easily dispersed.

Not only is soy wax a great binder for scent, but candles made from 100% soy wax also don’t have any additives that dilute the fragrance!

Reason #4: Soy Is A Completely Renewable Resource + 100% Biodegradable

Soy wax is derived from the soybean plant which is fast-growing and sustainable to farm. Being biodegradable means accidental spills are much easier to clean up. It also contributes to one of our favorite reasons why you should only buy soy candles: the jars are completely safe to reuse!

For candlemakers, it is important to research the sustainability practices of the corporation you purchase soy wax from. Just because soybean farming can be sustainable doesn’t mean greedy capitalism ensures it is. Angry Hare is proud to source our 100% soy wax from a manufacturer with an impressive sustainability commitment.

Reason #5: Vegan And Kosher, Soy Wax Makes Candles Accessible

Because it is derived from a vegetable, 100% soy wax is entirely vegan and contains no additives, making it cruelty-free as well!

Veganism is personal to each individual. It is common for vegans to not just decline to eat meat and animal by-products, but to ensure their personal hygiene products, cosmetics, and home decor (like candles) meet those standards as well.

Even if you aren’t vegan, soy wax candles are helping create a kinder, more sustainable world. Plus, they make the perfect gift for friends or family who may have adopted the lifestyle since you last spoke to them.

A white woman in a field holds a delicate glass candy dish that has been repurposed as a soy candle.

The Research Behind The Reasons

The reasons listed above are based on scientific research about wax. Scientists perform studies to determine things like melting temperature (which influences the burn time) or how much fragrance it can hold (which affects cold throw — what the candle smells like when unlit — and hot throw — what the candle smells like when lit), among other things. This includes research on the safety of materials used when making candles.

Like with any research, you want to make sure it’s trustworthy before you believe it as factual. One of the most important aspects of research is having a study peer-reviewed. This process ensures a study is carried out appropriately and that the methods used are sound.

Peer-reviewed research is more accessible to the average person than ever before. Now you can use it to help inform your purchasing decisions! Unfortunately, for a multitude of reasons, untrustworthy research can be used to mislead people. It seems that this has been the case with some widely believed research on wax.

Let’s break down some of the misconceptions about exactly why paraffin wax is undesirable.

Natural Products Are Trendy, But How Do Big Brands Balance Potential Profit With Manufacturing Costs?

Why is the wax type hidden away with tiny text or on the bottom sticker? Likely because it is made with the standard paraffin wax (or a paraffin blend) and isn’t a feature. Usually, a label will proudly display if the candle is made from soy or beeswax because that is a feature. If that’s the case, why do these brands not just make the switch and move away from paraffin wax?

Marketing is king. Like every other industry, candlemakers are seeing an increased demand for natural products. Obviously, large corporations — like Yankee or Bath and Body Works — are focused on turning as much profit as possible. They want to follow the trends but don’t want to increase production costs.

Paraffin Wax is extremely inexpensive, especially compared to sustainably-sourced alternatives like soy or beeswax; it is also much easier to get vivid colors and scents when using paraffin. You can see why there would be a huge incentive for profit-driven brands to use it!

A lot of popular candle brands will use a paraffin blend for this very reason. They know that consumers are moving toward more “natural” products, but to mass-produce colorful candles with a strong scent it is much cheaper — and easier — to keep paraffin in the mix.

That isn’t to say that there is necessarily anything wrong with paraffin wax. Well, at least in terms of its performance.

Paraffin Wax Is Made From Petroleum By-Products – Does It Matter?

It is important to note that fear-mongering about safe, regulated products is unacceptable. There are countless articles that will wax poetic (pun intended) about the serious dangers burning paraffin wax candles poses to your health. Their main method to convenience you that you should only buy soy candles are scare tactics. The truth is, there’s limited scientific evidence to back those claims up.

An oft-cited 2009 study cited by many of those concerned about the possible risks of paraffin wax was never published in a peer-reviewed journal. Furthermore, the National Candle Association and European Candle Association raised questions about the reliability of the study.

In fact, a 2007 study funded by the European Candle Association examined all popular types of wax for 300 toxic chemicals. The study found that any chemicals released by each type of wax were “well below the amount that would cause human health problems” (source).

A soy wax candle with a colorful label is displayed next to other decor.

While science is always advancing, it would seem that the current information available to researchers would indicate that paraffin wax candles are technically safe. That being said, everyone has different comfort levels of what they’re willing to expose themselves to. Some would ask, “Why risk it?”

In essence, you should only buy soy candles because soy wax is categorically superior to paraffin, not because it is “safer,” but because of its performance and sustainability.

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