Posted by on 2/4/2021 to Let's Talk Soaping
What is Soy Wax: What are the Pro's and Con's of Soy in Candle Making?
There are many different types of waxes you can use to make candles. In this post, we'll be discussing soy wax, which is what we use in our candles. Soy wax has become a popular ingredient for candle making. Hopefully this post will give you some great insight on soy wax and whether it is right for you in your candle purchasing, or candle-making endeavors.
Truth is, when it comes to buying candles these days there are a ton of options, it seems everyone is getting there hands into the craft, "literally". There are even candle making studios nowadays, where you can take your family or a date to make candles from scratch.
It's no longer about scent alone, health conscious people are more and more saying no to some of the blended waxes and saying yes to all-natural soy. Whether you're making homemade candles, soaps, creams or lotions, the bases for your products, all effect performance and look a little differently.
So what is soy? What are some advantages? What are some difficulties with working with soy?
What is Soy Wax?
Soy wax is a slightly newer candle making ingredient. It was developed in 1996 and is made entirely from natural materials. This is a vegetable based wax that comes from 100% soybean oil. To develop the wax, soybeans are harvested, cleaned, cracked and then rolled out into flakes. Oil is taken from the remains of the soybean and is then hydrogenated.
As a result, a thick wax-like substance solidifies. So, if you're looking for an eco-friendly scented candle, soy wax is a great option for you.
This is far different from waxes most people are familiar with and that is paraffin, or a paraffin blended wax. Paraffin wax is simply the leftover or waxy substance derived from crude oil or petroleum. Thinking about it in terms of how it gets to it's form, soy certainly feels a little safer and healthier to burn, right?!
Pros of Using Soy in Candles?
1. Soy Burns Longer and Slower
Soy-based candles actually burn longer and much slower than other types of wax. This is one of the main benefits of sticking with this type of candle making material. Paraffin wax works great, it's cheap, but it doesn’t offer the same burn quality as a soy-based candle.
2. Natural and Non-Toxic/Environmentally Friendly
Soy wax is entirely natural and made from renewable resources, they are "green" to say the least. It doesn’t have chemicals or other toxic additives. This makes it better for the environment and the perfect choice for people who want to make a vegan-friendly candle.
One research study in 2009, compared soy based candles with paraffin based candles. No scents were added nor were any pigments or dyes added to give them color.
Conclusions were discussed, the chemicals given off from paraffin have the potential to be harmful and cause poor indoor air quality. The chemicals given off were that of alkanes, alkenes, & toluene.
3. Cleaner Burn and Better Scents With Soy Wax
In addition to burning longer, soy based candles also burn cleaner. You won’t get sooty smoke from burning this type of wax in a candle. Instead, the scent that comes off of soy candles is a lot stronger and much less smoky than other candles.
One study in 2002, found that soy wax compared to paraffin wax, not only burned slower and longer, but left little or no soot-footprint behind.
Cons of Using Soy in Candles?
1. Soy Wax Can Shrink
There are not many cons to soy wax, but if you put enough heat on soy wax it can shrink in its container. This can create an uneven burn and make your candle look less appealing overall, but this is a pretty minor inconvenience compared to other wax types.
2. Not Good In Humid Conditions
Soy candles can go bad if they are not placed in the right conditions. You'll want to store your soy wax candle in a cool and dry location which will add to it's longevity, and you'll definitely want to keep it out of extremely hot or humid environments.
If you're looking to make these candles, sell them and then ship them, you'll have to be careful, because the melting point of soy is considerable lower then paraffin. This means if they are being shipped to humid climates, or sold at outdoor markets in the heat, they can literally melt before your eyes or in the shipping box.
Yes, if cooled again they will re-solidify, but you'll want to take special considerations if this is the route you go.
Some soy waxes have higher melting points the others, or you could choose waxes that are blending with paraffin, but if not, take special precautions when shipping or moving soy wax in hot climates.
We love soy wax candles and hopefully you will give ours or another companies a try and see for yourself what makes these so beautiful and unique.
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave a comment on some of the best candles you've found out their on the market to share with the community!