Everyone loves the soft glow of a flickering candle flame. With so many candles available, including those which fill the room with the scent of soft vanilla, it’s not surprising that many of us are wondering which candles are best.
But what about soy candles? Are they better for you and your environment or is it a myth?
Read on to find out the definitive answer in our helpful article.
Let’s hit the brief first, so you can find out straight away!
It comes down to personal preference, but soy candles burn slower, in general, have fewer animal products added, emit 90% less soot than paraffin, are sustainable, renewable, eco-friendly and carbon neutral. A soy candle also has an attractive opaqueness and natural cotton wick.
Ok so with the mini takeaway in place, so we can more easily understand if soy candles are better, let's start by finding out exactly what types of candles there are.
What types of candles are there?
I’m sure many of us know there are many different types of candles but who knew there were so many types of candle wax?
Each type of wax comes with its own properties that mean candles might act in different ways.
The wax is thought if as the ‘fuel’ of your candle and when it’s melted it works in a range of ways depending on the type.
Here are a few of the most popular types of wax.
Ok but as we are trying to find out if soy wax is better, here’s a bit more information on exactly what it is.
What is soy wax?
Soy wax is known as a ‘vegetable’ wax and is formed from soya bean oil.
These beans are grown mainly in the US for worldwide use, mainly in Indiana, Iowa and Illinois.
Once the beans have been harvested, they are first cleaned, then cracked open, the hull removed and then made into soy flakes. Often, the leftover husks of the bean are used to make animal feed.
After the flakes have been formed, oil extracted from them is hydrogenated. The word ‘hydrogenated’ simply means extra hydrogen has been added, which is a process used widely in the food industry. Think peanut butter!
What the hydrogenation process does is turn some of the unsaturated fat into saturated fat. This process isn’t generally great for anyone concerned with health in food substances, but it has benefits in candle making as it significantly affects how the wax burns.
Once hydrogenated, the soy will become solid at room temperature which makes it work well for candle making.
These are some of the main properties of soy wax:
● Often made with 100% soya bean oil: Usually, soy candles are made from either 100% soya bean oil or a mix of other types of materials. These other materials can be vegetable or animal. So check the label thoroughly if you are looking for a vegan alternative.
● Clean-burning: all soy candle products have met stringent federal regulations which mean it can be called ‘clean burning’.
● Non-Toxic: This means soy is not poisonous to you, your family or your pets!
● Colourless: in its raw state, soya contains no colourings and is opaque or transparent in colour.
So why are soy candles better and why?
What are the benefits of soy wax?
With many of us, responsible buyers who are looking to save the planet, one of its main advantages is that soy candles are completely renewable.
As we see daily from news headlines, the world's reserves of oil minimize and paraffin prices shoot through the roof, the only limit to the production of soy candles is how many beans we grow!
It’s great to understand for anyone concerned with looking after the planet, that the soy candles you buy from House of Geometric were probably in the ground less than a year ago and that same field will be busy producing more soya beans as we speak!
As we saw above, a soy candle will also burn cleanly which means no nasties in your home and they can be safely burned around children and pets (do not leave either pets or children alone with any burning candle at any time).
The slow burn means they are also more economical and their beauty is second to none when we put them next to paraffin candles for instance. Their soft opaqueness gives them an exquisite edge over their paraffin counterparts in terms of elegance and general eye appeal.
Another plus point for using soy is that it is less likely to ruin and stain your walls.
Paraffin wax emissions can build up on your curtains, carpets, upholstery and other furnishings around your home.
In general, a beautiful softly burning soy candle is:
● Carbon neutral
● Eco friendly
● Locally grown for those in the US
We all know the horrible black soot that often sits on top of standard paraffin candles, but do soy candles also create soot?
Does soy wax create soot?
Depending on how they are made, it’s worth noting that similar to paraffin candles, soy candles can also release soot.
It will depend on the brand and also how it is burning.
So although it’s quite clear that soot can’t be good for your respiratory system, it’s worth knowing that in general the amount of soot released isn’t enough to have any long-lasting dangers.
It will generally be the chemicals emitted from the candle which stands to affect your health more.
Paraffin wax does produce emissions which can add to hazardous air quality. The chemicals that are released from a paraffin candle can include:
● Methyl ethyl ketone
● Some paraffin candles can also include lead
These substances have been found in scientific studies to be harmful.
However, it is still worth noting that there is generally not enough of these substances to cause any kind of serious damage to human health. Most people are not affected by them, in general.
It is worth understanding that paraffin wax candles can give off up to 90% more soot than a soy type.
So does a soy candle hit the top spot when it comes to burning?
What burns better, a regular candle or a soy candle?
This question is one that does have a large number of alternative theories attached to it and it seems that no one currently has studied it long enough to give a definitive answer.
This is mainly because there are many different factors that can affect the burn time in a candid or any variety, including a soy candle.
These factors can include:
● Size of candle
● Melting temperature of the wax
● Any additives in the candle
● Size of the wick
● Type of wax
Soy wax in general is typically denser than standard paragon types of candle. So for this reason a soy candle would probably burn longer.
What type of candles should I choose?
The type of candle you choose is purely down to your personal preference. It also depends on how much you want to spend, the type of fragrances you enjoy and whether you are eco-aware.
Whichever type you choose, go forward a good quality type with a high grade of fragrance, and wick which will always result in the best experience!
Here at House of Geometrics we just love a soy candle!
So much so we have three beautifully scented soy candles in gorgeous sensory fragrances such as Lavender, Jasmine and Warm Vanilla. Each one with a natural cotton wick and 30 hours burning time.
To add a gorgeous glow to your home spa areas, reading corners, snugs and bedroom check out our 8 oz soy candles to help you unwind and destress.