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Scentelligence: Why is Soy Wax Better?

Posted on April 27 2018


At The Candle Lab, we are proud of the fact that we’ve been pouring candles made with natural soy wax for more than ten years.  But if you don’t spend your days thinking about candles, you might find yourself wondering - what even is soy wax, and why is it better than other wax?  

First, let’s start by defining soy wax.  Soy wax is a vegetable wax derived from - you guessed it - soybeans.  Most of the world’s soybeans are grown and harvested in the Midwestern United States - Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana.  After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes, at which point the oil can be extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated (the leftover flakes are used for animal feed).  The process of hydrogenating the oil alters the melting point of the oil, making it solid at room temperature and suitable for candle use.

By contrast, paraffin wax is derived from petroleum, coal, or oil shale.  It is made by removing the waxy substance from crude oil, a non-renewable resource.  Paraffin wax is the most commonly used wax to make candles, largely because it is cheaper and more accessible than soy wax.  So while soy wax is made from environmentally friendly, renewable resources, paraffin is a by-product of petroleum and thus non-renewable.    

But the advantages don’t stop with the environment (although, that’s pretty compelling if you ask us).  Soy wax also burns slower than paraffin wax, meaning you’ll get a candle that lasts longer. And while all candles emit some black soot while burning, soy wax burns cleaner and results in less soot than paraffin.  Soy is also an excellent carrier of fragrance, without requiring chemical amplifiers to enhance the scent throw and ensuring a well-balanced, true-to-scent candle.

So next time you purchase a soy candle from The Candle Lab, pat yourself on the back for making a smart choice!  Your home and nose will thank you.

 

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