Autumn is fast approaching, and if there was ever a season to stock up on matches and scented candles, it’s here. But what seems like a simple purchase can quickly get overwhelming. There are all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, fragrances, and of course – different types of candle wax. So, which one should you pick?
The truth is, not all candles are created equally, and the type of candle you end up choosing could have implications for both your health and the planet.
Which is why today, we’re breaking down the benefits of soy candles compared to other types of candles, and explaining why this natural candle wax has grown so much in popularity over the last decade.
What Is Soy Wax?
Soy wax is a naturally derived wax made from the soybean. Soybeans are one of the main crops grown in the U.S., overshadowed only by corn, and it's a fast-growing plant that goes from seed to fully matured in a matter of months.
Once harvested, the soybeans are de-hulled and rolled into flakes, which can then be pressed for soybean oil to make the soy wax. The remaining flakes are used for animal feed, which leaves barely any spillage.
With a low melting point and an impressive ability to hold scent, soy wax has grown very popular with candlemakers over the past decade – especially since the wax is also renewable, 100% natural, and vegan.
Paraffin & Beeswax
Other waxes commonly used in candles include paraffin and beeswax. Paraffin is the most common wax in the candle-industry, since it’s cheap and burns relatively well.
However, paraffin is a by-product of fossil fuels, produced from the oil purification process when extracting petroleum, coal, or oil shale. But not only does paraffin leave a heavy carbon footprint – burning it also produces indoor soot and may release carcinogens and other hormone-altering toxins into the air. If you want to learn more about toxins in paraffin wax, check out our full breakdown here.
“Soy wax has grown very popular with candlemakers over the past decade, since it’s renewable, 100% natural, and vegan.”
Beeswax is another wax that has grown in popularity over the last few years. While it’s natural, beeswax isn’t vegan, since it's a by-product of bees’ honey production. It has a natural yellow tint, but doesn’t hold fragrances as well as other types of candle wax.
Today, most beeswax can be produced ethically, but a large-scale production of beeswax candles could be cause for concern. If you do buy beeswax candles, check for cruelty-free certifications and other guarantees of ethical production.
6 Benefits of Soy Candles:
So, what are the main benefits of soy candles compared to other types of candles? Here are six reasons to switch to soy wax for good.
1. Renewable Resource
Soy wax is a 100% renewable resource, and since it’s locally grown in the U.S., it has a lower carbon footprint than waxes that need to be transported across oceans. Easy to cultivate, with only about three months from planting to harvest, it also has potential to scale in production without us having to cut down forests to create more farmland.
Another green thumbs up from Mother Earth.
2. Cleaner Burning
As a 100% natural wax, soy wax contains none of the pollutants that may be released into the air when burning other waxes, and additionally, it produces less soot. This makes for better indoor air quality, which is especially great for people with respiratory conditions or allergies.
As a bonus, it’s not going to stain your beautiful walls and sheer curtains black – we’ve all been there, and scrubbing those soot stains out is not a good time.
“Soy wax is a 100% renewable resource, and since it’s locally grown in the U.S., it has a lower carbon footprint than waxes shipped across oceans.”
3. Non-toxic & Biodegradable
Other candle waxes, paraffin especially, often contain carcinogens such as benzene and toluene, known to cause various types of cancers as well as reproductive issues. When paraffin candles are burned, these toxins are released directly into your home. Even beeswax has been known to trigger allergies when burned.
Soy wax, on the other hand, which is made from just one, entirely natural ingredient, doesn’t contain any of these pollutants, which makes soy candles safe to burn indoors. They’re also completely biodegradable, and any wax remnants (provided your candles are 100% soy wax) should be fine to toss into your home compost.
It’s already been mentioned, but it’s worth another repeat – there are very few candle waxes out there that are suitable for vegans, since most contain traces of animals or animal-derived ingredients.
But candles made from 100% soy wax are entirely vegan.
“As a 100% natural wax, soy wax contains none of the pollutants that may be released into the air when burning other waxes.”
5. Longer Burning Time
Soy wax has a lower melting point than both paraffin and beeswax, which means that it burns for longer and more evenly. Gone are the days of untouched wax all along the walls of your jar candle – soy candles leave barely any wax behind.
Soy wax, as a natural wax, usually has a higher price point than paraffin or other similar candles, which can be a turnoff for people on a budget. But since the wax burns for longer, the higher price often evens out – win-win!
6. Easier Cleanup
If you’ve ever knocked a still-liquid candle over, you know the mess it can make – and the even messier cleanup to follow. Paraffin wax tends to leave stains if spilled on fabric, and beeswax can, too. Soy candles, though? A bit of water and soap, and you’re good. No stains in sight, and barely any effort.
If that’s not a perk, we don’t know what is.
What to Look For in a Candle:
So, what should you look for in a sustainable, healthy candle? Don’t worry – here’s a handy checklist for you:
If you want a more comprehensive guide to the various toxins that may be found in candles, make sure to check out our full breakdown here.
Lochtree’s Brand-New Soy Candles
If you’re on the lookout for your next favorite candle, get excited – after months of research, sourcing, and testing, we’re thrilled to finally introduce the brand-new Lochtree Soy Candle!
The Lochtree Soy Candle is 100% natural, non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty free. It’s hand-poured locally in Boston from pure soy wax, with a wick of braided cotton and paper, and scented only using natural, essential oils. It’s currently available in two lovely scents: Lemongrass and Orange, & Cinamon & Clove. Check them out now!
As always, thank you for supporting Lochtree, and helping us ease the burden on the planet one product at a time. This soy candle has been a labor of love, made with your health and the planet’s wellbeing as the top priorities. We can’t wait for you to try it out and tell us what you think!