Benefits of Soy Wax Candles

Soy CandleRegular candles are often made with all sorts of chemicals and other additives that aren’t particularly good for your health. However, there are a couple of natural alternatives for candles, including those made with soy. Soy wax candles have a number of benefits over regular candles, the first being that they are naturally better for your health!

Ingredients of Soy Wax Candles

Soy wax candles are made from soybean oil. Soy bean oil is extracted from soybeans (Glycene max). The soybean is a species of legume that is a member of the Fabiaceae botanical family; although the plant is native to East Asia, the majority of soy beans grown for candle making are now grown in the United States.

Soybeans go through a number of processes (including cleaning and de-hulling) before they end up as soy flakes. It is from the flakes that the soybean oil is extracted and is then hydrogenated; the hydrogenation process produces a “wax” that is solid at room temperature (source).

Soy wax is available in a variety of blends for candles and, if you are a candle maker, you need to check each supplier’s description carefully to figure out if anything else has been added to the soy wax (such as botanical oils) to make it into a soy wax blend. Different types of soy wax/soy wax blends are more suitable for making one type of candle over another: for example, glass containers vs. pillar candles (source).

Sustainability of Soy

Unlike regular paraffin candles, which depend on the availability of oil supplies, soy candles use a resource that is readily renewable. Soybean crops are primarily produced in the states of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana and each year new crops produce soybeans for the manufacture of soy candles. Therefore the production of soy candles support American farmers and help support the national economy.

Do Soy Candles Burn Clean?

Soy candles do burn clean; paraffin candles add toxicity to your environment. The choice seems simple but in addition to checking the ingredients of the candle, you also have to check the type of wick that the candle was made with. Cotton or hemp candle wicks don’t produce soot like metal wicks. All candles, even those made with soy, produce a little soot from the smoke, but the amount of soot produced depends on the type of wick used too.

Economic Benefits

Soy wax candles tend to burn more slowly than regular paraffin candles so you get more value for your money! You might notice that the price of paraffin candles is usually cheaper than soy candles. However, you need to take into account that a soy candle (of the same size) might last up to twice as long as a paraffin candle, so the soy candle actually works out to be more cost effective.

Essential Oil Soy Candles

Paraffin candles often have a synthetic aroma added to them. Soy candles are great for adding essential oils to, meaning that your soy candle will have true therapeutic benefits too, depending on the type of essential oil that you chose. You can buy essential oil soy candles with pre-made blends already added to them or you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to an unscented soy candle on burning. You can still add synthetic aromas (fragrance oils) to soy candles but be aware that fragrance oils are not natural and do not hold any therapeutic value.

Soy Candle Benefits

Soy wax candles are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and help support the national economy. By understanding the ingredients of soy wax candles, you can figure out the actual health benefits of a particular soy candle. As an aromatherapist, there is only one way that I make aromatherapy candles since I discovered the benefits of soy! And the addition of essential oils are the finishing touch to a candle with true therapeutic benefits.

Photo by Yortw


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