What Are Soy Candles? – Tiny Candle Co

What Are Soy Candles?

Essentially soy candles are exactly the same as your everyday paraffin candle except that soy candles are made from soybean oil and paraffin candles are derived from petroleum.

However, the fact that both candles are derived from oil is essentially where the similarities stop.

In the main soy candles are manufactured using hydrogenated soybean oil extracted from 100% natural soybeans, a renewable source grown in many regions by local farmers.

After harvesting, the soybeans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated.

This hydrogenation process converts some of the fatty acids in the oil from unsaturated to saturated. As a result, this process dramatically alters the melting point of the oil, making it a solid at room temperature.

The leftover bean husks are recycled and commonly used as animal feed ensuring that soy wax production is not only sustainable but environmentally friendly.

Furthermore, most soy-based candles are likely to use a soy wax that has a high probability of being cultivated less than a year ago. What’s more, there is every chance that the original field used to growing the soy for cultivation is now growing new soy for future candles ensuring soy wax is extremely sustainable.

Since soybeans are vegetables, soy wax is naturally biodegradable in addition soy candles, due to their natural derivative, are far healthier when burnt and do not increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere. This makes soy candles a valid alternative to paraffin based candles.

Soy candles naturally burn cleaner and slower, that is to say, they have a lower melting point, (the wax doesn’t get as hot as paraffin) compared to that of paraffin. In doing so soy candles produce a clean nontoxic burn that has been proven to produce negligible amounts of soot and release no known carcinogens into the air.

Paraffin candles, on the other hand, are made from petroleum, a by-product of the crude oil industry.

Before paraffin can be used in the production of candles it must first be deodorised and chemically bleached before it is made into wax.

When burnt this petroleum sub-straight releases up to twenty known toxins into the air specifically the known carcinogenic substances benzene and toluene.

These carcinogenic substances are recognised as some of the leading causes of indoor air pollution.

Studies at the South Carolina State University have found that these harmful carcinogenic substances are linked to lung cancer and asthma.

Other toxic chemicals that may be present in the paraffin mixture and released through burning paraffin candles include Acetone, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene. Some of these toxins are found in other harmful products such as paint, lacquer and varnish removers.

In addition, some experts are now claiming the petro-soot given off during the burning of a paraffin candle can be likened to the same carcinogenic soot expelled from the exhaust of a diesel engine.

In a recent study, the American Lung Association claimed that paraffin fumes, containing the aforementioned petro-soot dispelled during the burning of paraffin based candles, have been found to cause tumours in the kidneys and liver of lab animals.

Put lightly the chemicals exuded by paraffin based candles are widely considered just as dangerous as second-hand smoke. Not only is this damaging to the health of the customer but it is particularly damaging to the environment.

Compared to paraffin candles, soy wax candles are much healthier for humans, pets, and the environment.

While the performance and the beauty of a soy candles speak for itself, at present paraffin wax candles account for around 95% of all candles made today, the main reason of which is because paraffin wax is cheap!

Whilst more expensive using candles made from soy wax has the added benefit of not only supporting local agriculture and farmers by allowing them to make money and grow their operations but it is considered far and away the most sustainable and environmentally friendly method of producing luxury candles.