Have you ever burned a candle and noticed the black stuff developing around the mouth of the container? Look up. Can you see it on the ceilings as well? The walls? It's kind of gross, really, and nobody wants it! It's the harmful soot particulate that is disbursed from a paraffin candle.
What is paraffin wax anyway? Paraffin comes as a byproduct of petroleum (usually found in the form of crude oil) similar to gasoline, kerosene or plastic. Paraffin has been around for over 100 years now and is the most common candle wax used by major manufacturers.
Soy wax, on the other hand, is somewhat of a new kid on the block. With experiments starting in the early 90's, scientists began searching for ways to turn the oil from soybeans into a solid wax. They did so through the process of hydrogenation. Now we have available to us a wax that is good for the you and for the environment. Here are some benefits of soy wax that make it so much better than paraffin.
1. Soy Wax Burns Cleaner than Paraffin
Contrary to some information available online at this time, the science is very clear: soy wax candles produce "little or no soot," while paraffin produces, "a considerable amount of soot." (Rezaei, 2002) It really is as simple as that. There are some other places that make various claims. Those claims tend to be unsubstantiated by scientific studies. The fact of the matter is that there are more than a few published studies that show how soy wax is far better than paraffin in this regard.
2. Soy Wax Comes From Plants. Paraffin Comes From Crude Oil
And 1 + 1 = 2. If it seems simple, that's because it is. It's totally natural. The sustainability of soy wax is effectively infinite. The sustainability of paraffin wax, however, not so great. Which brings me directly to my next point...
3. Soy Wax is Totally Renewable
Every year, soybean crops are planted. There is a high likelihood that the soy wax in your awesome Trawick Candle was a soybean plant in the ground less than one year ago. It's kind of amazing actually, when you think about it. Paraffin, which comes from crude oil, depletes more of our already waning fossil fuels. Who needs that?
4. Soy Wax is Grown in the USA
The land of the free, home of the brave. The red, white and the blue. That's right! all of the soy wax that is used for candles is home-grown here in the good ol' US of A. When you are buying that, you're buying from our local American farmers. Why put your money elsewhere?
5. Soy Wax is Easy To Clean
Oops! Did you spill some on the carpet? No worries there! The nice thing about soy wax is that it cleans up very easily. Soap and warm water is all it takes to clean it up. I should know, I've spilled it on my carpet more than a few times. The low melting point makes it especially easy to handle. But don't think that gives you an excuse to go spilling our candles everywhere!
6. Soy Wax Has a Much Longer Burn Time
Look at the burn times for other major manufacturers out there. For their biggest candles, their burn times don't ever reach more than 90 hours or so. A lot of times, soy wax can sometimes even double that. There are a lot of other factors that come into play like wick size, but the low melting point of soy wax allows it to burn slower. In addition to that, the lower melting point allows the candles to melt evenly more quickly. This keeps the candle from tunneling. Tunneling is when the candle isn't burned for a sufficient amount of time so as to melt evenly across the top. Repeating this results in the candle not burning all the way to the edges and tunneling down. The worst part is that you don't even get to utilize the wax on the edges. That's money down the toilet, if you ask me.
7. Soy Wax Smells Way Better
This may sound like an opinion, but it's not. Although you may like the chemical sooty smell of paraffin wax (I won't judge if you do!), most people do not. The waxes when isolated from various fragrances have their respective smells. Soy wax on it's own smells very neutral. Additionally, when you add fragrances in the mix, soy wax binds better to most fragrance oils allowing for a higher level of scenting. That means that when you burn a soy candle, the fragrances you use disperse better, which, let's be honest, is pretty much a no-brainer.
So there you have it. All the reasons why soy wax is so much better than paraffin. I hope that the above information is helpful to those of you who were wondering about the differences between the two. The nice thing is that in this day and age, we have the resources available to us to make environmentally responsible decisions. Soy candles are available and they are superior to paraffin candles. The choice is yours, and it's an easy one.
So we started a blog and this is our first post. How exciting! What is the purpose of this blog might you ask? Well, we’d love to keep you updated with everything that’s going on here at Trawick Candle Co. In addition to that, we would also like to share with all of our customers and readers valuable information regarding our products, candles, wax melts, and scenting products in general, and how we can all do little things to reduce our carbon footprint. Lastly, and probably most importantly, we would love to share with you whatever candle tips and knowledge we can impart, especially about candles! We want to be more than just a place to buy the best smelling wood wick candles and wax melts. We want to answer your questions and be as helpful as possible!