Top 5 Reasons To Buy Soy Candles Instead Of Regular Paraffin Candles

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For me, it’s very easy to see why using soy wax candles and other soy products makes sense.

However, maybe you simply haven’t had the opportunity to try soy candles yet.

Buying soy wax candles - soy candles

I thought I’d share some of the reasons that so many people prefer soy candles over regular candles which are made from paraffin…


Why Soy Candles Are So Great

#1 – Soy candles are natural since they’re made from vegetable oil (soybeans). On the other hand, paraffin candles are made from petroleum oil. As a result, soy wax candles do not increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere like paraffin candles do. Furthermore, soy candles do not require chemicals to scent them.

For the record… if a soy candle is made from 100% soy (not all are; some are blended with beeswax or other waxes), and scented with essentials oils instead of chemical fragrances (as many are), then it can be called an all-natural soy candle.

Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated. Source

#2 – Soy candles burn 50% longer than regular candles. Therefore, even though soy wax candles are sometimes more expensive than paraffin wax candles to buy, they are still more cost-effective in the long run. For comparison’s sake, soy candles generally cost less than beeswax candles (another natural wax alternative to paraffin). Furthermore, soy candles burn evenly, leaving almost no excess wax on the sides of the jar.

Soy not only burns cleaner, but slower too. A soy candle can burn up to twice as long (sometimes even more!) than paraffin, giving you twice the candle. Source

#3 – Soy candles burn cleaner than regular paraffin candles do. As a result, they don’t produce much black soot like paraffin candles do. Candle soot is more of a nuisance than you might realize. If you burn a lot of candles, over time it can discolor your walls & furniture and stain the edges of your carpet!

If you have ever had a soy wax candle in the past that did leave black soot around the jar, there are several reasons this may have happened. One explanation is it wasn’t 100% soy, but rather a soy/paraffin blend. Many advertise “soy candle” have unknown blends that you may not catch unless you search deep into their site. If it doesn’t say 100% or tell you what’s in the candles, watch out. Another reason you see black soot could have been the use of metal wicks. While no candle made in the US has lead, they can have zinc. Zinc wicks are not toxic like lead, but they will produce more soot than cotton or hemp wicks.  Source

#4 – Soy candles are non-toxic since they are made of vegetable oil, have a lower melting point (so the wax itself doesn’t get as hot), produce negligible amounts of soot, and release no known carcinogens into the air. Compared to paraffin candles, soy wax candles are much healthier for humans, pets, and the environment. Plus, they clean up easier (just use soap and water) when the wax is spilled onto candle holders, carpet, and furniture pieces.

Paraffin candles release a petro-carbon soot that stains your walls, furniture and is circulated through your air ducts. This soot, according to the American Lung Association, contains 11 documented toxins, 2 of which are known carcinogens — toluene and benzene.  Source

#5 – The scent from soy candles is much stronger and more pleasant than the scent from paraffin wax candles. Because of the lower melting point of soy wax, there is a larger amount of the liquid wax pool around the candle wick itself. It is from this liquid wax pool and the wick itself that the essential oils evaporate into the atmosphere.

When it’s said that a candle scent “throws well,” this means it fills the room with a strong, lasting scent. Soy wax candles not only have a great scent throw, but also have a cleaner smell. It’s been noted by many that paraffin wax will give them headaches. Of course it’s not the scent itself, but the additional chemicals the paraffin is putting off. Because soy burns so clean, you’ll get a cleaner scent as well.  Source


See the best reasons to burn soy candles instead of paraffin wax candles!

Those are just a few of the many reasons to use soy candles over regular paraffin candles.

I love soy candles and have been using them exclusively for over a year now. My personal feeling is they are the best type of candle available.


More About Soy Candles

In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other resources to help you understand the differences between soy wax candles and paraffin wax candles:

Next up: 10 Little Known Tips For Longer Lasting Candles!

10 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons To Buy Soy Candles Instead Of Regular Paraffin Candles”

  1. I recently started using soy candles, and I am obsessed! Not only do they smell better than traditional wax candles, but they last way longer. I found this post that you would enjoy, it goes into further detail of how soy candles are better than traditional paraffin wax candles. Check it out when you get a chance!

  2. Why is it that everything I read on soy candles goes against what I have read in studies and EPA reports. I understand soy marketing is aggressive against paraffin but to print misstatements is not the way to go. How can soy not need scent and be natural but then be hold more scent. The processing of soy wax involves chemicals, negating the natural theory. Also soy is known to throw weaker scent than paraffin, which is why paraffin is still so popular for scented candles, and is often mixed with soy to get the best of both worlds. I have nothing against soy, just people telling lies and misstating facts because they didn’t bother to research well or are pushing to sell their own soy products.

  3. As I check through the article, I realize the problem, you use soy promoters websites to make your case, this is like asking a Ford car dealer why Fords are the best cars, A VERY VERY BIASED OPINION IS WHAT YOU WILL GET. I would think a reporter would know better.

  4. almost none of those points are true …
    Palm wax has issues too. Palm oil production cause deforestation and loss of habitat for endangered species :T
    Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum refining… and artificial fragrances can contain endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, or hormone mimickers…

    I just want to light a candle without harming anyone!! *pulls hair out in frustration*

  5. False, False, FALSE!!! You should do some more research before writing these articles. Lets address your points one by one, shall we?

    1. “Soy candles are natural”

    So is paraffin. Oil deposits are formed from the decaying remains of dead organic matter, and paraffin is refined from this. So yes, paraffin candles completely fit the bill for what people would consider “natural” (read: not synthetically made). Soy oil is only partially hydrogenated and must go through a chemical process using harsh and “unnatural” chemicals to get it to a point where it can be used for candle making purposes. Even at this point it is not technically a wax because it is still water soluble.

    The claim that burning soy wax will not increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is a FLAT OUT LIE! Anyone with a basic understanding of chemistry knows that any combustion reaction will create CO2 and H2O. You really betray you own illiteracy on this subject to make such a claim, suggesting that soy candles somehow defy the laws of physics.

    You also mention that soy wax is biodegradable. But paraffin is also biodegradable so you really are not making the point that you think you are with that statement. I don’t think you’ve researched anything about paraffin.

    2. “Soy candles burn 50% longer”

    The burn time of a candle depends on several factors which include wax type, amount of fragrance, additives, type of wick and size of said wick. As a chandler (someone who makes candles for a living), I’ve used many different types of wax, including soy, for different applications and outcomes. I can tell you from my own thorough experimentation and documenting of burn times that soy does not burn 50% longer than paraffin. This is just another myth that is perpetuated by the soy wax manufacturers to sell their products.

    There are many more paraffin wax blends on the market than there are soy blends, and not all paraffin blends burn at the same rate. There are some paraffin wax blends that burn faster than soy, this is true. However, there are also paraffin blends that burn at the same rate as soy. To simply say that soy wax burns longer than paraffin wax is a lazy assessment of the subject of burn time, and again, betrays your lack of knowledge.

    3. “Soy candles burn cleaner”

    Candle soot is the result of incomplete combustion at the flame and is a problem for ANY wax used, including soy. Again, like burn time, this is dependent an several variables. More fragrance will increase soot. A wick that that is too big for the candle will increase soot. Air currents will increase soot. From my experience, the type of wax used does not typically affect sooting. I have made paraffin candles that soot less than some soy candles that I’ve made. Sooting should be a concern for any chandler and much testing needs to be done to find a recipe that minimizes sooting.

    The EPA has tested the claims that soy candles produce less soot and found that soy wax actually produces white soot that is not as visible as the black soot associated with traditional paraffin candles. It wouldn’t surprise me if soy candles actually sooted MORE than paraffin candles because soy candles typically require larger wicks than there paraffin counterparts which increases the amount of soot put of by them. The thing is, you would never know because you can’t see it. I think that this is where the misconception that soy burns cleaner comes from. The white soot is not any less of a health hazard, by the way. In any case, burning candles in your house is not any more dangerous than breathing the air outside, so this seems like scaremongering to me.

    4. “Soy candles are non-toxic”

    Again, so is paraffin. In fact, the FDA has approved paraffin for use in food, cosmetics and medicinal purposes. Paraffin is completely inert and can be eaten without any ill effects. Paraffin is a preservative and those shiny apples in the grocery store have been coated in paraffin for this purpose (apples are not naturally shiny). Paraffin is added to many chocolate products to give them a glossy and smooth appearance, and is used in canning to seal the jars. Vaseline is paraffin. In fact, many cosmetic products that are supposed to smooth and soften skin have paraffin in them. In addition, I would argue that paraffin wax is safer to burn than soy wax because some people can have severe allergic reactions to soy candles.

    5. “The scent from soy candles is much stronger and more pleasant”

    Agree to disagree. I can’t really say that you are wrong because scent is subjective, but I can say that you are in the minority with your opinion. Soy wax is notorious for having poor scent throw. Many chandlers (myself included) have experienced disappointment and frustration with soy wax being extremely finicky with regard to scent throw. Go onto any candle making forum and search “soy wax”. The overwhelming majority of posts related to soy wax will be people complaining that they have no scent throw. The veteran soy candlers will chime in with some advice but I’ve never seen an issue like this resolved before. Often times they will suggest adding things like crisco and coconut oil to them in the hopes that this will improve the scent throw. Almost anyone who makes soy candles will also tell you that you have to let them “cure” for at least 2 weeks before lighting them if you want to get a good throw, and that the longer you let them cure the better they will smell. If this doesn’t work then they tell you that the sent you are using just won’t work with soy and that you need to move on. Thats right, even people who make soy candles and presumably buy into this soy/health/eco nonsense admit that soy wax is difficult to work with and hard to get a good scent throw.

    There are reasons that soy has poor scent throw and it has to do with the chemistry of the candle. I mentioned earlier that soy wax is not technically a wax because it is water soluble (this is in fact a selling point for soy wax manufacturers because they say that it makes clean up easier). By definition, wax is not water soluble. Guess what else is not water soluble – oils! The fragrance oils and essential oils used to scent candles are no different. Just like paraffin wax, they are not water soluble. What does this mean? It means that paraffin and fragrance oils are miscible (i.e. able to form a mixture with each other). This is why you don’t have problems with scent throw in paraffin wax. If scents were water based then they would work much better in soy and would probably work very poorly in paraffin. Historically, however, fragrance oils have been formulated to work paraffin because for a long time that was the only wax that was used (soy wax is relatively new). I’m not saying that it is impossible for soy wax to have as good a throw as paraffin but for this to happen you would need water based fragrances that have been formulated specifically for use in soy wax, and to my knowledge they don’t exist.

    The poor scent throw is the main reason why people get frustrated and abandon soy. I also think this is why the soy wax manufacturers have made such an effort to deceive people into thinking that paraffin is dangerous, because they know that people won’t want a wax with poor scent throw. They can’t make their product better so they have to make other products look worse.

    I also think it is disingenuous to suggest that soy wax is somehow more environmentally friendly because it is “renewable” plant. Soy fields don’t just pop up naturally. Forests clearing for agricultural purposes has become a huge environmental concern in and of itself. Harvesting soy crops year after year wreaks havoc on soils to the point where it becomes infertile and cannot support anymore growth. To combat this problem requires the production of millions of tons of fertilizer every single year, which is extremely energy intensive. What about the millions of gallons of water used to water the soy plants? How about the massive amounts of pesticides applied to the crops? Do you even care about the marine environment experiencing mass extinctions of species from agricultural runoff of these fertilizers and pesticides? Have you even thought about this?

    Also, how do you think soy farmers harvest their crops? Not by hand, but with huge farming machinery that requires gasoline! Did you know that paraffin wax is a byproduct of oil refinement? People are not drilling oil for wax. THEY ARE DRILLING OIL TO MAKE SOY BEANS! Paraffin is waste from the agricultural industry. So instead of recycling this waste to make candles, you think we should just make more soy beans and create more waste? The hypocrisy of the green movement is glaring at times, your article is not exception.

  6. All of you Paraffin lovers really need to do some more research. Soy IS the better option than Paraffin. While some of the points in this article are wrong about Paraffin, in the end of it all Paraffin is still the worst thing you can burn in a candle. Has great uses for other things just not candles. I did a home test with many types of candle waxes. Co2 levels etc. My results still stand as Soy is better than Paraffin. You can tell anyone that something literally all natural and clean burning is worse than something that smokes while it burns. Paraffin is a horrible choice. Choose something other than Paraffin doesn’t matter what… Just not Paraffin.


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