5 Reasons Why You Need to Switch to Soy Candles
Do you love burning candles? Well, I sure do! I love the scent of candles. I love the little flicker of light. And I love to use them when I take a relaxing bath. Yet, did you know most candles are actually terrible air pollutants? Yes most candles are actually creating a very damaging environment for your home. Does this mean that you have to quit using candles altogether? No, not at all. You can fix this problem by simply switching to soy candles.
Soy vs. Paraffin
Most candles that we find at the store are actually paraffin wax. But, what is the difference? Let’s look into how each wax is sourced and created to get a better understanding.
Paraffin wax is derived from petroleum when crude oil is in the refining process of becoming gasoline. We know that the oil industry is very polluting, and if paraffin wax is from this does that mean it’s polluting too? Yes. Don’t just take my word for it though. There have been scientific studies that have proven the polluting effects of paraffin candles. These studies have found that after burning paraffin candles in an enclosed place for six hours produced different harmful chemicals including toluene. Toluene is naturally in crude oil and can be in paint thinners, gasoline, solvents, and tobacco products. Toluene can cause serious nervous system damage, as well as have kidney, immune, liver, and reproductive effects.
Clearly this is not something we want to be exposed to especially on a regular basis, especially if we burn candles often. So what else an we use?
Soy wax is derived from-you guessed it!-the soy bean. Most soy wax is derived from soy beans that are grown in the USA, this is obviously great for the economy, and requires less emissions since it’s not being imported. Although soy wax is much more natural and less harming than paraffin wax, it is not and can not be organic. For soy beans to turn into soy wax, it requires a chemical process which making it impossible to label it organic even if it was from organic soy beans. So although we will discuss the various reasons why this is a great alternative, it is not a perfect alternative.
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5 Reasons Why Soy Candles Are Better
1. Soy Candles are Natural
Because soy wax comes from a food source (soy beans) it is a plant based ingredient! It is also requires significantly less chemicals than paraffin wax. As I said above, it cannot be labeled organic, yet it is still considered a very natural product due to it’s source. So for those of you trying to live naturally, soy wax is clearly the better option than the heavily chemically manufactured paraffin from crude oil…
In addition to this, soy candles usually have natural fragrances as well. Most paraffin candles use artificial fragrances to create those delicious smells. Since most soy candles are intended to be more natural anyway, they are usually fragranced with natural essential oils.
2. Soy Candles are Non-Toxic
Remember how I said that paraffin wax candles produce toluene and other harmful chemicals? Well in the same study, those chemicals were not produced by natural candles-included soy! Those harmful chemicals produced by burning paraffin candles pollute the air quality of your home and can even make it worse than the outside air quality! Since soy candles do not produce these chemicals, you do not have to worry about them polluting your air quality.
100% soy candles also do not produce soot while burning, keeping your home even cleaner. If your soy candle produces soot you need to make sure it is actually a 100% soy and not a soy blend, as well as the wick not contain lead or zinc. So, because soy candles do not produce harmful toxins or soot they burn clean!
3. Soy Candles Burn Longer
Did you know that soy candles actually burn longer than paraffin candles of the same size? Because soy wax requires a lower burn temperature than paraffin it can burn much longer. So although that soy candle you love may cost a little bit more, it actually will last you much longer which saves you money in the long run! In fact, soy candles can last you 30-50% longer than that cheaper paraffin one.
4. Soy Candles are Easier to Clean
Because soy wax is completely biodegradable, it is actually significantly easier to clean up that paraffin! Soy wax is actually so easy to clean that you just need some soap and water to clean it up! This definitely beats the forever process of trying to get all that paraffin wax off of your furniture/floor after a spill. In fact, I think I still have some remnants of paraffin wax on my tile from a spill months ago…
5. Supports Community
Most of the soy for soy wax grows right here in the USA. This is great when it comes to exporting because resources don’t have to be pulled from other countries producing lots of carbon emissions due to travel. Although over 90% of the soy beans used for soy wax are GMO, this is still far better than that of the highly polluting paraffin wax.
In addition to this, it is fairly easy to find locally made soy candles! Choosing locally made candles not only helps out your local community but it also supports small and ethical businesses. This makes it so much easier to find and choose ethically made products when you know the makers! Learn more about why you should support local businesses here.
Switching to Soy Candles
We discussed the polluting effects of paraffin candles, and how soy candles are significantly better and safer. Yet, we also learned that this is not a perfect alternative and still creates waste and chemicals due to the process of creating soy candles. But all in all, soy candles are much safer and much more eco friendly than paraffin and I encourage you to make the switch!
To help you switch out those nasty polluting candles, I have created a list of great natural candles that are easily available on Amazon! Check it out below.
So will you be switching to soy candles? What soy candle brands have you tried? Share with me in the comments!