What Candles Are Made With Soy?

What Are Soy Candles?

Soy candles are candles made from soy wax, a natural wax derived from soybeans. Unlike paraffin wax which is a byproduct of petroleum refining, soy wax is made from a renewable and sustainable crop. Soy wax was first used for candle making in the early 1990s as an alternative to paraffin and beeswax candles. It was developed as a natural, cleaner burning wax.

The main component of soy wax is hydrogenated soybean oil. Additional natural ingredients like essential oils and vegetable oils are often added to soy wax to modify its properties. The soybeans are cleaned, cracked, dehulled, and then undergo an extraction process to separate the oil. The soybean oil then goes through hydrogenation, where hydrogen is added to change the structure of the oil’s fatty acids, turning it into a solid wax.

Compared to paraffin wax, soy wax candles burn longer and cleaner. They don’t release potential toxins and leave little soot behind. Soy candles also hold scent better. The natural soy wax allows fragrance oils to fully integrate into the candle for an even, consistent scent throw. Soy wax also has a lower melting point, so the wax pools nicely as the candle burns. These beneficial properties have helped make soy candles a popular choice over paraffin.

Benefits of Soy Candles

Soy candles have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Soy wax offers several advantages over traditional paraffin wax candles.

One of the main benefits of soy wax is that it burns longer than paraffin wax. The soy wax’s natural structure allows it to hold fragrances better and distribute heat more evenly. This results in soy candles lasting 50-100% longer than their paraffin counterparts (https://www.pureintegrity.com/blog/soy-wax-healthier-choice-candle-addiction.html).

Soy wax also burns cooler than paraffin wax. Paraffin wax has a melting point of 130-150°F, while soy wax melts at a cooler 90-130°F. The lower melting point causes soy candles to produce less soot and burn cooler overall (https://selfmadecandle.com/blogs/candles/benefits-of-soy-wax-candles-and-why-they-should-be-your-go-to-choice). This makes soy candles safer to have around children and pets.

Additionally, soy wax is biodegradable and made from a renewable resource. Soybeans can be grown quickly and replenished annually. Soy wax itself breaks down through natural processes when disposed of properly. Conversely, paraffin wax is a petroleum byproduct that never fully breaks down. Using soy wax candles is better for the environment (https://www.waxpoeticcandlebar.com/blog/why-soy-wax).

How Soy Candles Are Made

The process of making soy candles begins by harvesting and processing soybeans grown on farms. Once harvested, the soybeans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and flattened into thin flakes (1). This transforms the beans into soy wax, which serves as the base for soy candles.

The soy wax flakes are then blended with desired fragrances and dyes. Common soy candle fragrances include fruity, floral, spice, and seasonal scents. Dyes range from bold colors to natural hues. Popular options are red, blue, yellow, green, and brown (2).

soy candles offer a natural, clean-burning alternative to paraffin candles.

Next, the fragranced wax is poured into candle containers and molds while still in liquid form. As the wax cools and hardens, it takes on the shape of the container. Glass and metal vessels are commonly used. The wick is inserted into the wax before it fully solidens.

Once cooled and hardened, the finished soy candles are assembled by adding labels, embellishments, lids, etc. The completed candles are then packaged up and made ready for use (3).

With quality soy wax, expert blending, and careful pouring and cooling, the result is a long-lasting, clean-burning soy candle.

(1) https://www.candlescience.com/learning/how-to-make-a-soy-candle/

(2) https://www.treehugger.com/diy-soy-candles-4864253

(3) https://www.candlescience.com/learning/how-to-make-a-soy-candle/

Types of Soy Candles

There are several common types of candles made with soy wax:

Pillar Candles

Pillar candles are free-standing candles that come in various shapes and sizes. They are made by pouring soy wax into a mold. Pillar candles burn evenly and are often used for decorative purposes. The wax type used for pillar candles needs to hold its shape as it melts. Popular soy waxes for pillars include Golden Brands 464 and EcoSoya PB (CandleScience).

Votive Candles

Votive candles are small, cylindrical candles designed to sit in glass holders. Soy votives provide a clean, even burn. Waxes like Golden Brands 415 and EcoSoya Q210 work well for votives (Lone Star Candle Supply). Votives showcase fragrance nicely in a compact form.

Container Candles

Container candles feature soy wax filled into jars, tins, or other vessels. The wax adheres to the container sides. Soy container wax needs a low melting point to pool wax evenly. Golden Brands 464 and Cargill C-3 are popular container waxes (Armatage Candle Co.). Creative container designs allow for artistic looks.

Tea Lights

Tea lights are small wax-filled cups with a cotton wick. Soy tea lights offer a non-toxic alternative to paraffin tea lights. Golden Brands 415 soy wax works well for tea light candles. Soy tea lights have a nice melt pool and burn cleanly.

Soy Candle Fragrance Options

One of the biggest draws of soy candles is the ability to infuse them with delightful scents. There are a few main options when it comes to fragrancing soy candles:

Essential Oils

Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon are commonly used to scent soy candles. They are derived from plants and can provide aromatherapeutic benefits. However, essential oils are more expensive and can fade more quickly than synthetic fragrance oils (Source: P.F. Candle Co.).

Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils are synthetic scents that mimic natural aromas. They allow for consistent, long-lasting scents at a lower price point than essential oils. Popular fragrance oil scents include apple cinnamon, vanilla, and clean cotton (Source: Scents of Soy).

Custom Blends

Many soy candle makers offer customized scent blends as well. This allows customers to select their preferred essential oils and fragrance oils to create a signature soy candle scent. The possibilities are endless when blending your own scent composition.

Popular Soy Candle Scents

Some of the most popular scents for soy candles include refreshing, cozy, and subtle options. Lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus scents like grapefruit, lemon, and orange are refreshing soy candle fragrances. The clean yet calming aroma of lavender can help create a relaxing environment, while the invigorating scents of eucalyptus and citrus evoke feelings of energy and freshness.

For a cozy soy candle scent, options like vanilla, cinnamon, and sweet bakery aromas like sugar cookies or pumpkin pie are ideal. These warm, nostalgic fragrances evoke feelings of comfort and hominess. Brands like Yankee Candle offer bakery-inspired soy candles like Spiced Pumpkin and Home Sweet Home.

Subtle soy candle scents highlight the natural fragrance of soy wax itself, which has a mild, creamy aroma. Clean scents like cucumber melon and light floral fragrances also offer understated sophistication. Soy-scented candles allow you to enjoy the light, clean burn of soy wax.

Whatever scent you prefer, high-quality soy candles should fill your space with fragrance evenly when burned, without being overpowering. Testing out sample sizes can help you discover your favorite soy candle scents before committing to a larger candle.

Soy Candle Brands

Some prominent makers of soy candles include Yankee Candle, Bath & Body Works, P.F. Candle Co., and Village Candle.

Yankee Candle offers a wide variety of soy candle scents like Clean Cotton, Pineapple Cilantro, and Pink Sands in various jar sizes. Their soy candles are made with natural soy wax and feature long burn times up to 150 hours (Our Favorite Scented Candles).

Bath & Body Works has many signature soy candle scents such as Mahogany Teakwood, Crushed Candy Cane, and Fresh Balsam. Their three-wick soy candles provide fragrance throw throughout the room and burn up to 45 hours (23 Best Soy Candles For A Clean Burn).

P.F. Candle Co. is known for their hand-poured, artisan soy candles with scents like Guava Mele, Pomelo Grapefruit, and Beachy Aura. They use non-GMO soy wax and premium cotton wicks (15 Best Soy Candles For Your Home).

Village Candle provides natural soy wax candles in a variety of sizes and scents such as Lavender & Chamomile, Black Currant & Thyme, and Patchouli & Amber. Their eco-friendly soy candles are hand-poured in the USA using 100% cotton wicks.

Buying Quality Soy Candles

When shopping for soy candles, it’s important to look for several factors to ensure you’re getting a high-quality, long-lasting candle.

Look for candles made with natural, 100% soy wax. Soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin, so it pools gently without getting too hot. Quality soy wax will have an even appearance and texture (https://www.candlescience.com/learning/choosing-a-soy-wax/).

The wick is also key. Look for lead-free, cotton or wood wicks that are properly sized for the candle’s width. This allows for full melt pooling and less soot (https://pureplacid.com/blogs/pure-placid-blog/how-to-pick-out-a-soy-candle).

When it comes to fragrance, pure essential oils and natural scents will provide a cleaner, more pleasant aroma. Synthetic fragrances can produce more soot.

Check that the soy wax, wicks, and scents are ethically-sourced and environmentally-friendly. Many quality candle makers promote sustainability and ethical practices.

Buying from a local maker that you can communicate with is ideal. This allows you to better understand their sourcing and practices.

Caring for Soy Candles

To get the most enjoyment and longevity from your soy candles, there are some simple care tips to follow. Proper care allows the candle to burn evenly and minimizes soot or smoke.

One of the most important care tips is to trim the wick to 1/4 inch before lighting. Long wicks can create more soot, tunneling, or an uneven burn. According to candle experts Finding Home Farms, “Always trim your wick to 1/4” each time before burning to prevent sooting and to allow for proper melt pool”.

You’ll also want to allow the candle to burn for at least 1 hour for each inch of the candle’s diameter. This helps ensure full melting and an even burn. The Candle River Company recommends burning soy candles for at least 2-4 hours the first time to create a proper melt pool.

It’s also essential to keep the wick centered in the melted wax pool as it burns. If the melted wax pool around the wick gets too close to the side of the container, use candle tongs to gently center the wick.

Other handy care tips include not burning soy candles for more than 4 hours at a time, keeping them away from drafts, and allowing melted wax to fully solidify before relighting. With proper care, soy candles can provide hours of enjoyment and safe, clean burning.

Safety Tips for Soy Candles

Soy candles are generally safer than paraffin wax candles, but you should still take precautions to prevent fires or issues when burning soy candles. Here are some key safety tips to keep in mind:

Never leave burning candles unattended. It’s crucial to always keep a close eye on lit candles and extinguish them before leaving a room. Unattended candles are a leading cause of household fires.

Keep candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans, and air currents. Drafts can cause candle flames to flare up or blow over, igniting nearby items. Place candles a safe distance from ventilation systems and moving air.

Put candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface. Don’t put candles directly on wood surfaces or near flammable materials. Use a candle holder or plate made of glass, metal, or another non-flammable material.

Trim wicks to 1⁄4 inch before lighting to prevent smoking, uneven burning, and excessively large flames. Long or neglected wicks are more likely to cause issues.

Don’t burn candles for more than 4 hours at a time. Extinguish the flame before the candle burns down completely. The glass could overheat and crack if burned too long.

Keep candles 12 inches away from other objects and surfaces. Allow ample space around candles to prevent accidental ignition of nearby combustible materials.

Never leave pets and children unattended around burning candles. Cats’ tails can ignite or kids can knock over candles and cause fires.

Consider using battery-operated flameless candles. These eliminate the fire hazard while providing ambient lighting. Choose flameless candles for bedrooms, children’s rooms, and unattended spaces.

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