Hollywood has fallen head over heels for soy candles. Not only are they colorful and provide powerful scents to brighten your living space, but they are very environmentally friendly as well.
Soy candles are non-toxic, produce far less soot, and burn longer than traditional wax candles. They clean up easily if you accidentally knock one over, and they are produced from a renewable resource, making them farmer-friendly as well.
Triple Scented for Maximum Aroma
Candle manufacturers realize the consumer wants to get the most bang – or scent – for their buck. Many producers of soy candles make “triple scented” ones, providing the strongest and longest-lasting aromas. Soy candles routinely burn up to 50% longer than traditional paraffin wax candles.
A normal candle is made with 0.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax. A triple-scented candle contains 1.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax, which is likely the most the wax can hold and still be usable for candles. This produces a far stronger scent that will last longer.
Cleaner Air with Soy
Most people do not realize how much better soy candles are for a cleaner environment and overall improved health. Especially for those who burn candles regularly, the difference between paraffin wax and soy can be alarming.
Studies by Purdue University and Iowa University found that carcinogens are released into the atmosphere when paraffin wax candles are burned. This includes two major cancer-causing chemicals, benzene and toluene.
In addition, it was found that “petro-soot,” the by-product of burning a petroleum product, is more harmful to your health than second hand smoke.
The cleaner burn of soy candles is far less aggravating to conditions such as asthma and allergies, and the indoor air will maintain higher quality since there are no harmful chemicals contained in soy.
Traditional wax candles are manufactured primarily with paraffin wax, which is made from petroleum. These candles produce heavy black soot when burned, and the wax is difficult to remove from fabric and other surfaces if it gets spilled. This makes soy candles the friendlier choice for those who have pets and children.
Soy candles are made with all-natural wicks rather than ones that contain metal elements, providing an even cleaner burn. Cotton is a common wick material.
For all of these reasons, soy candles are the cleaner, healthier alternative.
They’re Cute, Too
Whether you want candles that look like a dozen freshly-baked cookies or a bowl full of fresh fruit, you can find a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of soy candles.
Since soy is very soft, it is not a good choice for freestanding candles such as pillars and tapers. You will most likely find soy candles in the forms of jars and votives. They are made in almost every color and every scent imaginable.
Some companies mix soy with vegetable oil to produce sturdier candles. While still clean-burning and environmentally friendly, these candles can be found in more traditional shapes.
In addition to candles, you can burn soy chips or scented soy pieces in a burner. The soy wax pools in the burner, and the heat releases the scent into your home, giving you hours upon hours of enjoyment.
Burning Soy Candles
You must take certain measures to get the most out of your soy candles. First, be sure to trim the wick to ¼-inch each time you prepare to light the candle. Trim off any soot from previous burnings, taking care not to let the soot fall into the candle wax.
Ensure the wick is centered in the candle. While an off-center wick will still burn, the candle may not burn evenly. This is particularly important with scented candles because an uneven burn will not properly release the aroma from the candle.
Do not blow on the candle to extinguish it. Use a wick dipper instead. By dipping the wick into the wax it will not only extinguish the candle without any soot, but it will also prepare the wick for the next burn.
When you initially burn your soy candle, burn it for one hour for each inch in diameter. Therefore, for a two-inch candle, you would burn it for two hours. This establishes a proper melt pool and will essentially “teach” the candle how to burn most efficiently. Failure to do this may result in the candle burning down its core, which will not allow the candle to emit much in the way of scent.
Place your soy candles in an area where they will be free of any draft, yet receive ample air flow around the candle. This will ensure the best burn without flickering or ash production.
Finding Soy Candles
You do not need to go to a specialty shop to find soy candles to enjoy. Most major department stores and many supermarkets now carry them in addition to paraffin wax candles.
A soy candle will most likely be marked as such on the label. If it does not indicate soy on the packaging, it is most likely paraffin wax.
Soy candles will cost a bit more than your traditional wax, but overall it is cheaper than beeswax and provides greater burn time than paraffin, making soy candles an excellent value overall.