Here at Aubrey Bay, we love to work with ethical products and products that are better, healthier and more sustainable. We often get asked ‘what is soy wax’ and ‘why use it in your candles?’. In this post, we’ll dig down into what soy wax is, where it came from and we’ll cover some of the reasons why we love this wax as a material to make our candles.
What is Soy Wax?
Soy wax candles are made from soy wax. It’s a vegetable wax derived from soybean oil. After soybeans are harvested they are cleaned, dehulled, cracked and rolled into flecks. Oil is then extracted from these flecks and hydrogenated. In the process, unsaturated fatty acids present in the oil are saturated, thereby dramatically altering the oil’s melting point. It then solidifies at room temperature.
The History of Soy Wax
Soy wax was stumbled upon in 1992 by Michael Richards who was looking for a cheaper alternative to beeswax. He realised very soon that there was a growing demand for natural wax candles within the candle industry. He experimented with many different types of natural plant waxes such as a mixture of soy oil, coconut oil and palm oil, blended beeswax and soy wax as well as soy wax on its own.
Benefits of Soy Wax
Soy candles are made from soybeans. Soybeans are a natural and renewable source grown in many regions by local farmers. In contrast, Paraffin candles are made from petroleum, which is a nonrenewable source that contains carcinogenic substances. These substances may be released into the air while burning. Using candles made from soy supports local agriculture and farmers. In turn, allowing them to make money and operate sustainable businesses.
A candle made from soy wax burns cleaner with little soot released. Paraffin candles often create a significant amount of black soot that collects on the jar, as well as on your walls and other surfaces of the home. A soy candle may accumulate some soot on the jar, but the amount is much less than paraffin candles. Soy candles are also non-toxic and therefore won’t release toxins into the air as they burn.
Soy candles last longer than a paraffin candle of the same size. The reason behind the longevity of soy candles is the slower burning time and cooler burning temperature of the soybean-based wax. You may pay more for a soy candle initially, but the longer-lasting burn means you won’t have to buy new candles as often. Soy wax is also biodegradable making it an investment that benefits the environment.
A soy candle works well for holding onto the scent from essential oils which are often used to scent candles. As they burn more slowly, the scent is gradually released. There won’t be an immediate wave of strong scent. This creates a more pleasant atmosphere for the user. The natural wax also holds onto colour well which makes it look more attractive.
What is Soy Wax – Wrapped Up
And there you have it. Hopefully, you now know what soy is, where it originates and a few reasons why it’s a great alternative to the traditional paraffin-based candle.