Soy wax vs. paraffin wax… which type of candle is more sustainable?
Paraffin wax costs less to produce, making it the popular choice among your typical store-bought candles and major home scents retailers.
However, there are major differences—both for your health and for the health of the environment—between paraffin wax and soy wax.
Keep reading for 5 reasons soy wax candles are more sustainable than paraffin wax candles.
Soy wax is all natural and renewable.
Soy wax is made from—wait for it—soybeans!
Paraffin wax, meanwhile, is made from petroleum (think: crude oil), a fossil fuel that cannot be renewed. Not only is crude oil nonrenewable, the collection process harms the environment. Last but not least, paraffin wax in solid form is not biodegradable.
But there’s no limit to the amount of soybeans we can grow. And because soy wax is plant-based, it is 100% biodegradable.
Paraffin wax candles produce toxins when burned.
Soy wax isn’t just better for the environment; it’s also better for your health.
A 2009 study by South Carolina State University found that paraffin wax candles produce harmful chemicals when burned.
According to the lead researcher of the study, “The paraffin candles we tested released unwanted chemicals into the air. For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma.”
On the other hand, researchers did not find that soy wax candles emit any harmful chemicals.
Soy wax gives off less soot.
While both soy wax and paraffin wax give off black soot while burning, soy wax gives off noticeably less soot.
Soy wax supports American farmers.
America leads the world in soybean production, with the majority of soybean crops grown in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. When you purchase candles made from soy wax, you’re supporting the American farmers who make a living from soybean production, strengthening the American economy.
Soy wax produces stronger, longer-lasting scents—saving you money.
Soy candles burn slower, meaning they last longer. That means less bucks spent on purchasing new candles when one goes kaput. Additionally, soy naturally carries fragrances well, producing a stronger scent without the need for chemical additives to amplify the scent.
Healthier for you, healthier for the environment, and better for your wallet… soy wax is a sustainable alternative to traditional paraffin wax candles.
Stock up on local soy wax candles.
If you’re ready to stock up on your own soy wax candles, I love Cori Candles in Nashville. These are all natural soy wax candles, with local delivery options in the Middle Tennessee area and shopping for non-local customers. She is even able to create custom labels for businesses, conferences, and events.
I have purchased candles (and her other natural scent products) from her and highly recommend them. One of my favorites is the Honeysuckle fragrance—makes you feel like you are back on the farm! The Bourbon Butterscotch is my choice for the holidays.