What is soy wax?
Per Wikipedia soy wax is made by the full hydrogenation of soybean oil; chemically this gives a triglyceride, containing high proportion of stearic acid. It is typically softer than paraffin wax and with a lower melting temperature, in most combinations. However, additives can raise this melting point to temperatures typical for paraffin-based candles. The melting point ranges from 49 to 82 degrees Celsius (120 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on the blend. The density of soy wax is about 90% that of water or 0.9 g/ml. Soy wax is available in flake and pellet form and has an off-white, opaque appearance.
But what does all of that mean?
Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. The oil is hydrogenated after extraction. This process converts some of the fatty acids to saturated fatty acids. This process alters the melting point of the oil, making it a solid at room temperature.
Why choose a soy wax over a paraffin wax candle?
The benefits of soy wax over paraffin are too numerous to list here, but I will list the ones I believe to be the most important.
- Soy is a renewable product derived from vegetables.
- The majority of all soy is grown in America.
- Soy burns slower and longer than traditional paraffin wax candles. More for your money!
- Since soy wax burns slower, the scent is released in the air more gradually.
- Soy burns clean! No soot released into the air.
Right about now you are probably thinking, what are the downsides?
Surprisingly, there are very few. Most of the downsides are more on our side than yours.
- Soy wax has a tendency to expand and contract with changes of temperatures. However this is mostly avoidable if you maintain your candle above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Soy wax does not work well with all scented oils.
- Soy wax may develop “Frosting”. This is a crystalline layer that forms on the surface of the candle. This takes place when the wax tries to return to is natural state. It in no way effects the candle at all.
As you can see, picking soy wax over paraffin is a no brainer. It is healthier, eco-friendly, renewable, and you get a longer lasting scented candle!