For anyone used to burning store bought candles, making the switch to 100% soy based candles can cause some head scratching. Based on the characteristics of soy products, they perform much differently than soy-based or paraffin products you often find in stores. These quick facts can help identify what types are things are common for all-natural soy products for those newly converted soy lovers.
100% Plant Based
100% soy candles are made from all natural ingredients. Soy wax is vegetable wax derived from the oil of soybeans.
Once harvested these beans are cleaned, cracked, dehulled and rolled into flakes which then becomes the basis for soy wax candles. Production of soy wax not only supports local farmers, but eliminates the use of harmful toxins and additives and has the added benefit of being 100% biodegradable.
Pet & Kid Friendly
Unlike soy-based and paraffin candles, 100% soy candles won't release toxins when it's burned. Paraffin, which is the type of candle most of us are used to burning, especially if bought in stores, is a refined gasoline by-product. Even soy-based candles sometimes contain a percentage of paraffin.
When candles are burned, these toxins are released into the air and eventually settle onto surfaces in your home. If you're like me, these surfaces don't get cleaned as often as they should (don't worry no judgment from us!). Pets and kids most likely come into contact with these surfaces and likely touch their skin, eyes, and mouth.
Soy wax is 100% biodegradable and made from vegetables. While I don't recommend ingesting this wax, it is a safer, cleaner burn if you have kids and pets in your house.
More Even Burn / Less Soot
Soy wax candles generally burn longer than paraffin candles and if the wick is the right size, will have an even, edge-to-edge burn all the way down the length of the candle.
Additionally, some candles can produce a black soot. This soot results from carbon build-up which is either a result of your wick being too large and needing to be trimmed, or more commonly from petroleum based products - such as paraffin.
More Even Scent Throw Without Being Too Overpowering
Before I got into candle making, I bought candles from the store that you could smell throughout the ENTIRE house when it was being burned.
Often times this was so overpowering I would get a headache. I soon realized this is a natural characteristic of paraffin wax. Unlike paraffin wax, soy wax releases fragrance easier than paraffin or soy-based candles. This results in a much more even, clean burn that gradually fills a space with aroma overtime rather than creating an overwhelming sensory assault.
Rough Tops Are Common
Soy tops can appear bumpy after burning. This is common for soy candles, and actually can be a way to tell if a candle is made from 100% soy wax or not. Rough or bumpy tops do not affect the performance or quality of the candle.
If you want a better chance at a smooth top post-burn, try blowing out your candle and letting it cool before placing a cover over the top, or just leave open to the air.