Soy wax candles are all the rage these days.
The paraffin wax candles of old—complete with their colorful dyes—are no longer à la mode, but why?
They’re bad for us and for our planet—or so it’s said—but with so much disinformation floating about the blogosphere these days, will we, in ten years, look back and decide paraffin wax wasn’t so bad after all?
We don’t think so, and here’s why.
Yes, renewability. It’s a word. Trust us.
The point is soy wax is renewable. Paraffin wax is not. With paraffin wax being made from petroleum and soy wax coming from, well, soy, using paraffin wax would mean supporting an industry that isn’t, unlike its soy counterpart, sustainable.
None of which is to mention the United States is one of the world’s top soybean producers. We would know; we see our fair share of soybean fields living in the Midwest!
By using soy wax instead of paraffin, then, we’re being both environmentally conscious and supporting local farms.
Less Mess, Less Stress
Paraffin candles are messy. Soy, on the other hand, emits almost no soot! We say “almost no soot” instead of “no soot” because, occasionally, you may see a little black soot in a soy candle if the wick gauge or length is incorrect. To combat this, make sure you trim your wicks down to a quarter of an inch!
Regardless of how one trims the wick in a paraffin wax candle, it will still emit its fair share of dark, grimy soot—even if you don’t see it in the candle jar. We learned this the hard way when moving out of our last apartment.
We’d long burned candles we’d received as gifts in that space, and upon move-out, we discovered the walls were completely soot-stained—except for the spots where we’d hung picture frames, paintings, and shelves on the walls. Not only was this gross, it was a real pain to clean before our final inspection!
Soy candles are more cost-effective than paraffin wax.
Soy wax burns more slowly and evenly than paraffin. Soy candles, then, are cleaner, are made from a renewable resource, and they last longer. In short, you get more for your money!
Don’t You Know That They’re (Maybe) Toxic?
Soy candles are non-toxic, whereas paraffin wax may be harmful to your health.
Many candle companies will say paraffin wax contains carcinogens and, when burned, is absolutely detrimental to your health. Other sources suggest that while there are some harmful chemicals in paraffin wax, no one is likely going to get cancer from lighting a candle once in a while.
Personally, we have not found a source that we 100% trust on this to date, so for us the jury is still out on whether paraffin wax is truly toxic or harmful. That being said, why take that risk when you have an option like soy that is cleaner, longer-lasting, and sustainable?
What About the Bee’s Knees, Old Sport?
Ah, yes, and then there’s beeswax. Beeswax is, yes, another renewable wax that burns better and cleaner than paraffin wax. It is, however, considerably more expensive than soy wax, so we’ve decided soy wax meets our needs just fine for now.
These are but a few of the reasons why we chose soy wax over the alternatives, and obviously there’s much more that goes into a candle than wax alone.
So stay tuned; we’ll be back soon with more about how and why we chose the wicks and fragrance oils we’ll soon be using to brighten the lives of writers everywhere.
Until then, rest assured your KYD candles will burn sustainably, non-toxically, and long-lastingly. How’s that for a run of adverbs?
Shine on, burn bright, and don’t let the adverb police get you down. Sometimes. Maybe.