When selecting the type of candle wax you will be using, you have several different types of wax to choose from. These waxes include paraffin wax, soy wax, coconut wax, and beeswax, among others. Each one of these wax types comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Each wax type comes with its own intended purposes and specific uses. However, in this article ‘Soy Wax 101’, we are going to be taking a look at soy wax for candle making.
What is soy wax? Soy wax is an all-natural wax created from hydrogenated soybean oil. Soybeans are a major domestically grown crop in the United States which makes soy wax an abundant and renewable resource. In addition, soy wax is a great wax for making scented and container candles.
Unlike some other types of natural wax, soy is very scalable and is capable of supporting a larger industry based on all-natural and domestically produced vegetable-based waxes.
Soy Wax and Candle Making
Is soy wax good for candle making? Soy wax is good for candle making and is actually one of the most popular wax choices for making scented candles. Soy wax is a good wax for making candles because it is a clean-burning wax and does not produce a lot of soot. In addition, it is capable of holding a fairly large fragrance oil load.
Soy wax can have fragrance oil loads as high as 10-11% depending on the type of soy wax you are using and if it has had any additives added to it.
What kind of candles can you make with soy wax? Some of the candles you can make with soy wax include container candles, scented candles, votives, and tealights. In addition, soy wax with additives and soy wax blended with other types of wax can be used to make pillar candles and wax melts or wax tarts.
Soy wax does have a lower melting point than waxes such as paraffin and beeswax which mostly limit its use to container candles unless it is used as part of a blend.
If you are interested in getting soy wax to make homemade scented candles then take a look at our mega list of some of the best candle making suppliers and wholesalers around.
Cost of Soy Wax
Is soy wax expensive? Soy wax is not expensive. While it can cost more than paraffin wax, you will find soy wax is much more affordable than other types of natural and vegetable-based waxes. In addition, soy wax is considerably cheaper than beeswax, however, it can be more expensive than paraffin wax.
Soy Wax Sustainability and Environmental Impacts
Is soy wax environmentally friendly? Soy was is environmentally friendly and is a renewable and sustainable resource. Soy was is domestically grown and produced by American farmers and is made from soybeans. Some waxes, such as paraffin wax are produced from petroleum byproducts. However, soy wax is natural, clean, and renewable.
This makes soy wax a great choice for the candle industry because it works well with economies of scale to keep prices down, and soy wax does not include a lot of the ethical concerns that come with using palm wax and coconut wax.
Some countries that produce palm wax and coconut wax do so at an environmental cost to the local environment and by exploiting the local human and animal populations. This is not an issue with soybean production and soy wax.
Is soy wax vegan and cruelty-free? Soy wax is vegan and cruelty-free. Soy wax does not directly include the use of any animals or insects in its production and harvest. Unlike the harvest of beeswax which can put a strain on honeybee populations, soybean harvests are cruelty-free.
While some beeswax producers in the United States strive to be responsible producers of wax and honey, the fact that the industry runs at the expense of honeybee hives will never go away.
Is soy wax non-GMO? Soy wax can be GMO. Soybeans are the only commercially available GMO bean currently available in the United States. So if you are buying soy wax to make candles, the chances are that wax was produced from a GMO soybean. This is something you will have to weigh against the use of other types of natural wax.
Is the use of a GMO wax that is both sustainable and renewable worth being used vs a wax that is derived from oil such as paraffin? This is something you will have to examine and come to your own conclusions.
Pros and Cons of Soy Wax
|Pros of Soy Wax||Cons of Soy Wax|
|Renewable Resource||Low Melting Point|
|All-Natural||Fewer Candle Types|
|Low Melting Point||Wet Spots|
|Ideal for Scented Candles||Lumpy Tops|
Advantages and Disadvantages of Soy Wax
Advantages of Soy Wax
- Renewable Resource
- Clean Burning
- Low Melting Point
- Ideal For Scented Candles
Soy wax is a renewable resource made from soybeans. The soybeans are pressed and the oil is extracted and then hydrogenated until its melting point is increased to the point that it is solid at room temperature and is ideal for making candles. Soy wax is made from a crop that can be grown again and again making it a renewable resource.
You can get un-blended soy wax with no additives to make candles with. The only thing that can possibly be unnatural is fragrance oil if you choose to use it. However, you can use essential oils instead, keeping the candles all-natural.
Soy wax burns cleaner than other types of wax such as Paraffin or Soy/Paraffin blends. Paraffin wax is a petroleum byproduct and produces known carcinogens as it burns. However, soy wax is a much more clean-burning healthy alternative.
Low Melting Point
Soy wax has a low melting point, which can be positive and negative. The positive part of a low melting point is that it is ideal for scented candles and wax melts.
Ideal For Scented Candles
Soy wax is ideal for scented candles because It allows the wax to quickly melt and produce a fragrance that can quickly start spreading across the room. This gives you immediate satisfaction when burning soy wax-scented candles.
Disadvantages of Soy Wax
- Low Melting Point
- Fewer Appplications
- Wet Spots
- Lumpy Tops
Low Melting Point
Soy was has a low melting point. Which depending on the type of candles you want to make, may not necessarily be a good thing. Soy wax is best for container candles because of its low melting point. If you want to make votives or pillar candles you will need to blend the wax and use additives.
A major drawback of soy wax is that it is not as versatile as waxes such as paraffin and other blends. Pure sow wax mostly limits you to scented candles in metal tins and glass jars.
Frosting is when a crystalline-like structure begins forming on the surface of your soy candles. Soy wax and other natural waxes are notorious for frosting issues.
Wet spots are another issue that is often seen with soy wax container candles. This issue is prevalent in glass containers and jars when the wax begins to cool in an uneven way. This causes separation between the wax and the sides of the container leaving an area that appears as if it is wet.
Lumpy tops are also something that can be caused by candle wax cooling at an inconsistent rate. It is usually not a sign that you did anything wrong, but it is something that is very common in candle making and using soy candles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Natural waxes such as soy wax are considered the healthiest types of wax. This is because soy wax, coconut wax, and palm wax have all-natural origins and do not contain many of the same toxins and carcinogens that can be found in paraffin wax.
Paraffin wax is the cheapest type of wax for candles. Paraffin wax is popular because it is widely available and comes in a variety of melt points. This means that it can be used in many different candle-making applications. It is also popular to mix with natural waxes to make specific blends,
Soy was is good for scented candles and is one of the most popular waxes for scented candles. This is because soy wax can carry a large fragrance oil load and soy wax candles are all-natural. In addition, soy wax candles can burn for a long time.
Soy candles are not bad for you. Soy candles are known as an all-natural clean burning candle that is a renewable resource, derived from soybean oil. It is a much better option than paraffin wax for health-conscious candle lovers and those that may have health issues.
Soy wax is special because it burns slower, is cleaner, and is more readily available than other types of candle wax. While all candles carry the potential to emit candle soot, soy wax candles are known to burn cleaner than other alternatives such as paraffin wax.
In conclusion, soy wax has its benefits and its negatives. However, there are certain uses for soy wax that make it the clear choice over less natural alternatives. If you are making scented candles in jars such as containers or tins then soy wax is probably the best choice for you to make them.
If you do not like lumpy tops, wet spots, or frosting then you can find soy wax blends that might meet your requirements. While a soy wax and paraffin blend are less healthy than a pure soy wax candle, it is still a better option than a 100% paraffin wax candle.
Try different types of soy wax and blends of soy wax and experiment. Find the combination that best suits your needs and tastes. You will end up making candles you can be proud of sharing with your friends and family, and even candles you could be proud to sell.