Soy Wax Candles: The Ultimate Guide
“I’ve heard of soy wax candles. But, I know nothing about them.”
“I know about paraffin wax candles. But, what are soya wax candles?”
“Protecting the environment is important to me. And, soya wax candles are better for the environment, I hear?”
These thoughts and questions about the benefits of soy wax candles are valid. But, if you have never bought a soya wax candle, you’ve come to the right place.
This guide to soya wax candles will help you understand:
- how we make them
- what we make them from
- why they are better for you and the environment
- and what’s the best soy wax candle for you
How is soya wax produced?
Firstly, some background details on how soy wax is produced.
The terms ‘soya wax’ and ‘soy wax’ describe the same product. You’ll see both terms used throughout this guide. On our own products, we use ‘soy wax’ on our labels.
Candles are a simple and popular way to add atmosphere and fragrance to a room. Most candles use a paraffin wax as their energy source. It’s a reliable, cost-effective and manageable wax. In the UK, people buy around six candles a year. Paraffin wax comes from fossil fuel, petroleum.
Soya (or soy) wax candles are not petroleum-based. They use the oil in soybeans as their fuel source. To extract the soy oil, refiners crush the beans, and heat the material. Then, they press the crushed beans to squeeze out the oil. What’s left is suitable for feeding cattle.
Next, the manufacturer converts the saturated fats in the oil to unsaturated fats. The saturated fats solidify at room temperature. And, it’s this fat which is the fuel for soya wax candles.
Candle makers, like us, then add fragrances. The fragrances give off the scent when you light it, or even when it’s unlit. We use specially blended synthetic fragrances prepared for us in the Wirral, in the UK. The fragrances we use help our candles burn more evenly, so there's no wasted wax. They last longer than other soy wax candles available, as a result.
Now, you know how they make soy wax, here’s an answer to another question you might have!
What are the benefits of soy wax candles?
We’re not ‘eco-warriors’. We just want to do our bit for the environment. It made sense for us to use soy wax in our candles. Soya wax candles have many benefits over paraffin candles. We thought carefully about the benefits of using this natural oil.
10 benefits of soya wax candles:
- We use 100% GM-free soy wax in our candles. Plus, we use wax from soybeans that weren’t treated with pesticides or herbicides, while growing. That means, even before you light one of our candles, you can be confident about their ingredients.
- Soy wax holds fragrances well so the scent stays within the candle throughout its lifetime. You’ll experience the scent from the first time you light it to when you need to replace it.
- You’ll be surprised at the burning lifetime of a soy wax candle compared to a paraffin wax candle. Soy wax candles can last up to 50% longer than an equivalent paraffin wax candle. That makes them good value for money.
- Soy wax candles don’t give off petrol-carbon soot into your room. Soya wax candles burn cleaner than paraffin alternatives.
- Northumbrian Candleworks candles have no added colourants or dyes. We add only fragrances to give them their intense aromas. All our candles are either white or cream with no other chemicals or additives.
- The soy wax in our candles is 100% vegetable, made from the soybean oil. Our candles are natural, biodegradable and better for the environment.
- If you spill melted wax from a soya wax candle on materials, it’s easier to clean up. All you need is hot water and soap to clean up the mess.
- Soya wax is a renewable energy source, unlike fossil fuels. As long as the sun shines and the rain falls, soya wax is sustainable and renewable.
- No animal testing happens in the soya wax production process. We love animals!
- We use special wicks designed to burn in soy wax, so they burn efficiently. Using wicks designed to burn in soy wax means you burn all the wax you buy!
What are the different soy wax options?
Like many other products you use, drink or eat daily, the soy wax in candles can be a blend of other waxes. You can blend different types of soy wax to make other candle types.
For instance, you can blend two types of soy candle wax to get a smoother finish. This happens when you pour the hot wax into a container. Some soy wax types have different melting points than others. A lower melting point soy wax means it sticks better to the container it’s in.
But, a lower melting point has its drawbacks. Soy wax with a lower melting point is prone to melting more easily in warm conditions. This is only a problem of the soy wax candle which is not in a container like a tin or a glass.
At Northumbrian Candleworks we don’t blend the wax in our candles with other products, other than the fragrances. We use soy wax, which carries fragrance well, so you experience a rich, soothing aroma.
Are soya wax candles bad for you?
Customers often ask us if burning soya wax candles is bad for them. In summary, the answer is no.
Air quality is an issue around the world. And, indoor air quality is a topic which affects us all.
When we fry food, light a match, spray air freshener or light a candle, they all emit fumes. In our homes, we might have an extractor fan above the oven in our kitchen to remove cooking fumes. But, for other fumes, we rely on opening a window to let nasty smells or cooking fumes out.
And, the answer to the question depends on the type of soya wax candle you buy.
For instance, let’s say your candle is a blend of 10% soya wax and 90% paraffin wax. When you light it, the candle will have more soot coming from it than if you burn a candle with a higher percentage of soya wax in it.
Northumbrian Candleworks soya wax scented candles have no colourants or dyes in them. That means they are cleaner than paraffin wax candles.
And, soya wax candles aren’t bad for you.
Are soya wax candles environmentally friendly?
Customers often ask us if soya wax candles are environmentally friendly. Here’s our perspective on the question:
- We deliberately chose to use soya wax for our candles, which comes from farmers who don’t use any pesticides or herbicides on the plants. That means they’re in an environment which embraces bio-diversity. And that means they do their utmost to protect local flora and fauna. Rest assured, we’re not causing farmers to cut down Amazonian rainforest to grow soybeans to produce wax for our candles.
- Northumbrian Candleworks use pure soy wax. In other words, we 100% natural wax in our candles. We import our wax from sustainable sources in Europe. Other companies use soy wax from the USA. This wax has a much higher carbon footprint.
- The soya wax used by Northumbrian Candleworks is 100% GM-free. GM crops concern some customers and their potential impact on humans and wildlife. We decided to work with GM-free soya wax on purpose.
- Soya wax candles burn at a lower temperature than paraffin wax candles. And, they emit less soot than the fossil fuel wax alternatives. That makes them better for your indoor environment too.
5 things to know about natural candles
You’ll hear the term 'natural candles’ on the internet, and in the world of candles. But, what are natural candles?
It’s a term to describe candles which don’t use paraffin wax. Natural candles include beeswax candles and soya wax candles. Here are five things to know about them:
- People like natural candles because they have fewer chemicals in them, which suits their lifestyle and situation.
- Natural candles last longer than paraffin wax candles, which makes them excellent value.
- If you want to help your local economy you’ll often find locally made natural candles in the shops. Therefore, they're not shipped halfway across the world.
- Natural candles usually have a more subtle fragrance than paraffin wax candles. Many customers prefer the subtlety of our natural, soya wax candles.
- Burning a natural candle is better for people with respiratory issues. That's because there are fewer chemicals in them.
What to watch out for with cheap soy candles
You’ve read about the benefits of soy wax candles. But, what about the downsides of them?
Let’s put it like this; cheap soy candles are usually a blend of soy and paraffin wax. The less pure the soy wax candle, the more synthetic the wax it’s likely to contain.
Check the labels on cheap soy candles to see if they reveal anything about the quantity of soy wax the candle contains.
Our candles contain nothing but soy wax. And we make them so they burn well (that’s down to the amount of testing we do on our candles). Our candles burn evenly, so you don’t get the ‘tunnels’ you notice in cheap soy candles.
Ready to create your own home-made soya wax candles?
Candles are not only beneficial for having in your home to make it fragrant with their aromas. They are fun to make too. But, how can you make your own candles at home?
Well, you could buy all the individual components to create your candles, including:
- The wax
- The wick
- The container
- And the fragrance.
Why bother, though? We’ve saved you all the time and effort by creating ready-to-go soya wax candle making kits, complete with instructions.
Each kit comes with everything you need to make two candles in a tin, including:
- The perfect amount of wax to make the candles
- Two tins with lids
- A wick for each candle
- Toothpicks to hold the wicks in place
- The ideal amount of fragrance for the candles
- Labels so you can make gifts for friends or family
- Step-by-step instructions to follow
With six kits in the range, you can choose the ideal kit for any occasion. The soya wax candle making kits include:
- Honeysuckle Jasmine Candle Making Kit
- Christmas Greetings Candle Making Kit
- Mediterranean Fig Candle Making Kit
- Kids Candle Making Kit
- Happy Birthday Candle Making Kit
- Mimosa and Mandarin Candle Making Kit
Kits cost £15.99 each (Postage £3.50).
Are there organic soy candles available?
Yes, you can buy organic soy candles. We don’t make organic soy candles, though.
Are beeswax candles better than soya wax candles?
Beeswax candles and soya wax candles have their own pros and cons. Beeswax candles have wonderful properties. And people believe they help clean the surrounding air with the ions they emit. They also have a subtle aroma which users enjoy.
Soya wax candles, however, are ideal if you want a natural candle with a stronger fragrance than a beeswax candle. You can buy soya wax candles with numerous fragrances, depending on your preference.
Neither is better nor worse. Beeswax and soy wax candles have different benefits.
Are soya wax candles better than paraffin wax candles?
Soya wax candles are ideal for people who want natural candles. Because the wax comes from plants, that’s important to some customers. They have benefits like burning longer than an equivalent size paraffin wax candle.
Paraffin wax candles are ideal if you want them solely for light and not for fragrance in a room. Paraffin wax candles with fragrances in them tend to have stronger aroma than soya wax candles, which makes them better for spacious rooms. But, some people prefer a subtler fragrance.
You’ll hear about the soot that comes from paraffin wax candles. They emit tiny amounts of soot which causes no harm.
Is there such a thing as a soy Christmas candle?
Yes, there's such a thing as a soy Christmas candle! We have four soy fragrances perfect for Christmas candles. Click on the links below to buy them:
Can you buy hand poured soy candles in the UK?
Yes, you can! We make hand poured soy wax candles right here in the UK.
What is a soy melt? And, what are soy wax melts?
Soy melts are like candles but without a wick in them. You use 'soy wax melts' with a warmer, which melts the wax, and it emits an aroma. When you switch the warmer off, the wax solidifies until you need to warm it up again. We don’t make or stock soy melts, however.
Are Yankee candles soy?
Not as far as we know. We’ve searched their UK website, and we can’t find any signs of soy Yankee candles!
If you’re looking for soya wax candles, you’re in the right place. See our candle ranges here! We have candles in tins, candles in glass, candle making kits, and reed diffusers too. We make all our candles using soy wax.
Which candles are non-toxic?
Soya wax candles or beeswax candles are the types of candle to buy if you’re concerned about toxins.
Why? Beeswax and soy wax candles use natural waxes for their fuel. But, there’s little evidence to suggest that paraffin wax candles are bad for you.
Either way, burning candles at home occasionally is deeply pleasurable for many customers.
Which wax is best for candles?
This depends on the type of candle you need. Candles come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and uses. We use soy wax for our candles.
What’s different about handmade soya wax candles?
Handmade soy wax candles means an individual spends the time pouring hot wax into containers, like tins or glass. The makers place the wick into the wax by hand. It’s a time-consuming job done by people who care about their candles.
Buying soy wax candles
At the start of this article, you’d probably heard of soya wax candles, or natural candles. But, you probably didn’t know much about them.
The choice of candles available can seem bewildering. And, not all candles are the same, let alone soya wax candles.
By now, you should have a good grasp of the types of soy wax candles, how we create them and their pros and cons.
That’s all the theory and background covered! How about trying our soya candles?