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Soy vs. Paraffin

Soy vs. Paraffin

The candle industry is a unique one indeed.  Those who produce candles have many avenues to go about when making them.  

Wax is one of the most important components of a candle.  There are two types of wax that are most used in the business: Soy and Paraffin.  There are pros and cons to each type of wax.  Here at Meredith Bay, we use Soy wax for our candles.  We believe it is a safer, cleaner alternative to paraffin.  Why do we believe this?  Let’s begin by comparing the two.  

What is Paraffin Wax?

Paraffin is a colorless wax.  It is made out of petroleum.  Petroleum is also used in transportation fuels, which is something to be wary of.  Do you feel comfortable with chemicals similar to gasoline burning in your home?

There are many uses to paraffin wax other than candle-making.  One of these is the production of crayons.  It also serves as a treatment at nail salons.  This wax can provide relief to those with arthritis as well as fibromyalgia.  These healing effects of paraffin are temporary.  The properties are relaxing, but they do not repair the skin. 

Soy gives off a lighter fragrance than its paraffin alternative.  A stronger fragrance may be negative in some circumstances.  For example, a candle used in the kitchen may be used for atmospheric purposes.  The candle could overpower the aroma of what is cooking.  

What is Soy Wax?

Soy candles are made from processed soybeans. The wax is created through the flakes of soybeans.  Once the beans are cleaned, they are cracked.  After that is when the flakes are formed, and the oil is extracted from the flakes.

A positive fact about soy wax is that it is renewable.  It also has less negative effects on the environment, as toxins are not released into the air.  For these reasons, soy supports the work of American farmers.  

Why is Soy Wax Better?

Why do we use soy?  We believe that soy has a lot more advantages than its paraffin counterpart.  Soy releases fragrance easier than paraffin.  Paraffin produces more soot, that is darker than the soot of soy.  Soy has a lower melting point, which results in a longer burning candle over paraffin.

Another reason we vouch for soy wax is its fragrant abilities.  Paraffin is able to produce a strong scent in a smaller area, but soy wax travels further with its fragrance. 

Lots of health-conscious consumers have issues with burning candles made with paraffin wax.  There have been some studies done on the negative effects of paraffin.  It's shown that the extra additives in paraffin may lead to health problems.  Some of the chemicals released in paraffin candles were alkanes, alkenes, and toluene.  These chemicals are not good for our lungs, and we should always make health a priority.

These reasons should make it no surprise we prefer soy wax at Meredith.  In these trying times, we believe that we must take every avenue to protect our health.   

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