Soy candles, made from wax of the Soya bean, are becoming increasingly popular for many reasons. Firstly there are the environmental considerations, as they are made from a renewable resource. They also last longer than paraffin candles, produce less soot and if spilled, are easier to clean up.
Where To Buy Soya Candles
About Soy Candles
Soy candles are candles made from soy wax which is produced from the soybean plant. Soy wax has become an alternative to petroleum based paraffin wax in container candles. The wax is available in flake and pellet format and is an off-white colour and very opaque.
Soybean wax, often referred to simply as "soy wax," is produced with hydrogenated soybean oil. Its main disadvantage is lower melting point, resulting in candles which deform easily in hot weather. But, soy wax is mostly used in jar candles, where the lower melting point is not of much concern.
Some soy waxes include chemicals in addition to the soy bean oil. Some candles include fragrance, which can be natural or artificial.
Some soy candles are made up of "blends" - usually beeswax, paraffin, or palm wax.
The largest advantage of soy candles seems to be that the wax comes from plants grown by farmers, whereas paraffin is a petroleum based product. Other commonly advertised advantages include candles burning with less soot. The candle maker's proper use of wicks, fragrance, and dyes also will affect burning quality. The issue of the toxicity of paraffin has been commonly spoken about. But paraffin is commonly used on foods and in cosmetics.
The largest producers of soy bean oil are Brazil and the United States. "In 1997, about 8% of all soybeans cultivated for the commercial market in the United States were genetically modified. In 2006, the figure was 89%."
Candle making additives that are sometimes used in soy candle making include: stearic acid, vybar, mineral oil, petrolatum, luster crystals, dye/pigment, fragrance (natural or artificial), synthetic wax, chimasorb, paraflint and bht crystals.
Standard labeling of soy candles is not enforced.
The Future of Soy Wax Candles
According to a report in The Engineer dated 20 November 2008, a researcher from Iowa State University has improved the wax from Soyabeans to allow it to be made into pillar or long stick candles.
Currently candle wax made from soy is either too soft and greasy or too brittle and crumbly and therefore it is only possible to make soy candles in a jar. The researcher Tong Wang has been able to produce the wax in the right consistency so that candle sticks and pillar candles can be made from the material. Let's hope that they will soon be on the market!
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