Soy, Paraffin, Beeswax - Is Candle Wax Safe?

Posted by Tara-Lee Flory on

Candles are made from all types of wax including soy, paraffin and beeswax. But what’s the difference between them? 

As it turns out, the difference between the types of candle wax is minimal, and the choice between them simply comes down to personal preference. 

Soy candles

Soy wax is a non-toxic wax commonly used for candles. It is derived from a hydrogenated form of soybean oil.  The process of obtaining the wax product from oils made by soy beans is still a tedious, involved manufacturing process and the recent talk lately that soy wax is much more environmentally friendly than paraffin wax, is not always true.  Both are manufactured, and both are made to be non-toxic and food grade in recent years.  It's all down to personal preference and how you feel about the manufacturing processes.  

To get the most out of your soy candles, you must show them a bit of love. Re-centering wicks is the best way to maintain a burning candle. Ensure wicks are upright and trimmed to 7mm.  Soy wax burns slower than paraffin wax, but it takes much longer to "throw" the scent around the room.  Read our Product Care page to best maintain your candles! 

Paraffin candles

Paraffin wax is often given a bad rap, but it is the most widely used wax for candle making in the world. How does that make sense? 

The negative view of paraffin wax comes down to a selling message that comes from the makers of other types of wax, rather than the facts based on the chemistry of wax. “There have been very few studies carried out on the subject, so it is difficult for consumers to get the information in order to make their own decision,” experts say. One such study that was conducted at the Beyreuth Institute for Environmental Investigations in Germany concluded that all types of wax – including paraffin – burned in the same manner, creating comparable emissions, and posing no discernible risk to human health or indoor air quality. 

Paraffin wax is not bad for you after all! In fact, it is a non-toxic wax approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is also commonly found in candy, ice cream coating and coating for hard cheese and skin care products. 

Experts point out that these candles are safe to burn, even in the presence of babies or those with allergies.

Like soy candles, the best way to maintain paraffin candles is to re-centre and trim the wick to 7mm. Regularly trimming the wick of your paraffin candle will ensure that is stops emitting carbon – the black residue that is sometimes found on the glass of your candle.

Beeswax candles

Beeswax is a natural material. It occurs in a range of colours – from creamy white, to pink, orange and even brown – depending on the flowers the bees have been foraging. Beeswax candles are the longest burning candle on the market, and can last up to 100 hours. For those who have a sensitive nose, they are a great option as they produce a subtle, honey fragrance. To maintain your beeswax candle, make sure the wick is straightened regularly, and trim it to 5mm after every burn.  

 “Candle manufacturers select waxes or blends of waxes based on their suitability for specific types of candles or formulation profiles, as well as their own candle-making preference." . We recommend you use the same discretion when choosing between soy, paraffin or beeswax candles yourself.

We believe that you should choose your candles based on your feelings and thoughts on the manufacturing processes on all types of wax. We believe the science, not the hype.  Although Pandarra leans towards the soy waxes (we believe they are more sustainably grown, although we do understand there is a considerable manufacturing process involved too), we want you to rest assured that all candle waxes now-a-days are regulated and deemed safe.  Like chocolate, Everything in moderation we believe! 

What’s your favourite type of candle wax?  The slower burning Soy, the better scent throw of Paraffin, or the honey like natural scent of beeswax?  

Pandarra Home Fragrance

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