We know that paraffin wax is a bad candle making product, so what are the alternatives? Soy wax and beeswax dominate the environmentally friendly candle industry so we wanted to compare their benefits and features and show that paraffin is not the only way when it comes to candles for your home.
While we encourage you to do your own research when you're looking to buy a candle or wax melt, here are some of the things we've discovered on our candle making journey.
One of the main reasons people are looking to switch to non-paraffin wax candles is the impact on the environment. Paraffin wax is deadly to the environment but how do soy and beeswax stack up? Soy and beeswax are both natural products, one being a plant and the other is made by bees that consume plants. Soy products are very land-efficient when used solely for direct use rather than for livestock feed. Beeswax is also efficiently made because bees roam to other areas to gather pollen that they turn into honey and they secrete the wax to protect their honeycomb. Soy wax, which is made from soybean oil, can contribute to deforestation and overuse of pesticides and fertilizers so it's important to look for sustainable practices such as Organic growing and sustainable forest-agriculture. Beeswax is a hard one to define for sustainability as bees will go where the food is and this may or may not be from sustainably produce plants. It's impossible to guarantee the environmental impact from where the bees get their pollen but it is a better way than paraffin. Just watch out for synthetic beeswax which could be toxic, natural is almost always better.
Health is another big consideration for candle lovers. Both Soy and Beeswax candles are a great option for those with environmental allergies, sensitivities, and asthma because they are generally hypo-allergenic if using natural scents or if they are scent-free. They also don't burn paraffin, which is made from oil, into your home. Both exhibit less soot when burnt which means your home will be cleaner too. Although some people state that beeswax purifies the air went burnt, there is no scientific evidence currently to back this up.
Burn time is probably one of the significant differences between beeswax and soy wax. In general, when taking the same sized candle into consideration, beeswax burns for a longer time than soy wax. This is because beeswax has a higher melt temperature but only for poured candles not rolled beeswax. If comparing roughly 100g of wax, poured beeswax would take approximately 29 hours to burn while Soy would burn for 18 hours. Paraffin would burn for only 15 hours while rolled beeswax for 14 hours.
Although beeswax may burn for longer, there is a downside to this. The high melt point and the natural composition of the beeswax mean it is not as effective as soy wax at throwing scent. If you are looking for a scented candle, soy wax will produce a stronger, more consistent smell that will last the full burn time of the candle. Beeswax on the other hand is better suited as an unscented candle that allows for the natural oil scent to be released into the air.
Both soy wax and beeswax can be moulded and shaped into different sizes and designs. There is no real difference in the ability to make these candles aesthetically pleasing. While many choose natural beeswax, soy wax and beeswax can both be coloured and scented. Look for natural colouring and scents to ensure your candle is not damaging the environment or your health in another way.
One of the biggest differences between beeswax and soy wax is the price. Beeswax is by far the most expensive candle wax on the market. Soy, on the other hand, is one of the cheapest wax options, especially in the eco friendly candle industry. As both have longer burn times than paraffin wax, they are worth the extra cost.
Of course, one of the most obvious differences between these eco-friendly candle options is that beeswax is not vegan. As beeswax is produced by animals that rely on it to protect their honey and hives, it cannot be considered a vegan product. Some may consider this exploitation and a non-cruelty free product. While we understand that some people have a preference for the beeswax, our decision to use soy in our candles was heavily influenced by wanting items that were accessible to the widest amount of people, including those following a vegan lifestyle.
Check out the full range of soy wax candles and melts for a vegan, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly candle option. For further inspiration and advice on the candles, check out our blog. And if you have any questions about ordering or our products, get in touch with one of the team.
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