There are a number of advantages to soy candles which make them popular with consumers and people who like to pour their own candles. Although there are some clear advantages to soy candles, soy isn't a magic ingredient; these candles can still pose a fire hazard, and they can be produced in nonsustainable ways which negate their environmental advantages. If environmentally sound candles are a major concern, choose soy candles carefully to ensure that you are promoting a healthy environment.
Soy candles are made from soy wax, a derivative of soy which was developed in the early 1990s. Soy wax has an obvious advantage over paraffin, a petroleum product, since soy is a renewable resource. The renewable aspect of the advantages of soy candles is important to many consumers. Soy wax is also cheaper than beeswax, another all-natural wax alternative. Unlike beeswax, soy wax doesn't have a rich natural fragrance, but it can be used as a carrier medium for essential oils, for people who desire scented candles.
One of the clear advantages of soy candles is that they are non-toxic and they produce much less soot than many other candles. These traits make soy candles a popular choice in households with young children or pets. Soy wax is also easier to clean up than some other waxes; this can be an immense advantage when tapers spill wax onto nice tablecloths during the holidays.
In terms of cost, soy candles tend to be more expensive than paraffin, but this cost is weighed out by a longer burning life. Soy candles are also much cheaper than beeswax candles, since soy wax can be readily and easily produced to meet demand. The ecological advantages of soy candles can be enhanced with the addition of recycled packaging and eco-friendly wicks made from recycled materials.
In terms of making your own candles, one of the primary advantages of soy candles is that soy wax has a relatively low melting point, making it easier to work with. Soy wax is also a great medium for essential oils, and the slow burning time of these candles allows them to slowly release essential oils over many hours for a slow build-up of scent, rather than an overwhelming odor. Crafters can also suspend objects like dried leaves and flowers in their soy candles.
Many companies sell soy candles, often with informational sheets touting the advantages of soy candles. These durable, long-burning candles come in a range of colors, styles, and scents to meet an assortment of needs around the house; remember to store them in a cool dry place to prevent melting or destabilization of the soy wax.