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Monday, October 17, 2011

Paraffin vs Soy Wax

I have seen quite a few comments and questions regarding the burning of soy wax vs the burning of paraffin wax. There is a lot of information out there in support of soy wax. Most of this support is that soy wax is biodegradable, which it is, it burns cleaner, which it doesn't and it doesn't produces soot, which it does.

I have been looking at these two waxes to find out more information. This is what I found out from the National Candle Association,, which is the governing body of candle manufacturers in the United States.

Both soy wax and paraffin wax are biodegradable, both produce soot, neither is water soluble and the soot is not harmful.

To make soy wax, the soybeans are combined with chemicals to produce the wax like properties. Based on this, soy wax is not completely natural. Most fragrances that are added are not natural, so a soy wax candle cannot be "all natural". Soy wax can cause problems in people who are allergic to soy.

Paraffin wax is commonly used to coat fruits at the grocery store, is used for canning or adding to food, is a known preservative. YES paraffin wax is edible. These are just some of the other uses paraffin wax can be used for instead of candles. Soy wax cannot be used for these purposes.

In my making of candles, I have found that soy wax sticks to the mold more often than paraffin wax. I have started mixing paraffin in with the soy wax I use. They both cost about the same per pound. Soy wax also will not make a good pillar candle unless it is mixed with something to give it the strength to stand outside of a mold.

Which do I prefer? I really have no preference. I use a mixture of soy and paraffin. Since I have to purchase paraffin wax to give the soy wax the ability to stand outside of a mold, I may go back to just purchasing paraffin wax.

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